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Navigating the Job Market: The Unseen Parallels Between Job Seekers and Consultants

In the tumultuous waters of modern career paths, the journey of a job seeker is strikingly akin to that of a consultant on the prowl for new leads and clients. Both roles demand a mix of persistence, adaptability, and a knack for self-marketing that many might not recognize at first glance.

Having experienced the rollercoaster of being laid off five times in seven years, I've inadvertently morphed into a "professional client seeker," a title I wear with a blend of resilience and optimism.

Here, we'll explore the uncanny similarities between hunting for a job and scouting for consultancy clients, and how this relentless pursuit hones skills that are indispensable in today's volatile job market.

Step 1: The Hunt Begins – Market Research

Whether you're a job seeker identifying potential employers or a consultant looking for new projects, it all starts with market research. Understanding the landscape, knowing the key players, and identifying trends is crucial.

This phase is about asking the right questions:

  • What industries are booming?

  • Who needs my skills?

  • Where can I add the most value?

Being a "professional client seeker" is not just about finding the next opportunity; it's about continuous learning, adapting, and staying ahead in the ever-evolving career game.

Step 2: Crafting Your Pitch – Resumes and Proposals

A job seeker's resume and a consultant's proposal serve similar purposes: they're your sales pitch. Both need to be compelling, clear, and customized for the target audience. They should highlight not just what you've done, but how those experiences align with the needs and goals of the prospective employer or client. This is where storytelling comes into play, transforming a list of skills and achievements into a narrative of problem-solving and value creation.

Step 3: The Approach – Applications and Outreach

Sending out applications and making cold outreach efforts are parallel in their need for resilience and strategic thinking. Each application or pitch is a shot in the dark, yet it's crucial to approach each one with the same level of energy and enthusiasm. This step is a numbers game, but it's also about precision and timing.

Knowing when to reach out, how to follow up, and how to tailor your message can make all the difference.

Step 4: The Engagement – Interviews and Meetings

Interviews for job seekers and initial meetings for consultants are the stages where things get personal. It's about building rapport, demonstrating expertise, and understanding the other party's needs and challenges.

Both scenarios demand a deep dive into problem-solving mode, showcasing how your background and approach can address specific pain points and contribute to the entity's goals.

Step 5: Negotiation and Onboarding – Terms and Conditions

Once there's a mutual interest, the focus shifts to negotiation. Discussing salary, benefits, and job responsibilities as a job seeker mirrors the consultant's negotiation on project scope, timelines, and fees. It's a delicate dance of asserting your value while remaining flexible and empathetic to the needs of the employer or client.

Step 6: Delivery and Feedback – Performance and Adjustments

Upon securing a job or a consultancy project, the emphasis shifts to execution. Delivering quality work, adapting to feedback, and continually aligning with the goals and expectations set forth are critical for success in both roles. This phase is about proving your worth, building trust, and laying the groundwork for future opportunities.

Lessons from a "Professional Client Seeker"

Having been laid off multiple times, I've learned to navigate these steps with a blend of resilience, adaptability, and foresight. Each layoff, while challenging, equipped me with a fresh perspective on the market, honed my ability to market myself, and deepened my understanding of the nuanced dance of professional relationships.

It also taught me to have a bit of a backbone as well as a thick skin. Disappointment comes just as a much as the wins and excitement, so you have to take the good and the bad.

Being a "professional client seeker" is not just about finding the next opportunity; it's about continuous learning, adapting, and staying ahead in the ever-evolving career game. The skills developed through this relentless pursuit are invaluable, making one adept at navigating uncertainty, seizing opportunities, and turning adversities into stepping stones for growth.


The journey of a job seeker and a consultant, with its shared focus on research, pitching, engagement, and execution, reveals a broader lesson about the modern work landscape: success is not just about what you know or who you know, but how you navigate the journey, adapt to change, and continuously position yourself as a valuable asset in a world where the only constant is change.

Good luck, you got this!


April Eldridge is the Founder & CEO of April Eldridge Consulting LLC.

She is an experienced Fractional COO and Chief of Staff with 20+ years of expertise in operational management and executive leadership. After working in corporate America for most of her professional career, April decided to venture into the entrepreneurship world. Her focus is on providing the best support possible to her clients. April is highly valued for her agility, resilience, determination, and dependability, and she cherishes her relationships with the clients she supports.

If you or someone you know requires the services of a Fractional COO or Chief of Staff, please get in touch with April. She offers a complimentary discovery call that can provide you with countless benefits, and there is absolutely no risk involved.


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