Become an IT Consultant
An IT Consultant is one of the easiest jobs under the sun. You don‘t need to know very much to do it, and it pays a lot of money.
All you have to be able to do is sense what those who hired you want to hear, and then tell it to them in spades.
A lot depends what time you are brought in to assess a project at. If you are brought in at the beginning, you say good things about the people running the project and the tools and languages to be used. That‘s what they want to hear. They don‘t want you holding the project up.
They just want to hear some reassurance from you that they‘ve done the right thing and have the right people. So give it to them.
The only rider that I would say that you need to have here is to tell them that the project will probably cost around double what they‘ve budgeted for.
They won‘t stop, as it is very unspecific advice, but it covers your tail for when it does run over budget. This is a very safe thing for you to say.
Even if the project totally screws up, you are safe. You were in so early that the blame has to lie elsewhere. There‘ll be plenty of reasons that they can find for the screw up of the project that are independent of you.
Half way Through a Project
It‘s very different when they bring you in half way through a project. It‘s senior management who have brought you in, over the heads of project management. They‘ve brought you in because they sense something is wrong and they can‘t quite put their finger on it.
Therefore you say that the whole project is a screw up and will never be delivered on time or to budget. Say that the technology is duff. That’s as long as you were not the consultant in at the beginning who said it was fine.
The thing to do here is to arrange individual meetings with all the people on the project, to find out what they think has gone wrong and what should have been done and who is to blame. Ask the last question very subtly.
There you are!
You have all the information you need. Put all that information into a report and present it along with some slides to senior management.
Project Completion Date
Think of a date well beyond the supposed project completion date. Think of a cost well above what they are expecting. Present that to them as the most likely scenario.
They‘re likely to can the project then. You tell them that you wished that they had brought you in at the beginning. You could have given them much of the advice that you are now giving them.
Make sure that you have some scapegoats!
You will have worked out, from previous conversations with senior management, who they look kindly on and who they don‘t. The ones that they don‘t look kindly on must be your scapegoats. They are the ones to blame for the demise of the project.
The main secret of an IT consultant is to tell those that hire you what they want to be told – and secretly suspect anyway.
The bosses at a company can‘t go in as easily as you can and ask every Tom, Dick and Harry on the project what has gone wrong. You can get precious information that they can‘t – and then you feed it back to them with conclusions.
Easy to do Jobs
The secret in life is to select jobs that are very easy to do – but pay a lot of money.
Data analysis is one. You could train a second year pupil to do that.
Project Tracking is another – you could train a good primary school child to do that.
However, the best of all is to be an IT Consultant. All you‘re really doing is telling the bosses what their workers are saying. All the skills that you need to do that are the ability to listen, write down what you hear, and present it to senior management.
For this you should expect to be able to command anything in the range of between 1,500 quid and 5,000 quid a day.
Don‘t even think about being a programmer. It‘s too much like hard work.
For more career advice for contractors click on Career Advice.
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