How to Start a Project Management Career with Zero Experience?
Are you thinking about taking a leap and jumping into project management career? From my experience, it has truly been a rewarding path. One that I continue to invest in, and learn everything I can about the best project management practices.
There are plenty of project managers out there who have gotten started somehow. But how?
Assess your current skills and showcase them. If you want to become a project coordinator or project manager, it is important to display skills that a project manager has. Even if you’ve never had a “project manager” title.
If you can show how your current skills translate to skills a project manager needs, you suddenly have more experience than you thought. Be sure it’s on your CV, too.
Good examples of transferable skills are organization, leading teams, communication, planning meetings, etc. Please note that I am not suggesting just listing these on a CV, but being able to speak to how you have experience in these areas from previous roles.
Ask to be on new projects
Often times, even if you are not currently a project manager, companies have project management roles or ongoing projects where you can join as a resource. This is a great way to experience and get foot in the door.
If you are looking to make a career out of project management, get training. It can be a degree, certificate, or a few intros to project management classes. New skills open up new opportunities. Plus, certifications through Project Management Institute (PMI) require 23-35 hours of educational contact in project management depending on the certification.
Get a mentor
I remember seeing this advice when I was getting started. For me, it came naturally in the workplace when I found someone who believed in me and what I was capable of. A mentor doesn’t have to be limited to your workplace. You really just need someone that wants to see you succeed, and can help you get there. Don’t hesitate to check out forums like reddit>mentors and network with those you admire online to start building a relationship.
It’s my hope that your journey into project management can be smooth. Good luck!