Editor’s note: Aaron Zwas is a consultant, strategic technology advisor and author of “Transition to Independence.”

Career stability isn’t what it once was.

That’s why many workers frustrated with today’s corporate climate are venturing out on their own, offering their skills and experience to those very same corporations, but on a consulting rather than full-time basis.

Certainly, there’s a lot to be said for going independent. You have more freedom and a healthier balance between work and family. It’s the be-your-own-boss opportunity many people crave.

But not so fast. Before you take the plunge, there are drawbacks worth knowing about.

When I made the transition about 15 years ago, I didn’t have a lot of guidance. I didn’t really understand what I was getting into, so there was a bit of trial and error. The good news is that others can learn from my mistakes.

If you’re considering going it alone, here are four pitfalls you’ll want to avoid:

 

A little advance preparation can go a long way in helping you become a successful independent consultant. The most important lesson I’ve learned is that consulting is more than a job – it’s a lifestyle. Even on my worst days, I’m grateful for the freedom I have.