written by
Sean Thomas

Top 5 Project Management Lessons Learned from Experience

Project Management 5 min read

Project management is a field that requires extensive managerial experience, keen attention to detail as well as a pragmatic approach. Although these skills are necessary, you need other things as well to excel and grow as a project manager.

You must learn several critical skills to become a successful project manager. From conveying information, handling team members, managing time, and mitigating threats and challenges, a project manager’s role is not easy by any means.

It’s difficult to become a competent project manager without relevant experience. Nevertheless, there are some ways you can acquire skills to jumpstart your project management experience.

In this article, we will discuss X ways you can start your project management career without gaining experience directly from a project management role.


Volunteering for a community project is an excellent way to gain valuable project-specific experience. Since there is always a shortage of opportunities in community projects, you will have ample chances to showcase your project management skills.

Find community projects that interest you and request organizations to make you a part of their project team. You should seek leadership roles in the community projects, so you directly gain project management experience.

Photographer: Joel Muniz | Source: Unsplash

If you don’t have the chance to take on a leadership role, there are many other roles in project teams you can use to gain relevant experience. This also is a sign for your employers that you are willing to take gain experience in project management experience. Therefore, it also shows that you are committed to becoming a project manager at the workplace, as well.

Create Your Projects

As an employee, you can also get some great project ideas by looking within your department. Such project ideas can help you improve your organizational workflow and give you the chance to lead small projects on your own with your supervisor's permission. You don’t even need to do something huge to create a project for yourself.

If you gain more experience with smaller projects, it’s more likely that your supervisor will give the go-ahead to lead larger projects. You can even formalize your knowledge with project management training to get yourself ready for the role. Taking online courses and attending project management training can streamline your knowledge, making you a viable candidate for a role in management.

CAPM Certification

Another thing you can do to gain project management experience is to get CAPM certification. The Certified Associate in Project Management is an entry-level certificate and several small firms are willing to accept people with CAPM certificate as project managers.

Even if your current employer does not work on projects, you can try to get the required experience by starting your projects.

For instance, if you are working as a financial analyst, software developer, engineer or quality assurance officer, you can get experience in project management by volunteering to lead small projects that improve the performance and productivity of these functions.

You can also ask your manager to let you lead teams as part of your professional development. Leadership and planning are two of the main skills that project managers need. If you can work as a team lead, even if for a short while, you can put that on your resume, which will improve your chances of being hired as a project manager later.

Online Courses

Online courses can be an amazing resource to be familiar with the foundations of project management. These courses provide project management aspirants the chance to understand critical concepts in project management with the help of hands-on tasks and assignments. Such assignments are designed to make you interact with business branches and lets you showcase your project management skills and knowledge.

Woman working by a window
Photographer: Andrew Neel | Source: Unsplash

Through these courses, you can seek formal project management training, as well. A good project management online course will improve your capability and credibility to deliver projects timely and successfully. At the same time, PM aspirants will learn how to utilize resources more effectively and develop a stronger foundation in project management best practices.

Become a Part of Project Meetings

If you are currently working in an organization, there are likely multiple ongoing projects at the moment. It is your job to identify projects that fall within your expertise and contact functional leads or project managers. You can ask them if there is any chance to participate in project management teams or attend project meetings as a participant.

You can express that you are interested in a career as a project manager. However, before doing, so you must ensure that you discuss with your direct supervisor first to gain their approval and keep them in the loop.

Doing so can help your supervisor identify key areas of your expertise and find ways to help you develop your project management career. They can assign you an informal role where you may gain project management experience, which can help you a lot down the road.

Attend PMI-Certified Project Management Training

Attending at least 35 hours of training in Project Management is necessary to be eligible for the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam – the golden standard for project managers all over the world. However, PMI enforced this requirement for good reason, and the training course can help you revisit the core foundations of the agile methodology.

It is one of the most efficient ways to learn the key principles, techniques, tools, and practices needed in project management. But for that, you need to give your entire focus and attention to these training lectures.

At the same time, since you are pursuing project management training in an online classroom environment, you will get to prepare for the exam in an interactive manner. Not only will it help you prepare for the PMP exam in a defined timeframe, but will also set the pace for your preparation approach.

Final Words

The mark of exceptional project managers is that they are proactive communicators, good leaders, and always keen to achieve great results. They are ready to look for new opportunities and achieve results through innovative thinking.

If you want to become a project manager, there are many ways you to gain relevant skills. Volunteering for available opportunities can give you a fair chance of succeeding in a management role.

You must combine both hard and soft skills to succeed as a project manager. Although it’s hard to master fundamental soft skills, you can have a great start by consulting an experienced project management instructor.

Project Vanguard provides high-quality project management online courses to help understand the building blocks of project management. It’s difficult to fill a project manager’s role, but with the right guidance and training, you can boost your management skills and apply project management techniques to expand your business’s growth.

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