Project Management Is Still One Of The Best Careers Out There
The project managers career path can be challenging to navigate. But its worth it in the end.
Not only do project managers have one of the best jobs in the worldworking with people and seeing the impact they have on real users. But project management is only becoming more in-demand.
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According to one report from the Project Management Institute, there will be 22 million new project management jobs by 2027. With a little bit of planning and a lot of hard work, one of the best ones can be yours.
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Why Should You Set Project Management Objectives & Goals
I mean, youve got your project roadmap. Thats gotta be enough, right? Not quite.
Your roadmap may layout the journey through a successful project launch, but the benchmarks along the way are where the real magic happens, especially when it comes to your professional development goals.
Before we dive in, we have a little disclaimer: In this post, were going to use the words goals and objectives interchangeably. In your professional experience, you might have previously held separate definitions for these words, but in the context of this article, they are synonymous.
Phew, glad we got that out of the way. Now onto the good stuff.
Project management is exciting because its always growing and allows project managers to learn something new almost every day with the sophistication of their projects. Setting goals helps you keep up with those changing trends and ultimately deliver a product that will bring your stakeholders to tears.
Since setting goals in project management is such a great way to improve the quality of your projects, it is, by extension, also an excellent way to improve yourself! By aligning your own project management goals with the overall direction of your company, you are committing to the success of your future selfand that relationship always comes first.
Theres another reason why you should invest some extra time into project management goals.
Project Manager Goal Setting
Where do you see yourself in five years? No one likes this question because you cant think that far ahead. Its impossible to know what offbeat event is going to happen tomorrow, let alone five years from now, and how this will impact you.
Goals are essential to plan for the future and give you a rational way of charting a path from an identified situation the now, to what you aspire to be the ideal. Goal setting for a project manager involves the process and not just the destination. It is the track from point As-Is to point To-Be.
Discover some project manager goal setting examples to protect yourself from project derailment, and ensure great project outcomes.
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Help Them Develop A Growth Mindset
I touched earlier on the importance of having a growth mindset. It’s not enough just to want to grow your managers. What if they don’t believe they can grow? Or if they do, maybe they need to develop the right growth practices.
Your managers have to believe they can improve and learn new skills both to succeed in their role and with their team.
Your team won’t thrive if you don’t believe they can develop new skills. They’ll be suffocated and bored doing only the same things you currently trust they can do. They’ll also be held back if you aren’t learning the skills necessary to level up as a leader, which will allow you to better support them.
Here are 3 growth-related professional development goals for managers:
Build A Powerful Team
Building a strong team could be an asset to implementing and achieving a SMART goal. Working with others can help you achieve your goals and complete your projects more effectively. Include your team in the making of your SMART goals so you can collaborate as the project progresses. Some examples of building a powerful and effective team may include:
Delegating and assigning tasks based on the talents and strengths of your team members
Developing a group calendar and setting up email reminders for everyone on the team
Providing your team members with proper training and certifications
Planning team-building programs and other social activities to increase morale, enthusiasm and team-bonding
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Examples Of Smart Goals For Project Management
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If youre struggling to communicate with employees effectively, your problems might stem from a lack of precise goals rather than insufficient soft skills. One of the best ways to create a good baseline for a project is to use SMART goals. Project management relies on proper planning to get the project underway, and its those with vague objectives that fail from the start.
This article will discuss how SMART goals can improve projects by tackling them in smaller, easy-to-digest chunks.
What You Will Learn
Set Career Goals And Use The Proper Tools To Achieve Them
You have at least ten examples of career goals now to get the gears turning and set some for yourself. Do any of these suggestions sound like something youd like to accomplish? Or did one of them give you an idea for something else?
When it comes to your professional development goals, take some time to decide what is next on your to-do list. From there, identify the short-term and long-term steps you need to follow that will help you make it a reality.And if you want the perfect tool to help you manage them, make sure you !
Logan Derrick is a full-time business writer and content marketing strategist. For years, he has worked closely with several project management professionals, learning from them and increasing his own knowledge of the industry. Having held multiple management positions in fields ranging from customer service to marketing, Logan has found a passion for helping others learn about project management, marketing, and the powerful tools available to professionals today.
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Start Your Own Business
While the process of building a business may be considered more of a long-term career goal, theres nothing stopping you from at least starting it today. The internet has made so many aspects of being an entrepreneur easier as it becomes more user-friendly on a daily basis. It seems anyone can create their own website and offer anything from products to client services.
If your professional goals include running your own company, theres no time like the present to develop your plan and start taking the steps to build it. Decide what you are passionate about and look for opportunities to disrupt the industry by starting a business.
Being Proactive To Mitigate Risks In Advance
As a project manager, one of your main goals is to minimize risks in order to avoid problems during the execution of your project. By being proactive and taking steps to mitigate risks in advance, you can avoid costly delays or disruptions later on down the line. If you can effectively mitigate risks, you’ll see a positive impact on your project’s overall success.
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Types Of Goals In Project Management
There are three types of goals in project management.
The first is project outcome goals. These are the statements of tasks that need to be completed for the project to be considered complete. The second is high-level project management performance goals that apply to the overall performance of the team and project manager. These goals measure efficacy, productivity, and success. The third is project-level project management performance goals that apply your high-level goals to a single project.
Creating A Project Manager Resume Objective
A lot of work went into you becoming a project manager. Before you begin constructing your project manager resume objective, you need to write down all your qualifications, education, and experience, as these provide your essential information for employers. Remember that the more you write down, the better. Don’t short-change yourself, as you can always cut things at the end.
Earn A Degree Or Certification
While the education system is a constant topic of scrutiny, people with a college diploma will likely always have an edge over those who dont, as long as they have the work ethic to back it up. The deciding factor will typically relate to the industry you want to end up in and how high up the ladder you want to climb. Though there are exceptions, research will show you that most Fortune 500 CEOs have a degree.
University provides the ability to gain knowledge of the holistic side of business, making it easier for graduates to grow in their field and understand details others may not. As far as long-term career goals go, this one can have a 2-6 year commitment paired with a hefty price tag. Youll need to do your research and prepare yourself accordingly.
Go Beyond The To Do List
This should perhaps be the career aspiration that you need to focus on irrespective of the industry that you belong to. You would be able to focus on the day to day aspects of your job, and thus you will be in a detail oriented role. The strategic aspects of the high level performance can prove to be quite a great idea in assuring you that you can think strategically. Make sure how you can align your tasks with the wider business goals.
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Focussing On The Deadlines Relentlessly
A relentless focus on the deadlines would be much expected, and the trickiest part that you would come across would be to chase the deadlines. If you really want to excel in your career, it is quite essential and important to focus on how you would be able to meet the deadlines. You would be able to complete the tasks in time, and you will also be able to improve your performance further.
Become A Regular Reader
If you’ve been a leader for long, you know that the learning never really ends.
That’s what’s so great about developing a regular reading habit. You will then always be learning and leveling up.
And if you can get your managers to embrace reading, they’ll always be developing their skills, too.
To get you or them started, you can put together a curated list of great books. Two of our favorites we highly recommend are:
Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People“
Carnegie’s classic stands the test of time as one of the most valuable books any leader can read. It will teach you so much about managing and motivating people through timeless stories that make it an easy read.
In the book, Carnegie breaks down countless insights on how people work, what really motivates them, and mistakes to avoid as a leader.
It also covers key lessons on the power and best approaches to giving praise, how to retain your best employees, and how to approach written communication to get the results you really want.
If the soft skill side of management is particularly a weakness for a manager you’re helping, this is the book to get them.
Andy Grove’s “High Output Management“
If you had your managers read only one book, this is the one for them to read.
Written by legendary Intel founder Andy Grove, the book dives into many of the concepts we’ve talked about so far and even coins essential management terms we still talk about 35+ years later like Task Relevant Maturity.
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Continually Develop Best Career Goals
If you’re looking to improve your skills or advance from an assistant to a project manager role, taking steps to earn a project management designation through the Project Management Institute should be among your best career goals. Not only does this effort help you become more proficient in your duties, it also demonstrates your skill and professionalism to potential employers. Additionally, it opens the doors to a wide range of professional development opportunities.
Adhere To The Project Requirements
Every project has a specific set of requirements that needs to be followed no matter what. Adhering to the project requirements is a primary goal of project management. Ignoring the project requirements can get you in huge trouble and can even cost you your job. Be responsible and understand every aspect of the project better than anyone else on your team.
Use different tools available in the market to keep track of every minute detail because you cannot compromise when it comes to the project requirements. Use these tools to your advantage to make your job a little bit easier with the added technology assistance.
Ambitious: Let The Data Do The Decision
What drives your decisions as a product manager? The answer to this will be different for everyone, but itâs usually a combination of factors.
In fact, itâs sometimes as simple as âitâs what everyone else is doing.â
If this is the case, and you find it hard to justify development decisions, try leveraging data wherever possible. Becoming a data-driven decision-maker may require some ambitious reprogramming in your brain. Still, it will also be a huge asset â because itâs very tough to argue with hard numbers.
Achievable: Understand The Link Between Product Development And The Bottom Line
Because you spend a lot of time working on the functional details of your product, this role can sometimes feel overly tactical. If youâre feeling too disconnected from the bigger organizational picture, a great long-term career goal would be to understand the link between product development and your companyâs financial performance.
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Career Goals For Project Managers
Question: Where will you be 5 years from now? Yes, the dreaded question. The one that makes you sweat because youâre a project manager and youâre just not sure.
You often canât think 5 years ahead because youâre so focused on getting your projects wrapped up successfully. Thatâs well and goodâyou should focus on your projects. But donât forget to think about yourself.
Whether youâre looking to make yourself a better project manager or you want to figure out where youâll land in 10 years, you should come up with some actionable goals to check in on.
How To Take The Next Step On Your Career Ladder In 7 Steps
Taking your next big step on the project manager career path takes work, commitment, and purpose.
As much as youd love your work to speak for itself, its rarely enough. Instead, you need to be more proactive if you want to move up in the industry. Here are a few best practices for how to successfully navigate your career move.
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Here Are A Few Tips On How To Organize And Condense Your Skill Set In Your Resume Objective And Help You Stand Out
Think of your resume like any other project that needs wrangling. A resume objective is in many cases, no longer considered a necessity on your resumea career summary is more common nowadays. But depending on the project manager jobs you’re applying for, a resume objective can help differentiate you from the competition. Although it’s challenging to condense all your skills into a few sentences, these tips and examples can guide you.
Improve Team Collaboration & Communication
There is always room for improvement in team collaboration and communication, which makes this project management goal a great one to strive for. But before you set that goal, you first need to determine how exactly you can improve upon it. It might be something like setting up a messenger channel on WhatsApp, starting a regular weekly Skype meeting to catch up with everyones work, or better yet investing in a team collaboration and communication app.
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Improve Communication And Collaboration
This may be a short term goal, but its here for the long-haul. Even if we didnt suggest improved communication and collaboration as a top priority, this objective would likely still have a place in your group because good communication requires constant effort!
Now, if you are currently sitting in your swivel chair asking yourself, but if Im always going to have to work on communication, then isnt the goal not time-bound and therefore not SMART?
No. Its still SMART.
Be clear and thoughtful with how your define improvement in this area by looking back on past projects or recent challenges. Hindsight is 20/20, can you now retrace lines of miscommunication back to their root causes?
Maybe this comes in the form of too many channels of communication, i.e., Susan loves email but Jimmy prefers Slack, and youd rather put a pin in it until everyone can just hash it out over Zoom on Monday?
I sincerely hope that is not your current situation.
But its never too late to put a definitive process in place. Identify the pain points and start laying out a solution in writing for the project team to follow and refer back to.
Now that your team knows when, where, and how to talk to each other, make sure they know its 100% encouraged.
Project manager pro tip: if youre going to encourage the team to connect and share new ideas, make sure youre willing to listen too.