As a young girl when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I either said “astronaut”, “lawyer” or “businesswoman” depending on my mood that day. Later in life, I found a calling working internationally, first in finance, later in policy and now in development. Growing up it never occurred to me that I could create a business for myself. I saw my father struggling with the triumphs and tribulations of managing and later owning our family-owned plumbing tool business, and despite the challenges he always told me that working for himself was very rewarding, way more than his years working for a high-powered law firm.
Struggling for fifteen years to find the right organizational fit meant for me many days loving my work but fighting a feeling of confinement. I yearned for the support to make my own decisions and the respect that my expertise was enough to propel me forward. I found this in pieces but never consistently. Thus I launched Connective Impact to test the philosophy that working for myself may be the best fit for me professionally. I interviewed other independent consultants to understand how they manage the financial uncertainty, how they prioritize business development over project work, how they follow leads. You know what I found? I found the support I had been looking for all these years. I found that in the consultant community, everyone is out there doing the work because they love the work. They respect each individual’s contributions and the infinite ways of defining expertise. I have found a team of colleagues that innately care about the outcome of their hours and the resources they expend. They are respectful of time and even more so of knowledge. Even at the highest levels I am finding more willingness to listen and trust than I have before without the onus of reporting structures hanging over my head.
Surely independent work is not for everyone but when people ask me how it is to work for myself, I can’t help but gush over the wonderful space in which I work. Even more, it turns out that as an independent consultant, I can be an astronaut, lawyer AND businesswoman all at once!