Now that you’ve gotten a good sense of your skills and your role in the marketplace, it’s time to start identifying available opportunities and develop relationships with recruitment agencies.
Even if you don’t feel 100% ready to jump into consulting right away, these are useful exercises to familiarize yourself with the Oracle market in your area, get comfortable talking to people in the industry, and develop your professional network.
Find opportunities in your area
As an experienced consultant I have established an excellent reputation in the Oracle consulting world. As a result I am frequently contacted with upcoming Oracle consulting opportunities. Since I’ve worked to build my client network and reputation over time, I have the freedom to choose the best locations, and most interesting projects. Your goal should be to get into this position by laying the groundwork now. Generally, you’ll identify potential opportunities in two ways: through public job sites and through your personal network of contacts.
You’ll first want to search public job sites for Oracle consulting vacancies on the local, national, and international level. The primary resource I use in United Kingdom & Europe is www.Jobserve.com; a good U.S. site is www.monster.com. Once you’ve identified some prospects, contact the employer or agency to inquire about the job description and details. Even if you’re not ready to pursue these roles right away, it’s a good idea to get yourself out there and talk with recruitment agents, so you can get to know the Oracle market.
LinkedIn will be a very useful tool to identify resources and stay current on what’s happening in the market. You’ll want to start following updates posted by other consultants and stay in contact with those you know—every time you find out someone moved onto another project, you have a lead for a potential role for yourself!
You’ll also want to start talking to people you know about their specific roles on current projects—even if these projects require more experience or different skills than you have now, it’s all good knowledge to help you get a sense of the industry. Keeping in touch with contacts and staying current on who is working where will help you build your network.
Eventually you’ll be able to refer other consultants to opportunities you’re not interested in—all of this will help you establish yourself as a knowledge broker, thus increasing your choice of opportunities available in the future.
Develop a Relationship with Recruiters
Once you establish yourself as a consultant you’ll probably work with agencies frequently. This is a fundamental part of launching your career, so it’s important to identify a few reputable agencies and develop good relationships as soon as possible. One of the best ways to identify an effective agent is to get a recommendation from another consultant, and ask him or her to introduce you if possible.
If you’re not able to get a personal recommendation from a consultant, look for agencies that have been established in the marketplace for five years minimum. A well-designed, professional looking website is a good indicator of an agency’s size and success. Successful agencies should be able to provide client testimonials, so if you don’t see them posted you can ask for references.
When you meet with prospective agents, you’ll want to demonstrate your skills and summarize your qualifications clearly, in common language the agents are familiar with. Not all agents are familiar with technical role details on projects, but most will be able to judge your suitability for a consulting role.
When speaking with agents, it’s important to put yourself in their position and provide information that best helps them represent you to potential clients. Remember that agents are business people just like us and appreciate honesty and respect—reputable agents will act in kind when approached this way. Your first conversation with your recruitment agent should be about your CV. You should ensure it contains a good summary of your experience, and re-word it for each consulting opportunity. The agent should know what each client is interested in, so you can emphasize your experience in those areas. There are many ways to write a CV, but your agent will be able to tell you that it’s suitable or not.