Project Management

PM Careers in Financial Services (Part 3): The Independent Consultant PM

PMI Mass Bay Chapter

Todd is Principal Implementation Management Consultant at BI-SAM and author of "No Project Management by Powerpoint".

As I’ve mentioned in the previous articles in this series (read Part 1 and Part 2), there are really two major career paths to follow in the world of financial services project management--either pursue the role of Corporate Project Manager or Consultant Project Manager. For the latter track, I have broken it down further into the roles of Firm-Based Consultant or Independent Consultant. In this article, we will examine the pros and cons of being an Independent Consultant Project Manager.

The independent consultant project manager is defined as a project manager who is hired directly by a client firm or a staff augmentation firm (placement or “temporary” firm) to work on a project for a defined period of time. Once that period of time is over, the independent consultant project manager is no longer employed by the client or placement firm, and must find a new project on their own (or with the help of the placement firm). Being an independent consultant project manager is not for everyone.

The fact that one has to often find a “new job”--i.e. new project--every six months or so can easily scare people away. Still, for those that enjoy the challenge, it can be a very satisfying and rewarding (professionally and financially) career.

One of the major advantages of becoming an independent consultant project manager is that you have almost…

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Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity.

- Frank Leahy