Tips and Tricks
13 min read
February 23, 2024

Earn $1000 a Day: Unlocking Success as a Project Management Contractor

Tips and Tricks
13 min read
February 23, 2024


The world of digital business is constantly evolving, and with that evolution, the role of contracting has come to the forefront as a flexible and appealing option for employment. This setup diverges from traditional full-time roles by offering professionals the chance to engage with a variety of projects, thereby broadening their skill set and preserving a level of independence that is often sought after.

Diving into the specifics of project management contracting, this involves guiding a project from its initial concept all the way through to its completion. It's a critical position that plays a key role in ensuring the project meets its goals within the designated timeline and budget constraints.

To boost their professional standing, project management contractors frequently pursue well-regarded certifications, such as the Project Management Professional (PMP). These certifications do more than just deepen their understanding of project management; they significantly improve their appeal in the job market by opening doors to new opportunities within the industry. Now, let's take a closer look at the nuances of being a project management contractor.

Who is a Project Management Contractor?

A project management contractor is a professional with profound expertise and knowledge in managing and overseeing a variety of projects within the digital landscape. Their job role may vary from working in a digital agency to managing projects for a SaaS startup. Their scope of work goes beyond managing timelines and budgets. They also shoulder the responsibility of ensuring that set objectives align with project needs and outcomes.

Stepping into the shoes of a project management contractor is about more than just keeping projects on track. It's about harnessing a suite of sophisticated tools, methodologies, and strategies to ensure each project crosses the finish line successfully. This role, brimming with freedom and flexibility, allows for a dynamic work environment where every day brings a new challenge.

However, it's not all smooth sailing. One significant downside is the trade-off between independence and the security that comes with traditional employment. Unlike their full-time counterparts, contractors often miss out on the perks and benefits, such as health insurance, paid leave, and retirement plans, that come standard in permanent roles. This aspect of contracting underscores the importance of weighing the benefits of flexibility and autonomy against the stability and security offered by full-time employment.

Digging Deeper into the Role of a Project Management Contractor

Professionals in this dynamic field are predominantly tasked with the organization, planning, and supervision of projects, whether it's the launch of a novel app, crafting a digital marketing scheme, or rolling out a new software system. They take the helm from the get-go, guiding the project to its successful conclusion while ensuring that all resources and stakeholders are perfectly aligned with the project's goals.

A key element that bolsters a project management contractor's profile is professional certification, with the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification standing out as one of the most esteemed credentials in the industry.

Administered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), this certification is a universally recognized testament to a professional's expertise in project management.

Hence, for those looking to step into the role of a project management contractor, honing your abilities with pertinent expertise and certifications is a surefire way to enhance your appeal in the marketplace and discover new opportunities.

What Does a Project Management Contractor Do?

Stepping into the shoes of a project management contractor in a digital space such as a digital agency or SaaS startup involves an intricate blend of skills, experience, and aptitude. The role unfurls with managing various digital projects and ensuring they're in line with the determined objectives.

Project management contractors use a combination of advanced tools and strategies to guide projects to the finish line. They're akin to the helmsman of a ship, steering the rudder and adjusting the sails to keep on course despite the winds of change or tempests of uncertainty.

A project management contractor's responsibility doesn't halt with the execution of tasks; it extends beyond to include sourcing the necessary resources for the project. Operating as a contractor does translate to freedom and higher pay rates compared to a salaried employee. However, it's crucial to remember that one might need to forego some of the benefits often associated with full-time employment.

A golden feather that could add worth to a project management contractor’s cap would be professional certification, specifically the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification – a globally recognized credential. The PMP certification validates the person's comprehensive project management knowledge and skillsets.

Pursuing these certifications, especially the PMP credential, would sharpen existing abilities, improve marketability, and propel contractors towards new opportunities. Understanding the responsibilities and prospects associated with being a project management contractor is pivotal in evaluating this career route's suitability.

How To Get Started as a Project Management Contractor?

Transitioning into a contracting role can initially feel overwhelming as it carries the dual responsibility of wearing multiple hats. Not only are you the Project Manager, but also the Financial Controller, Marketing Manager, Legal Department, and Sales Department. But with the right preparation and mindset, contractors can find a great deal of satisfaction and financial gain.

For starters, ensure your Curriculum Vitae (CV) is upto date and reflects your core project management competencies. Don't merely list the projects you've managed. Also, include the skills that enabled your success within those projects. Bear in mind that your CV will be read by various individuals ranging from HR administrators to subject matter experts. So, it needs to resonate with each one of them.

Your last ten years of project management experience should be clear and detailed, displaying your key achievements and skills. Earlier roles can be summarized in a few lines.

In the digital space, it's also key to stay connected with teams and stakeholders. A cloud-based project management software can be particularly useful, allowing real-time collaboration and file sharing, creating a virtual workplace that integrates the office, the job site, and any other location where work is being done.

One has the choice of operating independently or using a reputed umbrella company to manage financial and administrative tasks. Whichever route you choose, it's important to maintain accurate financial records, and stay on top of the latest regulations in contractor management and employment law.

It's worth noting that rates of pay for Project Management contractors can be higher than those of their full-time counterparts. Here's a reference table from the 2018 APM survey:

Remember, it's not all about the money. As a contractor, you won't receive the same benefits as a full-time employee. These can include job security, pension contributions, paid vacation and sick leave, among others. Keep these factors in mind while you chart your course as a Project Management Contractor.

Building a strong professional network and continuously improving one's skills (perhaps with a globally recognized certification like PMP) can further pave the way for success in this profession, opening doors to more opportunities.

Getting started as a Project Management Contractor in a digital space can be a rewarding journey. By managing responsibilities effectively and leveraging the right tools, one can truly excel in this path.

Qualities to Look for in a Project Management Contractor

In the digital space, project management contractors play a vital role in the successful execution of projects. With the advancement of technology and the increasingly remote nature of work, hiring a contractor with the right qualities is essential. Here are some key attributes to consider:


The digital industry is constantly evolving, making experience a crucial factor when hiring a project management contractor. Employers value practitioners with years of experience managing similar types of projects in the same sector. This is because experienced contractors understand the tasks at hand and can deliver results without needing too much guidance. Demonstrable background in a certain industry minimises the risk for employers and, as some contractors report, experience is sometimes valued more than certifications and badges.

Communication Skills

Communication is at the heart of project management. A competent digital project management contractor should have strong communication skills. They need to convey the project goals successfully to various parties including stakeholders, clients, and team members. Additionally, they need to listen effectively, understand different perspectives, and respond appropriately to ensure everyone's on the same page. Good communication reduces misunderstandings and promotes synergy within the team.

Facilitating the Work

Project management contractors need to be excellent facilitators. They are in charge of keeping track of progress against plans, leading the team towards the project goals while managing resources efficiently. They need to have a thorough understanding of the industry, the types of projects being delivered, and the sector in which they operate. This knowledge, combined with effective facilitation skills, ensures that obstacles are swiftly dealt with, maintaining momentum and productivity.

Leadership Abilities

Leadership skills are an essential quality for successful project management. Contractors should be capable of motivating and steering their teams towards project completion. Good leadership skills help to provide a clear vision for the project, resolve conflicts, and steer the team past any obstacles. They need to be able to make tough decisions when necessary, guide the team effectively, and create an environment that promotes productivity and positivity.

Eagerness to Learn

The digital landscape is ever-changing, and staying up-to-date with industry trends is paramount for project management contractors. An eagerness to learn represents adaptability and a drive to consistently improve. Contractors open to learning are better equipped to adapt to new industry changes and implement innovative solutions that can improve project outcomes. This attribute also reflects a professional's commitment to personal growth and their job.

Risk Mitigation

Risk is an inevitable part of projects, especially in the digital space where factors such as technological disruptions and data security are significant concerns. Therefore, contractors must be able to anticipate potential risks and devise strategies to mitigate them. Skills in risk assessment and quality assurance are key. Contractors who are proactive in identifying, assessing, and managing potential risks contribute to the overall success of a project.

While the appeal of contracting in the digital space can be enticing with some contractors potentially earning twice as much as permanent Project Managers, it's important to consider trade-offs, such as job security and paid leave. Regardless, having these qualities can significantly enhance your chances of success as a digital project management contractor. Key to this success will be the ability to continuously learn and adapt to the evolving industry trends.

Are You the Right Person?

Venturing into a Contract Project Manager (CPM) role may seem alluring, especially when considering potential higher earnings. However, it's important to remember that thriving in this role isn't solely about leveraging professional experience or skillset. It also involves adaptability, communication, self-discipline, and most importantly, the ability to work well in digital spaces.

A CPM isn't tied down to any one specific company or organization; they're fully independent. This blatant independence might seem liberating but there are concealed drawbacks. Opposing to conventional full-clocked employees, contract-based professionals often don't receive the same benefits such as job security or paid leave.

To excel as a CPM, a person must possess a toolkit equipped not only with the industry knowledge and leadership qualities but also with excellent networking abilities. They don't just walk the walk, but talk the talk. To secure contracts and establish a robust client base, they have to use their networking skills actively and effectively.

Another factor that separates the average CPM from the exceptional ones is their adeptness at utilizing innovative technology tools. With digital platforms like Project Manager offering invaluable features like online Gantt charts, project management has been streamlined. Tools like these create visual timelines of projects, making it easy to edit schedules or update status in real-time. Utilizing these tools effectively can ensure the project stays on track, enhancing the overall performance.

As an independent contractor, one isn't subject to typical employment termination rules. Unless they fail to meet the standards set out in their contract, they cannot be easily fired. The faith that clients put in CPMs emphasizes the importance of these aforementioned skills and qualities to thrive in this role.

Best of all, successful CPMs continuously update themselves with emerging industry trends, demonstrating an eagerness to learn. If a prospective contractor can resonate with these qualities and understand the risks involved in this contractual role, then they just might be the right person.


Thriving as a Contract Project Manager isn't just about having the right professional skills and experience. It's also about adaptability, strong communication, and self-discipline. The independence that comes with this role can be a double-edged sword, as job security and paid leave might be compromised. However, with the right networking skills and an up-to-date grasp of industry trends, securing contracts and maintaining a robust client base becomes achievable. Tools like online Gantt charts are a boon, helping to streamline project management and boost performance. Above all, meeting contract standards is key to maintaining client trust and ensuring success in this role. Indeed, the path of a Contract Project Manager is an exciting and challenging one, offering unique opportunities for those who are ready to take it on.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the role of a Contract Project Manager (CPM)?

A CPM guides a project to its completion, manages expenses, and ensures that all members of the team fulfill their responsibilities. This role requires professional skills, adaptability, effective communication, self-discipline, and the ability to efficiently operate in digital environments.

What does being a CPM entail?

Being a CPM means enjoying independence and the responsibility of running projects. However, unlike traditional employees, CPMs may lack certain benefits like job security and paid leave. Good networking skills, the ability to stay updated on industry trends, and technological proficiency are vital.

What is the importance of meeting contract standards?

Meeting contract standards is crucial in maintaining client trust and ensuring success as a CPM. It showcases professionalism which can result in further contracts and a strong client base.

How can tools like online Gantt charts help a CPM?

Online Gantt charts help in streamlining project management. They enhance the performance of a CPM by making the visualization of timelines and workflow easy, thereby improving efficiency and task tracking.

How can a CPM maintain a strong client base?

Maintaining a strong client base requires regular networking, staying updated on industry trends, and upholding high standards of professionalism. These contribute to client trust and satisfaction, increasing the chance of securing future contracts.


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