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Q&A Project Management Careers


A Baby Boomer Project Manager Career Change

I’m in my mid-fifties with considerable project management experience in a large company. I don’t think I want to stay here for the rest of my working life. Do you have any advice for a baby boomer looking to do something new? Like a lot of experienced and older project managers, there comes a time in your life when you stop, look around and wonder if there is a new career waiting for you. This second (third, fourth…) stage of your career is a characteristic of what we call ‘kaleidoscope careers’. As we move through our working life our priorities ...

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Project Management Career Q&A – Interviews

I’m a project manager who has an upcoming interviews soon. I’d like to prepare the best I can and I’ve been trawling the internet for sample interview questions and wondered if you have any recommendations? Yes, you can come up with your own based on the job you are being interviewed for which is much better than random questions posted around the internet. Here’s how you start. Take the job specification or job advertisement for the position and start to group the roles and responsibilities. You will start to see that the groups tend to fall into competency areas – ...

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Project Management Careers Q&A – Getting Started with Networking

I want to become better at networking, do you have some simple steps I can start using today? I think networking is one of the most underrated skills for people in management positions today and that applies to project managers too, so it’s great that you recognise that you want to get better at it. Networking is not just about meeting new people, it’s mainly about sharing information in some way and that can apply to people you already know too. The first thing you can be doing is thinking about networking in your current organisation. This is about cultivating ...

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Project Management Career Q&A – Lacking Project Finance Experience

“I have been trying to break into a civilian PM job having left the Forces but always seem to fall at the hurdle regarding project finance. I’ve always worked to a budget in the military and of course am able to control personal budget but interviewers tend to focus very heavily on the finance side of things in projects, which counts many interviewees out. Your thoughts would be appreciated?”   I’ll focus on the positives first; you are being selected for interviews so you obviously have something that organisations are interested in. Project managers with a background in the Forces ...

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Do I Have to Give Notice as a Project Management Contractor?

Another question that I was asked recently from a relatively new project management contractor (BTW we’re also getting a lot of people wanting to make the switch from permanent to contracting, wonder what’s in the water?). They are working on their first contract and the project is winding down. They want to move on rather than take up another project that might be on offer. It’s an interesting situation that happens quite a lot in organisations. They take on a PM contractor for a specific project. The project is coming to an end and rather than left this good resource ...

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Project Management Career Q&A – Contracting Notice Period

I’m currently in a permanent PM role with a 3 month notice period, and I’m considering contracting. Having never contracted before this would be a significant change but something I believe I can do (and do well). One of the issues I will face is that companies wanting a contract PM won’t be willing to wait 3 months – is there a strategy or approach I should be considering here (other than handing my notice in and hoping for the best!)? If you’re wanting to go out into the open market for contracts then yes, it’s a case of handing ...

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PMO Career Q&A – Unemployment Sucks

What advice would give someone who has good PMO and Junior PM experience but no formal qualifications . Added to that has been out of employment for a couple of years, hit by recession and lack of opportunities in the local area? There are a few things here that need thinking about and for anyone who has been long-term unemployed it’s about breaking those things down and seeing what action can be taken against each of them. There are a few areas in this question that we can look at: You have PMO experience You have junior project management experience ...

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Project Management Career Q&A – Working for Free

I’m trying to get into my first project management role, I’m not sure where to start or even if I should consider working for free to get started? Getting your first break in a formal and recognised project management position can be tough; especially so if you are entering the employment market for the first time. Project management as you have probably realised sees experience as king; so how do you gain the experience in the first place? The mistake many people make when looking to get their first break in project management is making the assumption that the first ...

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