Project management - Should this be your next career move?

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It is fair to say that a career in project management is not for everyone. There are a number of important soft skills that are required in addition to the project management qualifications that can make all the difference to anyone looking to success in the industry.

These soft skills include being a good communicator, having the ability to make strong decisions, and being good at working under pressure. Of course, having the right skill knowledge and soft skills in itself is not enough. Project management is about the ability to combine everything.

As a job, project managers are increasingly sought after. Companies are realising that if they want to stay at least on a par with their competitors then this is a necessary role that they need to fill. This means that there is certainly no shortage of jobs and those who posses the skills that employers are looking for are likely to find themselves in high demand.

What exactly is project management?

Project management refers to the organisation process of any project and its plan, the objectives and milestones of the project, the deliverables and even the members of the project team and how they are managed. The goal is to use all of these to ensure the successful delivery of a project within both budget and timeframe.

A project manager is therefore the person who manages the project and is responsible for the planning, managing and execution of the tasks involved in the project.

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Being an effective project manager means having the ability to consider the feasibility of the project. They need to create a management plan for the project, identify the key deliverables and break everything down into easy manageable tasks that can be assigned to the members of the team. The project manager is also responsible for overseeing the smooth operation of the project from start to finish.

If you are thinking about a career in project management then here are some of the things that you may want to consider.

Project management is a straightforward career path

It isn’t every job that has a clear career path. There are some that are dead ends and others that make lateral moves more likely – and while this is okay for some people it doesn’t suit everyone.

For some project managers the job actually begins by accident. They may already be in a position where they are doing a number of the tasks normally attributed to a project manager and are asked to take more work on to become the “official” project manager. For others, the path can begin with APM, PMP and PRINCE2 courses that will give them the qualifications that they need to undertake the role. Project management can lead to a rise up the career ladder within a company, depending on the structure of the company and of course a person’s desire to take those steps.

The salary

As we have already mentioned, the demand for project managers is on the increase and in a recent report from PMI it was found that over the course of the next 10 years it is expected that the demand for project managers is likely to grow faster than demand for any other type of worker. In fact, by 2027, the projection is that there will be a need for almost 88 million individuals working in some form of project management role.

Don’t forget, those jobs that are in high demand also attain higher salaries. This may be something to consider when thinking about a move to project management.

Lots of options

While many job roles are tied to a particular industry, this is not true of project management. The qualifications, skills and experience that you gain with project management are very portable. That means that there are a wide range of industries that you can work in. These include software, construction, architecture, health care, finance, energy and law.

No two projects are exactly the same

Projects are all unique in their own ways and they are temporary. The undertaking of each new product development is different from the last, and perhaps more importantly, as time goes by projects will require a completely different set of initiatives to those that were completed last year or even a couple of years ago.

There are always projects to be learned from past projects, and they can be a valuable source of information to help you improve the way in which you approach new projects.

Expand your knowledge

Project management is a continual learning process. There is always new knowledge to gain both in terms of improvements you can make to your soft skills and also your project management knowledge. This is a rapidly changing field and new methods are being worked on all of the time. Keeping abreast of these changes might be a challenge at times. However, it is something well worth doing.

Pay more attention to the details

Whilst attention to detail is a good skill to have for most jobs, when it comes to project management it is essential. Those small details can really make all the difference to the success of a project. Project management can train you to notice those details more and improve your transferable skills.

Make an impact

Many people are looking for that role that is worthwhile and meaningful in order to make sure that they are making a contribution that is noticed. Project management continually throws challenges your way, making this a possibility on a regular basis. When your project is on track you will feel like you are doing everything right, and when you hit a problem, you are able to find a solution to you will be making that positive impact on your project.

If you are looking for a career path that will allow you to feel fulfilled with the work that you do, then project management could be a great choice. This is a role that will present you with plenty of challenges to keep you on your toes and allow you to develop a great arsenal of skills that will be highly transferable.

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