How to Get a Job in Project Management

If you have excellent communication skills and a gift for organisation, project management could be for you. It might be something that you have always thought about, but just how do you get started?


What is a Project Manager?


Project managers oversee processes from start to finish. They are essential to the smooth running of an organisation and can work in a variety of sectors, from business and construction to IT, marketing and retail. Project managers ensure projects are delivered on time and to budget, by planning and organising resources and people.


It is possible to become a project manager, even if you haven’t previously worked in a similar role. You may already have some of the skills required. Many of the attributes needed to be successful in project management, such as leadership and time management, may be things that you have acquired in previous work or education. Any experience leading and organising the activities of a team will be valuable.


This could include things such as the completion of a successful project at university, a new initiative you manged in a previous role, or leadership of a team or club outside of work could potentially show off your project management skills. Even planning an event such as a charity evenings or weddings, may be useful.


What skills do Project Managers Require?


The skill set you start with is important, but it is important to improve your knowledge of project management processes, techniques, frameworks and tools, and develop the right soft skills required.


– Time management – it’s important to be skilled in managing your own workload, as a project manager must prioritise and delegate tasks for others successfully.


– Organisation – A project manager organises the work of others, so cannot be unorganised themselves. You’ll be responsible for setting goals, managing meetings and tracking the progress of a project.


– Communication – Much of a Project manager’s time is spent liaising with others. You need to clearly state ideas, goals and project issues to a variety of people; in written form with reports and verbally in meetings and presentations. Good listening ability is also essential.


– Negotiation – As a Project manager you may need to work with teams with competing interests to negotiate resources and schedules.


– Risk management – Identifying and managing risk is extremely important. Being able to predict and create solutions to problems before they arise may be the key to delivering projects successfully.


– Leadership – You have to lead your team, as well as just manage their activities. You need to be able to inspire and motive your colleagues.


Project Manager Entry Level Positions


Even when you have worked on the skills that you require to become a Project manager and have some experience, it is still the case that many Project Management positions will still not be attainable.


It may be the case, however, that there are entry level positions that could require little of no experience to get started such as Junior Project Manager, Project Assistant, and even Product Assistant. These allow you to building your experience up while you work, gain more knowledge and perhaps complete a Project Management qualification.


Project Management Courses


It is not a requirement for being a project manager that you have Project management qualifications.  It is not even necessary that you have knowledge of the area that you are project managing to be able to successfully complete a project, although it definitely helps and , for more specific project management roles, such as those in engineering or IT, subject knowledge is more important.


Whatever route you take into Project management, it is the additional knowledge gained through professional qualifications and short courses that will help you to progress as a project manager. And you will not always have to complete these qualifications before finding employment, as the many employers will fund these as on-the-job training.


Courses are available in the various project management methodologies, such as:


PRINCE2 – A structured methodology, commonly used for end-to-end project management. Courses are available at foundation, practitioner and agile level. Foundation courses are suitable for new recruits with a basic knowledge of project management processes.


AGILE – Suited to environments such as IT, where there may be constant change, as the methodology uses short development cycles to focus on continuous improvement in the development of a product. Training is available at foundation and practitioner level.


Industry certification can also be gained through the Association of Project Managers (APM) and the Project Management Institute (PMI).


Common Project Management Interview Questions


To make sure you’re well prepared for a job interview read our previous blogs on preparing for a Job Interview here and here


Also pre-prepare your responses to these specific, common project management interview questions:


  • What project management methodologies are you most familiar with?
  • What are the most important qualities of a project manager and why?
  • How do you plan a schedule for a project?
  • How do you allocate resources?
  • How do you ensure your team stays on track to meet project deadlines?
  • How do you motivate a team?
  • Two key stakeholders have opposing views. How do you manage this?
  • What did you find most challenging about your last project?
  • What is the most complicated project you have managed? How did you handle it?
  • What was your most successful project?


It is entirely possible that you can achieve your goal of a job in Project Manager. Infero Training delivers course in PRINCE2 and in Microsoft Project.

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