Your career is your own personal project

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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, 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

Vince Hines

Posted by Vince Hines on 2nd Jul 2015

About the Author

Vince is the Managing Director of Wellingtone, the project management recruitment, training and consulting company based in Windsor, Berkshire. The Association for Project Management and Wellingtone have formed a unique alliance to provide a career development service to the project management profession. Wellingtone is also an APM accredited training company and a Microsoft Gold Partner for Project and Portfolio Management. 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 Managing Director of Wellingtone Vince has a particular insight into career development and recruitment of project management professionals and is a judge for the Annual APM Awards.

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