Do you want to be a Project Manager?
First of all, you need to know what are the implications of being a project manager in an organization. Professionals progress in their careers and sometimes become great experts in a particular field, then as a promotion, they are moved to the project manager position without explaining them his/her new job and in many occasions without training them for it.
Being converted from a technical expert to a project manager implies several changes in your professional life. For example, you need to understand the difference between working for yourself and working with others, managing a team, delegating, making decisions, leading people. If organizations are not explaining you those matters you can not make the decision of moving forward or not. The issue many times is that organizations are promoting people as project managers and they did not have the option to say yes or no. Questions like: what is in it for me? or why do I want to be a project manager? do not come to people minds.
In my experience, a good project manager is somebody who was explained about the content, aims and skills needed for the profession and like it. Project management needs to be an enjoyable profession. Most of the things we do as project managers need to be by devotion not by obligation. That way today is a good day and tomorrow will be better!
Then if you could choose your profession, congratulations, likely project management will be your passion. If not, I wish you discover also project management as your real passion. Change and evolution is the core of our profession.
I have seen how project management has evolved significantly over time and as the nature of the industry has changed, I think that more and more organizations understand the role of project manager has become more and more important for achieving their business goals.
The continuous advance in technology, the changing environment, and its impacts and the evolution of industry have made projects a fundamental aspect of the workplace. Good project managers are sought after across industries. Sometimes pay rates are incredibly high, especially when project managers can also bring industry experience (they are able to add value). Furthermore, the demand for project managers is more and more global and demand for transferable skills is high. Even when some project managers are often on temporary contracts, the nature of the projects means they should have little problem finding a new role when a project comes to an end.
Do you add value as a project manager?
As industries and business environments change there are more risks to organizations. Sometimes the project acts as a mechanism helping an organization to evolve through changes and discover a new way of doing things. The activities that manage change processes, the launch of new products and services or the integration of new processes are themselves full of risk. The complete project manager adds value by ensuring that these risks are kept to a minimum.
By allowing the project manager to prepare a plan effectively and identify risks up front the organization is able to find the steps it needs to take through the project. Highlighting goals and setting a critical path will allow the organization to clearly see how it will get to where it wants to be. The project manager is there to ensure that such risk occurrences do not take place and that changes are integrated effectively.
Some of the reasons to become a Project Manager
- Job demand: Project Management is a current requested skill. As businesses shape themselves for the future more of their operations are being driven through projects.
- Earning more money: For good project managers, there are broad opportunities available in the market and plenty of money on offer. However, you can never expect your project will be close home, perhaps you need to travel frequently or to move to another country.
- More possibilities for professional grow: It is not only about earning more money is about broadening your scope of work and professional growth. Career-wise the sky is the limit for top class project managers.
- Dealing with people: As a project manager, one of the main aspects of your role will be to look after and manage various stakeholders.
- Traveling: Global travel is definitely a bonus for project managers. As well as the UK, Europe, and the States there is a huge demand for project managers in Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC), as well as demand down under and across the developing world.
- Industry: For some project managers industry specialisms are not important. For others, particularly sectors such as IT, Technology and Construction, industry knowledge is incredibly useful and can help you find a niche for yourself.
- Leadership and Management: If you are the sort of person who naturally takes on leadership and management positions within a group, project management will help you to further these skills as you will be responsible for driving the performance of other members of the project team.
- Results driven: For those who enjoy seeing the tangible results of work then project management is for you. The project, with its strict time, cost and outcome parameters will very clearly allow you to see the fruits of your labor.
- Responsibility: Project management is not for the faint-hearted. From the start, you will be a figurehead of the project and handed responsibility. If you like pressure then project management is for you.
- Change: Each day you’ll be given different challenges. Somebody who enjoys change is a good candidate as a project manager.
If you want to be a project manager TODAY IS A GOOD DAY for you and if you work on your professional development, TOMORROW WILL BETTER!
Alfonso Bucero, MSc, PMP, PMI-RMP, PFMP, PMI Fellow