Most of us have one skill set or the other that we have learned or developed and are passionate about but because we have gotten that degree or certification in project management, we are now so much focused on getting that “project” management job that we have ignored our skills. Your project management degree or certification would help your resume pass the screening stage but it’s your skills that would most likely get you the job.
Project management is a broad and transferable skill. It’s a skill that can be blended (if you know how!) with almost every skills known to man. You do not need to be in a project-management-titled job before you can start practicing or applying your project management knowledge and skills.
Have you heard the saying that experience is key? It didn’t say that project management experience is key. So if you have some skills that you are passionate about and there’s a way that you can develop, practice and promote that skill, sitting down at home and waiting for when that company that you submitted your CV or resume to would contact you and offer you that “project” management job is a complete waste of your time. In fact, some hiring managers and recruiters screen out the CVs or resumes of persons who have been unemployed for long and busy doing nothing.
What If I Only Want to Work as a Project Manager?
A project manager is a generalised word used to describe persons who are into the project management profession. To make it more specialised, you would need to add a word either before or after the “project manager” or “project management” title. For example, a Construction Project Manager is a project manager who has specialised in the construction sector. A Project Management Tutor is someone who has specialised in tutoring or teaching people some of the things they need to know about project management.
So when I discuss or meet with persons who want to become a project manager, the first question I asked them is, “What type of project manager do you want to be?” The reason why I’m taking you to this angle is that there’s a possibility of you becoming “That-Your-Skill” Project Manager. Let’s say you have some coding skills, you can build your yourself to become a Software Project Manager. If you have a website development, blogging, social media, web analytics or digital skills, you can build yourself to become a Digital/Social Media Project Manager. If you are good with accounting and finance, you can build yourself to become a Financial Project Manager. If you have any of the IT-related skills, you can build yourself to become an IT Project Manager.
Do not ignore your learned or developed skills because of your project management degree or certification. Look for job opportunities where your skills is needed or build a career around your skill set. If you haven’t seen or applied for any of the jobs that need your skills yet, do not remain idle. Look for ways to continue developing, practicing and promoting those skills. Do some research on the internet and find out how some persons who have your skills set were able to practice and promote it while still job hunting.
If there’s any volunteering opportunity where you can practice and promote your skills, go for it. This will help boost your resume and your chances of getting that dream job. If you can get a good mentor to help guide you, that would be great.
Lastly, do you know that one of the reasons why some companies won’t offer you that job is not because you are not qualified, but because you are overqualified? Seeking for professional advice concerning your career is also a wise move. One way to go about that is to post a clearly written question about your career goals on professional groups and then sieve and select the answers that you prefer. You can find such professional groups on the LinkedIn network.
P.S. I have a FREE 8-Day Email Course for students, graduates and job seekers on “How to Attract Good Job Offers Without Submitting Your CV to any Company.” In the course, you will learn how to create a good job search strategy. Click here to enrol!