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From Corporate to Consultant: Launching an Encore Career

After an accomplished 20-year career in marketing, David found himself at a crossroads when a corporate merger eliminated his position. Like many in his shoes, he felt anxious and adrift after this sudden change.

But David also saw a silver lining—the chance to pursue his dream as an independent consultant. He was eager to leverage his experience to help small businesses succeed.

The appeal of more freedom and making an impact fueled David's encore ambition. Yet, despite his extensive expertise, uncertainty crept in. Where should he start?

David didn't know how to identify his audience or translate his skills into definable offerings. He also felt intimidated by the prospect of attracting clients without the backing of a big firm.

If this resonates with your encore aspirations, take heart! You already possess the passion and talent needed for an inspired second act. While uncertainty is expected, have faith in your abilities.

It takes courage to reinvent yourself, but the rewards make it worthwhile. Your knowledge and skills are valuable—now is the time to share them with clients who need you. Here are three steps to move you in the right direction.

Clarify your goals and create an action plan for your encore career.

Take time to get very specific about your vision for this next chapter. Outline your short and long-term goals, ideal work scenarios, target clients, and must-have offerings. Then, break these down into tangible action steps and milestones to hit each week and month.

Plotting out your encore path will build momentum and confidence. It will also keep you from procrastasearching (looking for jobs instead of clients)!

Define your offerings and audience.

Make a list of your professional superpowers based on past successes and feedback. Reflect on favorite clients and what you liked about working with them. Note skills that come naturally, along with topics that energize you.

Next, highlight 3-5 niche areas where your strengths and interests overlap. These sweet spots hold the most potential for providing value to others.

With potential consulting niches in mind, start brainstorming about who may benefit from your services and what you can offer. Outline the types of companies or clients that resonate with each niche based on industry, size, structure, and business needs. Get very specific in painting a target client portrait.

Then, explore tangible services and deliverables you could provide in each area. Don't limit yourself at this stage. Come up with diverse ideas to test what gains traction.

Avoid the temptation to package yourself like a corporate entity. You'll look like everyone else, and your messaging will be vanilla. This is a time to stand out!

The goal is to identify offerings that leverage your strengths and expertise to solve high-priority issues for a defined audience, even if that looks unlike anything else you see on the market.

Experiment with different niches, services, and audiences. The optimal fit will emerge through experience. Avoid over-planning perfection before getting started.

Promote yourself authentically.

Now it's time to get the word out! Start by tapping into your existing network and contacts who could benefit from your services or make referrals. Don't be afraid to ask for introductions. But give before you take.

If it's early in your launch and you don't yet have the budget for a website, create a simple, short PDF package about the problem you solve, your offerings, experience, and client wins.

Make sure your LinkedIn profile is robust and active. But don't stop at posting content. This is not a "build it, and they will come" proposition. You've got to talk to people. That will do three things: 1) help you practice your pitch, 2) help you further define your services, and 3) allow people to experience you and become your client.

You can do this.

Trust the process and take it one step at a time. With the right mindset and consistent action, your second act can be even more fulfilling than your first.


If you're feeling called to launch an inspired encore career, I offer a few services that can help:

  1. Encore Launch Intensive - My 1:1 coaching program for professionals ready to leap into fulfilling second-act careers. I'll help you gain clarity, build confidence, and take bold action.

  2. Career Pivot Package - A custom engagement where we map out your niche, offerings, and strategy for reinventing yourself. I'll help you translate your passion into a sustainable business.

  3. Book Club and Mastermind Community - Join our small group for connections with fellow entrepreneurs, resources, and mentoring for your new venture. No cost to join!

My experience guiding major career and life transitions has helped dozens of professionals successfully pivot into meaningful encore careers aligned with their purpose.

Let's have an exploratory call to discuss your goals and how I can support you in making your next chapter your most inspiring. Contact Me | Brandi Holder Consulting


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