Project managers are neither made nor born, and they learn and grow through time and experience. Especially if you step into a new office as a junior project manager, there are lots of things you need to acquaint yourself with, from the organizational culture to key stakeholders and your employees. However, not everyone knows how to take advantage of their opportunity and be proactive in adapting to a new role. Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy, in a post for Project Management Basics, says that junior project managers have a great advantage during the first few months to grow, and they need to reap the benefits of their position through these behaviors:
- Dedicate yourself to work
- Be proactive
- Get organized
- Analyze stakeholders
- Read a PM book
Create a Good Initial Impression
The first few months in a new role are the most important time for you to prioritize your work, show others your capabilities, and push yourself to reach the limit of your potential. Most people don’t mind working extra hours, or getting to know their teams outside of work hours during their first few months just to fit in and be recognized. After you have become familiar with your work, and know how things get done around well enough, then you can start to slow things down and look for a work-life balance. But during the time when you really need others to acknowledge your merits, you must dedicate yourself to the job by learning, creating authority in the team, and building relationships with your stakeholders. Try to understand each stakeholder and his/her values to your project and the company. They can make or break your project, depending how much time you take to get to know them.
Good work also isn’t equal to sitting at your own desk, and doing your own tasks. Everyone is busy, and there will be one point where you have questions or concerns about your work. Don’t be afraid to approach other people, broach the conversation, ask questions, and get to know them. Communication is the key to succeed quickly in all jobs and fields. Equally important is getting organized in setting priorities for your tasks. You may feel swamped in the sea of your workload sometimes, so organizing everything efficiently can help keep your chin above the water. Don’t think that you can store everything in your head—we all have “goldfish memory” syndrome occasionally and forget things. Create a system of folders for your emails, or write things down, or make tables with specific tasks along with their due dates and requirements.
It may not be critical to the outcomes of your work, but reading always helps boost your confidence and performance. Find some books on project management that are closer to the environment where you are working. Now is the time to double down on developing hard skills.
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