Project Management Career Case Study – Gaining Experience

Filed under Career | Posted by PMStudent

Today I’d like to share with you a great story about someone that I’ve been working with for a little bit here on their project management career.

They are inside pmStudent e-Learning, one of the members.

2 or 3 weeks ago, this person contacted me and let me know they recently discovered their current employer planned on doing a project, and there wasn’t a project manager involved yet. They asked me “what’s your opinion of a newbie jumping into a short term project like this? How would you sell the need for a project manager on this project?”?? Would you jump at the chance to do it?

Absolutely. Go after it! If you have an idea what the project is about, put some thoughts together about how you would go about managing it so when you approach the manager who is overseeing it, let them see your plans.

Don’t assume they don’t have a plan, they may have one you don’t know about. Also, make sure when you approach the manager, be sure you are not talking about the benefits to you, but the benefits to them.

For instance, approaching someone and talking about how it will be so great for you is really the wrong approach. You want to be very clear about what the benefits are to them if they allow you to take part in this project.

We discussed the situation back and forth. They talked to the owner and they found out that this particular project was already going, but another project was coming up and they would keep him in mind. I received an email after that updating me, which was one of the points I talked about when I wrote about how to ask for advice without being a pest.

I wrote back saying that even though this one didn’t work out, they are thinking about you know and know you are interested in this type of work. You are doing all the right things!

Just a few days ago, I received another message from this person. “I’m excited to say I’ll be meeting with management to discuss a new project!”

I wanted to share this as a perfect case study for how to go about seeking out experience in a new area. It’s important to reach outside your comfort zone and be patient. In the case study, even if this opportunity doesn’t work out he shouldn’t be phased. Keep going! Keep doing the right things! Ease your way into more of a project management role running smaller projects and then you can work your way up to the larger projects.

If you want to work with me on your project management career, check out my PM Career Coaching Course.