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Are You Cut Out To Be A Consultant?

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                   SoHo NEWS & TIPS
Helping You Make the Most of Your Small Office/Home Office
        SoHoTIPS.com
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Greetings,

Do you have what it takes to be a consultant? Today's issue 
offers questions to ask yourself before becoming a free 
agent. If you think you are cut out for the job, you might
be in for an attractive compensation and flexible hours. 

Best,
Mandi

Be sure to visit the SoHo News and Tips blog!
SoHo News & Tips Blog

~~~~~~~~~~~

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NEWS & TIDBITS

- Former Enron execs Lay and Skilling have been 
found guilty -- Lay on all counts against him, and 
Skilling, 20 of the 28 accounts against him...

- SAP has agreed to buy Frictionless Commerce for 
their e-sourcing product... 

- Pilots at Delta Air Lines Inc. have approved a 
new contract with the carrier...

- Independent power producer NRG Energy Inc. 
rejects Mirant Corp's $8 billion takeover bid...

- Two east coast-based buyout firms, Thomas H. Lee 
Partners and Quadrangle, agreed to buy Omaha-based 
West Corp, a leading outsourced telecommunications 
software and services provider, for $4.1bn 
including debt...

- Toyota Motor plans to begin a global voluntary 
recall of nearly 320,000 of its Prius gasoline-
electric hybrid sedans to repair a potentially 
faulty steering system component...

- GM Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner picks 
Troy Clarke as president of GM North America... 

- Standard Life Assurance Co. members voted to 
convert Europe's biggest customer-owned insurer 
to a public company...


         GopherCentral's Question of the Week

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Question of the Week



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Are You Cut Out To Be a Consultant? 
By ANDREA COOMBES From MarketWatch 

Now's a good time to jump into self-employment as 
an independent consultant -- at least for some 
professions.

In the continuing effort to comply with laws such 
as Sarbanes-Oxley and the health-privacy act known 
as HIPAA, companies increasingly turn to 
independent contractors. Plus, companies now see 
independent pros as a way to fill in talent gaps 
in their own organizations.

Some companies hire a consultant to get a project 
off the ground, and then turn over the project's 
maintenance to in-house employees.

Companies are "buying talent for special projects," 
says Robert Morgan, chief operating officer of 
Hudson Talent Management, a unit of Hudson Highland 
Group, a recruiting and consulting firm in New York.

Mr. Morgan, who is based in Chicago, says: "We've 
seen a growth in independent professionals... in 
finance and accounting, in legal, in human 
resources."

Why do workers choose to go this route? While one-
third of finance professionals say a flexible 
schedule is the main appeal of a consulting career, 
27% say attractive compensation is the top lure, 
up from 13% who said this in 2000, according to a 
recent survey for Robert Half Management Resources. 
"Demand is high; therefore consultants are command-
ing higher pay," says Paul McDonald, executive 
director of the operation, which is a division of 
Robert Half International, the staffing company in 
Menlo Park, Calif.

Hot Jobs

Accountants, finance experts and information 
technology pros are in high demand, experts say. 
Also, company boards of directors are seeking 
independent consultants for advice on compensation 
practices, market research and business strategies, 
says Stephen Mader, a Boston-based vice chairman at 
Christian & Timbers, an executive search firm in 
New York.

Continued below....

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Meanwhile, U.S. firms are struggling to fill 
positions for sales representatives, engineers, 
health-care specialists, information technologists 
and accountants, according to a recent survey of 
1,300 companies by Manpower, the staffing firm in 
Milwaukee.

And computer programmers, Web site developers and 
graphic designers are much sought after at 
Guru.com, says Inder Guglani, chief executive 
officer at the company, which connects freelancers 
with companies.

Still, contract work is not for everyone. While 
many independent pros embrace setting their own 
hours and choosing which projects to accept, they 
also point to downsides such as erratic paychecks 
and lack of paid vacation, according to a Hudson 
survey of independent contractors last year.

For some, steep health-care costs kill the deal.

Time to Jump?

Consider the following questions before making the 
jump to free agent:

* Are the skills you possess in demand, and do you 
have the experience companies will seek? 
Professionals with, say, more than five to seven 
years' experience are in greater demand, experts say. 
* Can you handle erratic paychecks? 
* How will you pay for health insurance and your 
retirement? 
* Are you able to market yourself, even as you 
work on projects? 
* Can you pay for the liability insurance some 
companies may require? 
* Do you have financial security for soft spells? 
* Do you like working independently? "It may sound 
really interesting and fun to set your own direct-
ion," says Mr. Morgan, "but you may be miserable 
doing that." 


DID YOU KNOW?

Successful Small Business Owners Clean out the Clutter 
Regularly: You will save yourself heaps of time, energy and 
money if you clear out your work and home environment...
paperwork, books, old equipment etc. You'll be able to find 
things, save money because you won't have to buy what you 
already have hidden somewhere, plus you'll be less stressed. 
Organize your office and your small business premises 
regularly...keep the clutter out. Eliminating clutter will 
help you to avoid procrastination. It's too easy to avoid 
getting things done if you are overwhelmed with clutter.

So what did you think about this issue? Drop me a line and let 
me know at mailto:mandi@gophercentral.com 

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