Whether or not you’ve realised it yet, you’re probably already a project manager. The global trend towards the projectisation of business functions is affecting organisations of all sectors and sizes. As a result, those who display an aptitude for planning and implementing projects of one kind or another are at an advantage when it comes to starting and growing sustainable businesses, or advancing to high-level management roles within a corporate career.
Regardless of how you came to be a project manager, remember that your project management skills are easily transferable across a diverse variety of organisations. Today, project management is recognised as a profession that is essential across the board.
A skillset you can transfer across industries
Project management encompasses a number of skills: the ability to motivate a team to work cohesively towards a singular goal, gather information and resources, identify and solve problems, predict outcomes, create deadlines for deliverables, set goals, implement decisions, and execute tasks. These skills not only dramatically increase your marketability as a project manager, but can also be applied to job descriptions outside of formal project management. The underlying principles remain the same. Project management capabilities are in high demand across a diverse range of industries, including finance, construction, engineering, retail, architecture, and education – click here to find out what a day in the life of GetSmarter’s very own Project Manager looks like.
Are you cut out for a career in project management?
Interested in becoming a project manager? You’ll need to begin by assessing if you have the aptitude for this kind of work. You’ll need to be able to oversee diverse teams and manage multiple tasks at the same time, while not losing sight of the functional roles and objectives of the various departments involved in the project.
How to pursue a career path in project management
On a personal level, you can further your project management knowledge and skills by reading project management blogs (of which there are many), attending webinars presented industry experts, and actively participating in LinkedIn project management groups. Individuals working in business analysis or test management, for example, will already have many of the skills needed to become a project manager. Even individuals working in process-based departments or in an operational capacity may be given opportunities to enhance their project management skills and take on greater responsibility and change roles.
With the foundational, experience-based skills in place, the smartest way to advance a career in this industry would be to establish yourself as a project manager in a formal, accredited capacity. Doing so will not only positively influence perceptions of your credibility in your workplace, but will also extend to the broader job market and open doors of possibility in a diverse range of industries.
The ultimate competitive advantage for aspiring project managers?
Above all, aspiring high-level project managers should formalise their qualifications in the field to safeguard the exciting possibility of a highly transferable career path. Investing in formal education and continuous professional development, while advancing a career in the industry, will give you the confidence to pursue a dynamic career path and encourage colleagues and superiors to turn to you for sound leadership and management insight.
Achieve your career advancement goals while retaining full-time employment: the University of Cape Town, in partnership with GetSmarter, now offers a part-time Postgraduate Advanced Diploma in Business Project Management, delivered through online learning. Download the information pack and apply for admission to this prestigious programme today.