"Having worked as a contract Project Manager earlier in my career, and having hired contract Project Managers more recently, I wrote an article two years ago comparing the pros and cons of using them.
This perspective represents only one side of the coin, and with the increasing number of Project Managers I’ve met who have expressed interest in pursuing this type of work, I felt it might be beneficial to cover this topic from the other side. It should be noted that my focus is not on those Project Managers who have taken on contract work temporarily as a stopgap until they are able to land a suitable full-time role.
It might seem surprising to you, but financial benefits are not a factor I will focus on – it is well understood that contract rates will usually be higher than full-time salary rates, but it is might be more useful to calculate net annual income and monthly cash flow.
When one factor in outflows such as health or dental insurance, financial impacts of downtime between projects, self-funded personal development such as courses or conferences, operational costs such as accounting or legal fees and the impacts to the liquidity of net 30 or net 60-day payment terms, financial merits alone might be insufficient to clinch the decision.
Other non-financial benefits of contract work include:
The freedom to decide what type of projects you will accept
The ability to take a longer time off or to spend more time on your personal development
The opportunity to get much greater depth and breadth of experience than might be possible in full-time roles
The chance to build relationships across many companies
But before you quit your full-time role and jump into the contract market, here are a few questions to ask yourself.