Many people I’ve met in project management and other roles have said, “I didn’t really plan to be doing this, I just fell into it” – like it was a great big hole in the road, and perhaps they feel a bit stuck or don’t know how to move on with their career!
Most people really don’t take time now & again to think about what they want from their career.
So in this two part post, I’d like to set out some areas to think about in relation to progressing in your career as a project or programme manager – or equally in any role, the questions are equally valid.
Career Plan: Do you have clear goals as to where you see your career in project / programme / change management taking you, say in 3, 5 or 10 years? If you get some clarity on this, it can help you to identify the next steps to take to help you get where you want to be.
Work style / role: How do you ideally want to be working? As a freelance consultant, part of an established consulting team, an in-house project manager, move more into mainstream business, retire on your millions ! … something else entirely?
Industries: What industries do you enjoy working with or want to move into, or gain more experience. Will there continue to be opportunities for you in the area you’re in or is it waning? Most change management skills are transferable between industries; you can bring another perspective to a different industry & environment. If you’re feeling a bit jaded in your current role, and are looking for something more meaningful, is there a way to bring your skills to a new area, such as a non-profit or charity that you care about, either in a paid or volunteering role.
Values: What is important to you about the types of people that you want to be working with? This is another way of asking what your values are. These could be things like flexibility, creativity, autonomy, innovation, systematic, transparent… When you have identified these, that will help you assess the kind of culture of an organisation or client you want to be working with.
Suggested Exercise: Make a list of all of the qualities and values you admire in those around you in your workplace. See if you can prioritise them and identify your top 3 or 5 values. How well does that match the environment or organisation you’re currently working in? What do you notice about the list?
Let me know how you get on, and get in touch if it’s something you’d like some help with.
Watch out for the second part of this topic coming in two weeks!