The Advantages and Disadvantages of Being a Freelance Project Manager

There are lots of benefits to becoming a freelancer, flexibility and independence being the most prominent ones. Making the decision to become a freelance project manager is something that is personal to each individual and must be looked at from all angles. What are the advantages and disadvantages?

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Advantages of being a freelance project manager

But firstly, let’s clarify: what is a freelance project manager?

They can find work independently as well as with the help of any other third parties.

Being a freelance project manager can come with lots of pros. Let’s name a few advantages to choose a freelance project management.

Advantages and disadvantages of freelance project management

If you are new to this profession, read our tips on how to become a project manager without experience.

1. Freedom to choose your own clients

One of the biggest advantages of freelance project management is the flexibility to choose who you work with. You are free to decide what projects appeal to you personally and what kind of clients you want to engage with.

When you deal with a typical project management job, you don’t always get the choice of who your clients will be. If a client is unprofessional or rude or you simply can’t see eye-to-eye with them, you can pass on the opportunity to work with them as a freelance project manager. This is especially great for project managers who don’t like being micromanaged by their employers. 

2. Flexibility

Being a freelance project manager gives you the flexibility to work whenever you want and wherever you want. As long as you do the job well and do it on time, your time is yours.

Some project managers work best during the day whereas some get their best work done during the night. As a freelance project manager, you can work out what hours of the day you feel most productive and only work during those hours. 

But you work with a remote team, things can vary. Learn more about leadership practices a remote PM needs to master.

3. Financial independence

When you work as a freelance project manager, you’re in charge of all your earnings and get to keep all the profits. Your earnings are directly related to the number of projects that you’re working on at any given time and what your rates are.

In addition, freelancing allows you to get in touch with clients from all over the world, which is an excellent opportunity for you to earn more and have several sources of income.

4. Exposure

Freelance management enables you to expand your network and presents you with faster growth opportunities when compared to a full-time project management job. Not only do you have the opportunity to meet more people and build connections, but you’re also able to develop your interpersonal and communication skills.

By working with various clients in different industries, you’re able to learn a lot more about your craft and yourself as a person. You get the benefit of knowing the ins and outs of multiple industries and have the advantage of excelling at each one. Moreover, freelancing means you work independently on a project and don’t need assistance with every little aspect of it – this is something that busy CEOs will welcome!

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Disadvantages of being a freelance project manager

Being a freelance project manager certainly sounds appealing, right? Maybe not. While there are a great many advantages of working as a freelance project manager, there are also some disadvantages that you need to potentially be prepared for. Let’s take a look at what these are.

1. Sporadic payments

Working as a freelance project manager, unfortunately, does not always mean that your workload or income will be consistent. Even if you’re working for 2-3 clients at the moment, once you’re done, you may find yourselves in between jobs. The clients you work for are in no way obliged to hire you again for another project.

What’s more, being a freelancer means there is always the risk of getting paid late. You will potentially come into contact with clients who will pay you late and may end up having to chase after slow payments.

2. Lack of benefits

Being a freelance project manager means, you lose out on the benefits that come with a full-time project management job. You no longer have access to company-provided benefits such as sick pay, paid vacations, health insurance, dental insurance, retirement plans, and so on.

As a freelancer, you are in charge of all your expenses. You don’t have access to basic office utilities unless you purchase them on your own. If you currently enjoy employer benefits at your company, going freelance might not be in your best interests.

3. Complete responsibility

Being in charge of projects all by yourself takes a lot of responsibility and self-discipline. You are solely responsible for getting the job done on time, dealing with clients, and running every aspect of your project management work.

You also don’t have the benefit of leaning on a co-worker for help or the support that full-time employees can get from their managers. You are accountable for almost every aspect of the job from start to finish and expected to work with little to no assistance.

4. Risk of isolation

Working from home by yourself can be an isolating experience. You have no interaction with other employees, peers, or management and can sometimes find yourself losing motivation. As a freelance project manager, you will need to build your own network and support system.

If you don’t like being by yourself and prefer to work in a group setting instead, you might not want to consider becoming a freelance project manager.

Conclusion

Working as a freelance project manager certainly isn’t for everyone. It is both equal parts positive and equal parts negative and only you can decide if it is the right choice for you.

e the lifestyle of independence that comes with their work while others have found it’s simply not for them. If you can handle the potential risks, freelance project management can be a good long-term career choice. 

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