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Thread: Project Management transferable skills?

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    Project Management transferable skills?

    Long story short, I have been a PM for 12 years total with 2 different companies. Although I was successful at times, overall it was very difficult and I got mixed results. It was not what I thought it would be. I think my natural skills do not match up well with the skills required to be a solid PM (super organized and attention to detail, sharp sense of urgency, strong assertiveness, relishing being in the spotlight all the time). Much of the time I was actually miserable. In fact I resigned from my last job because I was put in a position in which the project could only fail.

    Got my PMP the whole 9. I would really like to do something else but not sure what other jobs my PM skills would transfer to? PM skills are varied and they have to be transferable but I'm not sure what specific jobs they would best be suited for. Or if companies would hire a former PM just because some of the skills are transferable. I need to see a career counselor but I thought I would ask all of you first. THANK YOU for any advice. Thanks.

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    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    A lot of companies hire PMs. My husband was a PM. What industry are you in? You can indeed transfer your PM skills based upon your areas of expertise, experience and educational background. There are all sorts of avenues and broad range you can be qualified for.

    Or, hang onto your current PM job, enroll in course work at night and polish up your resume in the meantime.

    Network not only online but do in person schmoozing. It's not always what you know, it's who you know that gets you places and where you want to go in your career. After that, you learn on-the-job.

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    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    So what are your natural skills? What in particular didn't match up? Is it the job or the particular companies/industry that was the problem?

    Some of the description you are using is really generic job description that pretty much every job description includes. Like detail oriented as opposed to what? Sloppy? Organized as opposed to what? Disorganized? Sense of urgency as opposed to what? Take your time and be a sloth? These are very very very generic qualifiers that say nothing about the particular position or profession because it's literally every single job.

    This also goes for terms like assertiveness - sounds great, most people don't really have a clue what it means and confuse aggression with assertiveness. For a PM or any manager it simply means that you can get other people to do their job and stay on top of that to be sure it's done right. Staying in the spotlight....you aren't a movie star. Effective management is actually the opposite of the being in the spotlight. If you do your job right, there will be no spotlight because things are getting done on time and you can manage any hick ups that come up. You are more of the go to person who speaks for the team you are managing so your bosses don't have to speak to 20 people under you individually....buuuut...that's every management job ever.....

    A long winded way of saying - get more specific with your issues and your source of unhappiness.

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    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    PMs have very transferable skills. I know exactly what this job description entails because my husband was a PM. It's scheduling, finance, rate charts, matching money spending with job planning, duties, completion, managerial duties for your group, reporting to upper management and depending on the industry, overseeing technical skills and quality for your group. You can indeed transfer these skills because it's almost a jack-of-all-trades type job.

    You can either move laterally within the same PM duties plus new skills pertaining to the next industry or move up with a different job description while still using your PM experience as ammunition on your resume. Many jobs have parallel skills to a PM or a different job description while the company can still use your PM skills. The more skills the better. Become multi-skilled because it will be to your advantage as it was for my husband.

    Research online and do your homework. Also, don't forget to network online and IN PERSON. Build professional relationships and friendships which is crucial.

    My husband and I've attained our plum jobs from friends, my parents' friends, in-laws, kids' birthday parties through other parents, church, school, organized sports, on the golf course on weekends, backyard BBQs and the like. Make connections!

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    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Why not move back into being an IT professional (upgrade your skills or transition back into an IT related role)? If I had an IT background or had to start over I'd probably be into programming as a first choice. It seems very interesting.

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    Although I was successful at times, overall it was very difficult and I got mixed results.

    If you were not a great project manager, then i would not worry about transferring skills. Instead i would go back to what you are good at and just tell potential employers your heart is really more for hands on IT and that's why you are switching back.

    IT IS very detail oriented and if you were good at it you WERE detail oriented. Maybe what you were not good at is managing the people = the moving parts, so to speak of the project.

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    Are you a project manager for websites or IT or a B2B, or one for construction?

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    Originally Posted by tattoobunnie
    Are you a project manager for websites or IT or a B2B, or one for construction?
    IT Project Manager. I mostly managed infrastructure projects (my original tech skill set) but also managed several app dev and website projects.

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    That's not a bad idea. I wasn't exactly in love with working in a tech role, at least I wouldn't be miserable half the time.

    Someone above mentioned detail oriented as opposed to what. Org skills as opposed to what. That's missing the point. PM is one of the most thankless jobs out there. You have no real authority over your team, yet they are supposed to do exactly what you want them to. You get crap from above and below. And you are ALWAYS in the spotlight, and to blame if anything goes wrong whether it was your fault or not. I actually think most PM roles exist so that functional managers have scapegoats to blame when things go wrong. And I hate when team members start resenting you for watching over them...where is that deliverable? It was supposed to be done today? Why not? When will it be done? Etc. Yuck even typing this makes me want to wretch.

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    Ah, I see. I know a few IT PM's, but instead of going into an app or web dev company, they are in distribution companies, where they project manage new IT projects for the company that is focused on giving customers, their distribution centers, and vendors an excellent and productive experience (very very common in medical supply industry), there is so much to do, and you look like the genius. The ones I know why all over like Australia, and Europe, and all expenses covered. And because it's not a direct tech company, they look at you like a god. I think you're just in the wrong industry. Try something that is B2C that has a full spectrum.

    Or even go with a hedge fund; you may be on call with a small team, but you make gangsta money.

    And then, take some Management classes for your team; it helps. Don't forget to network in general business groups, not just IT ones. The more you meet, the more you get.

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