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Why the Sequester will impact Consultants

So the question came up today “Will the Sequester effect Consulting?”, the simple answer is “YES”.

Let me set the stage for the question, I had a call with a long time buddy last night.  He rang me out of the blue,

Scott, hey you know that big 2 year project my whole team is on, well they decided to cancel it due to the sequester, and redirect the funding to another department.

This is not the first call I have had in the past 2 weeks, nor email asking me for a job lead after their project/contract got killed or put on hold. 

Sequestration and YOU

If you are a Consultant in nearly any industry you understand that “the Sequester” is just another great title for ‘Budget Cuts”.  In many companies since 09 we have seen efficiencies, outsourcing, and cost cut measures to attempt to rescue companies that have….well dug them selves in.  As a consultant and being a contractor you are the first “Cuts” that happen. 

How I like to look at it is, rainy day.  Yep the old adage of plan for a rainy day….well folks depending on what sector you work in….look out side….”It’s Raining!”

Fall Back Options

So I am a big fan of making sure my team, and me in extension always have a fall back project.  It might not be a well paying, or glamorous, or even something we want to do; but it pays the bills.  This is the goal for me….keep my people working, and keep my people seeing the path forward.

Capital Projects

are another option, yes is internal Capital projects, is this a time to reinvest in the organization….YES, take this time to build new models, POC’s, do brand work, or go take some training classes and certifications.


you team is another option.  See if folks want to roll over to other departments, or teams.  Yes this might include the options to travel, relocate, or even change career paths.  All solid considerations.


have become a popular term in the past month again.  Taking some time off, to recharge, learn something new, travel….sounds nice right.  Well is your organization supports that or offers it, take it and take this month to reinvent yourself.

Downsize your team

this is my most un-favorite option.  It has taken years to build the A-Team, and it is very challenging to say goodbye to all that operational work, and effort.  Needless to say the friendships that have blossomed from this team.  We like to see our team as a family, and brotherhood, so breaking up that is hopefully a temporary solution.


So mater what industry you work in events like the Sequester are going to happen, this is nothing new, and generally this is part of the ebb and flow of consulting and contracting.  Don’t take it personal, as this is just another example of economic strife we have all been adapting too since 09. If you can take advantage of the time…do it….if you can extend you learning….do it…..don’t take a negative outlook on this (even though that is easy to do)….KEEP MOVING FORWARD.



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