There comes a time in many IT consultants' careers when they decide to exchange the trappings of their jet-set professional lives for a corporate IT job with more stability. For Sevin Straus, an IT consultant based in Chicago, that moment came at the height of the financial crisis in 2009.

At the time, the IT consulting company he co-founded in 2002 dissolved due to a lack of business. It had served the auto industry, which he says went into a tailspin just before the financial industry collapsed. Straus tried to strike out on his own, but consulting engagements were sparse. CIOs across the country were cancelling projects left and right.

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