Career Path to becoming a Project Manager

I’ve hopped around for a while trying to find a career path for myself and I think I may have found it. What I like about my current position (title: Project Assistant) may not be necessarily related or on the top priority lists for many PMs, but I know that this is just the beginning and so my list will change.

1. Communication, communication, communication. Making sure everyone is clear with each other on particular tasks and the big picture.

2. Organization. Keeping track of the details of the big projects and sometimes focusing more on the smaller ones and trying to manipulate with the few surprises that may filter in throughout the day.

3. Time efficiency. Trying to keep every simple. A friend gave me this quote and I think it stands true: “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

4. Management skills. Being personable. No one wants to be kept with a timer and looked over the shoulder. I guess that wouldn’t keep anyone on any single project for that long. So I think it’s best to follow up and maintain #1 and keep that “open door policy” really open and it can be related to the project or to the weather!

5. Follow up. Be it email, phone, in person, fax, etc. There should always be some form of acknowledgment because the person is waiting for a response and with our high tech field, it shouldn’t feel like snail mail.

6. Educate. I’ve got so much to learn about my position and, more so, about the field of software development. So listening to others and asking questions to educate myself has been a huge learning curve. It is where, at the end of the day, I feel exhausted from absorbing the information and reviewing my notes.

There are several other little things that may relate, but I didn’t learn them here. Those are things like: mutual respect, willingness to learn, openness and adapting to the given (work) environment-although it’s important to be adaptable to any environment even if it’s not work-related.