How to Handle being Self-Employed on the PMP Application

How to Handle being Self-Employed on the PMP Application

If you are a self-employed project manager (PM), it can be harder to get your PMP approved for two main reasons:

1) Self-employed PMs tend to have many short projects that they’ve done for a large number of clients, and

2) You don’t have a manager to put down as a project contact (someone who can verify your project experience).

For problem #1, read my post on why short projects are a problem for the PMP application and what to do about it.

For problem #2, the stakeholders on your project are usually just you and your clients. You could put down one of your clients as the project contact, but only if you are comfortable asking your clients to help you get your PMP certification. And again, this only works if it was a big project rather than a bunch of short projects.

So instead of putting a client down as the organization, you could put your own company as the organization (e.g. Korva Consulting Ltd.), another stakeholder as the project contact (e.g. a business partner or mentor could be listed as a project sponsor in some cases) and the project objective might start with “I managed a project to plan and implement new websites using WordPress” (or whatever your self-employed business does). There is still a risk that PMI complains that you are not documenting projects individually, but as long as you describe how this was a single overarching project rather than a bunch of little projects, they are fine with that.

Of course, seemingly minor wording choices make all the difference in whether the PMI reviewer decides your experience meets the somewhat vague and subjective requirements for qualifying project experience. But if you use FastPM Wizard or FastPM Concierge, I guarantee that your application will be approved or I’ll give you your money-back.