Attention to detail, problem-solving, leadership. Does that sound like you? Great, you could be well on your way to carving out a career as a project manager. First things first, let’s get to grips with what exactly the job entails, shall we? The role of a project manager is simple in theory, but not so much in practice. You’ll be responsible for overseeing strategy and implementation of a range of projects. It can involve an awful lot of stress, but likewise, can be a lucrative opportunity.
Sound like the job for you? Then let’s take a look at how to break into this potentially rewarding career path.
1. What Do I Need to Be a Project Manager?
Good question. More often than not, you’ll certainly need to be degree educated if any employer is going to give you the time of day. More importantly, though, is experience and the ability to demonstrate a range of skills. Above all, you’ll need a proven track record of overseeing a team, creative thinking, and risk assessment. To obtain these skills, or at least evidence of them, you’ll need to start from the bottom. Hey, nobody said this was going to be easy. Like any profitable career, this is a role that you’ll want to strive towards, not be handed on a plate. With any luck, you may be able to find an internship in your area. That will be sure to put you on the fast track to success.
2. What Does the Job Involve?
I touched on this above, but let’s go into slightly more detail. The day-to-day life of a project manager varies by its very nature, but some aspects will remain the same. By and large, you’ll be working to strict deadlines under a great deal of pressure. You’ll need the proven ability to handle scheduling, so project training courses in your area could be beneficial. You’ll also more than likely be responsible for budgeting, so having a slight background in finance could be an advantage. You’ll definitely need prior management experience, in whatever capacity.
3. How Do I Find A Job?
Project management jobs are not easy to break into, especially if you’re looking for your first job in the role. You’re far more likely to find success by working your way up in your current business by demonstrating the skills outlined above. Do so consistently, and express interest if the role becomes available, and you’ll be considered seriously. Actively searching for the job independently is possible, but can be tough. Take it from me, you won’t get anywhere without experience in leading a team, so that should be your first port of call. Check out these tips on building your resume and interviewing for project manager jobs.
Salaries for project managers vary. They can start at around $40,000 and raise to as much as $100,000 per annum. That’s some serious cash, so companies are going to want guaranteed for their investment. If you can prove you’re fit to task, however, it can be an incredibly rewarding career. Good luck.