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Q&A Project Management Careers


Project Management Career Q&A – Not Enough Planning Experience

I’m currently looking for a job and I’m concerned that I don’t have enough experience in the initiation and planning of projects – my experience has always been in implementation. What advice could you give to tackle this problem? Well first of all, it is only a problem if you choose to make it a problem. Just because your experience has focused on the implementation side of projects, does that really mean your initiation and planning experience is lacking? I’m sure throughout your delivery experience there has been many times the planning aspect needs changing or there have been changes ...

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Carers – Returning to Project Management

I’ve taken a couple of years off to care for a relative. Now I’m finding it impossible to get back into a project management role. Any advice? Hopefully you are making it clear on your résumé what you have been doing for the last few years. Hirers don’t like to see unexplained gaps and would prefer to see something rather than nothing. Depending on the types of roles you have been applying for, there could be some problems with trying to gain the same level of role you held previously. If hirers have two résumés with similar experiences and skills, ...

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Advice – Downturn in the Oil & Gas Industry

“I’ve been working in the Oil and Gas industry for a while as a cost engineer but I’m concerned about the downturn in the industry. Any advice on how to make a move away from this industry?” Roles like cost engineer – project controls, schedulers, planners – are almost always found in industries that I like to call “heavy project management” or highly regulated industries like construction, engineering, manufacturing and of course oil and gas. Your existing experience should suit these industries perfectly already so that should be the first area for you to research. You may also find that ...

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Commanding More Respect as a Project Manager

“As a young Project Manager I get this feeling that my youth & inexperience is working against me. Do you have any tips on what it takes to command more respect as a younger PM?” The easier and straightforward answer is to make sure you deliver successfully; actions definitely speak louder than words. This is the case for any project practitioner regardless of age or experience levels. Do an outstanding job; which not only means delivering the project successfully but also making sure you’re doing that whilst managing expectations of those around you. Sure, there are some practitioners around who ...

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Working for Yourself – Project Management Contractor or Consultant?

I’ve come to a point in my career that I think it’s time to try working for myself. Any advice for making the transition? There is a lot to think about and my advice is to concentrate in two areas initially. One, be clear about what you can offer to the marketplace and how you could do that. Two, be ready for the responsibilities of running your own business. The two are different. The first one is about what project management experience you are selling and the approach to doing that. You can consider contracting or consulting. The second is ...

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Returning to a Project Manager Job After Illness

I’ve been away from the working world for two years with a serious illness. I’m recovered now but I’m finding it difficult to get back into a Project Manager role. Any advice? There will always be some organisations that think a gap in your career should stop them from employing you. Equally when you’ve been out of the workplace for a number of years, there might be an expectation that you could pick up where you left. Both views may be considered to be unreasonable so where does that leave you? The bottom line is, it’s about finding the right ...

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Moving from Project Manager to Programme Manager

I’ve been spending time thinking about my future career and one day I’d like to move on from being a Project Manager to a Programme Manager. What development steps should I be thinking about to make that happen? I see programme management as a step away from hands on project control and delivery and a closer move towards strategy, business and people management. To make a move towards programme management I also think the transition needs to include time spent as a Senior Project Manager too. There are specific programme management techniques and processes that also need to be learnt ...

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Will PRINCE2 Help Me Get a Foot in the Door?

“Being a project management professional who has been made redundant and actively seeking a role to no avail for the past few months, would employers take notice of me if I gained my PRINCE2 qualification?” A simple answer is maybe – it’s always difficult to say based on a job advert, most asking for PRINCE2 practitioner are actually asking for a project professional, who has and can work within a structured project management environment. Having worked with hundreds of organisations across a diverse range of industries I have yet to discover a company working stringently to PRINCE2. If you have ...

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