Pros and cons of freelance project management

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The author spent the first part of her career working in IT and IT Project Management in the oil industry and investment banking on complex global projects involving the management of outsourced project teams. She now runs a digital marketing company with particular expertise in technical SEO and Content Marketing.

No matter what field you work in the idea of becoming a freelancer is a dream that many professionals want to make a reality at some point in their career. The opportunity to be your own boss and have more choice over the projects that you work on and, of course, who you work for – it all sounds fantastic. But freelance project management isn’t really as simply as it sounds, whilst there are plenty of pro’s there are also some definite con’s to choosing this path in your career, so it is important to consider them all before making what can be a huge leap.

We have put together just a few of the pro’s and con’s you should take into consideration.


One of the biggest pros of freelancing is the flexibility you can achieve; if you have family commitments this can be very important. Some people are also more productive at particular times of the day and for those people this is ideal, alternatively you can work more hours some days allowing you to fit life in around your work.

Confidence boost

You are in charge of your own future, you work for yourself and not an employer who may not always have your best interests at heart. Being in charge of your own work can be a fantastic way in which you can increase your self-confidence, this in turn means you are more likely to take those little risks to achieve your end goals.


Going freelance means losing that regular pay cheque and knowing that you have a set amount being paid into your bank account each month at the same time. It can be difficult to adapt to a more sporadic income, certainly whilst you are just starting out, and it can be wise to ensure that you have a pot of money saved up in case you find yourself between jobs with bills to pay.

It is also important to remember that as a freelancer you won’t get sick pay or paid holidays. Submitting invoices can take time and chasing any that are unpaid can cause cash flow issues until the money arrives in your bank.

Less structure

Unfortunately, the flexibility of being a freelancer can also mean that your days can be less structured, and this means that it can be all too easy to have no routine. You need to be able to make schedules for your work and stick to them, if you can’t give your days the structure they need then you may not be able to meet the deadlines that you give yourself.

Putting your skills to the test

Freelancing gives you a great opportunity to really put your project management skills to the test, you are your own boss and as such you need to be completely in control of the projects that you undertake. It can be hard work but hugely rewarding.

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Project management has developed into a fully-fledged chartered profession since the granting of the Royal Charter in the UK to The Association for Project Management (APM) in 2017. Training courses for project managers were already available and highly popular to help people gain professional project management accreditation, but with this wider recognition of the profession it is now seen as a desirable career path for many. Whilst the APM has the coveted Royal Charter and continues to develop its APM PMQ (formerly the APMP) programmes, there are also other internationally recognised qualifications that continue to be highly regarded such as PMP and PRINCE2.

Organisations have become increasingly project-focused in this era of rapidly emerging new technologies and they value the expertise that comes with experienced and fully qualified project teams and managers. By investing in their project management capability businesses can be confident of delivering their new projects in time and on budget more often and more successfully. Many major corporation are now training their people to have the right project management qualifications as well as relevant experience, through internal Learning & Development (L&D) programmes; or by using external project management training providers.

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