The entrepreneurial life isn’t for everyone. Running my own tech consulting business can be rewarding but it’s also quite challenging. That’s why partnering with staffing firms has been such a boon. Among their many good qualities, these firms can help me get access to larger companies as clients. But my experience has shown me that some staffing firms are much better than others. When a good one supports my professional success, it makes me deeply loyal to them.

I create Tableau dashboards for a variety of data types and enjoy putting my skills to good use. I’ve worked with a number of staffing firms in the 10 years I’ve been a consultant. I have had some bad experiences primarily due to drawn-out payment processes. Not only does a tardy paycheck cause a great deal of stress, it also gives the impression that my employer doesn’t care enough about me to make sure my needs are met. And who wants to stay with a company that makes them feel like they’re not a priority?

That’s why I love working for my current firm, Syfter, because it treats me not as a commodity but as a valued partner.

My big break. Syfter specializes in technology staffing, so they had no trouble finding me a suitable role. What’s most exciting is that my first assignment through Syfter was in investment banking — an industry that is notoriously difficult to break into as an independent consultant, and one I had really wanted to work in. While the client site was on the other side of the state, leading to a long commute, the assignment was worth it.

But it wasn’t the impressive industry or the job itself that showed me how Syfter is different from other staffing firms I’ve tried in the past — it was the way the company made sure I was taken care of and happy in my assignment. The team knew I’d never worked in investment banking before, so it went out of its way to make my transition into the industry easier and ensure my success. It helped me find suitable housing during the week so my commute was more manageable. Syfter’s management team checked in with me on a regular basis throughout my assignment to make sure things were going well. And if I ever had a question, someone was always there to provide the answer.

Best of all, there was never a question about timely pay; my paycheck came exactly when it should have, every time. It might seem like a small thing, but having to nag a company for the money you’ve earned — or wonder if payment would come at all — is stressful and demeaning. Syfter’s prompt and consistent pay schedule was just another way it demonstrated my value.

Connections made. I made great connections while working with this client, and this opportunity led to a second placement through Syfter: One of the managers left the client company, and once he was established at his new job, he reached out to Syfter to see if I was available for a consulting role. I didn’t even have to interview — Syfter negotiated a competitive rate, and before I knew it, I was putting on my proverbial consultant hat again.

This time, my assignment was in New York City, a place I’ve always dreamed of working but had never quite mustered up the courage to do so. But with Syfter’s support, I had taken the plunge. I was able to enjoy my new surroundings and assignment knowing that Syfter was there to support me every step of the way.

Then came the pandemic. Covid lockdowns hit everyone hard, but for those of us who depend on contingent work, it was especially challenging. Consulting opportunities weren’t readily available, and I found myself unemployed for about six months. But Syfter didn’t stop looking, and soon, they placed me with another client — one I had spoken with prior to the pandemic. I’ve been with this company over a year now, my longest assignment yet, and I’m enjoying every minute of it.

I love working for Syfter because it is truly invested in the relationships it builds with its consultants. And that’s what keeps me coming back for more.