A glance at Joe Frehe’s resume might make you think, ah, a finance guy.
And indeed, with over 20 years of experience in finance transformation, FP&A, and corporate strategy in a variety of industries—transportation, pharmaceutical, and consumer packaged goods, to name a few—he’s got the professional chops
But that’s only part of how he defines himself.
“I’m a creative person with a strong analytical side, especially when it comes to my profession,” Joe says. “I try to bring creativity to my business partners every day. But it’s equally important for me to be able to grow creatively in other areas of my life as well.”
Music—he’s a drummer for an established Chicagoland band—and photography are just two of his passions. Round out the picture with a love of travel, hiking, and volunteering, and you’ve got a clearer sense of who he is.
After years of working 12+ hours a day over the course of his career, finding balance became a priority. Seeking new opportunities to better balance his creative side, Joe discovered consulting at Salo.
“I have really enjoyed the variety of work consulting brings,” he says. “My professional background and experiences are quite diverse, which aligns incredibly well with the type of work Salo offers me.”
Building a case for a consulting career
But making the decision to become a consultant wasn’t simple.
“Though I was confident my background would allow me to be successful as a consultant, it wasn’t an easy jump to make after working in permanent, full-time roles my entire career,” Joe says.
However, he knew that the biggest rewards typically come with some level of risk.
“I really had to think through the nuances of my options,” Joe says. In addition to basics like benefits, vacation time, and consistent work and pay, he also needed to consider professional growth, learning opportunities, and the ability to make an impact.
“I ended up betting on myself and took the leap,” Joe says. “In a short period of time, I feel I am making a big impact. There have already been many areas where I’ve offered guidance that were not on my clients’ radar and now are.”
Pursuing creative interests, professional and personal
Not only does consulting help Joe broaden his professional learning by gaining experience in industries he hasn’t worked in before, but it also gives him more focused time for his creative outlets.
“Every engagement is different, and there are days when I need to work overtime to help meet client deadlines,” Joe says. “But more than ever before in my career, I feel in charge of my calendar. I’m able to recharge creatively and return to work refreshed.”
This flexibility allows him to bring a high level of energy to his clients, offering guidance and innovative solutions that help them achieve success, too. And the lifetime flight benefits he earned earlier in his career with an airline? Now he and his wife are able to enjoy traveling in ways they’ve never been able to before.
“I’m able to schedule my time off so much better now,” Joe says. “Practice on the drums, take off on a photography hike, make plans to travel, or just go out to dinner with my wife—both of our lives have been better served because we can now more effectively plan our evenings and weekends.”
Joe is excited about the possibilities consulting at Salo has already opened.
“I’m really glad I trusted my instincts and made this change,” he says. “Consulting at Salo has already exceeded my lofty expectations. I see myself living the consulting lifestyle for quite a long time.”
Did this story spark your curiosity about consulting?
To find out more about consulting careers at Salo, register for an online information session or contact our talent team. We can’t wait to meet you!