A New Year always sees an increase in our Project Management Careers Clinics, it’s not surprising that this time of year is used by many as a time to do something or think differently about their career and where they’re going.
Just last week I went along to an event being run in Manchester about personal change. It wasn’t an event specifically about project management or indeed recruitment and jobs. It was all about one person’s journey and how they have used different tools, people and approaches to make a change in their life.
One of the slides showed this quote from Kenneth Blanchard, he’s the author of One-Minute Manager and an expert in leadership and management:
It resonated with me because of the many Project Management Careers Clinics we’ve done over the years where people are wanting to make a change into a project management career.
The advice people are looking for is how to make it happen, and one of the first things we often say – depending on their current background and experiences – is that it can be tough to get into project management. It’s not enough to be merely interested in getting into project management, you’ve got to be committed.
Committed to Getting into Project Management
Being committed to getting into project management manifests itself in many different ways. Here are just ten different things you need to be thinking about and doing:
- Getting qualified – not just in PRINCE2 but learning the fundamentals of project management.
- Understanding what project management means to different organisations, the different levels of project management maturity levels that exist and so on.
- The different tools, techniques, processes, frameworks and language that exist in different forms of projects.
- Understand what core transferable skills you have to offer and how to present that to organisations.
- Understanding the different types of roles in project management and where you might be fitting day one.
- Getting ready for the knockbacks and taking lessons from each one and moving on, doing better next time.
- Really using your network – understanding who in your network is likely to be the one who gives you the break (because that is where you’re most likely to get an opportunity)
- And exploring any opportunity that comes along that may have a link to projects and project management – on the face of it, it might not look like it but are you sure?
- Read, research and keep learning as much as you can – read widely, not just articles on Linkedin.
- Get involved in meetups and events, be around the people who work in this field. Find out how they tick.
All of these require the commitment – not just the interest – because you’re going to need that commitment to keep you going through the times it might feel tough. Those days when you’re hearing nothing back on applications you’ve made or you’re looking at some article on project lifecycles and thinking, I’m not good enough for this.
Commitment is what will keep you warm at night and spur you on during the day – commitment is what will, ultimately, see you getting what you want.