Workshop shows consulting in a true light

SCORE Fairfield County will offer a course on Wednesday, Sept. 10, for any local resident who may be interested in taking a leap from a corporate job to independent consulting work.

The workshop, “Making the Break from Employee to Consultant,” will be presented at Wilton Library by management consultant Zuhair Suidan, principal at Suidan Associates.

Mr. Suidan has worked as an independent consultant since 1993, after he left a job at IBM. His firm specializes in strategic marketing management.

By phone on Tuesday, Mr. Suidan said his presentation would appeal to a wide range of prospective consultants, but the “key messages” will be directed towards people still employed by large companies.

“The key thing is to start planning while you still have a job in corporate America,” he said. “It’s a great time to prepare to become a consultant, rather than when you’ve just lost your job.”

The presentation, Mr. Suhair said, will also direct attendees to focus on whether or not they have the right personality to be a successful consultant.

“You have to fight for every engagement,” he said. “When you’re on your own, the phone might not ring for days if you are not actively pursuing clients.

“There are great benefits to being a consultant. You are your own boss, you get freedom in time, you’re free from office politics, and you can meet the son after getting off the bus. But, there are also negatives; you’re working in isolation, and you have to pursue your own clients.”

During the workshop, Mr. Suhair will also speak on the idea that consultants are often making extremely good money.

“A lot of people are interested in consulting because they think they will be making a lot more money. Statistically, you probably find most are not making as much as when they had a corporate job.

“There were some great years where I earned multiples of what I made at IBM, but some years are barren. I will speak about both the easy times and the hard times.”

Mr. Suhair’s workshop will be presented on Wednesday, Sept. 10, at Wilton Library from 6 to 8 p.m.