Project management is a field that is full of opportunities. With projects coming and going, project managers seem to be always on the move. However, as they become more immersed in these projects, most project managers inevitably suffer from a lack of professional development and thus, lose out on better opportunities.
As such, it is vital for project managers to go beyond just managing projects. While their jobs are essential, managing their careers and investing time and effort toward professional development cannot be overemphasized.
Take the case of Brian Setencich, for example. After his basketball career, Brian returned home and started working as a City Councilman in Fresno, California. While he had a Business Administration and Management degree from California State University, it was the professional development that he undertook while working in the government that allowed him to help in the securing of state funding for the City & County of San Francisco’s 911 Emergency Response Project.
Moving on from that, he went on to manage properties for landlords, residents and homeowners’ associations for larger communities in San Francisco. You can read more about the achievements of Brian Setencich here.
Unfortunately, not all project managers take the initiative to invest in personal growth, and thus, many find themselves stuck in the same continuous cycle of jobs without any real progress to show for it. The following are some of the ways in which professional development can enhance your project management career.
1. It Shows Your Willingness to Grow
Any professional development course will help you to re-evaluate how things are done. Thus, it promotes out-of-the-box thinking to enhance the manager’s creativity and versatility in the field.
2. It demonstrates Your Leadership Qualities
Leadership qualities are important in everyday life but are crucial towards successful project management. In addition to enlightening you on the latest techniques and methodologies in project management, these courses also develop a project manager’s leadership skills so they can improve their responsiveness to issues.
3. Enhances Your Validity to Shareholders
Shareholders want to know that the project they are developing is going to be successful. And thus, any deviation from the project’s original plans is likely to be met with resistance.
When it comes to bigger projects where the stakes are high, shareholders are understandably full of fears, making it much more difficult to convince them. A project manager who has developed their professional skills knows what to do or say to assume a higher level of responsibility. They are able to help the shareholders put their fears aside, which leads to a higher level of accountability for shareholders.
4. To Ensure Future Failures Do Not Damage Your Career Permanently
A project manager is likely going to face setbacks or failures at some point in their career. At times, even the best-laid-out plans may fail. You may encounter obstructions from governmental organizations, or a company could go bankrupt.
Nonetheless, regardless of your responsibility in the failure, it is going to reflect poorly on your resume. However, project managers who have invested in professional development can mitigate some of this damage.
This is because the fundamentals of professional development mirror those of risk management. When you are equipped with the right knowledge, skills, and proper execution tactics, you will not only be able to circumvent most of the pitfalls that cause projects to fail but will also give you a safety net to fall back on when things go sour.
5. Opens up More Opportunities
Professional development allows you to be more versatile regarding your career choices. It will enable you to venture into fields that you would never have thought of before. As such, this will make you a prospective candidate for better-paying jobs across numerous industries.
It is easy to get caught up in the cycle of moving from project to project with no end in sight. However, it is important for a project manager to look beyond today’s project if they want to advance their careers. Professional development allows you to develop better professional skills and abilities that allow you to take advantage of bigger opportunities.
Author Bio: Douglas Pitassi is a freelance writer and small business blogger.
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