How To Change Career To Project Management


Q: What Did You Need To Do To Become A Project Manager

How to change your career to Project Management

Maciej: First, I want to tell you what is needed to change a career path a lot of determination.

Here, at Tooploox, we have great possibilities to change career paths there are mentors, who support you and help you, and there is a general openness to changes like that. But even in a company that is so well prepared for changes in projects or roles, determination is crucial to making a big move like that.

So in fact, the greatest obstacle is ones attitude the open culture and flexibility of Tooploox shows whether one truly wishes to learn totally new skills.

And how to become a project manager? You need to be open to a lot of knowledge. And you have to learn, and learn, and did I mention learn? Articles, books, project management courses but, in the first place, real people from whom you can learn and who can share their experiences.

What Is The Project Management Triangle

The project management triangle, also known as the project triangle or triple constraint, is a tool for visualising a project’s constraints. There are three elements of a project that form the triangle to achieve a high-quality final product. Each of the triangle’s parts simultaneously has a cause and effect on the others. This means that if one element changes, the others require adjustment to preserve a high-quality end result. Highlighting these components as a triangle visually represents how they connect. The three variables that make up the triangle are:

  • Cost: This includes direct costs, which are the expenses that are essential to complete the project, such as materials and equipment. It also includes indirect costs, which don’t necessarily directly assist with the project’s completion but are still important, such as insurance or rent.

  • Scope: The project scope covers the predetermined boundaries of a project. The scope defines the size and number of objectives and deliverables, which determine the overall extent of the project.

  • Time: Project time management refers to the scheduling of deliverables and milestones. Often, a project timeline displays the tasks in order of completion, which helps a team keep everything on schedule.

Related: What is Project Success?

Why Experience And Character Are More Important Than Credentials

Before we dive in deep, I want you to understand that more than in any other job experience is key when it comes to project management. Not technical experience, but experience in dealing with complex projects involving many people.

Once you have completed your first project, you are much more skilled than at the beginning. You do another project, and yet another one, and you build up your project management tool set along the way. No formal training can help you here.

The second point is character. If something doesnt go as planned, if somebody barks at you in anger, if someone in your team doesnt do what hes supposed to do: How do you react? Do you hide behind your computer and hope the day will be over soon? Or do you deal with the situation and solve it, even if it requires a lot of energy?

The good news is: Companies are always looking for trustworthy, motivated people who execute the project plan and dont give up when things get rough

In fact, its very hard to find such kind of people, because these qualities can only be assessed on the job and not by credentials like project management certifications. You therefore have a huge advantage if this description fits you!

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Get Project Management Experience

Remember, in step three we talked about seeking learning opportunities within your industry? Now, you must scale up since you have the certification and the experience required for a promotion or project management opportunities in different companies within your industry.

You can start by revamping your resume to reflect your newly acquired certification and skills. Update the same on LinkedIn and upload your certification. Depending on your experience level and educational background, you can explore many opportunities in project management. At the entry-level, you can seek a project coordinator position.

If you have the moderate experience, positions such as project scheduler or assistant project manager can be the perfect opportunity. Advanced positions like project managers and senior project managers are ideal if you change to project management with years of related experience from your industry.

The different positions in project management vary depending on the industry. The job description may also differ from one organization to another. However, the fundamentals of project management remain the same.

How Do You Feel About Your Work Now

Interesting infographic around Project Management, but I disagree with ...

It sounds strange, but returning to Customer Services almost felt like coming home.

I didn’t have to re-train, and helping and supporting others is something that comes naturally to me.

Now I get to do that in a company whose values reflect my own, which is amazing!

I havent stopped being arty in my free time either Im still doing the quilling for fun, just for myself, and I love it.

I dont think Ill ever stop shifting in my head, though. For example, Ive recently developed a love of programming, and that has potential to become a future shift!

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Take Stock Of Experience You Already Have

Most people changing careers to project management have, at one point, handled projects, although they were not hired as project managers. We call them project managers by accident. If you are one of them, chances are you have already accumulated some experience in project management.

Analyze your knowledge and experience against the ten areas of project management. On a scale of 1-10, how can you rate your experience in the following areas?

scope management schedule management risk management

This audit will help you examine the skills you already have, where you need improvements, and the green areas. You’ll have an overview of how far you are to project management career paths. From here, it is easier to tap into the learning opportunities within your organization and beyond. The knowledge gap you’ve identified is your key to getting started in step three.

Where To Start When Switching Careers To It

As with any new venture, the best place to begin is to figure out where you want to end up. Which path is right for you? A good way to answer that question is to take our free career quiz to see what IT career matches your skills and interests. Remember that, just as on the job site, there are many specialties employers need.

You might also want to ask around the job site and the company where you currently work. There are numerous IT positions in the construction industry, and those positions will be multiplying in the coming years. Many people actually like their boss and the industry they work in â it’s true â but they desire a role other than the one that they currently occupy. If this is your case, you may find a way to stay on where you are, but in a more stable, more necessary role. This way, you can look at IT expertise as yet another skill set that you can learn and master.

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What Challenges Have You Come Up Against Since Making Your Shift And How Exactly Have You Dealt With Them

At first, I worried that returning to Customer Services might give the impression that I was going backwards in my career.

But I soon realised that my wealth of previous experience was invaluable. It made me feel confident about asking for exactly what I wanted, in a way I may not have felt if I was pursuing a brand-new area of work.

For example, I knew I wanted to work mostly from home, so I sought out roles that were designed for remote working, even though they were much more coveted and harder to find.

My friend helped me make a list of companies to approach, and I was completely honest and open about what I was looking for. That helped enormously when it came to finding the right role.

Why Are People Leaving Project Management

How to Make a Career Change to a Project Manager

Nearly 1 in 5 project managers have considered leaving their job: 37% of professionals have thought about quitting project management in the past year.

The figures look even worse for those who identify as having some project management experience: 41% have considered or seriously considered leaving it all behind and finding a different career.

So why are people leaving project management? And whats life like if you decide to quit?

In this article:

I gathered some project management statistics from original research and learned some scary facts: its hard out there for project professionals.

Lets start with this story from one project manager.

I hate the fact that project management as a supplier is about delivering as little as possible for as much as the customer can pay, rather than a quality product. In my company the project managers are responsible for everything, yet in reality have little or no control over delivery resources. The buck stops with me but there are very few ways I can influence the direction of travel.

I need my life back, and need to wake up thinking Im can make a difference at work, not dreading what is in the inbox or what disaster Im going to have to make right today.

Some days I would rather drive a bus. Frustrating, disheartened, disillusioned doesnt come close and honestly if it wasnt for the pandemic I would have left some time ago.

Anonymous project manager

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Option : Lead A Project In Your Department

See if there are any projects coming up in your department which you could lead. It could be something in your current field of work, but it doesnt have to be!

For example, if you are an engineer and your boss is looking for somebody who can implement a new KPI and controlling system to monitor costs, this would be an excellent opportunity.

Will it be easy? No!

Will you learn a lot from it? Definitely!

Four Years As A Project Manager

I spent the first year or so getting familiar with my role, the company, and the software. As an implementation manager, the role was much more âinvolvedâ than a traditional project manager role. About a year in, I got a small raise. My boss started asking questions about my decision to start an MBA education and what type of projects I enjoyed . I answered the former but ended up with the latter when realizing that I was good at problem solving and collaboration. Moreover, if I wanted to be a standout, I needed to take the road less traveled. The hard one. I think thatâs what she wanted to hear, and probably what she saw in me all along. I started getting more out-of-the-box projects, but nothing I felt was too crazy. When some game-changing projects were about to begin, it was time to speak up. I started insisting on complex projects. If you want examples of some complex projects I managed and worked through many of the challenges, check out my article and video series here.But soon the stress began to get to me. I was working full-time and going to school at night, getting more training in business and project management. However, it didnt go unnoticed. By now I had received a 20% raise and was feeling pretty good.

PMP Certification: ROI, Skills, Costs, & Life After

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Work On Your Interpersonal And Dealing Skills

Your work as a project manager is not to sit behind a desk the entire day and write reports. No company wants a dull or inactive project manager. You have to link with the people at the ground level and witness things for yourself instead of waiting for reports from team managers.

How then do you relate to people? By building proper interpersonal skills. These are the skills we normally use to communicate and interact with others and include listening, speaking and questioning skills.

Therefore, in initiating your career change, ensure that you develop your interaction skills with your fellow employees to have an easy time once you are a project manager. This also ensures that you are capable of boosting your relationship with other people.

It would help if you also learned how to build and maintain a relationship with the senior management staff to who you will be reporting. This goes beyond the normal work relationship. What happens when you conduct project workshops and team activations? How will you converse with them? Therefore, work on your interpersonal skills so that once you decide to make a career change, everyone will be certain that you are the best fit for the job.

You also need to polish your dealing skills. Management is not all about backing orders and getting everyone to follow them. You will realize that it entails lots of negotiation. You will mostly be negotiating with people, be it the top management or project teams.

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Successful Change Implementation in Organizations: 4 Components ...

Identifies as: white, she/her

Works for: a manufacturing company

Training: bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social sciences and leadership, a week-long ScrumMaster course, a Google project management certification completed in three months

Time in the field: 2 years

How did you change careers? I worked in higher education for four years and never held a “project manager” title, even though that’s a lot of what I did in my job. To switch industries, I had to translate my academic resume into corporate terminology.

I tailored the each section of my resume to match the bullet points in job descriptions and even changed the actual job titles I held. I reached out to my previous bosses, told them about my new career goals and asked for permission to change my former job titles to “project manager.”

I think it helped my resume get past applicant tracking systems and showed hiring managers I have experience doing this exact type of work.

How did you research your salary? I did a week-long ScrumMaster course and met people who’d been in project management for years. I researched average project manager salaries in my area and asked them, “Here’s what I’m expecting as a first-time project manager. Would you mind sharing the range of what you were making in your first project manager role?”

It helped to ask about a previous role as opposed to what they’re making now. Some people went on to share their whole salary history, what they’re currently at and their best negotiation tips.

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Skills Required Of A Change Manager

So, what exactly does a change manager do? The core job of a change manager is to guide, communicate, implement, and document strategies to smoothly manage change and its effects among stakeholders like employees, leadership, customers, or suppliers. Change managers assist people to adopt or buy into the organizations objectives and activities with the least possible resistance, while at the same time mitigating the organizations risk, and minimizing adverse impact on the people.

Effective change management requires the following:

  • Complete and active support of the executive and leadership
  • Active participation and involvement of employees
  • Effective communication
  • Strategic planning and analysis
  • Adoption of the idea about the need to change among stakeholders

There is a diverse skill set required to successfully bring about change in an organization. Some of the vital skills a change manager requires are as follows:

Become A Project Manager

Speak to a Learning Advisor to learn more about how our bootcamps and courses can help you become a Project Manager.

Yes, project management is definitely a good career with high salaries and plenty of variety at work, but its also a demanding job that can be highly stressful at times.

The reason project management is such a good career and Project Managers are in such high demand? Every company will always initiate projects to increase revenue, minimize cost, and boost efficiency. Thats why, according to a recent report from PMI, theres such a drastic shortage of Project Managers relative to demand. The report found that on an annual basis, employers will need to fill nearly 2.2 million new project-oriented roles each year through 2027. Further, the report found $208 billion is at risk due to that anticipated project management shortage.

Some Project Managers enjoy their jobs because of the variety no two days look alike. Others appreciate the fast-paced, urgent nature of the work. And another feature of the job many find appealing is that you can actually finish something and move on to a new challenge, which isnt the case with a lot of other positions.

Still, most Project Managers seem to think the pros outweigh the cons.

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Is Project Management The Right Career For You

Curious about project management as a career option? What does this job entail? Is it for you? The authors have been in project management for about two decades and they answer some questions you might have before deciding if this is the right career for you.

Where your work meets your life. See more from Ascend here.

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused massive disruptions globally. According to several studies, governments will spend more than $10 trillion on reconstruction projects in the next 10 years. This means there will be millions of projects more than ever put into production within the decade, and each will require a project manager.

Project management jobs are already aplenty. Do a quick search on LinkedIn and thousands of roles will pop into your feed. To the point, we did a search while writing this article and found more than half a million openings in the United States alone. These are just a few indicators that the project economy is here to stay.

If youre curious about this career, now is a great time to start learning about the field, what it takes to land a project management role, and if it is the right path for you.

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