When I was splitting my time between three clients, one of them persisted in offering me a full time job every few months. I politely refused each time because one of the purposes of consulting is to not be worn down by a job. The independence and use of focused time, as well as superior compensation for creating value from focused time, is not worth giving up for the safety of a job you do not want and are actively trying to avoid.

At one point, the customer asked me to brief the CEO about what he would need to enter a new practice area. I presented a strategic brief about how to effectively navigate the nuanced risks and benefits to grow the division into profitability. He was appreciative and immediately offered me a position running the new division I had just described.

This was different from an ordinary job, as being a consultant I was already doing work they merely wanted more of. In exchange for my flexibility, I was able to direct a new business area and make it my own.

It’s good to be defiant sometimes, such as when sticking to a plan to avoid jobs. When someone offers you something you don’t want, there is no reason to renounce yourself by politely accepting what is contradictory to your aims.

Stick to your guns and stand your ground, staying flexible for offers you didn’t know were available.

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