How to Kick Start a Career as a Project Manager

How to Kick Start Career as a Project Manager

Project management has become an integral part of most positions in all industries, and organizations from healthcare, to construction, to the education industry. Project managers are in charge of one or more projects within a company.

Project managers are responsible for monitoring, evaluating, analyzing, implementing, planning resources, finances, organizing business documents related to a particular project, and getting things done. Project managers work alongside the team, or directly with higher management to ensure that each project milestone is taken care of and met.

Project managers help organizations get things done, and manage projects. Your role will include tasks like; planning resources for a particular project, creating projects, and communicating project plans with higher management, or directly with the client, managing changes within a project, ensuring effective teamwork power, effective delegation to ensure project target is met on time, control cost, motivating, and encouraging the team, to ensure the passion for the project doesn’t die.

Project management is quite a challenging but pretty much rewarding career, that offers numerous benefits like job satisfaction, and a good salary. There is a place for project managers in every company.

 How is this possible…?

All companies have project goals and milestones to be achieved, and project managers help organizations to grow and succeed in the face of pressure. This is why project management is one career, that won’t lose its relevance in a very long time.

if you are just starting out in this industry or looking to kick-start your career fully, read on to secure your buoyancy in this career.

Why You Should Consider a Career Path in Project Management

A career path in project management offers stability, growth, and a whole lot of other benefits. Here is why considering a career path in project management, might just be the best decision you have made.

  • Attractive Salary

Most project management positions offer high salaries. You can earn an attractive salary that will offer you the luxury of long-term stability.

  • Job Security

All firms, including large-scale and medium enterprises, need this service to grow and succeed because it ensures that milestones are met. The high demand for a project manager will protect you from job loss and the fear of losing your job, given you are good and do your job exceptionally well.

  • Job Opportunities

The constant demand for businesses to become smarter, and come up with innovative ideas, has made the position of a skilled project manager, a vital and necessary role that must be filled and played effectively. Project Management is a growing industry, and there’s an increasing demand for project managers, to fill many project management positions, as many fields need professional and highly skilled project managers.

  • Career Opportunities

This field opens you up to a lot of career options, as project management arms you with skills of setting project goals, establishing tasks, evaluating progress, making adjustments, and achieving desired results and applying them, to any career path you want to pursue. You can also decide to move upwards, or perhaps change positions within different industries.

  • You Develop Skills, Constantly Learn and Make an Impact

This field allows you to constantly develop your existing skills, and improve your confidence in getting things done. You become proactive and make a positive impact on the projects you handle. You become invaluable, as you create new strategies, that will help you solve and handle projects.

Educational Outlook

You require a bachelor’s degree in IT (engineering), management, or business administration. If you are transitioning from a different field, don’t panic,  project management is applied in different areas so you’re good to go. The necessary knowledge and skillset can be gotten on the job through courses, workshops, or self-education.

Key Skills a Project Manager Should Have

Knowledge of project management is most times not enough for you to effectively handle the role of a project manager. You need soft skills and hard skills, to effectively and efficiently handle problems. These skills are a must-have for those intending to fully jump-start their career in this field are:

  • Confidence.
  • Interpersonal skills.
  • Flexibility.
  • Contract management.
  • Risk management skills.
  • Monitoring and evaluating skills.
  • Strong leadership skills.
  • Proven project and self-management skills.
  • Strong business acumen.
  • Ability to make decisions under pressure.
  • Analytical skills.
  • Creative minds and time management skills.
  • Problem-solving skills.
  • Accountability and work ethics.
  • Organizational and multi-tasking skills.
  • In-depth understanding of project management tools.
  • Decisiveness.
  • Adaptability.

How to Become a Project Manager

Do you find yourself taking up roles that involve project management? Are you opting for a change of career path? Or were you promoted to a role that demands knowledge of this field?

You may be new in this field or have become a project manager one way or the other, considering the kind of job you do and the activities involved in achieving your task.

Well, I bring you good news! these tips will help you jump-start your career, offering you a fresh start to do things the right way, and have fun doing your job.

1. Enhance Your Knowledge/skill sets

Project managers need both soft, and hard management skills, as this will help them effectively get the job done while managing projects. The skill sets required is divided into two;

  • Soft skills will help your communication and relationship with people. Examples of soft skills include; leadership, communication, negotiation, influence, conflict management, decision-making, time management skills, etc.
  • Hard skills are technical skills required, for delivering and taking care of projects in project management. It includes an in-depth understanding of software and tools used in this field. Examples of hard skills include; project schedule, risk reports, project budget, etc.

2. Attend training, Workshops, and register for Online Courses.

A standard training, that will award you an international and widely recognized certificate like PMP, is necessary and a great place to start if you are new in this field. Some just want candidates with hard and soft skills, this is why attending training, and workshops will go a long way in molding your skills, and the promise of a bright career.

Constantly improve your skills, and knowledge by self-educating, taking online courses to equip you with the soft and hard skills required for this job profile.

3. Team Up With A Mentor

An experienced mentor will boost your growth in this field, and help you learn from, and avoid making mistakes. You will learn from and avoid errors and mistakes from your past experiences which will help you become better and more productive. This will help strengthen your grip and understanding of how things and processes work in this field, you make fewer mistakes, have more wins, and fewer regrets.

4. Get Some Real-life Work Experience

Find suitable vacancies, write a winning CV and start taking up real-life project management jobs. Most times, it won’t be a huge project—but, it’s a great start. Along the line, you will move from smaller projects to large projects and more.

Salary Outlook

How much do Project Managers earn? According to the Project Management Institute (PMI),  Project Managers earn a global median salary of $90,260. Have it in mind that the earning potential of Project Managers varies depending on experience, location or geography, job role, and company.

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS, 2019), graphic designers earn a median annually salary of $52,110.

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