Matt this type of issue often comes up during a downturn. as someone who started life as a chemical company executive, and then moved into consulting, I can understand that you might feel nervous about losing the comfort of a steady income. It is also a different way of life. From your question I am not sure if the company concerned is really wanting you to act as a consultant, in terms of providing advice? Or are they wanting you to do the job of a full-time employee, but without the security of being on the payroll? If the latter, then the answer is fairly pragmatic - if you need the money, it probably makes sense to take the offer. being inside the company will posiiton you to have an inside track on any vacancies that do come along, and you will have additional experience to put on your resume. the only caveat would be if the offer is in an area where you do not really want to work in the future - then you might find yourself with less time to job-hunt in areas where you do want to build a career, and also having to explain to an interviewer why you took on the consulting role.