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When In-Between: Practical Ways to Re-Engage (Consulting Tips, Part 1)

By Ken Chen

So, you’ve just finished a consulting project. Isn’t that a great feeling? But, do you know what you’ll be working on next? If not, you may actually be a little nervous if there’s nothing solid lined up.

At EM Marketing, we partner with consultants to try to help them find their next gig. But there are other ways you can put yourself back in the job market. Try these practical tips to re-engage:

1. Do an outbound “marketing” campaign for yourself.

Using email, LinkedIn and other social media, announce your availability, such as, “I’m available to take on projects right now. If you or someone you know is looking, let me know.”

2. Grab some cups o’ joe.

Email a few people in your network with the goal being to get coffee meetings. Find out what they’re up to and let them know you’re looking for new projects.

3. Do some LinkedIn research.

Research companies you want to work with on LinkedIn to see what job openings are available, then use your network to try and get your résumé to the right person (or, you can try applying directly).

4. Work on your personal branding.

Our next blog post in this series, “When In-Between: Reconnect with Who You Are,” will cover personal branding in more depth, but a few things you can do are:

  • Polish, update your résumé and LinkedIn profile
  • Request recommendations on LinkedIn
  • Consider doing a Consultant Profile on EM Marketing’s website.
  • Write a blog post showing off your expertise

5. See what people think about you.

It’s a good time to focus on self-improvement. Collect feedback from your former clients and peers — perhaps you’ll find something productive to work on, or better yet, accentuate the positive feedback going forward.

6. Build up your network on LinkedIn.

Connect with people you used to work with, people you’re currently working with, sync your contacts from your email, connect with alums from your alma mater, revisit your “Invitations to Connect” and use the “People You May Know” feature.

7. Attend speaking events and join meet-ups to explore areas of growth and learning.

There are plenty of opportunities in the Bay Area to learn new hobbies, meet new people and check out a hot industry.

8. Travel and gain more perspective.

It’s one of the perks of being a consultant or contractor.

9. Have fun and be open to the world and its possibilities.

Need I say more?

10. Go see the friends and family that you may have neglected and rekindle those relationships.

Aren’t these statements, “I wish I’d stayed in touch with my friends” and “I worked too much at the expense of my family” some of the top lifetime regrets?

After a consulting project has come to an end, it’s fair to say you should consider (deserve) taking time to recharge and reconnect instead of re-engaging. However, finding the next work opportunity may take some time, so start by networking and updating your personal brand. Now, it’s your turn: what has worked for you to secure your next consulting project?

Part 2: Reconnect with Who You Are

Ken Chen

About Ken Chen

Ken Chen is San Francisco-based online marketing consultant and owner of EM Marketing. EM Marketing specializes in marketing strategy, product launches, customer acquisition, and mobile & social marketing.

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