The simplest way to earn some income while you research your next move is to do some part-time consulting. Some options:
- Serve as an interim executive, typically for a project of 2-6 months duration.
- Join the major expert networks, an easy way to earn extra part-time income for consulting by the hour. This effectively gives you a put option to sell your time to thousands of investors and corporates. It also is a hyper-efficient way to get paid to learn more about how large players see your space. Almost none of these firms charge you money to join their network; we would be very wary about the firms that want to charge you money to join their network.
- Join the relevant consultant networks focused on short-term engagements. Particularly relevant is Startups.com, which helps startups identify consultants with relevant domain expertise. Also note Braintrust, the first user-controlled talent network that connects organizations with highly skilled tech talent.
- Affiliate with a private equity or VC firm in your space, as a consultant, scout, EIR, operating partner, or full-time team member. At a minimum, it’s valuable to talk with leading VCs in your sector. VCs are always well-networked in their space, and they’ll have ideas on jobs or advisory roles. For an overview of all your options, see How operating executives can work with the private equity and venture capital industry.
- Become an advisor to one of the major consultancies. Some maintain a database of outside consultants (e.g., PwC’s Talent Exchange). Adham Abdelfattah said, “Familiarity with technology topics is extremely valuable to become an advisor for the top firms. Tech is their Achilles heel, and they’re always looking for seasoned talent that understands both technology and management to act as advisors. Basic networking (and even cold emails) with these firms can suffice if the person has relevant expertise. All it takes is 1-2 partners to want to onboard a person as an advisor once.”
- Affiliate with a specialty consultancy in your niche. There’s a huge world of smaller consultancies which work with outside, part-time consultants on an as-needed basis. It’s much easier to get on their “call list” than to get a full-time job. TheConsultingBench offers a database of over 600 consulting firms.
- Start your own consulting practice: Increasing numbers of professionals are making a long-term career as an independent consultant. See the Umbrex Guide to Setting Up Your Own Consulting Practice, by McKinsey alum Will Bachman.
- Offer career advice. A number of companies (Bonsai, Evisors, Rooftop Slushie) will pay you to share guidance with early-career professionals.
- How to Win Consulting, Board, and Deal Roles with Private Equity and Venture Capital Funds
- Umbrex Guide to Setting Up Your Own Consulting Practice
- The Irresistible Consultant’s Guide to Winning Clients: 6 Steps to Unlimited Clients & Financial Freedom, by David A. Fields
- Unleashed – How to Thrive as an Independent Professional, podcast hosted by Will Bachman