Long commutes and stressful projects to oversee in what feels like a thankless corporate environment can leave you asking where and how do you find a freelance project management office (PMO) role?
Working freelance has its perks, with potentially higher salaries and more control over the work that you do. It can also be less stable, with uncertainty around where the next project may come from.
Once you’ve made the decision to move into freelance PMO work, we’re here to help you:
- Figure out the skills you need to focus on
- Understand how to present your skills
- Know where to look for contracts
So you can start your freelance journey with confidence.
How do I get started as a freelance PMO worker?
Before you start looking for your first role as a freelance PMO, you need to be ready to sell yourself to people looking to hire. This means having the skills and evidence to back up your claims.
Having spent a few years in a PMO in a large company, you may have let your certifications and memberships lapse. You will be competing with other talented PMOs across a much wider talent pool as a freelancer so you should consider getting one of these certificates:
- PMP, or Project Management Professional
- CAPM, or Certified Associate in Project Management
- PRINCE2 Practitioner, or Projects in Controlled Environments
Each has its own merits that you can begin to understand when choosing where to invest your time and money.
Working towards these or other certifications will give you solid evidence of your skills and make your experience look even more impressive.
How do I present my experience as a PMO to get freelance work?
In a typical job search, your CV would be the first thing you work on. However, freelancers rarely hand over their CV at first contact.
Most freelance work can be found online – exactly where is coming up soon – so you need to have your work experiences and qualifications ready to present. This includes having your LinkedIn profile bang up to date, including your wins, successes, and statistics.
Create a portfolio to present your wins in a visual way. This can be a hard copy document, an online file, or even a simple website. Include in your portfolio:
- Key wins that you’ve led a PMO to, such as budgets, deadlines, and client satisfaction
- Examples of your crisis and risk management skills
- Details of how you manage people and communications
What else will I need to be a successful freelance PMO?
As well as your certifications and experience, you need to be prepared for working in a modern PMO. This includes working with technology and tools that you may have never come across.
First, invest in a good laptop. Most freelance roles are now remote, and whilst you may be lucky to get a technology allowance, having a powerful computer – rather than your seven-year-old creaking desktop – will stand you in good stead.
Next, familiarise yourself with the common tools used by PMOs in your particular sector. These could include
- Microsoft Project
Or something that’s more industry-specific. Research which tools are most used in PMOs you would want to lead – it’s as simple as asking your peers – and build your skills to present in your freelance portfolio.
Where do I find freelance PMO roles?
LinkedIn is a great tool for finding freelance as well as full-time work. Connect with people in your industry to build a presence and find out about opportunities as they arise.
There are many websites that are aimed at helping businesses find freelancers. Three of the most popular are:
- Freelancer is a useful site to start out on
- Upwork has a range of gigs from small companies to multinationals like Microsoft
- Toptal has rigorous vetting procedures and higher-budget clients
To begin your freelance career, you first need to know where and how to find a freelance PMO role. Get your skills and knowledge certified, present your previous wins and successes in a way that is easy for a business to understand, and learn the ropes on the most-used software tools for your industry.
Applying for roles on your chosen platform will get much easier with some advanced preparations.