Starting Out as a Project Manager? Here’s What to Expect

Starting Out as a Project Manager? Here’s What to Expect

What to expect as a Project Manager
 
The professional life of a project manager consists of responsibility and discipline. Not only this – if you want to be a good project manager, you need to be ready for new challenges, find a suitable solution, conquer it, and move on to the next one.

As a Project Manager or we should say “Project Superhero”, you need to juggle several challenges at once without sacrificing on parameters that can hamper the projects. You must be willing to wear many hats at a time, that too without feeling frustrated or burned out. All these requirements are only a tip of the iceberg and before you start, you must have a rough idea of what is expected of a project manager to do justice to your role. In this blog post, we discuss what you can expect from your role as a Project Manager. Take a look.

 

Multitasking Is a Part of the Job

You’ve probably read dozens of articles online that are all about how unproductive multitasking is. Well, this is true – your mind functions way better if you’re focused on one thing at a time. Otherwise, you’ll be in a constant state of confusion.

If you want to be a project manager, you should know that multitasking is an integral and undetachable part of the job. However, unlike most careers, you need to conquer multitasking and extract confusion from your mind. Using a good project management software with the right methodology can help in this case as you can assign multiple tasks to your team members and track each of them under one hood without losing focus.

Another fact is that it won’t be expected from you to remember all the information – if you start working for a serious company, you’ll be equipped with an appropriate tool.
 

You Need to Be Kind but Authoritative

If you become a project manager, you should be aware of the fact the decisions you need to make won’t be easy. This is because you always need to strive towards a balance between kindness and authority. In order to do your job, you need to be both.

A project manager who’s not a figure of authority won’t be able to delegate tasks and responsibilities. When this is the case, the whole company will suffer because you won’t be able to meet your deadlines.

On the other hand, if your approach isn’t empathetic, you’ll put too much pressure on employees that they can’t handle.  This will ultimately lead to poor delivery quality that impacts your business reputation as well as the bottom line.

So, you need to be kind but authoritative simultaneously. Naturally, you still need to remind yourself that you’re in your office for business purposes – too much kindness can lead to unproductivity. Give leeway to people to do tasks on their pace, but inform them in advance if you are pressed for deadlines.
 

If you're just starting your project management career, this is what you need to know.
 

People Skills Are a Must

When it comes to people skills, we already listed empathy is a mandatory one. Without it, you won’t be able to determine which employees are troubled with their tasks, and you won’t be able to help them with their work process.

Besides this, you should also have fantastic communication skills.  There will be times when you will be handling frustration on the floor or with stakeholders. You will be that medium between stakeholders, your boss, and the rest of the team. Until you learn to pacify situations, chances of succeeding as a project manager are quite lean. If by any chance a misunderstanding occurs between these parties, you’ll be the first one to take the bullet.

It’s obvious that you need to be seriously responsible in order to be a good project manager. This isn’t a job for quiet introverts – you need to put yourself out there and pull your weight.
 

Strategy Development Will Be a Routine

Whenever there’s a new set of tasks coming in, you’ll be the one in charge of processing the raw material and turning it into a project that’s broken down into small tasks. Naturally, you won’t be dealing with one project at a time, which makes this harder.

Therefore, you’ll have to work with intertwined timelines of different projects. Your objective is to deliver your part of the deal within the deadline. You’ll also need to be positive that the quality of your deliveries is in accordance with the criteria of your company.

So, you’ll need to be a strategist. Every task within every project needs to have its place in a complex timeline, and you’ll be the one responsible for making that happen.
 

You Will Have to Prioritize

Which brings me to the next point – you need to learn to prioritize. Of course, each stakeholder you’ll be working with will consider themselves a priority. Your job is to make sure they really believe that by making your delivery on time.

However, what happens inside your office is a different thing. The list of your priorities needs to be influenced by two factors:

  • You need to include the complexity of the project into account.
  • You need to make sure you’ll meet your deadline.

These two thoughts must be in your mind at all times if you want to be able to create a complex timeline of tasks that will function.
 

You’ll Mediate Between Different Parties

Not only will you have to communicate with internal teams, but you’ll also have to be in touch with your leaders and stakeholders – like mentioned above. However, the reason why we’re returning to the subject is the nature of that communication.

You’ll have to use a different vocabulary when you talk to these parties. Employees require a more casual tone, and your business leaders will ask you to deliver reports. Other than reports, you will also find yourself negotiating with stakeholders. Therefore, resourcefulness and the ability to adopt are quite necessary here.
 

Conducting well-run meetings is important to keep a project on track and on budget
 

Software Will Be Your Best Friend

In the introduction, we mentioned project management software. In order to be able to do your job, you will need a powerful tool that will enable you to:

  •         delegate tasks
  •         keep track of everything that’s going on
  •         and monitor deadlines

Not only that your tool needs to have appropriate features that will enable you to do your job, but it also needs to be simple to navigate. So, you need easy project management software that doesn’t require a demanding learning curve or complex technical knowledge.
 

Now when you know what to expect from a career in project management, you’ll be able to determine if this is a calling for you. Although this isn’t an easy job, it’s very rewarding. If you can handle the pressure, the feeling of accomplishment after you end each project will be quite motivational.

 

 

About the author

David is a technical writer, his works are regularly published in various papers and top-notch portals. His rich experience in Project management domain helps him offer latest and fresh perspective on improved efficiency in workflows across organizations. His informative works on similar lines can be reached out on ProProfs Project.

 

 

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