Career progression using project management skills

Project manager bent over project documentation with books and laptop on table in kitchen to improve skills

Working on your career development and progression is a good use of time while on furlough or with hours to spare during the present pandemic.

Whether you’re an existing project manager or someone who wants to further their business skills and employability, investing in yourself gives a sense of control in uncertain times.

And with companies facing operational disruption and new challenges, they need employees to step up.

For professional project managers

To demonstrate professionalism, current project managers should use their online profiles to highlight experience and certifications. I think, in this case, “more is more” – offering more information will help attract the right recruiters.

It’s important to emphasize the soft skills you have: flexibility, ability to work remotely and on-site equally; understanding how to manage remote teams and showing leadership at a tough time.

What examples show how you can deal with difficulty and engage positively with people to keep them motivated? How do you become the “glue” of every project?

Also, how do you communicate effectively and with agility? Having knowledge of Agile methods gives you a shortcut to turn things around quickly, especially when working at a distance from others.

Switching your LinkedIn profile to “open” for new roles can put you in front of recruitment agencies and, don’t forget, your photo is personal branding. That could be the first contact with prospective employers/clients.

For professionals improving their business skills

If you have the time and resources, studying for a certification – for example PRINCE2® – is a way of building your transferable skills.

Regardless of whether you want to be a project manager, what you develop are business skills. And it’s a sign to management that you are willing to respond to the “new normal”.

So, what do learning and certification in a project management method give you?

  1. Directing and monitoring the work of a group/organization
    You need the skills to collaborate and empower people to do their work. You don’t want to do the work for them or just track that they haven’t done something. By developing soft skills plus governance, you improve how you approach colleagues, make interaction more organized and ensure you get the most from people’s attention span right now. This avoids any unspoken feeling that daily or weekly online meetings are a waste of time.
  2. Project management methods to mitigate external challenges: identify, assess and control risks
    During this current crisis, you need to assess risk holistically and be honest with your peers about what these are. With a better governance approach, you can track risks, avoid letting them slip and keep people informed of their status.
  3. Keeping business running now and in the long term
    When organizations exit this crisis, you will be better placed to secure new opportunities if you have shown you’re adaptable, flexible and responsive. This is what businesses will need to return to a more stable condition post-pandemic.

Training and learning also gives you the impetus to reassess what you want from your career. And, with the extra resilience you develop you feel energized and better equipped to cheer up the people around you, as well as yourself.

Read more AXELOS Blog Posts by Ana Bertacchini

Did you know you are a project manager?

4 steps to a successful project management career

How to survive project management for the non-project manager

How to align project management to corporate strategy

How to use 'lessons learned' to reduce project failure

How project managers can always improve emotional intelligence

The multi-faceted project manager

Current rating: 4.3 (4 ratings)


4 Jun 2020 Maryanne Ogbogbo
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Very helpful piece for the time. I wish the author would have written more on how to exploit this current situation rather than the generic stance of making oneself flexible, open and available. There are rich learning experiences and different ways of working which could have been included in the blog.
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