I’m Jacq Hackett, a public sector ex-employee and 20-year veteran of public sector consulting specializing in healthcare programs and healthcare policy. Over the course of my consulting career, I’ve helped health departments, hospitals, community health organizations, and not-for-profits create more impactful programs, improve the quality and safety of their health services and streamline their operations.
I’m also the author of Consult: How to Build Your Successful Solo Business.
I created my series of Public Sector Consulting programs because I wished these kinds of programs had existed when I started my consulting business 21 years ago.
Here’s how I got into consulting….
In 2000, I was looking for a new job. Three years earlier I had made the difficult decision to move from Adelaide to Sydney, leaving my career behind so that I could be in the same city as my two sons and their father. I sold my house, I gave up a very good full-time job, and I left a lot of friends and family behind.
Sydney is a much larger and much more expensive city than Adelaide, and to make ends meet, I took on a series of short-term jobs. All of them were interesting and challenging, but none of them afforded me the lifestyle I’d had in Adelaide. I was looking for a more senior public sector role, but I knew all of those jobs meant longer hours, more stress, higher stakes, higher pressure, and much more commitment.
I had worked with external consultants before, and one day I was having coffee with a consultant-turned-friend. We were talking about my next career move when she said, “have you thought about consulting?”
I dismissed her out of hand, thinking I wasn’t capable of it. But over the next week, I just couldn’t get the idea of consulting out of my head. I kept coming up with every reason why it wouldn’t work, trying to talk myself out of it…
“How will I get a mortgage without a permanent job?”
“I don’t have enough experience”
“I don’t have the credibility”.
“Nobody will hire me as a consultant”
But there was another voice telling me that just maybe, this might work.
I had coffee with my friend again, and she mentioned that she was looking for a junior consultant to help her with her consultancy. It wasn’t a job, but it was an opportunity to get training and development, work on projects, and gain experience. We struck a deal, and I jumped in headfirst.
21 years later, I can look back on a very successful consulting career. It’s given me the flexibility and lifestyle I always wanted. I’ve earned more money than I ever would have from employment, without sacrificing work-life balance.
I’ve done hundreds of consultancy projects over the years, and all of them have been interesting, challenging, and important. All of them have made a difference within the public health sector here in New South Wales.
Over time, I discovered that I also had a passion for supporting others to make the transition into consulting, just like my mentor Ruth helped me.
I also strongly believe that the public sector deserves to have access to really effective consultants – after all, we are still paid by the public purse.
When I started my consulting business, there were no courses or programs out there to guide me. So I was very lucky that I had a mentor who showed me the ropes and held my hand through those early [nerve-wracking!] days.
But I’m aware that a lot of people aren’t in that same position.
So I created my Public Sector Consulting programs to support others to make the move.
I want to help new, aspiring, and even experienced consultants develop the skills they need, build their confidence, fine-tune their operations and develop a profitable, sustainable business that they love.
If you’re looking for proven strategies for growing a public sector consultancy, then I’d love to see you in one of my Public Sector Consulting programs.