Review: Gigs with consulting firm GLG are sporadic but pay well
Gerson Lehrman Group is an international consulting firm that enlists freelancers to provide paid advice on a wide array of topics, including finance and marketing.
Expected pay: You set it
Husl$core: $$$$ (out of 5)
Commissions and fees: None
Requirements: You must be old enough to sign a legal contract, and you must pass a screening process that requires you to understand ethical and legal restrictions about what you disclose to consulting clients.
GLG is an international consulting firm that matches freelancers with corporate clients who need expert advice. It’s one of several firms that aim to match their clients with freelance experts.
Consulting jobs are often found through word of mouth, but several online platforms can match you with companies willing to pay for expertise.
Like competitor Maven, GLG requires prospective consultants to click through an extensive questionnaire that highlights the many conflicts of interest that consultants might encounter. Specifically, if you are currently working, you are not allowed to provide any nonpublic information about your employer — or about any other public company. You also must abide by your own company’s rules about working for competitors.
You can accept or decline any project for any reason. And you are allowed to cut calls short — at full pay — if the client is asking you to breach your ethical duty to your employer or violate any laws or regulations.
GLG helps you set your consulting rate with an online calculator. However, its calculator is likely to simply divide your estimated annual salary by 2,000 hours. (That’s the average annual hours assuming a 40-hour week and two weeks of vacation.) GLG’s competitors generally suggest higher rates. Maven, for example, assumes that you should set rates at two to four times your normal hourly pay.
The chance of getting a consulting gig with GLG appears to be far higher than it is with Maven. That may be because both sites add their fees onto your rates, which boosts the final cost to clients. You will get whatever rate you’ve set when you’re hired, but you’re less likely to be hired if you have high rates. The exception, of course, is when your skills are rare and in high demand.
Some other sites keep your identity obscured until you’re hired, but GLG imports your LinkedIn information. That’s convenient in that it cuts the amount you need to write for the website. But it’s a disadvantage if you want to keep your consulting side hustle close to the vest.
Even though GLG appears to offer more consulting gigs than some of its competitors, consulting is not regular work. You may get a job or two per month. And many of those are likely to involve an hour or less of your time.
What users say:
“From time to time someone needs specialized help that i’m qualified to help with, probably only about 5 hours a quarter. However, i’m compensated extremely well for this time. It’s very low pressure when deciding whether to take a project or not.”
“Lots of varied Aerospace/Aviation consulting opportunities with major OEM’s regarding Airline and Military operations.”
“It is great money for the amount of time a project or consultation requires. All consultation opportunities are accepted or declined based on my choice.”
“They paid me over USD 300 per 10 minutes for the consulting time.”
“Excellent working conditions with the ability to provide help and resolutions for major customers and stakeholders. Great for persons looking for side income. All work is prescreened to make sure customers agree with the talent needed.”
“I’ve been on GLG for some 8 years and have done some really interesting and well-paying consultations that were referred to me through their network. But they’re few and far between. Most of the consultations are for half an hour. So for me, it’s pocket money.”
“I have done over 50 consultations with them over a 2 year period. The flexibility of being able to quote your own rate, and be able to do it at your convenience helps too. A majority of the clients I work with, are on the East coast of US, and so I’m able to take early morning calls while driving to work on the West coast. Win win for everyone!”
“Most engagements are 1/2 hour. And when it’s all said and done, I’ve probably spent 4 hours of my time responding and communicating with GLG for every hour I have been paid. Might be time to pull the plug. Three years have passed with very marginal return on my time.”
Kathy Kristof is the editor of SideHusl.com, an independent site that reviews hundreds of money-making opportunities in the gig economy.