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Launch your independent career with help from our series on free agency

If you've always wanted to start your own consulting practice but aren't sure where to start, check out our four-part series on becoming a free agent. Get everything from sales and accounting advice to tips on how to keep your tech skills fresh.

Becoming your own boss is a challenge in any profession. For a consultant, however, the move to self-employment is almost a foregone conclusion. Many IT pros, after polishing their skills for their employer, will go out on their own and start an independent business.

But before you shrug off the yoke of the employee, plan your move carefully. TechRepublic recently published a series by free-agent-in-training Bob Watkins, a technical trainer from Bellevue, WA.

Here’s an overview of the four-part series. Use these articles to ready yourself for autonomy:
  • “Turning free agent: Risks and reasons”: Thinking about quitting your job as "company" worker to become an independent consultant? Be sure you know what you're getting into. Here’s a glimpse at some of the reasons why people turn to free agency and how you can prepare for the switch.
  • “Building the free agent's infrastructure”: Becoming an independent consultant involves more than a leap of faith. It means understanding every aspect of business that an employer would normally cover. This article gives some valuable sales and accounting advice for the free-agent consultant.
  • “Building capital as a free agent”: You'll need more than money if you want to go it alone as a consultant. Have you thought about the time you'll need to spend building your business or the space you'll use? How are you honing your IT skills? Watkins shares some helpful guidelines in this piece for building an efficient and successful practice.
  • “No pain, no gain: Seeing opportunity as a free agent”: Independent consultants must determine how potential clients would benefit from their services in order to devise any pointed proposal. Find out how to diagnose a client's "pain" and turn their problems into paydays.

Are you ready?
If you’re planning on making the switch from employee to free agent, tell us what you’re doing to prepare. Have you taken some of the steps that Bob Watkins suggests? Share your strategies with us by posting a comment below.