If you like coordinating large endeavors and leading others, a career as a project manager (PM) could be ideal. In that role, you spearhead various initiatives, ensuring that the team comes together to achieve a shared goal. Plus, with time, you can keep moving forward. If you are wondering what the career path of a PM looks like, here’s what you need to know.
Project Manager Qualifications and Responsibilities
Project managers wear multiple hats. First, the function as a team leader, guiding the efforts of a diverse group of highly skilled professionals. Second, they are a direct contributor. PMs handle projects from beginning to end, actively participating in the planning, execution, control, and completion phases.
Excelling as a PM means having a robust skillset. Communication, collaboration, and leadership are all critical. The ability to not just lead a team but function within it is similarly crucial, as well as the ability to organize and coordinate the group’s efforts.
The technical requirements for a PM role can vary. However, they tend to include field-specific competencies and prowess with various PM systems, like project management software. You may need a degree in the primary field to qualify for the role as well as experience using specific solutions.
What a Senior PM Is and How to Get There (and Beyond)
While being a PM means working in a leadership role, that doesn’t mean there aren’t higher-level opportunities above it. Senior PMs don’t just oversee individual projects; they also coordinate teams of PMs. It essentially sits at the mid- to upper-management level, depending on the organization.
Becoming a senior PM mainly takes time. You’ll need five to ten years of experience in the project management field specifically to qualify for many of the roles. Additionally, furthering your education or proving your expertise can make a difference. For example, earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) could shorten your journey, as well as project management-oriented credentials, like the PMP certification.
After spending time as a senior PM, it’s possible to move further up the ladder. With time, you can acquire enough experience to qualify for chief operating officer (COO) opportunities, allowing you to secure a C-suite level position.
How to Find the Right Project Manager Role
If you want a career as a project manager, it all starts with landing the right opportunity. Precisely what that involves may vary depending on your goals, mainly because every position comes with unique benefits and drawbacks.
Your responsibilities may differ if you work at a small company instead of an enterprise-level organization. At a small business, you might have a broad range of duties and get to spend time as a contributor as well as a leader. At an enterprise organization, leading the team may be at the core of your responsibilities, allowing you to focus on coordination, organization, and oversight.
As a result, it’s wise to consider your priorities and preferences as you narrow down your options. That way, you can craft the PM career that’s right for you.
Advance Your Project Manager Career
The recruiters at Alpha Consulting can help you find your ideal opportunity in New Jersey and beyond. If you are looking for a PM position, browse our online opportunities, or contact us to learn about our openings and see how our services can benefit you.