Market conditions have shifted considerably in recent years, thanks in large part to disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. But while these challenges have caused many to put career moves on hold, others are using it as an opportunity to reach the next level. Here’s how you can put yourself in a stronger position to develop your project delivery career in 2022.
Why now is the time to boost your career
For more than two years now, professionals have been navigating a market unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetime. Sudden – and often lengthy – lockdowns, remote and hybrid work opportunities, the ‘Great Resignation’. It’s no wonder so many people have avoided making major career decisions during these uncertain times.
However, as we move away from a market dominated by the pandemic, a major opportunity has arisen for project delivery practitioners: the high demand for project workers combined with a skills shortage is creating fertile ground for those looking to take the next step in their career. So, to help you start 2022 on the right foot, here are five tips for giving your project delivery career a boost.
1. Invest in training and development
The best way to make yourself more attractive in project delivery – whether that’s for your current position or as a jobseeker – is to expand your skill set. Training and development will help you acquire the best skills for your role, and help you stay across any changes that are occurring in the industry.
According to PMI, Project management-oriented roles in Australia are expected to expand by 100,000 positions by 2027, with PM roles around the world growing by 33 per cent to nearly 22 million jobs.
So now is the ideal time to get ahead of the charge, upskill yourself, and explore new ways of working, such as hybrid delivery. For example, someone with a background in traditional project management will derive exceptional value from Agile training – particularly in terms of the cross-functional skills that are heroed in high-quality courses.
2. Get a mentor
There’s no denying that the market has changed dramatically in the past couple of years, and we can’t expect that to stop any time soon. So for practitioners who have perhaps struggled to adjust to these changing conditions, what can they do to ensure they are still seen as valuable employees?
Struggling to adapt to something new like hybrid work isn’t necessarily a sign of weakness. On the contrary, recognising your own shortfalls is a valuable skill – so long as you take steps to overcome them. Getting a career coach or mentor can be immensely helpful to getting you back on the right path and giving your project delivery career some momentum. Alternatively, you could lobby your boss to bring in a team coach for the betterment of the whole department.
3. Acquire soft skills
A hard truth that many project delivery practitioners are realising is that there is no room in this industry for PMs who lack digital literacy. Moreover, organisations are seeking out candidates who possess favourable soft skills – think time management, communication, leadership and problem-solving. In particular, PMI’s Pulse of the Profession® report found collaborative leadership, adaptability, an innovative mindset, and empathy as being the most valuable soft skills employers are looking for.
You could have all the hard skills in the world, but without the interpersonal skills and professionalism they are seeking, you will likely struggle to see your project delivery career reach its full potential.
4. Future-proof your career
While seeking out a new role may not be appropriate for everyone, those looking to set themselves up for the future often look to greener pastures. Seek out long-term projects in areas that are set for substantial growth in the coming years. Moving into tech delivery, for example, may increase your employability today and broaden your career options down the track.
It’s also wise to familiarise yourself with what the C-suite wants from their project delivery teams. With countless organisations running digitisation projects, they need PMs, Agile practitioners and BAs with high levels of digital and technical literacy. And they are willing to pay for the best. According to AIPM’s 2021 Project Management Salary Report Australia, experienced project practitioners who boast niche technical skills are commanding salaries in excess of $250,000.
5. Surround yourself with like-minded people
If you are thinking about a career change, want to upskill yourself, or simply want to know what the future looks like for your industry, seek out the people who understand your work the best. Networking remains one of the most powerful ways to boost your project delivery career. Whether virtual or in-person, networking events and meet-ups can be your entry point to a world of connected figures in the sector.
Likewise, attending training courses is an invaluable way to meet and learn from others in similar roles, as well as bolster your skill set. Here at PM-Partners, we have adapted our training offering to reflect the shift to hybrid working, allowing participants to choose the delivery mode that suits them best. Whether you’re booking in for our Agile Project Management (AgilePM®) course or PRINCE2® Foundation to Practitioner, you can turn up in person or attend the sessions virtually from your preferred location. Either way, you’ll enjoy the same bespoke classroom environment led by a skilled, live instructor, and the opportunity to connect and collaborate with peers.
The way we work is changing, and project delivery practitioners need to move with the times in order to stay relevant – and in-demand. These are just a few ways you can future-proof your career. Make sure you keep broadening your skill set and always look for ways to leverage your current position into something even greater.
To find out more about the capabilities you need to future-proof your PM career, contact the professional development experts at PM-Partners or call us on 1300 70 13 14 today.
AgilePM® is a registered trademark of Agile Business Consortium Limited. All rights reserved.
PRINCE2® is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.