Are you looking to reskill into an entirely new career in 2021? If so, a role in project management could be a great option.
It’s not a role that many people are aware of, but one that is critical to a wide range of different industries. Many businesses would struggle without a strong project manager on board!
If you’re organized, love working with new people and thrive under pressure, you’d fit right into the role!
Join us as we look at what a project manager does and how a career change may benefit you in 2021.
What does a project manager do?
A project manager (sometimes referred to as a PM) Is responsible for planning and initiating specific projects for an organization. They set timescales, monitor spend and make sure that everyone involved in the project is doing the work that is expected of them.
It is the PM’s ultimate responsibility to ensure that a specific project runs as intended.
Some companies have a team of project managers, each one working on a completely different project. Smaller companies may have one PM that looks after everything project related.
Why reskill as a project manager?
You’ve read the job description; now you’re wondering why you should make the leap into project management.
Here are some of the reasons why it’s a great career choice.
Project managers are in high demand
Project managers are essential in making sure projects run on time and to budget. Properly implemented, they can save a business a lot of money and time. This makes the role an extremely valuable one.
PMs are traditionally found in industries like manufacturing, construction, healthcare and IT, but many other businesses are seeing a need for them too. After all, if you have goals to achieve, they need to be managed in order to achieve a successful outcome!
Many PMs also work freelance, coming in to work with businesses that need a little extra help. This may be a great option if you are looking for a career with flexibility.
Project managers can achieve a high salary
As PMs are in extremely high demand across all industries, this is reflected in the salary they receive.
The average salary for a project manager is £48,000, rising to £57,000 for a senior project manager.
As you climb the career ladder, you may find yourself looking after a team of PMs. You will help ensure that all of their work is going to plan and give them extra support where needed.
An excellent PM with an outstanding track record can name their price!
You may already have the skills
Although qualifications are essential in project management (more on that later), project managers rely on a wide range of different soft skills too.
What does this mean? It means that you may already have the ability to be a good PM without knowing it.
Soft skills you need to excel in project management include:
◉ Time management
◉ Communication (both written and verbal)
◉ Decision making
◉ Problem solving
The ability to get on with a wide range of different people is an advantage too. This is because you’ll be working with everyone from administrators through to the board of directors!
How do I reskill as a project manager?
To reskill as a project manager, experience is critical.
You can ask to take on more PM responsibilities at work or ask to shadow people in your project management department to see what they do and if you would be a good fit.
It may be that you have already done a lot of project management in your role, just not in an official capacity. For example, if you have coordinated an event, ran a marketing campaign or managed a tender application, these all involve a degree of project management. Think back to all of your previous achievements and how they may have boosted your skillset.
If you don’t have a project management department at work, reach out to people who work in the field and see if they would be happy to support or mentor you. You may know someone in your network or on LinkedIn that can help.
Do I need a qualification?
You don’t need a formal qualification to be a project manager, and there are several exceptional PMs out there who do not have one.
However, an accredited qualification can help you get to grips with the methodology and skills needed to excel in project management.
Plus, a qualification looks good on your CV if you look to move to another company in the near future.
Examples of recognized qualifications you can take include:
◉ The benefit of PRINCE2 is that it was developed in the UK, so it is exceptionally relevant to UK-based organizations
◉ AgilePM is an excellent option for fast-moving industries like IT and engineering
◉ Change Management. This qualification is good for those that are involved in organizational change – working with people rather than projects