How to get into project management
So, you want to become a project manager? It’s a good thing you’re here then.
The first step towards the exciting path of project management is not concrete, but there are several good places to start.
First, remember that a project manager is involved in leading teams to complete projects successfully; within time and budget constraints. The project manager has everything to do with the schedule, human resources, and monetary responsibilities. Nerve-wracking? Maybe. Thrilling? Definitely.
Different ways to get into project management:
There are different methods of getting into project management; each coming with its own advantages and disadvantages
1.Through hard earned, well-rounded experience in a new or entry-level position or an internship.
Advantage of job experience: You gain a wealth of knowledge within a short space of time, and extend yourself beyond the usual capacity – especially if you are being made to ‘learn on the job’
Disadvantage of job experience: You might be put out of your comfort zone; which can be overwhelming. You might feel the need to prove yourself which could make the work feel harder
2. Receive a certification or completing an online short course.
Advantages of short courses: There is a practical element that you learn regarding deadlines and the technical knowledge taught in the course without the pressure of having it as your job. If the course is online, you can finish the work in your own time, provided you meet the deadline dates.
Disadvantages of short courses: If the course is online, you must have discipline and self-motivation to complete the work proficiently. If the course is campus-based, additional time and monetary costs ensue, such as travelling.
3.Use a project management agency.
Advantages of an agency: You might be able to get an interview or land a position through the agency’s contacts and network, and the application reviewer might regard an agency-sent application with more authority.
Disadvantages of an agency: The agency will charge you a fee for their services. There is also no guarantee that you will get a job.
Where to find project management jobs
There are numerous opportunities that you can find online – just a Google search of “project management jobs” will show you jobs for which you might be able to apply. You can narrow this down by using your area. Although this is broad, it gives you an idea of what is available.
A job agent will also help source a job – and could give you an opportunity which would not be listed public online domain. An agent could also help find you the most suited job to your skills, experience, and possibly even personality.
Keep your eye open for any job listings that might show up in your industry and sign up for notifications for openings. A well-timed application could be the thing between you your dream project management job.
What skills do you need to be a project manager
Even before becoming a project manager, it’s a good idea to start training so that when you get the job, you are great in the role. To gain practice in the required skills is key.
- Focus on productivity: This means setting the pace for yourself before you can set it for your team. Make sure you are balancing the important things and the urgent tasks and don’t let things – or people – slip through the cracks.
- Lead well: You’re not going to be a manager to make friends, but to manage. Your team will look to you for guidance so give it to them properly; with clarity and honesty.
- Control your administration: Everything needs to be up to date and on track in the admin department before you start setting out to implement tasks. This involves any reports, calendars, task tickets, and budget queries. If something small is awry in administration, it could become a massive problem for the future of the project; slowing things down or even causing the project to fail. If everything is on track, however, the sailing will be as smooth as possible.
- When you are a manager, check in on tasks, but don’t micro-manage: Make sure your team feels as though they are supported, but not as though you are breathing down their necks. If a team member is not being responsible with a task at hand, find ways to motivate them or consider whether it might just be the wrong person for the task.
A sure-fire way to upskill yourself is to do a short course in project management. This course will give you all the technical know-how to investigate, initiate, and implement different phases of a project and reviewing, revising, and reporting on the project’s completion.