How to Become a Project Manager

If you’ve got at all times been curious in regards to the steps to take to turn into a undertaking supervisor, you’ve got come to the appropriate place. 

Are you interested by changing into a undertaking supervisor however do not know the place or how to begin? Whether you are new to undertaking administration or are a present undertaking administration skilled trying to take your PM expertise to the following stage, this text is for you. 

Here are our high recommendations on how to turn into a undertaking supervisor, together with the essential expertise and certifications, where to find project management jobs, what to do through the job search and job interview, and the way to make the most of assets to proceed your training.

What is a Project Manager?

Put merely, a undertaking supervisor is a individual chargeable for maintaining collectively a lot of shifting items inside a firm or undertaking. Kerry Hoffman, a PM with 10+ years of expertise, outlined the function of undertaking supervisor because the “single source of truth,” which means they’re the person who is aware of all the pieces occurring with a explicit undertaking. 
A undertaking supervisor’s job is to coordinate all of the shifting elements so that everybody else engaged on the undertaking can focus and do heads-down work. According to Jen Dickson, head of inventive undertaking administration, a PM’s duty lies in shepherding groups whereas trying into the long run so as to perceive what’s developing subsequent. That method, they’ll appropriately handle any danger that comes their method. 

“Project managers are change agents: they make project goals their own and use their skills and expertise to inspire a sense of shared purpose within the project team.”

What Does a Project Manager Do?

A typical day or schedule within the lifetime of a undertaking supervisor is structured, but open to fixed pivots. 

Typical duties embrace setting or altering dates of supply, setting scopes of labor, speaking with stakeholders, offering deliverables or suggestions, useful resource administration, budgeting, planning, checking in, and aligning duties to the wants of the undertaking. 

In brief, a undertaking supervisor’s main duty is to make sure that a undertaking is executed and accomplished to the satisfaction of all of the stakeholders concerned. They are there each step of the way in which to make sure that a undertaking is assembly deadlines and staying on a pre-determined timeline. 

A PM may work on one undertaking at a time or be assigned a number of initiatives. Project managers depend on collaboration, organization, communication and lots of different essential exhausting and mushy expertise to get the job accomplished. Speaking of expertise…

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What Are The Key Project Management Skills to Have?

Since a undertaking supervisor is the purpose individual for a undertaking, they have to be extremely detail-oriented and arranged. Time management and all communication skills are equally essential. You’re additionally most probably going to be coping with surprising challenges or setbacks so using key mushy talent so as to deal with these moments will make the job a lot simpler. 
  • Leadership expertise
  • Adaptability or flexibility
  • Proactivity
  • Clarity or summarization
  • Active listening expertise
  • Confidence
  • Constructive suggestions
  • Critical problem-solving expertise
Since undertaking administration is not unique to one business, which means the particular expertise required to turn into one will differ barely. This does not imply you have got to be an professional coder in case you’re a PM within the tech business. Just having sufficient technical familiarity within the business or area of interest that you simply work in will aid you have the option to set real looking deadlines. It can even provide you with sufficient of a working language to translate feedback and notes to workforce members and shoppers.

Regarding exhausting expertise, undertaking managers ought to know the way to use undertaking administration software program and platforms to hold observe of initiatives. We advocate familiarizing your self with widespread undertaking supervisor software program.

  • Data evaluation
  • Knowledge of undertaking administration methodologies (e.g. Agile, Scrum, Lean, Waterfall)
  • Budget administration
  • Negotiation
  • Consensus constructing
  • Translating + speaking technical info
  • Risk administration
  • Vendor administration

Most undertaking administration exhausting and mushy expertise may be gained by means of prior work expertise, whereas familiarity with undertaking administration software program and packages may be gained by means of direct expertise. 

Many of the undertaking administration instruments have their very own tutorials or assets that stroll by means of how to use the packages, so even in case you’ve by no means used them at work, see if you may get a free trial so as to poke round every program by yourself time. 

Project Manager Qualifications

When setting up a project manager resume, it is essential to spotlight {qualifications} and work expertise that show your collaboration, problem-solving, and management expertise. 
Reflect in your exhausting and mushy expertise, your education and training (each formal and casual), related work expertise, and certifications (which we’ll get to in a bit). Remember that probably the most certified undertaking supervisor can have a well-rounded mixture of expertise, expertise, and coaching. 
  • Headlining Statement
  • Skills 
  • Certifications and Specialized Training
  • Career History (listed in reverse chronological order)
  • Professional Affiliations
  • Education

By the way in which, in order for you extra detailed explanations of how to construct the right undertaking administration resume, learn this text. 

Do Project Managers Need Advanced Degrees or Certifications? 

Some undertaking supervisor roles require a bachelor’s or affiliate’s diploma in enterprise administration or undertaking administration. Advanced levels could supply up extra job alternatives however will not be a necessity for starting a profession in undertaking administration. 

If you have an interest in transitioning into a undertaking administration function however do not need formal undertaking supervisor training, do not fret. Many expertise switch into undertaking administration.

For instance, certainly one of our PM specialists, gained essential undertaking administration expertise whereas working within the restaurant business as a maître d’, mapping out ground plans for 400 company a evening. 

By far, probably the greatest methods to achieve undertaking administration training and coaching is to get a certification. Career coach, Ginny Cheng, explains that there are two fundamental certifications each offered by the Project Management Institute: 1) CAPM (Certified Associate of Project Management) and a couple of) PMP (Project Management Professional) Certification
CAPM gives a nice basis for undertaking administration and isn’t as complete. This is a good possibility if you’re extra of an entry-level project manager since it’s meant for folks with 0-3 years of undertaking administration expertise. With CAPM, there are fewer {qualifications} for taking the examination. According to the Project Management Institute, candidates should meet the next necessities:
  • High faculty diploma
  • 23 contact hours are wanted. (Their Project Management Basics on-line course fulfills this academic prerequisite)
  • A PMP certification is meant for professionals with 3+ years of expertise.

About PMP Certification

PMP is extra famend and prestigious; nevertheless, the examination is a bit extra rigorous. Earning your PMP is a nice subsequent step to take as a undertaking supervisor in case you’re trying to exit for roles with larger titles and larger salaries. To apply for PMP certification, candidates should meet the next training necessities:

  • High faculty diploma or affiliate’s diploma (or international equal)
  • Bachelor’s diploma
  • 35 hours of undertaking administration training coaching or CAPM®Certification

And, candidates should meet the next expertise necessities:

  • 60 months expertise main initiatives (with a highschool diploma or affiliate’s diploma)
  • 36 months expertise main initiatives (with a four-year diploma)
  • 24 months expertise in case you’re a graduate of a GAC program

While each CAPM and PMP certifications require time and coaching, they’re price it in the long term. Project administration certifications are a smart way to open up extra profession alternatives and earn extra senior-level administration positions.  

Where to Find Project Manager Jobs

There are many various methods to go about getting a undertaking supervisor function. Your strongest entry level can be by means of networking and referrals. Flex your robust communication expertise and reach out to professionals working at firms or inside industries that you really want to be a a part of. Informational interviews can be very useful, particularly if you’re simply beginning your profession in undertaking administration. 
Keeping an up to date and optimized LinkedIn profile can also be essential. Project supervisor roles can typically disguise below varied job titles. Cheng advises maintaining in thoughts a few varied job titles when trying to find undertaking supervisor jobs. In addition to “project manager” seek for the next key phrases: 
  • Project coordinator
  • Project specialist
  • Technical undertaking supervisor
  • Planning undertaking supervisor
  • Content undertaking supervisor
  • Creative undertaking supervisor
  • Implementation supervisor

What Should You Expect at a Project Manager Job Interview?

Researching earlier than your undertaking supervisor job interview is de facto essential.

If you might be new or pivoting into undertaking administration, the hot button is to spotlight your whole transferable skills. Maybe you have been a stay-at-home parent that balanced the schedules of three busy youngsters, otherwise you took on a undertaking at your final job the place you had to delegate duties to your workforce members. 

Think about occasions in your earlier positions once you exemplified nice communication, time administration and/or useful resource administration expertise. If you’re feeling caught, analysis the job posting. If you see a sure talent listed on a job posting and also you possess it, add it to your resume. Then, observe methods you may share moments in your profession the place you exemplified these expertise. Try to give as many concrete examples of success throughout your job interview.

Whether you’ve got technically held a “project manager” title or not, most probably, you have got labored on some form of undertaking. Use these examples as alternatives to display the way you have been a chief. 

Dickson, who has had her justifiable share of undertaking supervisor interviews, emphasizes the significance of concrete examples as effectively. When interviewing candidates, she’s fascinated by seeing what they do exterior of labor. She stated she additionally pays consideration to the kinds of questions the interviewees ask her in regards to the function.

So, to put together for a undertaking supervisor job interview, rehearse extra common interview questions about undertaking success. To make your solutions extra compelling, work out the place you may inform compelling tales about your self that exemplify key undertaking administration expertise. 

One of the perfect questions Dickson was requested when she was within the interviewee seat was the next: “I know your life is organized, but tell me where your life is not organized.” Since undertaking managers are inherently very organized, this query highlights different strengths like adaptability and consciousness. 

Story circles are a smart way to put together for extra summary and behavioral questions like this one. 

Project Manager Salary

As with any job title, wage can vary relying on location, business, seniority, and area of interest. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median common wage for a undertaking supervisor is someplace round $73K-$80K. 

More Project Management Resources

If you are trying to increase or proceed your undertaking administration training and coaching listed here are a few assets, instruments, and communities to take a look at:

How to Become a Project Manager