How to Become a Project Manager

How to become a project manager

What is a project manager?

A project manager is a person who takes a leading role in an organisation and is in charge with all of the planning and execution of a particular project.

This person coordinates tasks to workers, provides relevant resources to complete the project on time and within the budget.

More companies need a project manager now than ever before, and therefore the industry is increasingly popular and competitive.

Get qualified

In order to become a project manager, it is important to have relevant qualifications, a degree or even both.

Relevant degrees to get you started:

  • BA Business Management
  • Diploma of Higher Education in Business Management
  • Project Management MSc
  • Project Management BSc

Don’t worry if you haven’t got a degree directly related to project management, you can still be a project manager by completing online qualifications.

Relevant Project Management qualifications:

  • APMP / APM PQ (practitioner qualification)
  • APM RPP (registered project professional)
  • PRINCE2 (practitioner)

These qualifications you can complete online, however, you do have to pay for them. You will be able to buy packages for a fee which includes different qualifications together. You can also choose the ones you find the most relevant and pay monthly.

It is important to have some sort of qualification when it comes to facing an interview to set you apart from other candidates, as competition can be very high. The more qualifications you have completed, the less competition you have.

Skills required

Task Management – Task management is probably the most basic skill that is required by project managers. You should be able to create tasks list, hand out tasks to the relevant person/department and keep on top of the progress. You have to develop different strategies to keep up with your team and to keep up with your own to do list. Learning to manage your tasks first and then helping to manage your team’s tasks is very beneficial for the whole company. You have to make sure that everyone takes responsibility for their deliverables.

Communication & Listening – Communicating and listening to your team is a key skill that you must hold, in order to keep track of the progress of your team. To track the progress of your team you need to set up regular meetings, keep email chains going and create group online chatting rooms. Slack is a very useful tool to do this with.

Good leadership – It is also required for you to be able to lead your team in a professional manner. You have to set visions, inspire others and lead effectively.

Scheduling – Creating deadlines and scheduling times for each team member is the key. Don’t just set them tasks verbally, use Excel and SmartSheet to your advantage. It is a free programme but if you want a more advanced version of the tool, you can purchase it at a small cost. This is a great tool for project management. If you have an offline project to complete, you can print out SmartSheet pages and give it to your team.

Critical thinking – As a project manager you have to adopt a critical way of thinking. You have to be able to make good decisions by thinking of all the pros and cons of certain problems and solutions you may face. You can always develop this skill by having discussions with your team.

Quality Management – Quality management is also a skill you’ll need to have as a project manager. You have to make sure that before sending deliverables they are up to standards of the client, meaning that they are efficient and can be sent. Dedicating time to ensure quality is impeccable and that the client is satisfied.

What are the responsibilities of a Project Manager?

As a project manager, you will face many challenges throughout your career. It’s your job to know how to face and overcome those challenges. There are lots of responsibilities and activities you will be involved in, some of which may be more frequent than others. However, you’ll get used to your responsibilities and learn more as you go.

Planning & defining projects – As a project manager, one of your main responsibilities will include planning and defining projects. Thinking about what needs to be done, how it needs to be done, how much budget will it require and the final result. You will be required to create a project plan and a clear time schedule which which you can share with your team.

Team Leadership – Leading a team is also a very common responsibility to have as a project manager. You may receive projects which require different skill sets. You have to make sure that you select and lead the right team in the correct direction.

Organising – Organising is all about your team’s and project’s structure. You need to identify roles and positions of each team member. You must organise the tasks and assign them to the correct team.

Budgeting – Budgeting is an important responsibility to have as a project manager. Every project will require a specific budget which has to be controlled. As a project manager, your responsibility will be that you spread out your budget over a set time period and deliver the expected project goals.

Completing documentation – Completing documentation is also one of the main responsibilities you will have as a project manager. Documentation can be related to the business clients or the business itself. No matter which, documents always have to be completed and made sure that they contain the correct details and relate to the correct department.

Measuring – There are different types of measurements you’ll have to take as a project manager. Project managers have to make sure that they are tracking projects constantly and making sure that they are running as smoothly as possible. Once a project is coming to a close, an evaluation is required where you will decide whether the project is up to the required quality. You will also have to assess and consider what went well and what could’ve been better and apply those to next upcoming projects.

Career progression

There are different stages you’ll go through when you start your career as a project manager. The speed at which you progress into different positions will depend on your skills and experience.

Project Administrator Project Manager Senior Delivery Role/Project Management Director
As a project admin, you will have lots of responsibilities. You will be assisting project managers and senior staff to manage and delegate tasks, as well as learning new skills and progressing onto the next stage of project management. When you get to a project manager position, you’ll have more authority over clients and projects. You can use all your skills that you have learnt and you can also develop them. Once you have developed all the skills and have enough experience, you will then proceed to the next stage. As a project management director, you will receive full control of projects. You’ll work with all levels of staff from junior to senior. You will be able to know the ‘ins and outs’ of your business and your clients. You will be a highly experienced member of staff, therefore you will also be able to train candidates.

 

Project Manager salary

(Source)

Project Administrator Project Manager Senior Delivery Role/Project Management Director
£18,000 – £36,000 £30,000 – £70,000 £40,000 – £81,000

 

How to apply

You can easily apply for a project manager job with Fish4jobs and filter your selection by location, sectors, salary band, hours, and contract type.

If you can’t find the one that suits you the best, you can sign up for job alerts and receive all the latest project manager jobs to your email inbox as soon as they are advertised.

What you’ll need

If you are new to Fish4jobs and career hunting, we can help you to write your perfect CV, Cover letter and Personal Statement which will grab the attention of recruiters and make your search easier.

You can download and fill out our Project Manager CV template to help you to secure your dream job.

A cover letter is also an essential document to have when applying for jobs so just simply follow our guide on how to write a cover letter for project management roles.

Some recruiters will also ask you to provide them with a personal statement. Do not panic, we have everything sorted for you. Simply follow the guide on project management personal statement, step by step and secure your place for the position.

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