For most of my career as a UX consultant, I have worked full time on some company’s payroll. A number of years back, one very large consulting organization hired me for a 6-month, full-time gig, working on site for a client. When, at the appointed time, the project concluded successfully, the consulting firm didn’t immediately have any other UX work for which I was suited. No problem. They were large, had deep pockets, and were optimistic. They told me they were putting me on the bench. What did that mean? It meant that I’d continue to be employed, but there was really nothing that needed doing. “Relax,” they said, “and stay nearby in case we need you on short notice.” So I went home and did just that. I went to the beach for a few days with the family and caught up on household chores….
See full article: Lebson, Cory. “Are You Ready to Be an Independent UX Consultant?” UX Matters (January, 2014).