As recently highlighted in the New York Times, Maven is an excellent resource for qualified individuals who are looking to gain project work while between jobs. Maven gives members access to microconsulting opportunities, offering them the ability to gain money through participating in surveys and telephone consultations. Maven’s customer base happens to include some of the largest and most dynamic corporations and investment management firms in the world. By participating in microconsulting engagements, you are essentially getting paid to interview for positions within these organizations.

Instead of looking at each microconsulting engagement as simply an opportunity to earn quick cash in exchange for knowledge, I would encourage Maven’s membership to view each interaction as the first step toward a longer term consulting engagement. There has been a increasing trend of extended consulting happening at Maven. As highlighted in a previous posting, Maven expert Chris Camire landed a three month consulting engagement after an hour-long telephone consultation. This project was not only extremely financially lucrative but was also professionally and personally exhilarating for Chris. I’m pretty sure he didn’t realize the potential of the opportunity when he accepted the initial invitation to consult.

My colleague, Ben Dwyer, also recently highlighted a case where a short telephone consultation led to a day-long panelist consultation engagement. These are just a couple of the many examples of how a few minutes filling out a survey or participating in a telephone consultation could lead to a longer engagement and even full-time employment. In between jobs, you can use Maven to earn money for your expertise, but you also never know who is on the other side of the phone or reviewing your survey response; they just might be looking to hire you for your dream job.