Getting Into Project Management

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Comments (7)

Econdude in Hillsboro, Oregon

27 months ago

I would like to move into Project Management, but don't have a clue as to how I should launch. I have an MBA from a good school, and was captivated by the PM knowledge and how it fits with my personality type. The problem is I have no prior experience, need 4,500 hours to sit for the PMP certification, but I need to have my PMP before most companies would even consider hiring me. How can I overcome this barrier? Do you just have to get lucky and get with a firm and hope they ask you to manage projects so you can get your hours in?

Any advise on how to get started would be appreciated. I have the educational hours satisfied with my Operations and Change Management coursework in Graduate School.

Thanks in advance!
Econdude

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Radhia Benalia in Lebanon

27 months ago

Go for CAPM. It's a PMI certification that does not require years of experience. It will show that employers you are dedicated to Project Management, and you can get the experience required once you're hired.

With Best,

Radhia Benalia, PMP

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Unix Brat in Asheville, North Carolina

27 months ago

Econdude in Hillsboro, Oregon said: How can I overcome this barrier? Do you just have to get lucky and get with a firm and hope they ask you to manage projects so you can get your hours in?

If you actually have what it takes to be a PM, "luck" will not figure into the equation.

In most cases, there will be no hand-holding. When things go wrong, the project manager gets the blame. Oftentimes rightfully so. No one will listen to excuses.

If you are tougher than nails, can be very persuasive, prove that you can deliver results, and be willing to wear a target on your back 24x7, then I wish you godspeed.

I suggest studying the PMBOK. Your first "project" can be outlining a plan to get yourself hired at a growing firm that needs someone like you. Trust me, there will be projects no one else in the trenches wants to touch.

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PMConnection in Belleville, Michigan

21 months ago

Start looking for opportunities to gain experience with projects. If you can't find a paid opportunity, try volunteering; United Way, March of Dimes, your church, etc. Keep track of all the hours that you contribute. Start studying!
You will find other helpful tips for preparing for the PMP exam from here:
www.pmconnection.com/modules.php?name=Web_Links&l_op=viewlink&cid=10

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buzze40 in Naperville, Illinois

12 months ago

As a career PM in business change I would say that if you have the skills you should have no problem in finding opportunity. Almost every business role these days involves managing some evolution of the business and certainly any manager in the financial realm has at least a couple projects going through their group every year. You dont have to think big for your first projects. Anything that is introducing change in the business or delivering a new or out-of-the-ordinary product can (and should) be approached with a project mentality.

I developed into a project manager in a large company because projects that require a full-time in-house (non-consulting) lead are constantly coming up and often hard to fill. Since they have a limited duration people see accepting a project post as a career risk. "What will happen to me after the project?" Most people prefer to stay in solid staff roles in their discipline. So if you are willing to take the risk, you have some business knowledge and show to be a performer I would say you will be managing projects in no time. You must develop some foundation in your chosen company/industry first though to prove yourself and have credibility so dont rush it. Its a long ride. Enjoy.

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DGrant in Geneva, Illinois

10 months ago

Regarding securing the 4,500 hours required for the PMP certification, you do not need to only focus on hours worked on an “official” project.

Have you organized a family vacation? Have you organized a church event? Have you organized a school project? What about your MBA program? Other projects around the house any renovations, etc.? These are all projects…

A little thinking outside the box and you could claim hours from these “non-official” projects. Break down your "non-official" projects into the PM Processes (IPECC): Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling and Closing. Reference the PMBOK for specifics. Make sure to document the hours, with dates and keep records incase PMI audits your application.

According to PMI “What is a project?
More specifically, what is a project? It’s a temporary group activity designed to produce a unique product, service or result.
A project is temporary in that it has a defined beginning and end in time, and therefore defined scope and resources.
….
Read more: www.pmi.org/About-Us/About-Us-What-is-Project-Management.aspx

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Shawn in Spring, Texas

1 month ago

Econdude in Hillsboro, Oregon said: I would like to move into Project Management, but don't have a clue as to how I should launch. I have an MBA from a good school, and was captivated by the PM knowledge and how it fits with my personality type. The problem is I have no prior experience, need 4,500 hours to sit for the PMP certification, but I need to have my PMP before most companies would even consider hiring me. How can I overcome this barrier? Do you just have to get lucky and get with a firm and hope they ask you to manage projects so you can get your hours in?

Any advise on how to get started would be appreciated. I have the educational hours satisfied with my Operations and Change Management coursework in Graduate School.

Thanks in advance!
Econdude

Look for a project coordinator or planner position to get your foot in the door at some company and look to move up

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