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I'm relatively new when it comes to the consulting side of things.
My previous work experience was in smallish companies, ranging from 200 to 8 employees.

Now after almost a decade of being employed steadily, I received a job offer as a consultant.
This job offer was in a field that I enjoy, with good benefits, a pay increase and colleagues I enjoy working with (in as far as I ended up working with them).

However, I'm having a hard time dealing with the constant change of scenery.
I've had half a dozen smaller assignments, each taking a few weeks.
And just now finished an assignment that lasted 6 months.

The last assignment was a tough one to leave. I left with very good recommendations and I've left behind some colleagues I'll probably keep in touch with for a long time still.
The departure was also out of the hands of everyone I worked with, and was directly related to the end of a project and a lack of budget.

And now I'm having a tough time motivating myself. I keep drawing comparisons that are unfair towards my latest client.
Even though I know this is a part of the consultant job description, I don't know how to handle it.

How do other full time consultants handle the frequent departures and short term contracts?

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I hate to say this, but maybe the consultant lifestyle isn't for you? There's nothing wrong with that, but I'm a consultant too and the constant change of scenery and people is exactly what I love about it. It tends to be the travel and being away from home (if applicable) that gets people down about consulting, but the majority of consultants live for the constantly changing challenges.

I'm not saying you should just up and leave and go back to your old job, but if you're going to enjoy this life then I think you simply need to embrace and enjoy the flux rather than "deal" with it.

With that said, some assignments are better than others and some you'll definitely miss. You just have to remember, however, that it's the project nature of these assignments which make them enjoyable - take the memories and experiences and enjoy them, but understand that you're essentially getting to constantly live the honeymoon period of work.

One of my favourite projects was a 2 monther with a very close knit team where we all stayed away from home in the same hotel - it was probably one of the best two months of my working life but it would never last forever and without consulting I'd have never ever got to experience it.

The real challenges are dealing with the bad projects - not that I have any real techniques apart from keep counting the money and telling yourself it'll be over soon!

Finally, just because you move on professionally doesn't mean you have to dump all your contacts. It all depends on the working relationship but I try and keep in semi-regular contact with people I've worked with. For example, if I find a new trick I'll drop out an e-mail to let them know.

  • I wasn't sure what kind of answers to expect, but I guess this was the most likely one. It takes trying it to find out if you enjoy it or not it seems. constantly changing challenges is what I was looking for as well. However most assignments I've gotten so far have been quite boring (save for the long one). I'll give it some time, perhaps my experience is still to limited to draw a proper conclusion. – Reaces Apr 9 '15 at 12:15

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