Becoming a project manager - is it the career move for you?

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We all know project management is increasingly becoming recognised as a professional role across a wide range of industries and sectors. You may have already assumed the role of project manager as part of your existing job, or on a temporary basis, and you are now wondering whether to transition permanently to being a full-time project manager. But is it a smart career move and is it a sustainable career for the future? How far will a project management career be able to develop and does it have any limits that will hold you back in your career? Let’s take a look at the benefits of embarking on a career as a professional project manager.

There are many ways to get your foot in the door

Project management is a field with a wide array of job prospects. There are plenty of training and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) opportunities and you can become certified at various levels; ultimately becoming a chartered project professional, if you have the aptitude and desire.

There are also opportunities to start out as a project management apprentice and learnwhile gaining real-world experience. There are also many different positions available for project managers across a wide range of companies from tech firms, energy and construction companies to hospitality companies. If you are interested in taking this step talk to the senior managers in your organisation. Make your desire to move into project management known and listen to what they say. Do they think you have the aptitude to make a good project manager? Do they have small or simple projects which you could take on as you build your experience?

You will do something different every day

If you are someone who likes to be challenged and you don’t want to be in a repetitive job, project management is a good choice. You are likely to be doing something different every day, and there will be new challenges and new concepts to tackle. During a career as a project manager you will work on different projects, maybe in different industries, and face unique challenges and demands. If you thrive on pressure you will excel in such a demanding environment.

You will meet and interact with new people

If you are a people person, this is definitely a career path to consider.  Projects often involve significant change, so being able to communicate and influence key people is critical.

You can travel the world

Clearly not all project management positions involve travel, but many of them do. You may need to visit new locations, meet with clients overseas, as well as visit remote project teams you are managing. Not only this, but you can actually relocate abroad and pursue this role overseas if you wish to do so at a later stage in your career. Project management qualifications are transferrable and recognised across the globe. Bear in mind that travel, whilst sounding attractive, can be challenging if you want a steady and structured home life.

You can easily transition into other roles

One of the great things about project management is that the PM skills you will learn are useful in making a transition from a specialist role to a general management role. Just as many people transition into project management it is also possible to transition onwards into other roles. As a project manager, you will essentially have learnt the skills of a leader; you will master the art of communication, and time, people and resource management. These are skills that are extremely valuable in a whole host of corporate positions.

As you can see, there are many different reasons why project management might be a good career move, but it can also be challenging, with demanding targets and deadlines. There’s always a need for good project managers, in almost every industry and every place. Not only is this a profession that is thriving and in high demand at the moment, but you will develop skills that can help you transition into other roles too; potentially leading to another new career path in the future.

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Posted by Paul Naybour on 3rd May 2018

About the Author
Paul Naybour is Business Development Director for Parallel Project Training. He is a well known speaker in the APM Branch Network, a Project Management Training and Consultant, working for Parallel Project Training. He also runs the PM news site Project Accelerator.

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