PM Powers: A Wealth of Career Options and How to be Ready

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What do companies really want in a project manager? This presentation discusses our "customers" and how we can think about "marketing" to them; skills, traits and behaviors valued by executives; various PM-related career opportunities and the skills required; and how to create your own career development plan. Of course, leaping tall deadlines in a single bound never hurts either.

What this is

This presentation discusses career options and career development for project managers, including:

  • our "customers" and how we can think about "marketing" to them
  • career-expanding skills -- traits and behaviors that are valued by executives
  • PM-related career opportunities, and what skills matter most to each opportunity
  • your career development plan -- what you can do personally to grow your abilities in key areas and seek out the new opportunities

Why it's useful

What kind of PM do you want to be? Besides the obvious answer ("employed!"), it's a good idea to consider the kind of projects you want to work on and the skills you'll need most for them. This presentation discusses the broad range of critical PM attributes and which are most important for various career options, such as working in a PMO, doing portfolio management, managing large and complex projects, etc. Not all PM opportunities are created equal -- find the one that fits you best, then find out what skills you need in order to pursue it.

How to use it

  1. Review this presentation -- especially the last third of the slides -- for an overview of PM-related career opportunities and the skills that matter most to each, and to the executives that use these positions.
  2. Identify the career opportunities of most interest to you, and the prospective "customers" for those options.
  3. Determine the skills needed to land that role and succeed in it. Get feedback from peers, managers, and mentors.
  4. Assess your skills to determine which you already possess and which you need to develop or improve. Again, get feedback -- sometimes we are our own worst critics. (And sometimes we're not as good at something as we think we are!)
  5. Plan activities to develop your skills and market yourself, using the examples in this presentation for guidance and ideas. Go all out -- assign priorities and timelines, just as you would for a project (which is what this is). Then, execute the plan!

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