Project management is becoming increasingly popular as a profession, with 71% of organizations having a dedicated Project Management Office (PMO), according to the PMI’s Pulse of the Profession. This is unsurprising considering that, according to the same report, those companies with an enterprise PMO aligned with their business strategy reported 38% more of their projects meeting their original goals and a third less of their projects failing.
With a project management career promising a bright future, it’s natural that more and more people are looking for ways to get into the profession. Project management spans nearly every industry and can range from working on an app that counts how often you speak to helping to plan a major water conservation project. If you’re looking to start off your project management career, even if you don’t have experience or project management certification, here’s how we recommend you go about it.
Seek out opportunities
Whichever field you are currently in, or even if you aren’t in work at the moment, the first place to start your project management career is by finding where the openings are. In your job, this could include explaining to management your wish to become a PM and asking for more responsibility in the area. Showing a willingness to work your way up along the ladder demonstrates to employers and superiors that you are actually committed to pursuing a project management career.
Work on the essential skills
There are certain skills which are vital for a project manager to be successful, especially in the modern, digital age. When setting out to become a PM, it’s always useful to focus on improving those core competencies, as they will serve you well in your career and make a good impression when applying for roles.
Supplement on-the-job techniques with formal learning
Along with the skills picked up through work and collaboration with others, there are also ways to enhance your PM credentials through getting project management certification. The most popular in the industry is certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI), though there are also a host of other educational opportunities which can help you along your career path.
Re-evaluate your experience
Though you may think you’ve never performed as a project manager before, looking at your experience again you might find otherwise. As the skills required to be a PM have a high amount of cross-over with other roles, you will find activities such as organizing a yearly charity hackathon at your organization or liaising with a client as their point of contact will have given you experience relevant to a PM position.
Find a mentor
One of the best ways to get to know more about the field of project management and get a foot in the door somewhere is finding someone you know and respect who is already involved as a PM. The advice and guidance of someone with greater experience can prove invaluable in ensuring you make a good impression in your early jobs, as well as avoiding the pitfalls that new (and old) PMs can often fall into.
Project management software and tools can be of huge benefit to all project managers, but especially those just starting out in the field. Clarizen’s suite of products allows project managers to automate reporting and notifications, while also giving them unprecedented visibility of how their projects are performing. Get in touch with our team to organize a free demonstration.