Tips To Become A Project Manager.

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If you’re considering the right path to get your career on track, then you could consider training to become a Project Manager. A PM career can be a vast field of work, meaning you’re sure to never get bored working in this field.

You will need to be prepared for an ever-changing career, facing new issues and situations. Most project managers are great leaders, although your past education and experiences are also very important. Here are some top tips for becoming a Project Manager.

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Choose The Right Education

You could pursue a degree in project management or business administration. However, not having a formal diploma is not always a disadvantage. You could pursue PMP certification training online, or get a degree in a subject relevant to the industry that you would like to work in as a PM.

PMs don’t belong to one industry, so a diploma in any field can come in handy if you’re working on projects that are part of different business, like finance or software development. Some companies will require you to have a degree relevant to their industry, not in project management. 

Know Your Skills

The skill set that you have can help to pave the way for your professional evolution. You will need to develop your knowledge of project management processes, techniques, frameworks, and tools, and you will also need the right soft skills in order to complete a project successfully.

The field of project management can be complex and unpredictable, so just being a good leader and a good communicator won’t be enough. These skills are important, but you will also need to be able to handle daily challenges, which will require you to be accountable, decisive, a skilled multi-tasker, and willing to take risks. 

Be Prepared For Anything

Depending on the project that you are assigned to, you will be in charge of different tasks from developing project plans and schedules to conducting training and communicating with stakeholders.

You might be in charge of an IT project one day, and then handling a construction project the next day. If you can’t handle this kind of major change, you can specialise in one field, so you can manage similar projects that your education and interests have prepared you for. 

Get Certified

Some people debate whether project management certifications are worth pursuing. However, they will help you to gain knowledge in the area of project management, and some employers may require you to gain a certain certificate. There are lots of options for this, so you can choose the certificate that will be most helpful to you and fill in the most gaps in your knowledge. 

Be Aware Of Possible Problems

Project Managers will need to be willing to sometimes work long hours in order to make sure that their project stays on track. Many PMs even stay in touch with a project’s status by checking in with team members even after work while off sick or on vacation.

For some people, the pressure of delivering a project on time can be stressful if you’re not used to holding this much authority. You must be prepared to handle long hours, juggling last-minute changes and possibly handling more than one project at a time. 

Talk To An Expert

Having a mentor can be a great idea so you’re not alone. A mentor can guide your entire career. If you can, find a skilled project manager who has the time and patience to teach you some tips and tricks to succeed in the field.

Observe how they work and help them out in order to master project management methods and processes in real-life situations. By doing this, you will be part of real projects and be able to get feedback on your contributions which you can use to improve your skills.

Try It Out

If you aren’t sure if project management is the right career for you, you can try it out. Just because you like leading a team and taking control of a project doesn’t mean that you will be able to handle all the challenges of a career in project management.

To see if this career path is for you, start with an internship or volunteer to oversee a project at work. You can use this as an opportunity to see how your current knowledge will influence the outcome of a project. Formal education is useful, but won’t allow you to see the consequences of your actions. Working on real projects will. 

Never Stop Learning

Learning isn’t just for those at the beginning of their careers. Self-development after your first years as a Project Manager is essential if you’re going to keep your career on track. In order to keep your skills polished, you should invest time in staying up-to-date with the latest news and developments in your field.

This is easy to do, thanks to the wide variety of project management blogs on the internet. You could take different project management training courses to keep developing your skills. Networking is also a good way to stay up-to-date. Network with other PMs at other companies and other industries.

You can all learn from each other and may be able to adapt interesting ideas for managing projects from other industries that will work well for you. However, if you choose to do it, brushing up on your knowledge regularly will make you a better project manager and much more effective in your job role. 

Have Fun

The best way to be good at your job is to enjoy it. If you can enjoy what you’re doing, you’re going to put more effort in. Celebrate your successes and learn how to handle the defeats in order to have a happier career.

Paired with proper training and education, this attitude will help you to succeed in the high-pressure world of project management. The right attitude will also make your projects more successful, as your mood as a leader can improve the mood of the rest of your team too. 

About the author

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Like Minds is a global thought leadership platform delivering world class events on business development, knowledge and insight aimed at entrepreneurs and business leaders to engage, stimulate and empower them to become global businesses of the future. We also offer a bespoke service for corporate clients and training programmes under the Like Minds U brand. For more information please email bespoke@wearelikeminds.com