Project Management is a crucial career that ensures the success of projects in a variety of industries and fields. Tasks such as planning, budgeting, overseeing staff, and ensuring that projects run smoothly will all fall under your job description.
If you are considering a career in Project Management, it is wise to consider what opportunities you will be presented with in the future? What does it take to work in Project Management? What does a project management career entail? What other careers pathways are available?
The importance of cultivating a flexible mindset
As a Project Manager, there is a strong chance you will be required to balance multiple projects at any one time. Development flexibility in your competencies and with your time is crucial to success in this situation. At the beginning of a project, you should be planning to identify any risks that could become an issue later on. From there, you will be able to create a flexible strategy that will prepare for the worst, but hopefully wouldn’t be needed.
You will be required to allocate time and funding to ensure your jobs run smoothly. If you don’t allow enough of either resource, you will have to do damage control. This can cause problems for your projects, and will not be looked favourably upon by your employers or the project’s stakeholders.
In contrast, if you allocate too much time or money to one project, you run the risk of taking resources from a project that may need it more, effectively creating unnecessary wastage.
Having a strong and flexible mindset will allow you to consistently manage workloads of employees and resources allocated to the project. Evaluating projects as a whole and scheduling peaks and troughs so that they are well spaced will mean you don’t have all your projects coming to a head at one time, creating less stress and easier management.
Flexibility and balance are easily the most necessary skills to develop in project management. With these skills, you will be able to make informed and fast decisions, smart budgeting choices, and the best conditions for your staff.
Project Management opportunities in Building and Construction
Building and construction is an industry that depends heavily on the project management role. Like in any industry, building and construction project management requires the ability to plan, organise, problem-solve, manage priorities, and use initiative. Your ability to work in a team and have open communication will be crucial to your success. Construction Project Managers can expect to work in a variety of fields like commercial, residential, industrial and heavy civil.
Some of the tasks that you will be required to manage will include:
- Compile a budget and negotiate cost estimates for the project
- Organise the work timetables for your employees
- Select the most efficient strategies and construction methods
- Maintain communication with your clients and stakeholders to keep them updated on work or budget-related progress or issues
- Openly discuss contractual details with your co-workers and other parties involved
- Ensure safety standards are maintained on the construction site so that your staff are as safe as possible
- Guarantee that your strategies and plans meet compliance and are legal requirements
If you want to enter into this field, online learning offers the perfect pathway. If you’ve been in the building and construction industry and understand the practices and protocols, completing a project management course will demonstrate that you’ve gone to great lengths towards achieving this new goal. Employers will be impressed by the steps that you have taken.
The overarching concept for a Construction Project Manager is to remain closely connected to the technical and personal elements of a project. Whether it is communicating with stakeholders, contractors, the community, or managing the budget and execution, you are required to be aware of every aspect and maintain an extreme level of organisation. Ultimately, your goal is the complete satisfaction of your clients’ needs and wishes for their project, whether from a functional or a logistical point of view.
Career Pathways into Quality Auditing
Another opportunity that exists for project managers exists in the field of Quality Auditing. The role of a quality auditor is structured to determine if a job is complying with policies, procedures, and processes of the organisation or project.
Why will a company seek to employ a quality auditor?
- They are capable of identifying the best practice needs of the organisation or project
- They will determine non-compliant practices and if there are any shortcomings or gaps in any one project
- They form good relationships with the organisation’s and project teams
- Quality auditors provide assistance to improve the process being implemented to increase productivity and success of a project team
The purpose of an auditor, in this situation, is to correct any deficiencies in a project that would result in a project that would be compromising quality or safety. These audits can be conducted randomly on a schedule, and by an internal or external auditor.
With so much at stake, for both the auditor and the party being audited, there are certain behaviours that will uphold the level of professionalism you need to be successful in your career.
Rules for a Quality Auditor:
- 1. An auditor should always appear neutral. Being rude or nervous will lead to resistance from those you are inspecting. Similarly, being overly friendly will make it appear that people do not have to take the audit seriously.
- 2. You should ask open-ended questions, allowing enough time for answers and listening closely to what everyone has to say.
- 3. If you speculate that someone has done the wrong thing or find a practice that is not compliant, communication is key. The point is to ensure the project is successful and calling someone will not create success. If a mistake is made, it is the employer’s responsibility to bring it up with the party at fault.
- 4. Communicate effectively and clearly with all managing parties.
- 5. Refrain from giving any recommendations that could compromise the quality and objectivity of the audit.
- 6. Always report on any safety issues you may come across, even when outside of your audit scope.
If you have made a successful career in project management but are looking for a change, quality auditing could be a good option for you. The best way to achieve this would be to undertake a Quality Auditing course online.
Project Management Opportunities and Salaries
No matter the business or industry, high-quality project management will always be essential to their longevity. The success of projects ultimately rests on the quality of its leaders and their ability to balance projects and priorities effectively.
Such positions are always valuable and ensure a relatively positive outlook for project management remaining a prosperous career in the future.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics in the United States estimates that worldwide, management occupations will grow at a rate of 6% by 2024. If this is a correct estimation, there could be as many as 505,000 new jobs in the field by the estimated date.
Worldwide, projected job change is driven by the continued establishment of new businesses and organisations, as well as the expansion of existing ones. The more expansion continues, the greater the need for managers and supervisors, effectively creating a higher volume need for project managers in the workforce.
The average salary for a Project Manager in the construction industry in Australia is $97,887. Factors that could impact are location, experience, and the company. Comparatively, in the United States, the average salary for a project manager is $90,139USD per year.
An entry-level Project Manager with less than one year’s experience can anticipate an average of $66,000. One to four years in the industry can expect you to see an average total compensation of AU$79,231.
How to cultivate your Leadership potential
Strong leadership skills are the hallmark of any great Project Manager. Honed over time and by necessity, your leadership abilities can increase your career trajectory when coupled with the right qualification. A seasoned Project Manager might consider the idea of doing an MBA to further career potential. However, a smart one knows that a Diploma of Leadership and Management (BSB50420) will get the same result for less time and money. A double diploma that includes Logistics Management will open up opportunities for CEO, COP and COO leadership positions in Australian and overseas.
The Bright Future of Project Management
Project management can be a lucrative and fulfilling career when handled with foresight and commitment. Whether you are just starting your career, or have been in the industry for a while, there is always more to learn and experience.
Key positions in building and construction, quality auditing or a company leadership role are all great examples of how to be successful in the many industries that require outstanding project management know-how. Online learning is the best way to expand your knowledge and successfully take advantage of future opportunities in project management.