How to Move On After 25 Years

Everyone’s career is different and project management is no exception. Some choose to stay in the same organisation for years; others have no choice but to move on. Some purposely choose to move every 2-4 years whilst others choose every few months through contracting. Whatever career choices we make, there might just come a time when you’re genuinely unsure about what to do next. I’m talking about those times when you’ve had time to reassess your life – it normally comes when something else has happened in your personal life and that impacts the way you think about what you’re currently doing. Most of us – myself included – have often drifted into things rather than having any great master plan on what and why we’re doing it. So when you’re at a genuine crossroads – where you can actually think and plan what you really want to do – you’ll probably find that it’s blooming hard!

A recent clinic, with a project manager with over 25 years experience in one organisation continuously, produced a great big chat about everything from CVs to training, elevator pitches and specialism. After 25 years in one organisation you need to understand the outside world and understand it quickly. After working for one organisation you’re generally unsure how your project management knowledge, experience and skills match up with others in the marketplace. You’re also probably talking the organisation lingo which might be very different to what other organisations are doing. There’s also that thing where you’ve been delivering projects one way for quite a while and whilst you’re comfortable and confident with that – there’s a niggly thing that knocks that confidence because you don’t know how that’ll stack up working elsewhere.

The upshot is all these fears – real or pretend – need dealing with so you can get back on track with the real tasks ahead. Sure, one way to do it is use someone like us – in a one-to-one clinic which helps you get started. Other ways include lifting your head out of the organisation and getting out and about talking to other people in the profession. You can do the same thing virtually through LinkedIn and Twitter too.

Project Management Recruitment

I’ve always loved the project management saying about “how do you eat an elephant”…. “one chunk at a time”. When everything feels impossibly large and hard to deal with – start with one bit at a time. So rather than rushing straight into creating a CV, sorting out a LinkedIn profile and applying for jobs. Take time to deal with some of the concerns you have. If you don’t know about the marketplace – find out, if you don’t know where you could work next – research it, if you’re not sure what to write on your CV – do a personal stock take on who you are and what you have to offer.

Remember – one chunk at a time

photo credit: digitalART2 via photopin cc

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