Project Management in the Gig Economy
Professional project managers have the option to work as a full-time Project Manager for a company or work as a project management contractor or consultant. This blog focuses on the latter as there are a number of significant benefits for the contract Project Manager.
The rise of contract work in the 2000s came to be known as the “gig economy”, borrowing the term used by musicians to describe their paid show in a club or bar. Then after the significant economic downturn of 2008-2009, the gig economy really took off as companies went through layoffs while unemployed workers started taking temporary work to sustain their incomes. While the trend grew through the dire circumstances of the financial instability in 2008/2009, the growth continued long after the economy stabilized, and that rate of growth will continue to increase. Why?
The benefits of “gigging”—whether through a set contract or ongoing consulting—tends to offer higher pay per hour to compensate for the lack of benefits. The flexibility is attractive to those who want more control over the work schedules, or who wanted to take breaks of a few days, weeks or months between contracts. There is also increasing opportunity to work in different companies and different industries, or to start as a contractor and convert to a permanent, full-time position once the compatibility between employee and employer is established.
Fast forward 10 years and the gig economy is even stronger than could have been predicted, and this environment is extremely beneficial for both new and experienced project managers. Not only are there numerous opportunities across just about every professional segment and experience level, there is a consistently healthy rate of demand with low to moderate competition. And this demand is expected to increase significantly, eventually overtaking traditional employment by 2027:
So if you are one of the traditionally employed Project Managers interested in taking advantage of the benefits of working as a contract project manager, please be sure to take note of the typical differences before you take the leap.
While contracting as a Project Manager has great benefits, it isn’t for everyone. But the same could be said for traditional employment arrangements. Whichever you choose, there is a robust demand for project managers, and it’s definitely a good thing to have options. It also makes one wonder what the next 20 years will bring...here's to the future! (clink)