Is project management right for you? (2023)


Curious about project management as a career option? What does this job entail? is for you The authors have been working in project management for nearly two decades and will answer some of the questions you may have before deciding if this is the right career for you.

  • What does a project manager actually do?In general, a project manager is responsible for planning, organizing, and managing the completion of projects while ensuring that projects deliver expected results on time, on budget, and within scope.
  • What essential skills do you need to apply for a job as a project manager?To qualify for a project manager position you will need hard skills, soft skills, technical expertise and an understanding of the business environment in which you will be operating.
  • What options are there in project management?The role of a project manager has different job titles: project manager, delivery manager, scrum manager, agile coach, product manager. Titles may vary by country. However, it is important to understand the requirements, responsibilities and implications of your role so that you can make an informed decision.
  • Do I have to specialize in one area or can I manage different types of projects?As a recent graduate or new professional, we recommend choosing programs in your area of ​​expertise to maximize your success and boost your confidence. As you gain more experience as a project manager, you can stay in the same type of project, in the same industry but in a different technical area, or move from one area to another.

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(Video) Project Management Career - Is it Right For Me? (Let's be Real)

The Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc around the world. According to several studies, the government will spend more than10 trillion dollarsAbout the rebuilding project for the next 10 years. This means that within a decade, millions of projects—more than ever before—will go into production, each requiring a project manager.

Project management is already a lot of work. Do a quick search on LinkedIn and thousands of jobs will appear in your feed. By the way, at the time of writing we did a search and found over half a million jobs in the US alone. These are just a few pointersProject financesStop here.

If you are interested in this career, now is a good time to learn about the specialty and requirements for a project management position and see if this is right for you.

Let's start with the basics.

The "Project Manager" role is exactly what the name suggests: the person responsible for the day-to-day management of a particular project. Think of this post asConduit, football coach or CEO of a temporary team to create, manage and monitor projects from start to finish. Almost every industry—from technology to retail to publishing—needs people with these skills. As a project manager, you can work at a startup or a large company. You can work full time, freelance or even become a consultant.

One of the great benefits of this career is that the skills required are transferable. Project managers often have the flexibility to move easily between industries. One of us (Antonio) worked in consulting for ten years, then switched to banking, got bored and ended up working for a pharmaceutical company. Another (Yasmina) remains in the telecom industry, but leads a wide range of projects - from software to mobile phone development.

Knowing all this, you might be thinking, "Can I really do this?"

The answer is yes. You may not have all the skills right now, but with dedication, persistence, and enthusiasm, anyone can learn to become a great project manager. Based on our experience, we'll answer some of the questions you may have, whether you're a recent graduate or just starting out in your career.

1) What does a project manager do?realAlso?

In general, a project manager is responsible for planning, organizing, and managing the completion of projects while ensuring that projects deliver expected results on time, on budget, and within scope.

The exact responsibilities of a project manager depend on the industry, organization, and type of project the manager oversees. But in general, all project managers share responsibilities during the so-called "project life cycle". It consists of four phases:

  • initiate: As a project manager, you start a project by defining its purpose, business case, benefits, and overall scope (ie, the requirements the project will meet). This includes identifying key stakeholders or individuals or groups that will be affected by the project, including employees and customers. On this basis, the so-called project map, the technical term for a detailed proposal, is drawn up.
  • planning: Once the project sponsor (usually your boss or upper management) approves the project charter, you usually work with a team of experts (assigned by your company) to define the project scope and develop a larger plan action. You identify key deliverables, deadlines, significant risks or obstacles you may face, and set a budget, among other things.
  • ongoingand surveillance: As a project manager, you need to ensure that your team members are motivated and complete the work specified in the project plan. Be careful not to confuse this role with that of HR manager. Project management does require some people management skills, but only when it comes to building a high-performing team and helping that team successfully complete the project at hand. Your team members may consist of people from different departments who report to others.
  • closure: As a project manager, it is your responsibility to complete the project as planned and deliver the promised results. This important final stage includes reviewing the business case, thanking the team, providing personal feedback and drawing conclusions from lessons learned.

2) What basic knowledge is required for an application as a project manager?

You will need hard skills, soft skills, technical expertise and an understanding of the business environment in which you will operate.

Hard skills

You need a good understanding of key project management concepts, methods, and tools to develop sound project plans, identify project stakeholders, or manage project risks.

More and more universities now offer project management courses, but you can also learn the basics by enrolling in an online course, listenPodcastabout this topic and see related articlesonline conferenceStay updated on all new developments.


You can also learn a lot from people doing the work you want. If you are interested in this role, please contact a project manager in your organization or someone in your networkupdate.You can ask:

  • How did you train to be a project manager?
  • How do you keep your knowledge up to date? Is there a specific course you can recommend?
  • What should a new project manager look out for?
  • Do you have any other suggestions for me?

After you have a few years of experience, we recommend that you pursue a project management certification. Two good decisions are those made byGeneral Project Management(PMP)® from the Project Management Institute and Axelos,Prince 2®Institutional Certification in Project Management. A professional and valid certification will open the door to further project management tasks and advance your career.


In this role, you must learn to communicate well, actively listen to colleagues and stakeholders, and motivate your team. These are skills we often learn at school, for example working with peers to make a presentation, lead a field trip, organize an event or take part in a discussion. However, they can easily become dull without practice, so constant sharpening is essential.

Here are some of the most relevant overviews and tips on how to apply them:

  • Emotional Intelligenceit is the ability to be perceivedDisposaland others. Make regular appointments with yourself to review some of the followingyou are welcome: What motivates me to make progress? How do I deal with negative thoughts? Ask for help or ask a trainer360°-FeedbackGain important insights for your growth.
  • Critical ThinkingIt is rational and logical thinking. It can help you identify the root cause of a particular problem. To improve this skill, you need to be aware of all the assumptions you make when running a project. Make sure you base your conclusions on evidence and not biased experience.
  • Decision making is also important because it helps you think and choose the best course of action. The best way to improve this skill is to think (rather than impulsively) before deciding which direction to take. Use questions like: Should the decision be made by me or the team? If the latter, does the decision require a unanimous vote or a majority decision?
  • Influenceis the ability to motivate or persuade others. As a project manager, you need to know how to motivate them without necessarily having authority over them. Take the time to meet with your teammates face-to-face and learn about their individual goals. Use what you've learned to connect their contributions to the goals that motivate them.

Remember, you won't acquire these social skills overnight. It is important to be patient and persistent.


You must tootechnical aspectParticipate in projects. For example, when implementing a new HR application, you must spend time understanding certain technical aspects of the software, such as: B. Development stages, configuration tools, or how it is tested and integrated.

You don't need to be an expert. a certain level of understanding gives you credibility with the team and stakeholders. It also helps you justify a course of action when talking to sponsors. If you're interested in a project in a topic or industry you're unfamiliar with, you can take an introductory course, read the subject literature, or talk to a subject matter expert to learn more. For example, you can say, “I'm new to this area. I don't intend to become a technologist like you, but I want to have a general understanding of X so that I can function and help in my new role.” Club. Would you like to share some ideas with me?

This should not be an isolated case. Make sure you have a plan for how to keep your technical knowledge current based on the projects you're working on.

Basic understanding of the business environment

Last but not least, the ability to link project deliverables to specific business challenges and organizational strategic goals is critical to project support and project success. When this connection is made, most stakeholders, including senior management, will be more supportive of the project as they clearly see that the project contributes to the organization's priorities.

For example, if your organization is in the field of social development and you are asked to lead a project to improve educational opportunities in Mauritania, you should do some research on the different education systems – which have been the most successful, why and which alternatives will be the best suited to the specific needs the project aims to address.

This task will help you better define your project and how its purpose aligns with your organization's priorities. And when you can make those connections and explain them to your team members, you add more meaning (and motivation) to their work.

3) What options are there in project management?

The role of a project manager has different job titles: project manager, delivery manager, scrum manager, agile coach, product manager. Titles may vary depending on the country you are in. However, it is important to understand the requirements, responsibilities and implications of your role so that you can make an informed decision.

(Video) Is a Project Management Career Right for Me?

According to an analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,The biggest and fastest growth in project management oriented jobswill be spent on software development - expected to grow by 14% between 2019 and 2030. Much of this growth will come from mobile app development, IT security and the rise of health technology.

driftleading industryManufacturing and construction, information and publishing, financing and insurance. currentlyregional developmentFour-fifths of project management job growth will occur in China and South Asia.

There is no clear script here. Success in business is not just aboutMove up the organizational hierarchy.You may also consider exploring other development paths like us, e.g. B. Participation in front line strategic projects or leading global project teams. These experiences have been enriching and rewarding.

4) How can I find out which companies have the best opportunities?

Project management opportunities exist in a wide variety of industries. But which one is good for you? Here are some questions you can use to enhance your interview to guide your decision:

  • Do you offer training/certification to help your project managers develop new skills?
  • Is the project manager fully committed to the project or does the role carry additional responsibilities?
  • What kind of projects will I be working on/managing: strategic, technical, customer, internal?
  • What is the typical size of your project - local, regional or global?
  • What is the typical group size? what is your budget
  • Who do I report to the project sponsor?
  • How do you evaluate the performance of a project manager?
  • What does a project manager career look like for this company?
  • If successful, do I have the opportunity to lead a larger project or multiple projects at the same time?

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5) Do I have to specialize in one area or can I manage different types of projects?

This is a question we are often asked. Our answer: initially "yes", but long-term "no".

As a recent graduate or new professional, we recommend choosing programs in your area of ​​expertise to maximize your success and boost your confidence. As you gain more experience as a project manager, you have the option to stay in the same type of project, in the same industry but in a different technical area, or to move from one area to another.

When applying for a new role, practical experience, technical expertise and program certifications will determine your success. The best way to advance and develop your project management career is to keep learning.

Becoming a successful project manager is not just about hands-on experience, technical expertise, or project management certifications. These are ways to expand your knowledge and build strong relationships with your stakeholders. By working in project management, you will contribute more than ever to creating a better future for humanity.

Good luck with all your projects and your career as a project manager!

(Video) 5 Reasons Why Project Management Might Not Be Right For You


Is project management right for you? ›

To be a good project manager, you need to be able to manage people. You won't have 100% responsibility for staff members, but you will need to show leadership, hold them accountable, manage conflict, etc. Some project managers say they could do a much better job if they didn't have to deal with people.

How do I know if I am good at project management? ›

To be a good project manager, you need to be able to manage people. You won't have 100% responsibility for staff members, but you will need to show leadership, hold them accountable, manage conflict, etc. Some project managers say they could do a much better job if they didn't have to deal with people.

Is it worth going into project management? ›

Project management is a rewarding career choice that offers high salaries and a lot of variety in the workplace. However, it is also a demanding profession that is often extremely stressful.

Why project management is for you? ›

Project management is important because it helps every part of the business run more efficiently and effectively. When done correctly, it enables leadership to plan and manage projects so that every objective and deliverable is completed on time and within budget.

Why I quit being a project manager? ›

In my experience, people leave project management for these reasons: The work is too stressful with zero work/life balance (we now call this work/life integration) The team, senior management or executive level are disorganized with poor communication skills and that makes it hard to get anything done.

What personality is good for project management? ›

Good Listening and Communication Skills

And since communication is a two-way street, a project manager also needs the ability to explain project timelines, assignments and status updates in a way that all stakeholders can understand, regardless of their familiarity with the project.

What personality makes a good project manager? ›

Problem-solving and decision-making skills. Project management is complex and fraught with issues. Therefore, managers need strong problem-solving and decision-making skills to resolve conflicts and other project-related problems sensibly and fairly.

How happy are project managers? ›

Project managers are generally happy and there are many reasons for this. Below, we list five of the most important factors that make project management a satisfying career path.

Is project management a stressful job? ›

Being that project managers are responsible for the team's coordination and performance throughout a project, the role of a project manager can often be extremely stressful. It is no news that increased stress can negatively impact your productivity, from missing deadlines to going over-budget.

Do project managers become millionaires? ›

Yes, you can become rich as a project manager.

While this annual salary is quite high, it depends on a variety of factors.

How hard is project management? ›

Project management is one of the most challenging careers as no day will be the same, and you will need all your project management skills to solve every problem. Also, you'll be the first person your team goes to when a problem occurs. They might expect you to hold the answers to any inquiry.

How do I become a project manager with no experience? ›

Here are our five top tips for getting into project management when you have no experience or qualifications.
  1. Highlight your core skills. ...
  2. Find a mentor. ...
  3. Network with other project managers. ...
  4. Explore professional development options. ...
  5. Get a professional membership.
Oct 18, 2022

Is project management a good career in 2023? ›

Project management has become a very in-demand career in 2023. An official PMI study reported that by 2027 the demand for project managers would grow so much that employers will need 87.7 million individuals in this profession. And if you have the necessary skills, you must consider going down this career path.

Do project managers get laid off? ›

Indeed, we are seeing just that with almost daily layoff announcements within the tech industry. A significant percentage of project managers work in the tech industry. This makes them vulnerable to losing their jobs when this industry contracts.

Why don't people like project managers? ›

Project managers are lazy

Generally project managers are not answerable to their subordinates. They are self-paced and semi autocratic. These allowances provide them the opportunity to spend time lazily. Many project managers spend more time surfing internet than evaluating the performances of his/her subordinates.

Do project managers have a future? ›

Stimulants of project management future scope are:

High demand for project talents, especially in rapidly developing economies such as China and India. By 2027, businesses will need 87.7 million professionals in project management roles.

What is the Big Five personality of a project manager? ›

These five factors became known as the Big Five personality traits and are classified as: Extroversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Emotional Instability, and Openness to Experience (MCCRAE; JOHN, 1992).

Are good project managers born or trained? ›

Good project managers possess an interesting balance of nature vs. nurture in their abilities. I do believe that great project managers can be made, but having the right mixture of innate skills and temperament is a great place to begin.

What can go wrong in project management? ›

5 Common Project Management Mistakes to Avoid
  • Not setting clear project goals.
  • Not considering personalities during team selection.
  • Not reporting necessary data.
  • Prioritizing "urgent" tasks over "important" tasks.
  • Not managing scope creep proactively.
  • The right software can help keep your projects afloat.
Apr 13, 2023

What temperament do project managers have? ›

The average Project Manager often prefers to minimize unknowns, striving to understand the rationale behind how everything works. The average Project Manager tends to be an objective thinker who prioritizes accuracy and results.

Can an introvert be a good project manager? ›

Being an introverted person comes with a unique set of challenges when working with others, and managing projects as introvert is no exception. However, not all hope is lost. In fact, introverts can learn to become great project manager, leaders and even elite-level professionals.

What Myers Briggs personality is a project manager? ›

Most successful project managers tend to fall into one particular personality type – the ISTJ. ISTJ stands for introversion, sensing, thinking, and judgment. These four elements are a part of the MBTI ( Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) as the key standout traits of successful project managers.

What is the average age of a project manager? ›

Age and gender

The median age of Construction Project Managers is 42 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.

Why is being a project manager so hard? ›

Because projects are often complex, a successful project manager foresees approaching obstacles and repeatedly removes impediments to productivity. Some team members can see project managers as obstacles to getting work done, or sources of useless overhead and interfering micromanagement.

Do project managers have good work life balance? ›

As a project manager, you may be responsible for one or, more often, several projects. This can bring a lot of stress and disrupt your work/life balance. Also, it is not possible to do the same thing for two days in a row as a PM. There are days with a lot more stress when deadlines are approaching.

How many hours does a project manager work? ›

Project management specialists usually work in an office setting, but they occasionally travel to visit clients. Most work full time, and some work more than 40 hours per week.

What is the day in a life of a project manager? ›

Their day-to-day work includes communications around hiring, managing job codes, liaising with external recruiters/agencies, owning the company's HR tech stack, managing the different job boards it uses, and maintaining good employer branding.

What is the most difficult aspect of being a project manager? ›

One of the most common challenges a project manager has to face usually regard corporate, internal issues. These issues can be most of the times related to having poorly defined goals by a company or a firm. So, the problems for the project manager arise even before going into a business.

What is the salary of a PMP? ›

PMP certification salary statistics show that this certification is well worth the effort for many professionals. According to PMI, non-certified project managers in the U.S. earn a median annual salary of $93,000. PMPs earn a median wage of $123,000 per year—a 32% increase over their non-certified colleagues.

Can project managers make 7 figures? ›

Yes, project managers can make six figures.

The average project manager makes around $74,000 a year. However, it's not far-fetched for a project manager to earn over $100,000 a year. It is achievable given the right factors, opportunities, and preparation.

Can I make 100k as a project manager? ›

A $100,000 a year project manager salary is not a far-fetched dream. It is totally achievable given the right factors, opportunities and preparation. Of course, it would take years to get to that income level and lots of hard work to prove you are worthy of such compensation.

Is project management a lot of math? ›

No, project management doesn't require math, just diligence. As long as you are thorough and careful when working with budgets and other numerical figures, you do not need advanced math skills to be a Project Manager.

Is the PMP actually hard? ›

Many PMP exam takers report that the exam is difficult, with a passing rate of around 60% on the first attempt. However, the level of difficulty can vary depending on a person's prior project management experience and their preparation for the exam.

What is the salary of an entry level project manager? ›

Entry Level Project Manager Salary. $41,000 is the 25th percentile. Salaries below this are outliers. $55,500 is the 75th percentile.

What does an entry level project manager do? ›

Working as an Entry Level Project Manager

Working as an entry-level project manager involves successfully being able to: Plan, track and report on the performance of multiple ongoing projects. Support senior managers with the completion of project objectives. Effectively manage project risks.

How long does it take to become a project manager? ›

Becoming a project manager generally takes 1-4 years, depending on the path. Earning a bachelor's degree in project management typically takes four years for full-time students. A project management certificate program often takes less than one year.

Can anyone learn to be a project manager? ›

Being a project manager is about more than just degrees and qualifications. While there are lots of certifications you can take if you want to, having a degree is not required. There are many other steps to becoming a project manager that you can take.

Are good project managers born or made? ›

Some people have innate talents for managing projects. Here's how to recognize them. You can train somebody to be a good project manager, but great project managers seem to be born, not made.

What is poor project management? ›

The common signs of poor project management are:

Individual performers rather than teamwork. Different “Project Goal Perception” of the project team members. Schedule delays. Cost overruns. Never-ending change requests.

What are your strongest project management skills? ›

  1. Communication. Project managers must have strong communication skills to be able to convey messages to clients and team members. ...
  2. Leadership. Strong leadership skills are critical for project managers. ...
  3. Organization. ...
  4. Negotiation. ...
  5. Team management. ...
  6. Time management. ...
  7. Risk management. ...
  8. Problem-solving.
Mar 10, 2023


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