Becoming a Project Manager

Filed under Career | Posted by PMStudent

In episode 62 of The Project Management Podcast, Cornelius interviews Thomas Cutting on the subject of breaking into the project management profession. ?This episode was helpful for me and reinforced some of my ideas on the subject.

One obstacle I’ve run into is that many of the project managers I work with now have a history where they worked in operations for 5+ years in a specific area, and worked up to be a team manager, etc. until their where either promoted or fell into a project management role within that specific department. Many don’t have project management specific education or started with a goal to be a project manager.

My situation is completely different.

While I have many years of industry experience with information systems and technology in general, I’ve never been in a specific department for any longer than 2 years. I’ve approached my career more from a focus of developing my PM skill set rather than industry expertise.

So, the formal education and PM focus is very helpful, but how do you actually get into a job this way?

One of the recommendations Thomas made was to go in as a Project Assistant of some sort. This could be a controller, scheduler, coordinator, etc. Sometimes the title would actually be Project Management Assistant. The only problem is that PM is still a newborn thing in most companies and many do not have specific project management administrative roles like this. The project manager does everything.

If you are interested in getting into the project management profession, check out this episode.

Links: The PM Podcast – Episode 062: How can I become a Project Manager?

Cutting’s Edge – Thomas Cutting’s blog which has a series of posts on this topic as well

PMP Prepcast – For those wanting to get PMP certified.