Project Management Q&A: How Can I Be Proactive About My Job Uncertainty?

I am concerned that the project I am currently managing will be cancelled due to reprioritisation of my organization’s portfolio because of the pandemic, I think it will lead to my redundancy. What can I be doing to be proactive about the situation?

You need to be calling on your network right now – both internally within your organization and externally to previous colleagues and contacts. When we’re in a situation like this we can feel helpless and not in control so we need to work to reverse this, by making plans and considering our next steps of action.

The organization is reprioritising and no doubt there will still be a need for projects and project managers and its up to you to start understanding where the portfolio of change is heading now. Seek out those at the more senior level, the sponsors and the portfolio office to get those insights. Talk to colleagues about what they’re hearing – get calls lined up if you’re working remotely.

If new projects are on the horizon, understand how the resource model will work, perhaps now is the time to check in with the PMO – they are often the most informed with what’s happening across the organisation. If you’re keen to stay with your organisation, it’s certainly a port in a storm with much of the employment market being in a state of flux, get your own manager on board and making your case for new projects coming down the line.

If it’s looking likely that your time at your current company is coming to an end, now is the time to do all those things you’ve been putting off for a while – a refreshed resume; an updated profile on Linkedin; reconnecting with those previous colleagues you’ve neglected when deep in project delivery. It is still the case that most opportunities will come to you via the people you have known throughout your career. It’s often referred to as a hidden job market – roles are never advertised, often created to bring onboard a particular person to plug a specific gap.

Now is the time to also start understanding what the external market is looking like for your type of experience regardless of whether you’re staying with your current organisation or not. Don’t be too concerned if you’re hearing talk of many project managers being available, chasing too few opportunities. You should only be concerned about those parts of the employment market that directly affect you – the industry sectors you work in; the types of projects being delivered; the level of seniority you’re at.

Get talking to as many people as you can in the industry, take on board their insights but understand the rationale, what is driving their insights. It’s easy to get swept up in the negatives of job searching and no matter how hard a road it might be, keep focusing on putting your best self forward and you’ll start to uncover hidden jobs and opportunities.

If you need any help finding your next opportunity then you can sign up to our Project Management Job Board for FREE as well as access our Career Clinics with one of our PM recruitment specialists.

For up to date market analysis make sure you check out the Project Management Benchmark Report as well as the REC Report on Jobs.

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