My only nit on your comments is the sales. If he thinks he might be good at sales he should give it a try. At one time I was a design engineer/project manager. The company folded so I rolled into sales with a new employer. The salary increase was immediately 40% excluding bonuses/commission. It's been a long time, but my current base is 3X what I made as a design engineer. Now I am a seasoned sales professional with professional credentials, but if successful he could have a lucrative career so long as his boss isn't a buttplug.
I do agree a sales career as an independent consultant is not worth pursuing. Better to have a base salary which is sustainable plus bonus and/or commissions.
He shouldn't be afraid to change jobs. I enjoyed my last job, but it gave me zero time to do much other than work. I was busy all the time. I jumped ship in January to a different company and nowadays my day ends at 5pm. Cannot travel currently due to the virus and work rules. Was actually told today I was doing quite well. Imagine how much better that can/will be once I'm allowed to cover my territory properly.
I agree, I actually did make a huge amount of money doing independent stuff along with a contract paid job. I had to cold call, get my name out, do introductions, and yes it sucked, but I ended up being pretty competent at it.
People do get by, and it always amuses me to see one person who is "successful" give advice as to the only
way to make money.
What advice would you give me?
Spend less time on brewing forums.
pithy, but why exactly?