If you already have a few years’ experience under your belt as a project manager, you may think you know everything there is to know about getting ahead in your career. Especially if you’re established in your career as a project manager, you can get complacent and your career advancement can plateau. In order to get ahead, you need to stay fresh and passionate about your career.
Don’t let yourself get bored.
Burnout is a serious problem in many different careers, and project management is no different. While you may be challenged with each new project, the daily processes in any job can get monotonous. Instead of simply doing your job, consider pushing your boundaries and accepting projects outside of your comfort zone. Challenge yourself to manage a project in a different industry or for a different department to stay fresh and expand your skill set.
Don’t get left behind.
Even project managers with years of experience need to stay fresh and informed about business developments. In the past, project managers may have been able to stay insulated within their industry or their company, but modern project managers need to understand the newest developments in communication, management and business trends. Stay on top of new developments in your industry, in project management and in general business trends so that you can remain relevant to your current employer and competitive in your field.
Don’t neglect leadership skills.
A good project manager may be able to get things done on time and under budget, but a great project manager is also a leader. In order to get higher-level projects, you need to be able to manage relationships with many different professionals, and you should hone your leadership skills in order to advance in your career. High level project managers will need to develop relationships with CEOs and stakeholders as well as managing teams, so practice your leadership skills to move up.
Don’t forget the power of education.
You may have understood how education could help you when you landed your first project manager job, but business training, formal education and professional development should never stop. You don’t have to give up your job to get a master’s degree, but you should take advantage of any professional development or training courses that come your way. Training can only help you hone your project management skills and help you stay abreast of current industry trends. If you’re interested in what your customer’s business is like, you can also learn about the industry to get a different perspective on your projects.
The project management career is essentially limitless. More often than ever, senior executives come from backgrounds as project managers. If you strive to advance your career every day and keep your skills moving forward, you can take your career anywhere you want.