Do you want to become a project manager?

Cheerful businessman discussing a new business project with the members of his team

There’s a huge demand for experienced project managers in all industries. It’s estimated that 9.9% of every dollar is wasted because project performance doesn’t match initial expectations. And business leaders recognize this.

Business leader Brian Setencich is an example of someone who made a seamless transition between the public and private sectors. He has compiled a cheat sheet for anyone who wants to get into this sector in 2019.

Become an Expert at Goal Setting

Brian says that you should be sure that becoming a project manager is your goal this year. However, the best project managers are those who can set goals and figure out a plan to meet them.

This is highly valued by business leaders who say that a lack of clear goals is the most common reason for project failure.

Learn to set goals and have plans for how to meet them.

Do You Need an Education?

Someone who has already worked in the business world and who already possesses a college degree doesn’t need to go back to school. Experience is what counts the most in a good project manager.

It’s the type of sector that’s defined by experience over education. You’re only going to get better with time.

Where Should I Start Getting Experience?

To understand what makes a good project manager you need to look at it from the other side. Brian says you should start by being part of a project.

Thankfully, most employees will experience this at some point. Volunteering for the company’s next project is the best way of getting experience.

Observe how the project is managed and how all the constituent parts come together.

Get a Mentor

Nobody is going to get a project management job from day one. To increase your chances of acquiring a position you should seek out a mentor.

Don’t expect to be paid for this.

Approach a project manager within your company and ask them if you can shadow them as they work. Make it clear that you want to become a project manager. The chances are they’ll allow you to assist them.

Their mentorship will become invaluable. Project managers learn best when they’re on the job.

Build Your Competence Beyond the Conventional

Brian says the most common project management skills revolve around communication, planning, and managing process. These are the core skills most wannabe project managers focus on.

Typically, the best project managers have skills that go beyond that. Good managers are useless if there’s nothing more to them.

Things like commercial acumen, leadership, being able to collaborate, and knowing how a project fits into the strategy of the company set aside project managers from their peers.

The best way to learn?

Training is the most common route, but there’s a lot of rich content found online and through social media that can help you.

Utilize Cutting Edge Knowledge

Project managers often see their performance levels drop because they don’t keep their knowledge current. Brian says there are pieces of knowledge that will always remain relevant to project managers.

But it’s a constantly evolving field. One of the key areas he recommends training in is Continuous Professional Development (CPD). This area of project management is a ‘must’ in 2019.

Where Can I Get My First Position?

Brian recommends choosing project managership as a vocation within your current place of work. Use your connections to work your way into a position, even if it’s just being an assistant or managing smaller projects.

Don’t quit your job in the hope of finding a specific role elsewhere. Without training and without experience, your chances outside of your current place of work are slim to say the least.

Last Word – Becoming a Project Manager in 2019

If you want to become a project manager, you must choose it as your career not just as an ‘add on’ to your current job. The average salary, as of 2018, is around $80k, so you can imagine how competitive this field is.

Begin by making little transitions into this field by undergoing training and trying to get what experience you can. Don’t leave everything behind and take a great leap into the unknown.

Do you want to be a project manager?

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