Critical Dilemmas for the Independent Consultant

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This pilot study investigated major dilemmas facing independent consultants. In-depth interviews were conducted with 10 consultants specializing in organization development and in training and development. Thematic analysis demonstrated that for the study participants, four dilemmas anchored the experience of being an independent consultant: How should one balance flexibility and a sense of control over one's destiny with increased responsibility? How should one balance enjoying work with the anxiety caused by the realization of the tenuous nature of the job? What should the balance be between reliance on marketing and promotion and the use of partnering and networks as ways of securing a constant stream of work? Finally, in developing one's offerings and expertise, should one follow a focused or diversification strategy? Practical suggestions for improving the consultants' life and work strategies are offered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-141
Number of pages9
JournalConsulting Psychology Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000

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