written by
Sean Thomas

Tips to Take Your Project Management Career Forward

Project Management 4 min read

Everyone wants to develop professionally and personally in life. Project managers are no different. They also want career progression to take their case forward and develop both personally and professionally. While having a PMP certification on your CV was enough to give you bragging rights in project management back in the day, this isn’t enough anymore.

Project managers need to hone their craft today and make sure that they put in the efforts required to become better professionals and meet the requirements expected of them at the job.

In this article, we look at what is required of project managers today to take their careers forward. Go through this article to find out the steps you can take and the processes you can follow to spell improvement in your life and become a better professional at project management.

Get Certified

We have mentioned this above and will repeat it again – project management certifications aren’t as appealing as they used to be back in the day. But, does this make them any less useful? No! Certifications are an absolute necessity, and it is best for you to get a project management certification that can help you advance your career and get better at what you do.

From PMP to PRINCE2, there are a number of certifications that you can partake in to update your credentials and get better at the job. Different regions have different project management certifications that are popular in demand. You should do some research at your end and find out the project management certification that is in popular demand with employers in your part of the world.

Photographer: Ryan Clark | Source: Unsplash

For instance, PRINCE2 is a recent and popular certification in Canada and the United Kingdom. However, if you move over to the warmer shores of the Sub-continent or Asia as a whole, you will come to realize that PMP is more in demand. Study the dynamics of the region that you are from and pick up a certification that is popular in your part of the world.

Experience Matters

There is no better way for you to get better at project management and up your professional expertise than through solid experience in the job. Hands-on project management experience has proven to be more important than certifications and is one thing that employers today wish their employees would have.

Certifications like Six Sigma, PMP, and PRINCE2 have their own charm, but the things that you learn while working on the job cannot be alternated with a project management certification or any other course material.

You should prioritize experience in a managerial role to get better opportunities from the best firms in the market. Remember, there is always an opportunity to grow, which is why you should have your eyes at the helm and should look to grow both professionally and personally.

As you build more experience, you will become better at project management and the other areas are involved in it. Working with a team of your own and planning projects from start to finish can be a good way to hone your skills and develop them further.

Speak the Project Management Lingo

The world of project management is differentiated through the unique jargon in play and the different linguistic styles that PMs have to use. As a project manager, you can take your career forward if you learn and practice the lingo of business and the lingo of project management.

You need to be able to speak to different professionals from different departments in jargon that are best related to them. For instance, if you are speaking to a digital marketer from your team, you should be able to talk about SEO, PPC and optimization without hiccups. Similarly, if you are speaking to finance professionals, you need to be able to talk about ROI, payback period and other financial terms.

Photographer: Luis Villasmil | Source: Unsplash

Besides just knowing about Gantt Charts, WBS and Monte Carlo analysis you should also know about the interesting bits happening around your entire organization. Project managers should know how to communicate with each team member, regardless of their professional background and acumen.

Don’t Shy Away from Hard Projects

Every project manager experiences some hard projects during the course of their project management journey. As a project manager, you should try not to shy away from the hard projects and subject topics you encounter across your journey.

Know that your journey as a project manager will see you come across complex deadlines, difficult routines and difficult team members. You should be able to manage the tides of the times and should be able to come out on top.

Do not give up or blame others when hard projects fail. Project failure will always teach you something. Learn from what the project teaches you, and implement that learning to never give up.

Have Clarity in Career Goals

Clarity in career goals is absolutely necessary if you are a project manager looking to develop your craft. Be very clear about your goals and how you want to achieve these goals. You can talk to people from within your organization to see what their goals are and to find inspiration. If you prioritize internal goals, you should discuss the goals with your superior and let them know you are eyeing a certain position or want monetary growth.

With high competition in project management professionals, only the crème de la crème of the management will get the best jobs in the future. Make sure you follow the tips in this article and take your career forward.