Switching career paths is not easy, but it can be a fulfilling experience. Whether you are looking to chase new opportunities or seek new challenges, transitioning into a new career path can help you make progress in your professional journey. Because of its excellent prospects and exciting job scope, project management is a popular option for those looking to swap careers.
Although the benefits are substantial, you need to take the appropriate steps if you want to excel in this career path. So, before you dive in head-first, make sure that you are fully committed to the transition. To help you along, here are some of the things you need to consider or do when pivoting to a career in project management.
Understand project management
Before you decide to begin your move to project management, you must first understand what the job entails. Project managers are sometimes thought to be in the same vein as other traditional managerial positions, like departmental managers or general managers. However, this is not entirely the case.
While they share the ‘manager’ title, the role of a project manager is unique. Project managers are mainly in the business of managing projects, rather than a fixed group of people. Since this job scope applies to practically any company, project managers are highly sought after across industries.
As a project manager, your task is to coordinate between several departments and people to work towards completing a specific assignment. From planning to execution, you will oversee the entire scope of each project. Challenges and hiccups will be plentiful, but it will be to your credit if you can overcome them.
As one of the most complex fields to work in, there is never a dull moment as a project manager. Every project brings new teams and new contexts to adapt to, so you will need to be flexible.
As the captain of the ship, you need to have the know-how to steer your ship, while having the interpersonal skills to manage your crew. If you enjoy organising teams and dealing with people, project management could very well be the career for you.
Once you have a grasp on the job scope of a project manager, it is time to try it out for yourself. Most people have some project management experience, but just never thought much of it.
Whether you have led a group project in your schooling days or had been handed a group assignment to execute by your company, you probably already have some form of exposure to the process of project management.
Either way, it is always good to make an active effort to get more experience. You can even start with your current company. If the opportunity arises, volunteer to lead a project for your department, no matter how small. While you may not know the latest project management strategies at this point, it is good to internalise the practical aspects of managing a project.
Alternatively, try shadowing an existing senior project manager. In all likelihood, they would have undergone some form of formal project management training, which gives you a front-row seat to observe them in action. Working so closely with an experienced and qualified project manager can be intimidating, but with enough tenacity and a willingness to learn, you should be able to keep up.
Once you have some practical experience in the field, and you are sure that project management is right for you, you can start thinking of getting some official project management training.
Experience may be crucial to raising your attractiveness as a potential hire, but getting yourself qualified is just as important. Equipping yourself with the latest strategies in project management helps you do your job better, and gives you an edge over those who have not. If nothing else, certifications serve as a guarantee to employers that you are up to the task.
Some companies may provide in-house project management training, but this is not always the case. Instead, you can consider looking for external academic institutions which provide project management professional courses in Singapore.
There are several courses and institutions to choose from, so be sure to do adequate research before selecting the right course for you. Make sure that the institution you learn at is reliable, and is qualified to award you with the appropriate certification.
Shifting to a career in project management can be a fruitful move, doing wonders for your career prospects and providing a sense of fulfilment. Fortunately, there are numerous resources available to help you through this transition, as long as you are committed to it.
To give you a boost in your shift to project management, we here at BridgingMinds offer a suite of the latest project management professional courses. And getting qualified does not have to be inconvenient. For those running on a tight schedule, we also provide project management online training.