How I Became a Project Manager
Happy 2020 everyone! I am so excited to announce that I have launched a YouTube channel. Creating videos is something that I have wanted to do for a while, but I am camera shy and was afraid of the critiques. After listening to a few people during the holidays, I decided that I need to get over myself and launch it. Here is the first video!
Throughout my career, people have asked me questions like “How did you get to where you are? How can I?” Project Managers are always needed even with people worried that Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will one day leave us all without a job. However, I don’t believe this is the case. There will always be a need for people to manage projects of all kinds.
My progression was that I started as a Technical Writer. One day I got the opportunity to be a Business Analyst. Then, the Project Manager was leaving, and he recommended that I take his place. As I say in the video, I was nervous. Being an individual contributor is different from managing people because you are now responsible for helping others with their career dreams and goals. For the project, if any issues arise, you are the one the clients come to for questions and clarification.
When you become a Program Manager, you are now responsible for the multiple projects underneath you, including the Project Managers and their teams.
I have seen that colleges and universities are offering Project Management degrees. A concern is what the job expectation for those getting those degrees is? Running a project and being an effective leader can only be learned by having hands-on experience. If I were these college graduates, I would tell them to make sure that they start as Project Coordinators or Junior Project Managers. You also have to think if you can manage people. You have to be open to have people reach out to you at any time, even if you are in the middle of preparing for an important presentation that you will be presenting in front of the entire company. If you are on vacation, you still might have to jump on a call or answer an email.
Even if you are making good money, if you are at a job that is not what you want to be, you will be miserable. Money isn’t everything. I won’t lie. It helps, but you won’t be completely happy.
Reflect and think about what do I want? Self-reflection is always a good thing to do.