DevRetro2022: My adventure in consultancy

Dev Retro 2022: When moving an internal to an external

I recently made the switch from software development to software consulting, inspired by the interview process from Xpirit and my job coach Kristien De Wolf. I was searching for something more in my life but was afraid from the plunge into software consultancy. Together with my personal growth and my new employer together with the lessons learned from my old employer, I took that next step in my career.

One of the challenges I faced during this transition was overcoming my fear of uncertainty. When you read more about NLP, you will read about comfort zone, fear zone, Learning zone and growth zone. Due to my backpacking experiences and conquering my fears there, I recognized a lot of feelings and that helped me to go through the “zone of fear”.

Making the switch to something different while using my current skillset was one of the hardest things I've had to do in my career. I can rely on my skillset with the external validation from the assessment that Xpirit took, which gave me a confidence boost. I moved to the learning zone, when I got my third recognition from my client that they were happy with my consulting and work.

I discovered that the skills I developed in my previous jobs were preparing me for a consultancy role: gathering knowledge, inspire people, coaching people, devops minded, refactoring skills, presenting skills, the ability to receive negative and positive feedback in a constructing manner, presenting solution when you discover problems...

The most rewarding aspect of my new career as a consultant is the opportunity to continue learning and growing through training, conferences, and self-study. Another rewarding aspect is the trust and independence my managers have given me.

One of the biggest lessons I have learned is that a company hires a consultant to provide confidence and expertise... It feels very different when you “consult” when being an external then when being an employee.

One of the advantages of being a consultant is that you have a clear end goal for your work and are not working for the customer as an employee, but rather as a supplier.

However, being an "internal" employee also has its benefits, including the ability to grow within a company and a more predictable workplace.

One of the challenges I face is the negative perception of consultants as expensive, unreliable, unnecessary, and not transparent. I want to counter this stereotype and ensure that my customers see me as efficient, knowledgeable, and transparent.

What is next? Joining Xprit, I had set two goals for myself: writing an article in their magazine and give a session in a conference. I also want to gather my AZ-900, AZ-104 and AZ-204 certifications from Microsoft. I partially achieved one of those goals: the article has already been written with Bas Van de Sande..


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