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Why a SharePoint Consultant (are you ready for the Journey)?

So one of the most common question I get from clients, and just general folks is:

So why would anyone be a Consultant, what is a SharePoint Consultant?

Amazingly it is asked in such as way that I feel like they are asking why would you want to be a Plague victim, or a volunteer Geek.

So first of all one of most common reasons consultants become consultants is not a glamorous reason at all.  It is not for the exotic travel, the money, the freedom…..even though most will say this when you first ask them.  After prying the simple truth is they were….ready…..UNEMPLOYED.  So what do you really DOOOO around here. 🙂

Definition of Consultant

Wikipedia describes as such:

A consultant (from Latin: consultare "to discuss") is a professional who provides professional or expert advice in a particular area such as ……, or any of many other specialized fields. A consultant is usually an expert or a professional in a specific field and has a wide knowledge of the subject matter. The role of consultant outside the medical sphere (where the term is used specifically for a grade of doctor) can fall under one of two general categories:
  1. Internal Consultant – someone who operates within an organization but is available to be consulted on areas of specialism by other departments or individuals (acting as clients); or

  2. External Consultant – someone who is employed externally (either by a firm or some other agency) whose expertise is provided on a temporary basis, usually for a fee. As such this type of consultant generally engages with multiple and changing clients.

Wow sounds glamorous right….well in reality most consultants carry the title for a myriad of reasons, some call them Consultants and play Call of Duty all day…yes John I am talking about you.

OK so we now know why YOU like the idea, now lets talk about the a few reasons why you might go this direction….the Dark Side of SharePoint.

Reasons to Join the SharePoint Consulting Ranks

So one of the biggest myths of Consulting is that with this great title comes great money…..not always true.  As a consultant in general you can find yourself spending more time trying to stay employed, taking more time in the week working then the working stiff you consult for, or now you are self-employeed comes all the self-employment pains.  Let’s not get into those things now, lets talk about 5 common reasons…..

Leveraging YOUR hidden talents

So commonly SharePoint Geeks find themselves either in one of two camps..those who get it….and those who just suck at it.  You will see that more and more the ones who are Rock Stars in the industry either work as Consultants, at Microsoft…or as Hired Guns for big tech firms.  The rest of the population is in a continuous state of chaos.  Trying to learn about what is new and great, while juggling 50 different projects and internal politics.   Ahhh…politics.  This is in now way a comment that if you are not a consultant you don’t get is just we are paid to be superstars.

So many folks see this as the way to break away and show off there talents.  Well that is great and all, but keep in mind Consultants get paid based on being “in the know”, “on the edge of wisdom”.  Which means you spend a lot of free time, studying, taking classes, and reading MSDN pages and answering questions.  This is not a Hobby, it is a life choice.

Slave to someone else’s beat

So another reason commonly folks jump from SharePoint Admins or Analysts into the Consulting role is the fact they have been pummeled by internal politics, or doing a job for the guy in the corner office with no love for the effort. ……you with the RED SWINGLINE STAPLER.

You want freedom right, alright you are ready to consider the next point.

Getting the axe

So one of my favorite movies is “Office Space” if you are not aware of it, it is the quint essential movie about how folks feel about working in the office.  It basically is why I enjoy Consulting every day.

Ask me why I went into SharePoint Consulting, simply because:

I was asked!

Not for the glamor, or any other reason, I was expecting that my company at the time was about to hit the wall.  So I jumped ship and went into Consulting.  The company did hit a reef a few month later, so YEAH ME.  But that is one of the biggest reason for the shear number of consultants in the world right now.  They got the axe during the last recession and this was the only LEGAL alternative.

Expanding your income

So we are down the most common myth of consulting, MONEY.MONEY..MONEY.  Do SharePoint Consultant make more money that the average SharePoint Admin…..well……hmmmm…..the answer is ……welll…..

YEP. The average SharePoint Consultant based on Glassdoor averages $32.85 per hour to over $120.00 per hour…more if you are a true 1099.

So can it be all about the money….Heck Yeah.

Going Non-Profit

Another reason for being a Consultant is to give back.  Now this is commonly the secondary reason.  You are already working as a Consultant for a firm, and they want you to volunteer for some organization to look good to the community….but hey it is still giving back to the community.  What does that mean.  Many SharePoint Consultants find themselves working on the local SPUG (SharePoint User Group), or assisting a local non-profit maintain a website.

Going non-profit is really only fashionable for SharePoint Consultants if they can afford the time, money, and effort.  Now this is not to say that they may find a great thing to do, maintain the local school website, update the church network….it is good work, but usually it the last one of the reasons….well for the reasons above.


So this gives you some honesty right…well in my next post we are going to take a quiz to determine if this is right for you, and get you ready to take the big Plunge…..make the move…..change your lifestyle… that sounded bad.  Lets just say become a SharePoint Consultant.  TTYL

*Thanks Office Space for your great movie and images…

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