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  1. #1
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    Suggestions for locating consulting/contract work (97/2000)

    I'm not sure if this is the best forum to post this type of message, but since this is where I spend the most time, here goes:

    I've been doing Access, MS Office consulting and classroom training work for several years, especially while I returned to finish my undergraduate degree. Now I'm in the process of relocating to start graduate school. I'll be loosing all of my current clients due to the distance of the move.

    I've checked all of the job search sites on the internet, but these seem to be aimed at full-time jobs rather than consulting and contract work.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for how to find new clients (or contract/consulting work)?
    Most of my current and previous clients have been either Small Businesses or individuals, but I have done some work for larger entities.

    TIA <img src=/S/bow.gif border=0 alt=bow width=15 height=15>

  2. #2
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    Re: Suggestions for locating consulting/contract work (97/2000)

    It seems we do the same type of work. I have been self-employed for 8 years and have gotten the majority of my clients through contract classroom training, especially Access clients who, despite taking courses, are still unable to design/implement their database projects. If I had to move, I would contact local computer training companies, seeking those who are willing to "pass on" the consulting work directly to me. Teaching college courses has also been a good source (although most, but not all, colleges will require a graduate degree), as has joining a local chamber of commerce. I would also look for peers in the area, who typically have more work than they can handle and are willing to team up on projects. Where are you moving to? Have you thought about keeping some of your clients? I have many clients whose businesses are in other states or are international, (some I have never met), but I can continue to support them none the less.

  3. #3
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    Re: Suggestions for locating consulting/contract work (97/2000)

    Hi Thomas,
    Thanks for your quick response and wonderful suggestions. I'll be moving to Indianapolis, IN. You're correct, I could possibly keep some of my clients (particularly for Access-related projects). But much of the training work (especially one-on-one) would be impossible to do remotely.

    I have heard others recommend contacting the Chamber of Commerce. I think that's one of the first places I'll visit once I arrive!

    Thanks again for your most helpful suggestions! <img src=/S/bow.gif border=0 alt=bow width=15 height=15> <img src=/S/salute.gif border=0 alt=salute width=15 height=20>

  4. #4
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    Re: Suggestions for locating consulting/contract work (97/2000)

    Contact the local community colleges as well. They usually require only an associate or bachelors degree for application instructors, and that is generally part-time work to help pay the rent.

    Another possibility is companies that supply high tech contract employees to their clients. Since that's on a contract basis, you work for the company and get their benefits, training, etc., but you are assigned to a particular client or project. I like that option because I'm not happy being self-employed--let someone else find the clients, and I'll do the work.
    Charlotte

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    Re: Suggestions for locating consulting/contract work (97/2000)

    All the colleges around here want a master's with at least 18 hours in field you will be teaching. So, my 20+ years of computer experience mean nothing, since my MBA is in management and not IT.
    Mark Liquorman
    See my website for Tips & Downloads and for my Liquorman Utilities.

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Suggestions for locating consulting/contract work (97/2000)

    All I can tell you is that I was invited to be a part-time applications instructor at a local community college here in Sacramento, and they told me all they needed was an Associate degree.
    Charlotte

  7. #7
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    Re: Suggestions for locating consulting/contract work (97/2000)

    ITT Tech is the most widely known community-type college in Indy. They frequently advertise for instructors of Use-Of-MSOffice classes.

    You might consider a temp agency. I twice temp'd as an accounting geek, only to be picked up full time as an IT geek.

    Indiana is not the Hi Tech Mecca that most people think it is. Sometimes the IT section of the Sunday Ads is much less than one page. And they still list all things IT under the "Computer" heading.

    Don't get me wrong. I love Indiana. It is my home. We keep things simple here. Like the rules for the Indy 500: 1. Drive fast. 2. Turn left.

  8. #8
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    Re: Suggestions for locating consulting/contract work (97/2000)

    I'll second the suggestion about temp agencies. Where does a business go ti fill a short-term spot, get someone they don't have to train, without lengthy or costly searches? Check out the yellow pages in your new location. Many temp agencies deal primarily with general job types, but there are some who focus in on more specialized fields. There is some fee-splitting involved, but it could get you some quick initial contacts, and after a couple of jobs you should be able to start bypassing the agencies. Just watch out for any clauses in the temp agencies' work contracts that could interfere with you going back and freelancing with clients that they have matched you up with.

    Do you have a portfolio set up yet to showcase your work? Make sure you include excerpts from your posts here too.

  9. #9
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    Re: Suggestions for locating consulting/contract work (97/2000)

    Mark,

    Another suggestion for some of your clients (depending on the availability of broadband internet access) is MS NetMeeting. I frequently use it from Louisville, KY to converse/work with a friend in Anchorage Alaska. We are both on dial-up, but it meets our needs (at 1am). Just a thought.

    Jeff

  10. #10
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    Re: Suggestions for locating consulting/contract work (97/2000)

    Thanks to everyone for the wonderful suggestions! <img src=/S/bow.gif border=0 alt=bow width=15 height=15>
    I have no doubt that this information will benefit anyone looking for this type of work in or near a city.

    David: Yes, I've started to compile a portfolio (no pun intended). So far, I have only added my bigger projects. Would you think that smaller items (such as solutions posted on the Lounge) would be relevant also?

    Again, many thanks! <img src=/S/salute.gif border=0 alt=salute width=15 height=20>

    <img src=/w3timages/blackline.gif width=33% height=2>

    <img src=/S/note.gif border=0 alt=note width=15 height=15>On a personal note: I realize the Lounge (especially the Access forum) is not a place for personal information. However, if anyone is remotely curious to find out how your suggestions paid off, you can check my personal webpage (linked from my signature or in my Lounge profile).

  11. #11
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    Re: Suggestions for locating consulting/contract work (97/2000)

    I would say that your smaller posts here would be relevant, if they were sufficiently distinct from the other projects that you are putting in your portfolio. No need to duplicate material, but I'd be surprised if you couldn't dig up a few gems from your posts here, especially if they involved non-routine problems or innovative solutions to more common problems.

    I asked our IT manager what he would go through if he wanted to find an outside contractor for a special job. His first thought was to put an ad in the "help wanted" ads. I've also seen ads posted in the "business opportunities" section too. You might want to keep an eye on those.

  12. #12
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    Re: Suggestions for locating consulting/contract work (97/2000)

    Yes, I'd include whatever you've done.

    Let me know when you get into Indy. I moved from South Bend, IN up to Grand Rapids, MI, and it's been harder to support 2 association clients I have in Indy. I wrote a large membership system (clients in 18 states, now). It'd be great to have some local support there.

    - Andy

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