Becoming a Project Manager... Becoming a Project Manager...
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  1. #1

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    Default Becoming a Project Manager...

    Hi all

    I come in peace as an Agency Recruiter looking for advice on how to transition away from recruitment. Coming up to seven years with my employer, having taken the job straight out of University to support my partner who was still studying, it’s all I’ve known.

    I’d like to think I’m one of the better guys; I don’t treat contractors like commodities, the contractors I work with know I’m available 24/7 for them, I always try to increase their rates (even if it means a reduction my margin / bonus) and, unlike most recruiters, I’m not solely in it for the money. Yes, this has led me to being an ‘average’ recruiter by my employers standards, but at least I sleep soundly at night knowing I am doing everything possible for the contractors that I work with.

    Now I’ve waved the white flag – I’m hoping to get advice on the best route to becoming a Project Manager. I have a bachelors Business degree, nearly seven years working in the Defence industry and have relevant security clearances. For the last year I have been working on providing SOW to several companies and really enjoyed it. Against my employers wishes, I have been involved in every aspect. They would prefer I just do the sales side and pass it over to another team. However, I wanted to follow the project all the way through and I’ve enjoyed learning about the project lifecycles etc etc.

    I’m unsure as to what route I should take to eventually become a PM. I’ve seen Open University diplomas taking two years (full time) or four years (part time) – financially I can’t afford to be a student for two years, and four years until I can start to look at moving out of recruitment seems too far away.
    I’ve also seen the AMP fundamentals qualification (3 days) and I’m aware of PRINCE2.

    If you were in my position – what would you be doing? What is it that employers look for? And what job titles should I be looking for when I’ve got the ‘theory’ under my belt; Project Support, Project Co-ordinator, Asst / Junior PM?

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Row

    *MODS, if I’ve not posted in the right forum, please move*

  2. #2

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    Are you looking to be a contract PM or perm? I'd suggest aiming for the latter and getting the training (APM / PRINCE2) paid for by your employer*. I'd also highlight the degree and any relevant parts of the course.

    Entry points are usually project support / PMO roles. Then you move into junior PM positions.




    * caveat being that it may also, in this climate, be easier to get a junior role if you've got PRINCE2 foundation and/or APM fundamentals already as it shows a level of willingness and at least a basic understanding. Have a look at a few role specs to see what they're asking for as a guide, before you spend any money.

  3. #3

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    I would say forget it, PM is no longer a job/role these days as it was a few years ago, I know some great PM’s who have not worked in a year

    PM qualifications are useless also as each company has there own framework that’s easy to pick up

    Also if your a nice guy (as you seem to be) forget it, you need to cut resources and chip rates , tell people to cancel holidays and work weekends


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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by ladymuck View Post
    Are you looking to be a contract PM or perm? I'd suggest aiming for the latter and getting the training (APM / PRINCE2) paid for by your employer*. I'd also highlight the degree and any relevant parts of the course.

    Entry points are usually project support / PMO roles. Then you move into junior PM positions.




    * caveat being that it may also, in this climate, be easier to get a junior role if you've got PRINCE2 foundation and/or APM fundamentals already as it shows a level of willingness and at least a basic understanding. Have a look at a few role specs to see what they're asking for as a guide, before you spend any money.
    No way he can be a contract PM. He has no skills or experience. He's been an agent so he's got to know this surely? His entire existence was sorting people and disregarding the ones with no skills or experience.

    How old are you OP? Are you still young enough to try apprenticeships routes. It's going to be extremely difficult to get a titled job off the bat. Even if a junior PM is advertised its likey they want someone with some skills or direction. They will generally be advertising for a position they want to fill, not to start someone from scrath even if it's titled junior.

    If you are an agent surely you have the very best contacts to ask these questions. You should be asking everyone of your clients what they need, how does their company handle this, what type of opportunities they have. Surley you are in a perfect position to network and tap up the very people that are responsible for recruiting within thier organisations. Mask it as agent questions or build up a personal relationship and ask. You've almost got a foot in the door by having the ear of the right people rather than faceless job ads.

    I think you need to leverage your position much more.
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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    No way he can be a contract PM. He has no skills or experience. He's been an agent so he's got to know this surely? His entire existence was sorting people and disregarding the ones with no skills or experience.
    Absolutely agree.

  6. #6

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    It may help the people responding on this thread to say if you're looking at PM work in the IT industry, or something else ?

    As you can see from GOTs response (I think he's referring to IT software development PMs) you may get different advice as things are quite different.

  7. #7

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    It is often easier to transition from one role to another by taking a junior position with an employer in order to gain the relevant experience. I'm not sure that I'd recommend striking out on one's own in the current market... it's not all the fat rates and Rolex watches that you might have seen from your time in recruitment.

    I may have missed your specific area of expertise (i.e. IT, construction, business), but each will have it's own routes to entry and will require specific knowledge.

    Go perm. Get trained. Branch out or climb the corporate ladder when you are ready.

    HTH.
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostofTarbera View Post
    I would say forget it, PM is no longer a job/role these days as it was a few years ago, I know some great PM’s who have not worked in a year

    PM qualifications are useless also as each company has there own framework that’s easy to pick up

    Also if your a nice guy (as you seem to be) forget it, you need to cut resources and chip rates , tell people to cancel holidays and work weekends


    Sent from my iPhone using Contractor UK Forum
    I don't know what sectors and projects you're thinking about. Maybe software development in finance?

    Outside of software development, e.g. in implementation, project management is alive and kicking.
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    No way he can be a contract PM. He has no skills or experience. He's been an agent so he's got to know this surely? His entire existence was sorting people and disregarding the ones with no skills or experience.

    How old are you OP? Are you still young enough to try apprenticeships routes. It's going to be extremely difficult to get a titled job off the bat. Even if a junior PM is advertised its likey they want someone with some skills or direction. They will generally be advertising for a position they want to fill, not to start someone from scrath even if it's titled junior.

    If you are an agent surely you have the very best contacts to ask these questions. You should be asking everyone of your clients what they need, how does their company handle this, what type of opportunities they have. Surley you are in a perfect position to network and tap up the very people that are responsible for recruiting within thier organisations. Mask it as agent questions or build up a personal relationship and ask. You've almost got a foot in the door by having the ear of the right people rather than faceless job ads.

    I think you need to leverage your position much more.

    Yes, no way would I be looking at the Contract market so soon. The reason I came to this forum is that I deal with contractors day in day out and know their experience and wisdom is pretty spot on.

    I'm 30 next year - and I recognise that I've still got time to start a second career before kids come onto the horizon in the next few years.

    I do have a couple of calls next week with my closest clients, ones I gotten to know on a personal level over the years. I am however hesitant to speak with some clients about moving out of recruitment as they enjoy the service I provide them and unsure how they would feel about that.

    Industry wise I'd love to remain in the Defence industry. Projects are fascinating and I've been networking in it for seven years. I live near to a whole heap of Defence companies as well which bodes well. My concern right now, is I'm not technical in the slightest. Whilst I have picked up a bit over the years, they are predominant key words and a basic understanding of the technology / software / application.

    Appreciate everyone else's response on this thread as well, not just northernladuk's.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by wattaj View Post
    Go perm. Get trained. Branch out or climb the corporate ladder when you are ready.

    HTH.
    So this is my plan. I've been recruiting Technical Engineers across Systems, Software & Hardware, along with the odd Safety, ILS and Tech Pubs.

    There are a lot of additional things I could get, but I wouldn't want to 'waste' a few thousand pound on an OU diploma and four years if it wouldn't really be considered.

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