4 Lessons from My First 4 Months as an Independent Consultant

Big wins and blunders as a new consultant.

Gwenna Kadima
8 min readJan 12, 2023
Photo of a peeling gray concrete wall. There is graffiti of a face with a neutral expression and the words “What Now?” beside it.
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Monday, September 12, 2022, was my first day as a full-time independent Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Consultant. After 4 years as a Management Consultant in a Fortune 500 firm, I launched my DEI practice specializing in sustainable Employee Resource Group enablement and inclusive employee experience design.

Cue the fastest four months of my career and here we are, confidently finding flow as a business owner with plenty of learning along the way.

Here are four lessons from my first four months as an independent DEI consultant.

Loneliness is real but preventable.

Loss of human connection was my biggest fear in going independent. Going from one of the largest global companies with a local office headcount in the thousands and frequent cross-geography collaboration, I couldn’t fathom what working alone would be like.

Sure, I had my client counterparts to engage with, but I missed the social aspects of an internal project team. Additionally, having folks available for near-instantaneous feedback, ideation, and support was amazing and truly improved the quality of my outputs.

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Gwenna Kadima

BIPOC Career Activator & Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Consultant