How To Start a Project Management Career
Starting a project management career is both rewarding and difficult. The process is extremely difficult, but once you managed to enter a good company, it will be a rewarding path for you.
A project management career involves planning, controlling, initiating and executing the projects of the company with your team. There are so many processes involved with project management like learning how to use project management tools, understanding the cash flow of the business and more.
If you are planning to jump on this career path, you have to be prepared about the challenges that you will face. Starting a project management career is not easy so there are a few things that you should know.
1. Get Started with a Project Management Career
If you are going to pursue a project management career or you want to be a project manager in the future, you have to start with a business administration degree. Although other related courses might be considered, most companies would hire someone with a background in business administration.
Yes, you learn all your skills once you start working and your diploma is just the beginning, but most companies would consider graduates of business administration or related courses more than the others.
2. Gain Informal Experience as a Project Manager
Most companies would want a project manager with at least two or three years of experience in handling projects. If you are a fresh graduate, it may seem difficult because you are applying for a job to get experience.
However, most of the applicants don’t have any idea what this meant. As long as you have experience in managing a project, even if it is just a small family project, it will count. You just have to explain during the interview that you did a few small projects before and you can already grasp the basics. These companies are looking for the right mindset and if you can’t even find a way to get informal experience in managing projects, then you are not qualified to be a project manager.
3. Learn How to Use the Tools in Project Management
It’s great that you have the experience and you have the right mindset to become a project manager, but you need to show some of your technical skills. It’s not too difficult because most of the starting project managers only know a few tools. The others can be learned once you’ve started working in a specific company.
You should know how to use Microsoft Project, Basecamp, Atlassian and many more. Learning new tools and software is not too hard right now so it won’t be too much of a burden for you.
Starting a Project
Once you’ve managed to enter the company and be part of the team, the next step is to know how to start the project. If you are the project manager, you should at least know the basics of starting a project.
1. Get Into a Project Finance
Funding your business is one of the first and most important financial choices most business owners make. The way you choose to fund your business could affect how you structure and run your business. If you want to retain complete control of your business, but don’t have enough funds to start, consider a small business funding. Once you’ve saved, received an approval for a loan, or found other people to invest in your business, you can get back to or start your dream job.
2. Check the Credit Score of the Company
This is something that you have to do even before you apply as a project manager. You need to know the financial status of the company and see if they have the capability to acquire financing.
Business projects require money and before you can start a project, you need to have enough finances to accomplish it. If the company doesn’t have a good credit score, it will be very hard for you to obtain financing for your project. Before you apply to a certain company as a project manager, check their business credit scores first so you won’t have to waste time.
3. An Objective and Logical Project
When you are starting a project, you have to make sure that the key concepts and ideas are objective and logical. You have to convince yourself that what you are trying to achieve is possible.
You have to study the competition, funding as well as your target market. These are just the basics and there are more complicated factors that you have to consider.
4. Select the Right Team Members
It is true that you have to check the background of the team members carefully and you always need to choose the best of the best. But, there is more to it than meets the eye. Your team members should be willing to learn and they should value teamwork more than anything else.
Even if you are the project manager, you can do everything on your own. You need to train the team members to do all of the tasks on the project. If there are two things that need to be done, you can do one and you can pass the other to one of the team members. A business project is not a one-man show and the project manager should not do everything on his/her own.
5. Develop your Interpersonal Skills and Leadership
The most important thing that a project manager should have is interpersonal skills and you need to be a leader as well. Every team needs someone that would guide them and you can’t be a project manager without leadership skills.
Your interpersonal skills are required because you are in the business industry. You deal with different kinds of people and you meet a lot of clients and consumers. You need to know how to express yourself properly in front of them and relay exactly what you want to say.
Starting a project management career is a tedious process, but if you know how to proceed with it, it would be smooth sailing right after.
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes.