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project management

Things you can do TODAY to advance your Project Management career

There is a worldwide shortage of project professionals, which presents a huge opportunity for those in project management roles to get ahead. In fact, project management has grown to become one of the UK’s largest areas of business over the last decade.

The ILX whitepaper on Increasing Graduate Employability in 2021 (sign up for a free download), hones in on the project profession’s skills gap. More than 87 million professionals will be needed to fill project roles across the world by 2027. Which is why here at PRINCE2 we are passionate about project professionals unlocking their potential and achieving a fulfilling career in project management.

So, whether you are starting out or looking to advance in the project management field, today is the day to take action! Each of the following tips is actionable right now, and there is no time like the present to advance your career.

Enrol on a training course

Let’s get this one out the door first; naturally, we are going to recommend enrolling on a training course. The UK is facing a major talent shortage, but with a globally-recognised qualification such as PRINCE2 or PRINCE2 Agile, you can gain the business-ready skills that set you apart and enhance your employability.

Those already working in project roles will potentially be offered training courses by their employers as part of a skills development programme. But this is not always the case, and so you must take back control of your own destiny and career advancement. Remember, it is not your manager who is in charge of your career, but YOU!

When looking to enrol yourself in accredited project management training, an e-learning course is a great option for studying alongside your role. E-learning courses are self-paced and available on-demand for maximum convenience.

Step out of your comfort zone

One of the top things you can do to advance your career – or in fact, any area of your life, is to do something that scares you! Hate public speaking? Put yourself forward to do a presentation at work. Guilty of always being a team player? Sign up to take the lead on a project. Go to a networking event or apply for a job that’s higher up the career ladder, the list goes on! Anything that pushes you outside your comfort zone is going to broaden your experience and help you progress, so step up to that challenge today! If the worst happens and it doesn’t go smoothly, then learn lessons from the experience, dust yourself off and try again!

Update your LinkedIn

Updating our LinkedIn profile is something many of us only get around to doing when we are on the hunt for a new job. However, keeping this professional social media presence up-to-date can be of great benefit. For starters, LinkedIn is a fantastic networking tool, it’s great for raising attention to the work you and your company do. It is also the ideal place to open up conversations around topics of interest and gain other professionals’ views on matters.

Beyond this, updating your LinkedIn profile can be the perfect way to reflect. Taking time for reflection will allow you to realise all that you have achieved, and how valuable your work and experience to date has been for your career. Be sure to add details of the projects you’ve been involved with, as well as links, results, outcomes and notable achievements.

The same goes for updating your CV or adding to any other online portfolio of your work. It is always worth bringing up to date whilst a job is fresh in your mind.

Ask for feedback

As daunting as it may be, asking for feedback is a perfectly normal part of work life. Whether it's from your boss, stakeholders, your peers, or your team, gaining feedback is one of the top things you can do to advance your career. There is much to learn from gaining insight and opinions from others.

The unfortunate truth is that many one-to-ones have been canceled during the pandemic, but there is little reason why these can’t take place online. So even if you haven’t returned to office working, there’s no excuse not to get feedback from your manager. Whilst formal reviews tend to be an annual occurrence, getting less formal feedback can, and should, happen incrementally.

And this leads us nicely onto our next tip…

Set yourself some goals

Feedback from management, stakeholders, and peers should help you set goals. Take onboard what they’ve said and turn it into actionable goals. Put your goals in writing and set out how to achieve them. Keep them small and easily attainable, as realistic targets keep you motivated far better.

Claw back some personal development time

Personal development does not have to involve a BIG commitment. It could be as simple as spending ten minutes after your lunch break reading industry news, articles, or blogs. The PRINCE2 blog is a good place to start. Keeping your finger on the pulse will teach you new things, and can give you a fresh perspective.

Networking is another way to develop yourself. Whether it’s online with fellow professionals, or building relationships with your team, better your relationships with others can do wonders for your self-confidence and ultimately develop your career. In the case of your team, bettering your working relationship is only ever going to be a good thing, so spare the time to talk to your team today.