Is Becoming a Project Manager Really a Dream Job?

There was an article in this Tuesday’s Evening Standard (ES Jobs, Tuesday 24th November) entitled “Is there such a thing as a dream job?”. It covered short interviews with five different people talking about their perspective on their jobs and whether they were dream jobs. It caught my attention because this week has been especially busy in the Arras offices with calls from people looking to change their career to get into project management. It’s something I’ve written about a few times before and I think it’s important to keep addressing this, not just to provide answers for people who ...

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Five Questions About Project Management Development

There’s a new book called “Demystifying Talent Management” from Kimberley Janson which talks about “unleashing people’s potential to deliver superior results”. It’s written primarily for HR Managers, a call to action to get better at managing employee’s performance. It’s approach is about sharing what effective manager’s do in their conversations with employees when it comes to things like performance appraisals, development plans and objective settings. Whilst I was reading it, it got me thinking about the reality. I often hear from project practitioners that things like performance appraisals are just box ticking exercises. ‘It’s something we have to do annually ...

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What it’s Really Like Doing a Masters Degree in Project Management

I’ve come across a lot more project people in recent years that have opted to further their education in project management by pursuing a Master’s degree in project management. The figures from the last Project Management Benchmark Report showed that of respondents who had taken a Master’s degree (32%), 21% stated that it was in Project Management. So project people are pursuing further education as a form of self-development and when I’ve met people who have, the questions I’ve often asked are along the lines of “has it improved your career in any way?”, “how difficult is it to do?” ...

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IR35 and a Case for Misrepresentation

With the UK governments autumn statement due and apparent leaks(1) about the future plans for the treatment of Freelancers (Contractors) it got me wondering if there is some legal recourse that as yet has not been tested, namely MISREPRESENTATION. The UK government seems to be in a quandary. In the positive, it wants us to celebrate the fact that the numbers of new businesses created in the UK is increasing, “there are over 900,000 more businesses now than in 2010” (2) Whilst in the negative, it is concerned that too many workers are no longer caught in the PAYE system ...

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Three Tips for Project Management Consultants

To ensure you’re successful in securing youre next consulting assignment there are numerous things to consider. Are you still effectively marketing your services? Are your books up to date and cash flow is strong? Is now the time to have a break and concentrate on some much-needed holiday time or should you be investing in some self-development? We’ve picked out three areas that project management consultants can be thinking about now. Communication is Key Just as communication is the most important thing in project management, effective communication is also the secret to running a smoother and more productive business. As ...

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Project Management Interview Technique: FEE

The other week I carried out a project management career clinic for someone wanting advice on a project management interview they were attending for an internal post. As part of the interview, they had to carry out a three-minute opening pitch, that should highlight why they were right for the role. I liked the fact that an organisation would include this in an interview – and at the beginning of the interview too – to allow the candidate the chance to talk in their own words rather than in response to a particular question. Having something like this in a ...

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Three Ways Project Managers Can Improve Their Writing Skills

Like most people on the planet, project managers write every day. Emails, reports and even tweets are all tapped out on crumb-laden keyboards. It’s perhaps the most practised skills, but also the most neglected. And what people think of as the most appropriate way of writing is often very wrong. In other words, writing is often overly complex and confusing, when it should be clear and simple. And clarity and simplicity are exactly what a project manager needs, particularly when planning a project. Complexity and confusion, not so much. Where great writing makes a difference to your project One of ...

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The Alternative Project Manager Elevator Pitch

We all know that getting out and about to project management events is also a great way to boost your own network. Done right you can gain a good circle of contacts within the industry you work in. One of the most prominent features of networking is the “elevator pitch”. The term is thought to originate from the golden Hollywood days of screenwriters trying to get their ideas made into a movie. It was said that they had just two minutes (the time the elevator took to get to the right floor) to make their pitch, be memorable and of ...

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