In the past few years alone, the project management field has seen an incredible amount of growth across industries. Especially as technology becomes a more crucial component of business and more and more companies have a large amount of their workforce working remotely, the essential skills of a project manager are becoming increasingly valuable. If you’re looking to get ahead in project management, here are just a few ways to pursue the career of your dreams.
Pursue the Best Degree for the Job
This step takes a bit of early planning. While it’s possible to pursue a career in project management at almost any age, it always helps to come to the job with a degree that speaks to your experience in management, team development and interpersonal skills. If you’re pursuing a project management career in tech, you might consider a degree in electrical engineering, computer science, or coding. For a construction-based career in project management, you’ll need something more along the lines of a civil engineering degree.
Get Familiar with the Software
Most jobs in the project management field depend heavily on technology for organization and communication. Even if you’re not working in the tech sector, it always helps to have a firm grasp on the most helpful and efficient types of chat platforms and scheduling technology available. For PMs dealing with a decentralized workforce, a type of cloud-based software like Clarizen can be ideal for tracking progress and meeting goals.
Consider Continuing Education
Even if you’re coming to project management with a great level of experience and education, you might find that there are aspects of the job you’d like to know more about. In the project management field, things develop and change quickly, especially when it comes to technology. Pursuing continuing education in any form can be a great way to keep up with the ever-changing tide. It will also give you a great advantage over the competition.
Seek Out Industries with Potential for Upward Mobility
According to 20-year project management professional Frank Ryle, the best project managers are able to be “comfortable with ambiguity.” This can mean keeping an open mind when it comes to creative problem solving, being versatile and ready to take a hands-on approach at any moment, or simply being ready to step up to the plate when the time comes. When pursuing a career in project management, don’t be afraid to seek out companies that will test your limits and explore your full potential. Seek out that ambiguity and embrace it.
Networking is a crucial component of any successful career. Knowing when and how to link up with potential hires, collaborators or team members outside of work can mean the difference between a varied, successful career and falling behind in your industry. When it comes to networking, try to keep your eyes open for new opportunities and exciting challenges. Even if you’re not looking around for new contacts right at that moment, the connections you make now will come in handy later.