Project management roles are in demand  in many different fields. In fact, you can find project managers in just about every industry from construction to medicine and beyond. Since this career has such a broad reach, it can be hard to know where to get started. Here are some facts about project management and some tips on where to begin your career. 

 

What is a project manager exactly?

 

Project managers are professionals who oversee, plan, track and execute a project for a company or organization. They do all this while managing a team, a budget and a schedule for the project. Whether they are overseeing a marketing campaign, managing a construction project, or the rollout of a new product, project managers are in charge of the success of the project from start to finish. 

 

What do project managers do on a day to day basis?

 

Depending on the industry they’re working in, project managers can expect to have a number of responsibilities including:

 

  • Establishing and defining the scope of the project.
  • Interviewing and hiring talent.
  • Developing a budget and management schedule for the project.
  • Motivating and mentoring the team they’re managing.
  • Cultivating good business relationships.
  • Conducting meetings and ensuring that the project is going to plan.
  • Assessing and mitigating risks.
  • Evaluating the performance of the team.
  • Acting as a liaison between the customer/stakeholders?/company? and the team.
  • Tracking the efficiency of the project.

 

What makes a good project manager?

 

Project managers are essential to the success of any organization or company… there are several skills that are important for a project manager:

 

Leadership:

 Having good leadership skills is very valuable because project managers are responsible for overseeing and guiding a team of professionals. A good project manager is able to lead a team by helping them reach their full potential. This type of leader is humble, giving, and able to firmly mentor their team.

 

Organization

 Because project managers have so many responsibilities, being organized is an essential skill to hone.

 

Flexibility

 Every project will experience unexpected bumps in the road. Being able to be flexible and cool headed is very important for this position. A good project manager is able to identify a problem, delegate tasks to get it fixed, and make changes.

 

How do I get into project management?

 

Because project managers work in so many different fields, their educational background and experience can be diverse. Many project managers come from undergraduate backgrounds in business, computer science, and fields related to their chosen industry (for example, Construction Management). Although not strictly necessary, some companies desire candidates with Masters degrees in Management or Business. For those looking to switch careers or deviate from their undergraduate education, pursuing an MBA (Masters in Business Administration) or an MSN (Master of Science in Management) is a good route to take. If you already have some experience working on projects or if you are looking to switch careers but don’t have the time or money for a masters program, there are also many Project Management Certificate programs (PMPs) available to bolster your resume. 

 

Aside from education and experience, if you’re wishing to pursue a career in project management you should:

 

Choose an industry that interests you

Narrowing down a field of interest can help guide you to experiences that will lead you to a project manager position. For example, if you are interested in project management in the construction industry, a construction related degree would be extremely valuable and make you stand out as a candidate. 

If you have no experience, take on roles that are entry level but give opportunities for growth

It can be difficult to get hired as a project manager if you have little experience even if you have a degree, taking an entry level, or more junior position in the field you’re interested in is a great way to gain some experience that will lead to a project management role.

 

Seek out opportunities to showcase your managerial and leadership skills 

Do this within your current position and take note of times when you’ve taken on a leadership role, or when you have been able to handle a lot of pressure. Being able to pinpoint these moments will help you in your future interviews.

 

Network

It is always smart to network. Connect with professionals in your desired industry through social media. Grow a social media presence that highlights your expertise. Attend project management conventions. Keep business cards with you. Be professional, friendly and easy to approach in all settings. Don’t make enemies online, even on personal accounts.    

 

If you have any questions or comments please leave them below.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.