Don't be afraid to move industry. Your skills have universal relevance

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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:

Find out more about starting / developing a career in project management

Vince Hines

Posted by Vince Hines on 12th Jan 2016

About the Author

Vince is the Managing Director of Wellingtone PPM; the project management consulting company based in Windsor, Berkshire. We retain a particular focus not just in the UK but Ireland and Spain.  Wellingtone is the only organisation that is both a Microsoft Gold Partner with the PPM Specialisation as well as an APM Accredited training provider.  Wellingtone is also the exclusive UK partner of the PMO Global Alliance and PMO Value Ring as well as PMOtto; the AI Bot for MS Project Online.

Wellingtone works closely with the APM and sponsors the Annual Salary Survey as well as the PMO of the Year Award.  We also run our PMO focused annual conference; FuturePMO.  We have developed courses in Legal Project Management and the PMO, both of which have been Accreditred by the APM as part of the APM Professional Courses route.

Our "PPM Intelligence" is also demonstrated by publishing The State of Project Management; the largest piece of annual reseearch of its kind in conjunction with UCL, the APM PMO SIG and the APM Systems Thinking SIG.

Vince is an expert Project Management Consultant, having worked with clients across the UK, US and Europe. He retains a number of professional qualifications including MAPM and has extensive real world experience of developing client project management maturity. As an active member of the APM community Vince is also a judge for the Annual APM Awards.

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