Project Management

4 Tips for Getting Your First Project Management Job

Thinking about becoming a project manager? Or do you have a kid who has project management in his or her blood? (You might want to see a doctor about that, but I digress.) Then consider this post from Helen Sabell for the IIL Blog. She has four basic tips for how to land your first project management job:

  1. Research what employers want.
  2. Review your experience and know your limitations.
  3. Get qualified.
  4. Prepare yourself to step up.

The Long Hunt

As you can see, these tips boil down to, “Know what employers want, and then be that.” Pretty simple. But as Sabell notes, entry-level jobs in project management are few and far between, so you should be thinking a bit longer-term. Often, top values sought in project managers include strong leadership, clear communication, honesty and integrity, and foresight and initiative. Think of these as the stars guiding your career ship.

Then take an honest assessment of your current abilities and where you could stand to improve. If there are responsibilities in your current job that align with what a project manager does, then double down on the skills associated with them and exploit opportunities to further grow them. Make those elements of your resume stand out. And where there continue to be gaps, seek additional qualifications.

When it comes to “stepping up,” Sabell says this:

In the studying phase, knee-deep in job hunting or preparing for an interview? Whichever is most like you, maintaining your motivation and a positive attitude will get you far. If you’re working your way up through a company, then try keeping that goal in mind at all times. You’ll find that your determination may bring forth consistent motivation.

The backbone of talent is the ability to take any chance and be calm enough to learn from your mistakes. Whether you’re aiming to enter your first job in Project Management, or striving to ascend the ranks into your new position, keep your mind determined and take hold of every opportunity.

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