Feel like leaving? We’ve all had days like that, when your sponsor doesn’t return calls and you need a critical decision made now, your team misses a milestone.
Finance is on the phone asking why your project budget is overspent this month…
You feel like, maybe project management isn’t for you, and a nice job in another sector would be more suited to your talents.
Let’s see what’s available out there…
But wait just a moment!
Project management is a great career choice. Give me until the end of this article and I’ll see if I can convince you to stay in your project management job.
Here are my best 5 reasons why you should keep on managing projects.
1. You get to be cutting edge
That project you’re working on, it’s going to change the business, right? You’re busy launching a new product, improving a service, changing the users’ perception of your department or managing some other upgrade or change. That’s what projects are all about.
OK, upgrading a telephony switch might not seem very cutting edge but it is improving your company and moving your business forward to help meet its strategic goals. That’s important work!
You also get to use cutting-edge project management tools. The systems we use in project management are often far advanced from what is in use in other departments. Project management offices (PMO) have many solutions available to them from tailored enterprise systems to store products aimed specifically at their industry, like construction or creative firms. There aren’t many jobs where you can say that you’re using systems that are at the forefront of technology.
2. There is career progression
Start out as a project coordinator and within a few years, you could be leading large, strategic projects. There is a clear career path within project management, plus the option to move into allied professions like program management, portfolio management, business analysis or running a PMO. Every project is different, so you can easily move from managing something relatively small and risk-free to larger, more important projects with bigger teams and more investment.
Before you know it you’ll be leading a massive portfolio of strategic changes if that’s what you want to do! If you’d rather stick with smaller projects or in an industry, then that’s fine too – there’s plenty of scope for project managers to do all of those things.
3. There are lots to learn
Project managers are generally people who like to keep learning and there are certainly loads of techniques to practice keeping your interest. Whether you want to know more about the soft skills of project management (conflict resolution, negotiation, etc.) or the most technical skill (earned value, scheduling, risk management etc.), there are courses on practically everything.
If you can’t take a course for some reason you’ll probably find that your employer offers some in-house training. Failing that, there are hundreds of project management books so get yourself something to read on your commute. You can even get a mentor or coach if you prefer to learn by discussing things with an expert.
There’s no reason to let your brain stagnate. If you enjoy learning new things, then stick with project management. It’s constantly evolving and there are always more tips and techniques to get to grips with.
4. You can earn certifications
Some people are motivated by earning qualifications and again project management is a great career for that. There are the industry-leading qualifications such as PMP and then a lot of specialized qualifications in technical subjects too. PMI has a range of these such as PMI – RMP, the Risk Management Professional qualification.
Certificates and credentials also bump up your earning power, so if you think you could earn more cash in a different sector think again. Maybe all you need is a credential to get into the next pay bracket. Talk to your employer and find out what they think – they might even stump up the money for you to go on the course or pay for your exam!
5. It’s varied
You’d be hard pushed to find a job that is more varied than project management. One minute you’re managing the launch of a new software product. The next you’re talking to the technical team about a project to upgrade all the cables under the floor in your new office. Project managers are flexible people and if you like a challenge and meeting new people, then the variety that comes with projects will keep your interest for many years.
The skills you gain as a project manager will transfer between many organizations, so if you find yourself getting bored of the same old projects at one employer, a change to be a project manager in another business will soon show you that there is plenty of variety and yet more experience to be gained in project management.
Of course, we all have days when we’d like to throw in the towel, buy a yacht and sail around the world. But don’t let those days make you think about leaving project management as a job. It’s a great career choice and if your current company doesn’t offer you the 5 things above it might be worth looking for a project management job somewhere else – but you don’t have to leave the profession completely!
I hope this will convince you to stick at project management as a career. Enjoy that glass of wine and look forward to going to work tomorrow and being a great project manager, taking advantage of all the career benefits that come with this job!
Looking for a cutting-edge project management system that will keep your teams engaged and your projects moving forward?
TouchBase from ProductDossier is such Integrated Project Management solution. With innovative features like Project Planning, Execution, Timesheet Management, Collaboration, Document Management, Project Financials, Reporting, Dashboards, Issues and Meeting Management and much more, one can manage his projects very successfully within schedule time, cost and resources.