Search
Advice » Career Development» Changing Careers » Economics Consulting Careers
Economics Consulting Careers

Economics Consulting Careers

Do you dream of one day working as a lone wolf with the guts to cut the corporate umbilical cord and stand on your own? You can make your dream come true with forethought and advanced planning.

To make it as an economics consultant, you'll need nerve, a niche and a name. The nerve you probably have to be born with, but you can work on the niche and name the day after you graduate from college, preferably with a master's degree or doctorate.

Most economics consultants start out working for a trade association or a financial institution. William Conerly, PhD, owner of Conerly Consulting LLC in Portland, Oregon, parlayed a position as a regional economist for First Interstate Bank into his own consulting firm.

Because he covered economics in five Pacific Northwest states, he was quoted in the newspaper and on television, met a ton of business people and served in high-profile volunteer jobs, such as the Governor's Board of Economic Advisors. "Most of my business now comes from the visibility I had as the bank's economist," he says.

Before running his own firm for five years, Cliff Waldman worked for the National Federation of Independent Business, America's largest trade association for small firms and a powerful lobbying group on Capitol Hill. His niche? Small business -- an area many bigger consulting firms don't touch.

Sometimes an event will create the opening that leads an economist into consulting. Bernard Markstein III, president of Markstein Advisors in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, opened his own shop after he was laid off by Meridian Bank.

"At that point, I did look around for a regular appointment, but I decided I wanted to stay in the area," he says. "There were limited jobs for economists with my background, so the only choice was change professions or start a consulting firm."

Lay a Good Foundation

If going it alone is on your list of career goals, start laying the foundation today by networking and making contacts who can send business your way in the years ahead. Conerly methodically collects and stores business cards. After you've collected information from associates, you'll have a nice database of contacts to whom you can market materials like newsletters.

Try to pick positions that maximize your exposure. "Don't just spend time in front of your computer," says Waldman, now an economist with Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI, a business research firm based in Arlington, Virginia. "Meet the other people in your organization, join a professional national association and a local association. Learn how to network and how people can use you. If you don't do that, no matter how good your work is, you're not setting the stage for entrepreneurship down the road."

Next, start stashing your cash. "You have to know that if you don't get a job immediately, you can still eat," Markstein says. "I had a severance package from Meridian and some other resources. Unless you're really lucky, it takes a year to establish yourself."

A financial backstop will also lower your stress level and keep you from lying awake at night wondering how much longer until the bank forecloses on your mortgage.

The final step is to write out a plan for your business. You'll need to find customers, and that requires marketing. If you're still in school, take a marketing course. If you're a mid-career professional, ask yourself if you've got the style, smarts and eloquence to target a market and sell economic services -- and the persistence and self-esteem to repeatedly hear, "Thanks, but no thanks."

The Fine Print

Before you head down the consulting path, take off your rose-colored glasses. Lone wolves don't run in packs, and they live in the desert. Sure, you won't have a boss giving you orders, but you also won't have everything else the corporate world supplies, including marketing support, a payroll department to calculate your taxes, a closet with office supplies, free coffee and coworkers to chat with when you're ready for a break in the workday.

In the end, a decision to go it alone is really about your comfort with taking chances. But as Waldman sees it, "The most interesting careers are ones where people take risks."

Latest Jobs

Enterprise
Posted: 11/27/2014
South Bend, IN
Enterprise
Posted: 11/27/2014
Terre Haute, IN
Ignite Events, Inc.
Posted: 11/27/2014
Tampa, FL, 33602
R. Cope & Associates Inc.
Posted: 11/27/2014
Charleston, SC, 29401
Protech Business Solutions Inc.
Posted: 11/27/2014
Elmira, NY, 14901

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile

 
 
 

Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
ArtBistro
Create and connect.
Excelle
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships
Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Education.org
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military.com
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.

Interviewing

100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2014 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2014.11.0.15-208
eTrustLogo