MORE than a decade ago, Mr Chang Keen Weng traded a cushy management role for the uncertainty and unpredictable hours of running his own consultancy firm.

The mid-life career switch has paid off. Alpha Consulting and Training has worked with a host of local firms and organisations, including the Singapore National Employers Federation, as well as multinational companies.

Mr Chang now refers to consulting as his "hobby".

"My job doesn't just cover one department in a company, I get exposure to different industries and different firms," said the 57-year-old father of two.

"I was happy as a director in a manufacturing company, but I asked myself, 'What next?' My wife, children and even my former boss were very supportive of me venturing out."

Although the company is small - it has only five staff, including Mr Chang - it is able to offer a wide range of services by collaborating with other consulting firms.

The company advises clients on quality and productivity-related projects, and also conducts training and team-building sessions. Most of its customers are Singapore-based companies.

Mr Chang, who worked in the manufacturing industry for about 18 years before venturing out on his own, said the company initially focused on projects in the manufacturing sector but is now increasingly also working with firms in the service industry.

The business consulting industry is becoming tougher to operate in, due to a rising number of small firms - and one-man operations - in the sector. But Mr Chang, who hopes to pass the business on to his children eventually, says he enjoys his career too much to retire. "I have fallen in love with the job and I don't see myself stopping."