There were several reasons I decided to take this little carny show on the road. The first was that I was working way too many hours and was on call all the time and I thought if I was going to do that I should probably get paid enough to put aside some money for my daughter’s eventual therapy (since I am a bad mommy and work for a living). The second was that I was tired of having to be invested long term in the myriad little day to day problems of EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON. IN MY DEPARTMENT. So I should mention here that I am a “good listener” <freaking sponge for people’s problems> and probably too sympathetic <human doormat>. So taking a promotion that put me in charge of a department of IT people may not have been the smartest move I ever made. And finally, I reached the moment when I COULD travel. That moment came when I had two kids at home but one was almost 16 and the other was almost 19 and driving. Before that, I could not have left them at home for any amount of time without a paid chauffeur and chaperone.
So let’s say you have this crucial crossroad, for whatever reason, and are now considering taking a consultant position. (And by “consultant position” I do not mean “bent over so as to make it easier for your employer to metaphorically give it to you without asking.” That would apply to most any employment “opportunity”.)
Here are some things to consider:
1.) What is your support system and is it good enough?
2.) How old are your kids? Do you have a significant other that can take up the slack at home?
3.) How long can you go without a paycheck?
4.) Do you have a backup plan?
Personally, I struggled through all of these questions and am still in a panic over numbers 3 and 4, because I suck at saving. My backup plan at the moment revolves around committing a felony that would land me in a lovely semi-private room with a new “wife” but free healthcare.