In this blog, I will explain to you how to become a project manager without Experience, specifically, I will tell you about the actions you need to take the pending on your current situation these actions will make the biggest boost to your chances of getting your first project management role.
Hello, I’m Jyoti Barua from project management basics and I help people just like you to become a pm from any role they’re currently at. So if you want to become a project manager you’re in the right place.
How to become a Project Manager without Experience
Basics of Project Management
It goes without saying that you need to learn the basics of project management, first of all, it will show your commitment to becoming a project manager.
Second is you will need some knowledge to pass an interview, but most importantly, you will need this knowledge to gain the relevant experience that you will put in your CV, to learn the basics you can get a book on project management, but my experience shows that people usually use this book, as an excuse to delay their promotion to the project management role.
Therefore I would recommend you to go for a mobile solution and quick and easy wins, like reading project management blogs, if you read all the articles from my blog, you will get all the necessary theoretical knowledge. Plus you’ll gain some practical skills on how to lead projects to choose what works for you the best but don’t let it postpone your acting on the next steps.
Upgrade your CV
So now you need to upgrade your CV, actually, you need to rewrite it as if you are already a project manager, it means that you need to remove everything that doesn’t show your management, leadership and communication skills, all your job description bullet points from your previous jobs, doesn’t matter, you should position yourself as a project manager is in need, believe me, it’s a crucial step your currency with your previous job descriptions doesn’t work, you need to write. Okay,
You need to build relationships inside your company, and you need to do it beforehand, it means that you need to have good relationships with project managers if you have them in the company.
Likewise, you need to build the relationships that will be a child of the department, and your colleagues and fears, you need to do it beforehand because you need to get recommendations from them. And it doesn’t happen in one-day and most importantly, you need to be able to ask for a favor or two and this doesn’t work, instantly as well.
Project Management Certification
There is also another question that I often hear and this one stops so many aspiring project managers from getting their first project management role, do I need a project management certification to get my first job as a pm. The answer is no majority of companies do not need certified Junior project managers, the only case when you might need a certification is when you are working in a big company that does complex projects in all the cases unless you have practical experience of managing projects, a certification makes little difference in getting your first project management job.
Okay, moving on to reviewing specific cases that you might be at right now, and you need to consider two variable, first of all,
- Do you have leadership experience? and
- Does the company that you work in have project managers?
The best situation is when you already have practical leadership experience. Plus, your company does projects and it has, project managers so the first thing and quite often the only thing that you need to do is to go to your boss and say directly that you want to become a project manager.
After that, you may get a promotion right away, or you will get a development plan to get the role of a junior project manager if you fulfill it. Then you get the promotion okay if your boss doesn’t care enough to promote it project manager, or she doesn’t see you as a project manager in your department, then you need to go to your HR department and see if there are job openings for a junior project manager you will apply on common terms but you will have a bunch of the people in HR department already more you remember you have already built relationships with them beforehand.
If this doesn’t work as well and there are no job opportunities. Right now, at least you need to create a professional development plan a list of things that you need to learn and achieve to get a promotion to a project manager in this company, and what’s more important, you need to find the person who has authority to promote you and you need to build relationships with him, and you need to stay directly with you want to become a PM, if nothing of the above awards, you need to start looking for job opportunities in another company, my recommendation is that you applied directly to the roles of a junior project manager, and for sure I don’t commend you to quit your current job because you are already at the top of the mind of your boss or the HR department and other important people in the company.
The opportunity may pop up at any moment, and it can take a lot of time and effort to find a job in another company, you need to have an income source. Okay, the next case is when you don’t have leadership experience, but the company you work in has project managers, it was good as the first one but still, you have much more opportunity and there is one specific opportunity that you need to try right now again go to your boss and say director that you want to become a project manager.
You will be a Project Manager
In the near future, and maybe he can assign you as an assistant project manager, it’s a low paying job with a lot of work to do but you will have
- A project management moment,
- You will do some project work,
- You will work with the project team, and
- You will watch how your project management mentor does his work,
if you do it proactively you can take over the responsibilities, from your senior project manager and soon you will act as a junior pm show that you are an aspiring project manager and your Senior Project Manager will promote you mean it’s one of the most beneficial career paths because you will be able to learn faster, from a reliable source, but it takes more time and you may get stuck in the assistant project manager job.
So if it’s not an option in your company and there is no such role as an assistant project manager, then you need to find an opportunity to get a leadership role on a project. This way you can learn what a project manager does while you are doing work and you get experience, okay if it doesn’t work for you and no one wants to put you in a leadership position. You can lead without authority, you can lead without the title. Therefore, you can do side projects or micro project as I call them, what is a micro project.
You see, there are always processes, tools and techniques that can be improved, you need to find such opportunities and prove them as a project manager will do it. Therefore, you will get support from your leadership, or the project manager that you work in, you will get buy-in and support from your peers and colleagues to do the actual work, then you will show the result and value that you brought to the company, or to the project.
And the best thing about it is that you can put such micro-projects and variables into your CV, in addition to everything else. You can also try to find opportunities for leadership experience outside of your company in your profession, you can volunteer for social projects where you will lead other people to do some work that experience also counts for being a project manager, okay what you do if you have leadership experience, but the company you work in doesn’t have a project manager.
I think it’s obvious that you need to look for opportunities in other companies, and they recommend you to apply directly to the roles of a junior project manager.
In any case, while you’re working at your current job, you need to try to everything I described before, you need to do, micro-projects you need to build relationships to get recommendations that will display you as a leader or a manager, okay and the most challenging case is when you don’t have leadership experience and the company you work in doesn’t have projects and project managers.
Okay, you can try to apply to the role of a junior project manager directly, but you heavily rely on luck because you have nothing to show in your CV.
To Conclude: How to become a Project Manager without Experience You have nothing to show in the interview. So my main recommendation here is that you get a job in a small company that does projects, but from day one you state your desire to become a project manager in the near future, you create a professional development plan, and you work to get this promotion in small outsourcing and service companies that do produce this approach works with the best, they may onboard a new client unexpectedly and they will need the project manager, as soon as possible. And they will keep you at the top of their mind.
Okay, I want to ask you one thing. What stops you from getting your first project management job? either the lack of leadership skills or you can find job opportunities for all for junior pm. Leave me a comment below.
Thank you. Okay. If you like this please comment below.