More and more senior executives are suddenly facing a job search, and they’re discovering a previously unconsidered fork in their career path: consulting. According to specialized recruiting firm 24 Seven, sometimes opportunities for a full-time role at a comparable level aren’t forthcoming – especially in a recovering economy. So consulting is increasingly becoming a viable career choice that brings unexpected rewards. Here are five good reasons why 24 Seven said one should consider consulting:

1. It May Be Easier to Land a Consulting Assignment Than a Full-time Role: When vying for a full-time role in today’s market, a job candidate is often competing with thousands of others. But when presenting oneself as a candidate for a freelancing consulting position, the candidate pool is much smaller. And there are more of these opportunities to be found as companies use this staffing solution to manage their short and long term initiatives, cyclical business and new business efforts. It’s also a good way for companies to “try before they buy” – allowing a real life, real time evaluation of a professional acumen and cultural fit should the role convert to full-time.

2. Focus on What You Love: Consultants have the freedom to focus on the aspects of their expertise that brings them the most professional and personal fulfillment. They get to work on projects that they love, solve problems and deliver real benefits to their clients, without getting bogged down by productivity sapping office dynamic.

3. Develop In-demand Skill Sets: Consulting also affords the opportunity to choose projects that broaden one’s skill set or hone ones that haven’t been used in a while. In addition to paid opportunities that allow this to happen, consultants are also free to pursue pro bono arrangements to ramp up their development in high-demand skill areas like social media and digital marketing.

4. Finally Achieve the Work/Life Balance You’ve Been Looking For: According to the most recent Salary Survey & Job Market Report by 24 Seven, freelancers are more likely than the traditionally-employed to feel like they have a great work/life balance. Freelancers control when, where, and how much they work. Freelancers typically enjoy a 40-hour work week and get to leave the office politics behind at the end of the day. In fact, the study also shows that the longer one freelances the less likely one is to accept a permanent role.

5. Become More Attractive to Future Employers By Eliminating Resume Gaps and Staying Relevant:
If landing a full-time role is still your goal, staying professionally active working as a freelance consultant actually helps you in that quest. It’s widely-known that working candidates are more sought after in the marketplace. By filling your resume with relevant and value-added experience during your search, you demonstrate to future employers that you are a passionate, challenge-seeking, self-motivated expert.