getting started in consulting
jack at designinglife.com
Sat Jun 19 19:26:00 PDT 2004
Raffi, Joelle's story is parallel to mine over the past 26 years. Part of
the key is to seek and take on projects that offer opportunities for your
growth. Best of luck.
two.one.six/ three.seven.three/ seven.four.seven.five.
From: Joelle Lyons Everett [mailto:JLEShelton at aol.com]
Sent: Friday, June 18, 2004 5:03 PM
To: OSLIST at LISTSERV.BOISESTATE.EDU
Subject: Re: getting started in consulting
Your position in starting a consulting business is a lot better than mine
was, 20+ years ago. I had a couple of years work experience, counting
summer jobs, 15 years out of the work world being home with my four
children. No management experience outside my home. A degree in English, a
certificate for the study of facilitating Creative Problem Solving, and a
graduate-level program in organizational change.
I stuck to things I knew about, creative problem solving, communication
skills, planning skills. I found I had some abilities for facilitation and
event design. I have never pretended to have any expertise in the financial
and budgeting area of management. My general purpose, in my consulting
work, was to help move organizations in the direction of opening
decision-making processes to everyone in the organization, and tapping the
wealth of creativity and experience that were there.
After about ten years, I discovered Open Space, and it felt much more
powerful than the methods I had been working with. I've gradually used it
more and more with client organizations, but I still offer them the choice
of other ways of working, and sometimes combine Open Space with other modes.
When I was getting started, I found that I could get experience that I
wanted and needed by volunteering my services to a nonprofit organization,
to do something that I wanted experience in. Some of these volunteer
assignments also led to paying work--a member of a board I had worked with
might invite me to work with the board of another organization.
If you think about the work you've done over the past few years, I'm sure
you will find that you have done a variety of management tasks, perhaps
without having any managerial title. You can find a way to include these on
your consulting resume.
The managers I work with know far more about their business than I will ever
know. And many of them are expert and successful as managers (its usually
the good ones who want their organization to be even better). I bring my
expertise about supporting organizations while they change, and about
facilitating meetings which help move that forward. You have a lot of
experience in helping people come together and think about how to make their
lives better, often under the most difficult and painful conditions. And
this experience will stand you in good stead in working with other
organizations as well.
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