Recently, I discovered that thousands of people find this blog each month by searching the keywords “how do you become a project manager”? This topic is a huge subject for me.
This topic was my first training. It naturally arranged itself into five main areas. It is important to start with steps 1 and 2. Sometimes people realize they don’t want to manage projects. Before you dive in, you need to know where you are at the moment and where you want it to be.
It is a bad idea to jump into a certification, certificate, or degree without first understanding your goals and the landscape. Many people who want to become project managers spend thousands of dollars on a certificate program they won’t be able to use. The majority of project management roles require prior experience.
Note:? You can also listen and watch my interview on the topic How to Become Project Manager.
1 – Start at The Beginning
It’s easy online to search for project management certifications or to go back to school to get a degree in project administration.
Not so fast.
Before you do anything, consider your current starting point. What are your current challenges and advantages when you try to get into this career where most job postings require years of experience? There are many ups and downs to switching careers to project management.
What are your career goals? Do they exist? How can you tell if you are on the right track or if you are getting lost?
2 – Plan Your Career Trajectory
Now that you have a clear idea of where you are starting and what you want to achieve from a 10,000-foot perspective, it’s time for you to plan how.
You can now start learning about the different educational options, certifications, as well as how to gain experience.
There aren’t many internship programs for project management. And just because you have a degree, certificate or diploma doesn’t mean you can run a project team at my company. There are many paths to project management, and each path will have its own set of considerations.
3 – Learn from Others
My youngest brother is 10 years older than me.
His favorite joke is to tell people about how much he learned by not doing the same thing as him. Learning from the successes and failures of others is a powerful way for you to learn how to be successful.
Learn from those who have done the same thing as you. (Wow! That was a confusing sentence!)
4 – Establish professional relationships
Professional networking is the most common way to get hired. It is true, regardless of whether you like it. It’s something I like because it means that hiring decisions are based more on actual experiences with real people than what you see on someone else’s resume.
It is an art and can be learned. It is true that some people are better at networking than others, but it is possible to learn.
Reach out to people and ask them questions.
5 – Don’t Worry about the Details of Execution
How can you find the right organizations to help you grow your career? Are you looking for jobs or organizations?
Researching organizations is a must. You won’t find many jobs posted online. What if you were able to pursue the right organization and make them contact you when a suitable positition became available? Companies have created positions for me because they know me and want me to be part of their team. That’s possible too.
Next, there’s the resume writing, cover letter, portfolios and the actual interview process. These details are crucial, regardless of how you go about finding the right job for you and your organization.