19 June 2019

Ask a consultant: Are consultants really that costly?

Sacha Kocovski, consultant with Ariad, lead one of our Ariad Community Evenings earlier this year, in which he shared a lot of his experience and insight into the techniques and challenges working as a UX researcher. We learned a lot, but still had a few more questions! We talked with Sacha to get his opinion on the bigger picture of UX and why it matters--and if consultants really do cost more.

What have been some of the most important steps in your career journey?

For 15 years I’ve been my “own boss”: I had the chance to work for very different projects and clients, from online games to very complex government document management systems.

Lately, I felt the need to work less as an isolated external expert, but start to share and build something in a team and with other ux peers.

What is exciting in your field today (and why should we care)?

Ux is a very "moving forward" discipline. Since we have to help new technology leaders to make sure that their products are easy to use and adapted to their real users needs.

Like it was the case 10 years ago for mobile apps, we have the chance to work on innovative techs. Next one are VR, augmented reality, vocal assistants, wearable techs, self-driving cars, etc.

Why does UX matter? Whatever you do, there is a human being that will have to “work” with your product or enjoy it, so understanding precisely your client needs and habits is key if you want to succeed.

Whatever you do, there is a human being that will have to “work” with your product or enjoy it, so understanding precisely your client needs and habits is key.

How can you keep up with the constant changes and challenges in your field?

Stay sharp and follow the field evolution. Always perfect the methods and make sure they are adapted and future proof.

What would you say is the main benefit of working as a consultant?

Choosing the projects you want to work for is a real luxury. Diversity is also very motivating for me.

I also like the relationship with the client: they need something and you have to deliver it. You don’t have to go to work because you’re paid to be there (like "wasting" 8 hours when you have nothing to do).

Choosing the projects you want to work for is a real luxury. Diversity is also very motivating for me.

What do you think are common misconceptions about consultants or consulting?

Consultant are costly and always make a ton of money! I recently read that employees cost more on a daily basis than consultants when you sum all the costs. There are many "hidden costs" that should be considered when you think employees vs. consultants, like paid holidays, bonus, car, HR support, training, and so on.

Also, when you are a consultant, even if your daily rate seems high, you have to be very careful when you are managing your money on the long term. This is something that even new consultants might be unaware of.

Do you have advice for anyone thinking about beginning a career in consulting?

Choose a discipline that you really like because it takes a lot of time and effort to become very good at what you do (and have a real value for client). So, when you enjoy your duty it feels easier to put everything into your work.

Also, when you start, talk with as many other consultants as you can, you will learn a lot and avoid many mistakes!

What made you want to work with Ariad?

The first contact! When Javier contacted me, he started asking questions about me: my situation, what I was looking for, expected from an assignment, etc. It seems normal, but it's not that frequent.

I felt that I was not just a position to fill. Most of the other firms just call you or mail when they want you to accept a mission, most of the time not adapted to you profile.

After gaining experience in his evolving field, Sacha continued growing by working on interesting projects with Ariad clients. Are you ready to find your next step? Check out our current projects, and download our e-book on becoming a consultant with Ariad!