How To Get Into Project Management

by Josh

Josh presenting at PMI Global Congress 2009

I received a great question from Chris this morning, a question I get very often.

Hi josh,
Things are going fine. But it has been hard to enter into Project Management field. All jobs need a minimum of three years of hands-on as a project manager. How one can get entry into this field? Any ideas? Thanks.

I’ve written about how to get into project management often on this site and in many other publications, but today I wanted to put a little video training together for you.

It’s a bit longer than my normal YouTube videos, more like the length of one of my lessons inside Project Management Career Coaching.  If you are trying to get into project management, I recommend you take the 22 minutes or so and watch this important message.  I hope it will change the way you think about getting into project management.

If you are serious about getting into project management, check out my project management career coaching course.

Leave a Comment

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Sridhar May 24, 2011 at 10:49 am

Hi Josh

Great video!

One other possible way is to join a PMO as Project support or Project Assistant (replace project with Program, if necessary). These roles assist Program and project managers with project management tasks and in many cases, become “deputy project managers”. After a couple of years, you get the experience, skill and confidence necessary to run projects by yourself.

Also, entering a new professional role is best done within the organization that you already are working and familiar with, since there is some goodwill and network that you can leverage. Being a new PM in a new organization can damage your confidence levels, especially if that organization is a “results-driven” (almost always meaning no processes!) one.


Josh May 25, 2011 at 5:00 am

Great points Sridhar! And I completely agree that if staying within your current organization is an option, it’s definitely a good one. It really depends on the specifics though. If another company has a massive focus on formal project management, with an internship/training program and grooms new project managers in that way, it may be the best option to try to get into that organization.

The best thing is, you aren’t limited to just one approach. You can be researching your options both internally and externally and working those channels simultaneously.


william May 25, 2011 at 1:15 pm

I’m a civil engineer seeking to advance my career as a PMP. I like your intro video on PM and I hope to get enlightened, informed when I check your site from time to time. I’ve been in design for quite sometime and its gradually becoming a dead end in this staggering economy. The most prefered jobs in my field are CE’s with project mgmt education, experience. How do I transition to or enhance my career with PM?


Josh May 25, 2011 at 9:29 pm

Thanks for the question William. Join my PM Career Coaching newsletter, which can be found in the top right hand corner of this site.


Senita June 6, 2011 at 11:25 am

Hi Josh,
Great video; thanks for the advice!


Josh June 8, 2011 at 6:12 am

And thank you for the comment Senita, I’m glad you enjoyed the video!


Senthil July 8, 2011 at 12:22 am

Hi Josh,

Excellent Video for Project Management and thanks for sharing the same for free :) I am into now in Project Management, its very useful for me to know Technique, Options in PM. Please let me know, if you have twitter/linkedIn id so that i can follow you.

- Senthil S


Josh July 8, 2011 at 6:28 am

Thank you Senthil, I am so glad you found it valuable! I am @pmstudent on twitter, and if you go to you can join our discussion group and find me there to add me on LinkedIn.


Poonam Sharma July 28, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Thanks Josh! Thanks a ton. You have shown me the way. I am sure you will keep guiding me as and when I need help. This was indeed a Ice-breaking session and has been conducted flawlessly. Thank you Josh, once again.


Sneha Pathak September 23, 2011 at 10:10 am

Hi Josh,

The content of video very much appealed to me. It’s just been 1 year since I took a plunge into the IT field and somehow, I became sure that I just don’t want to do just coding / software development and wanted to try my hands at managing things and slowly want to master all that. As, you said in the video, you need to advocate your desire of being a project manager someday, I have already done that and this helped me to get opportunities to help my project manager in his work and learn from it, due to the valuable feedback I got in the process.
And the thing you said about gaining good experience before you actually become a full fledged project manager is so much true. The reason is, from my experience I would say I very much looked up to my project manager for learning things and the way he managed things. Now, that I have got a new project manager with a little experience in managing IT projects, I am not able to value his advise (which of course does not help) and this comes very naturally to me. This gave me an assurance that I should take time before I become a full-fledged project manager.


Josh September 23, 2011 at 10:13 am

Thanks so much for the great comment Sneha, and I hope you keep sharing your experiences with us!


Nicola Graham October 21, 2011 at 12:10 pm

This video was the answer to my burning question also. Even though I do not currently have a job, I was not able to talk to a supervisor, however I have took Josh advice to volunteer and create my own projects. My first non-IT related project that I volunteered for was to manage a project for a Party Promoter. They are taking atleast 100 travelers from Chicago to Dominican Republic, Punta Cana for Memorial Day 2012. Sounds like this isn’t a huge “to-do” but it is, because you can use all of the processes from the PMBOK to plan this project successfully…. There is a lot of pieces to this trip which includes, contracts with hotel, airline, DJ and travelers! So their is a scope, budget and a set completion date. In addition there are risk, constraints, significant milestones to be reached, status reports, meetings with the key stakeholders, and i will be monitoring and controlling this project once we are in Dominican Republic. So like josh said, VOLUNTEER… and use your PM skills and apply them to the most simplistic project.


Josh October 21, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Thank you Nicola, I love your example and thank you for sharing it with all of us!


Nicola Graham October 21, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Josh Thank you! You are helping me in ways that you can’t even imagine! Keep up the good work. It is rare that you will find a PM Professional that will walk a novice thru these many steps.


Andrew Grady February 25, 2013 at 10:58 pm

Josh, love your video and you mentioned a newsletter. How can I get on your mailing list?


Josh February 27, 2013 at 11:29 pm

Thanks Andrew. You can go to the top or bottom of any page on right now and sign up for the email list.


Vitor May 14, 2013 at 6:27 am

Hello, I read that you do Studied degree in project management? This course is a graduate level? Which university? I am researching higher education in this area. Grateful: Vitor!


Ankit Kanchan June 1, 2013 at 6:06 am


I am a mechanical engineer having 3 years of experience in Designing in oil & gas domain.
I want to get into Project management. Please advise.


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