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Your career is your own personal project

It has been said that the personality traits of a good senior project manager are similar to those of an entrepreneur. The characteristics that immediately come to mind include leading people, managing risks, and driving towards a clearly defined goal. Another similarity is a feeling of “I’m on my own”. You might be one of only a few people in your organisation recognised as a project manager and your peer group is spread thin juggling projects.

A corporate PMO can provide a home for project managers. A source of best practice, lessons learned, shared knowledge and experience. Larger clients of ours are encouraged to establish a community of practitioners, enabling likeminded project professionals to come together on a regular basis.This knowledge sharing is invaluable and if supported correctly can be the catalyst for driving towards higher levels of project management maturity.

Most of us are not able to benefit from the corporate community of practitioners support network, so where is your support network?

In an industry where so many project professionals are out in the field on their own, the value and responsibility of a professional association is significant. The APM FIVE Dimensions of Professionalism provide a universal framework for your career development. This provides clear guidance to professionals at every level and I would particularly draw your attention to the new APM Competence Framework. The framework enables you to benchmark your knowledge and experience. Establish your own benchmark and identify targets for personal development. 

But how can you tap into knowledge and experience from other practitioners? Again, the APM fills the void for those out on their own. Would you like to read practical guidance on project monitoring and control, establishing a maturity model, sponsoring change, managing risk, and even the mystical art of EVA? There are over 20 guides available at www.apm.org.uk/books, many of which can be downloaded for free by APM members. 

Your career is your own personal project. If you do have a corporate PMO then I would recommend establishing a community of practitioners for regular knowledge sharing.

Either way, take a step back and define your career development path for this year. Keep it simple but set clear targets and do make use of the tools the APM has created for you. 


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

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  1. Vince Hines
    Vince Hines 04 May 2016, 12:24 PM

    Thanks for the comments Chris and Richard.  The APM continues to support career development through their Guides and Qualifications.  The recent addition of the IC quals study guide can help anyone achieve that first step on the quals ladder, whilst the new Integrated Baseline Review (IBR) Guide is a meaty addition.  As one of the APM Awards judges I'd also really encourage peope and organisations to submit an application - you could be selected as a finalists - great career stuff if you do!

  2. Chris Mendoza
    Chris Mendoza 04 August 2015, 05:18 AM

    Definitely a nice read over here! Career building requires huge level of dedication and implementation and therefore we should be more serious about our career building. With the help of suitable career growing tips we are able to reach our career goals and in this article we can get some suitable instructions regarding career building and developing. So to develop our personal project that is known as career building we need expert tips and professional attitude.

  3. Richard Renshaw
    Richard Renshaw 04 July 2015, 09:13 AM

    Good post Vince, thank you for sharing.