Don't be afraid to move industry. Your skills have universal relevance
A new project management challenge could mean a new industry. So are your project management skills transferable? Can you move industry? The good news is that, yes, it is indeed possible.
The tools and techniques of project management are universal. A good project manager should be able to add value in any environment. Most project managers, however, bring some specific subject matter expertise with them so they wear, in effect, two hats. The hat of the professional project manager and the hat of an expert in building bridges, installing IT systems or managing business process change.
This subject matter expertise could be industry-specific technical knowledge, but it could also be project experience. If you have run a business transformation project in one industry, then organisations in another industry will value that experience.
If you wish to move industry, then ensure your CV focuses on your transferable skills: your project management skills. Remove industry-specific jargon or detailed technical information from your CV. If this information is not relevant, then it will be of no interest to the recruiter.
Programme management office (PMO) professionals, in particular, have very transferable skills, just like professionals with other corporate infrastructure experience such as HR and finance. I know many PMO professionals who have successfully moved industries several times, building their experience on every occasion.
A candidate with experience of different environments is more interesting. Having that depth of experience can only make you a better project management professional. So do dip a toe into the world beyond your industry. New challenges await!
Vince Hines is managing director at Wellingtone Project Management, an APM career development partner.
Other blogs in this series:
- What are you worth?
- Being 'social' is essential to your career success
- Making the jump from project coordinator to project manager
- Is it time to go contracting?
- How good are your project management skills?
- Your career is your own personal project