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I think this is the right spot for this:

I have an engineering background, I've done project management, and I'm currently working on helping my group become compliant with a new standard for us. I'm an excellent proofreader, and I'm very good at coming up with words that other people are struggling to think of/I'm good at helping people put ideas into words.

However, what I'm really good at helping other people's ideas get better. This either takes the form of coming up with improvements myself, suggesting things that don't work but spark ideas in others, or pointing out why things don't work (I'm really good at this last one). I have some programming experience, but I function better as a sounding board for ideas for people who are better programmers than I.

Is there a side job, or even a career for this sort of thing? I don't even know what to Google; what would this be called?

  • ....sounds merely like "Consulting" to me. – Scott Nov 22 '19 at 20:38
  • That's what I've heard before, but I can just imagine the conversation - Me: "High, I saw you were looking for a consultant, I'm offering my services." Them: "Oh, what's your area of expertise?" M: "I don't have one." T: "What do you mean?" M: "Yeah, I just...generally make everything better." T: "...". I promise I'm not trying to be flippant, this is just an area that I know precisely zero about. – John Doe Nov 22 '19 at 21:34
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The person I know who does something similar to this calls himself a "Creative Consultant."

You may want to use the word "clarity" for what you do - i.e. you're bringing clarity and helping to firm up their ideas.

  • When I perform that Google job search, just look up "clarity consultant"? – John Doe Dec 1 '19 at 23:47
  • I think you'd need to search for "Creative Consultant" then work out which people want designers and which want consultants. The problem with shifting in to this deliberately is I think the key to getting work in this area is having a good network of people who recommend you in to projects. So, you probably need to find a way of pulling other work you're doing in to a shape where you get to do the sort of work you want, then you can write it up and start publicising yourself as someone who does that. – Paul Silver Dec 5 '19 at 10:52

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