Career resources: Here are 15 ways that you can build your experience, increase your training and make yourself a fantastic candidate that any employer would be lucky to hire!
1. Training Videos
Many companies, including us, provide project management training videos about all aspects of managing projects and the tools and services they provide. You can learn in your own time, on any device capable of playing back video. Many of the videos available are extremely short which makes them suitable for watching on the go. If you are the kind of person who prefers to learn about project scheduling by watching someone do it than by reading a book, then videos could be a great tool for you.
There are lots of thought leaders and project management companies sharing interesting ideas and great links on Twitter. You don’t have to be a Twitter account holder to see what is being shared publicly, so you can get started straight away without a password. If you are overwhelmed at the volume of information on Twitter, start by searching for #pmot (project managers on Twitter) and that will filter the results to show you the ones relevant to project management.
3. Project Management Books
Type ‘project management books’ into Amazon and you’ll see that there are literally thousands of them. Books are a great career resource because they can become a desk reference for how you manage your projects. Browse the bookshops (online or in real life) and find a couple that you think would be most suitable for your career stage.
If your company will pay for you to attend a project management conference, then go! These can be great places to hear interesting speakers and also give you the opportunity to network – fantastic if you are looking for a new job.
There is a selection of industry magazines aimed at every industry, and project management is no exception. Your professional body may produce magazines or journal, so read them to stay up-to-date with what’s going on in the project management world.
We know that there are also thousands of websites that you could trawl through. The best place to start is to find sites written by your favorite project management authors or by companies that you respect. Then use these sites to link off to other places. That will save you a lot of time looking at websites that are not up-to-date or that have inaccurate information.
7. Your Mentor
Your mentor can be a great career resource for you, especially as he or she may well have insider knowledge about who is hiring in your company. They can help keep an eye out for new job opportunities and also help you practically, for example by reviewing your resume.
Many blogs are updated daily so they have a large selection of resources available to you and they are a never-ending source of thought-provoking articles. It’s best to find one or two blogs that you enjoy and that meet your career needs, otherwise you could spend a lot of time reading articles online and not doing any work!
Many companies have free eBooks that you can download, and many bloggers also give away collections of their best posts for free in eBook format. Of course, you can also pay for eBooks if you find titles that inspire you. eBooks are good because you can read them on an electronic device which is better for your commute. Many eReaders also have the capacity to allow you to make digital annotations on the text so you can mark your favorite sections to return to later.
10. The PMO Library
If you don’t want to invest in printed books or eBooks yourself, ask what is available to borrow from your PMO library. If your PMO doesn’t have a library, maybe they should start one! They can hold a stock of core texts for project managers in the company to borrow. This can save you a lot of money.
11. Your Manager
Your manager is critical to your career path, as it will ultimately be that person writing you a reference for your next job. Talk to your manager about your career aspirations and where you want to be in the future. You might be surprised – they can probably help you get there if they know what you want to do.
Every project manager needs a set of templates! This will save you a lot of time and effort, and it makes your project management documentation look really professional. Download project management templates from the internet and start your own personal library of sample documents, ready for your next project.
13. Project Management Tools
Being confident using your project management tools is a critical skill for project managers, as no one will want to hire someone who can’t use technology to do their job. Get training if you need it, or just spend some time producing sample project schedules, resource templates and reports so that you know exactly how your software works. Aim to be the person in the team whom everyone goes to for advice on how to use the product!
14. Jobs Board
A jobs board is a definite destination if you want to find a new role. Find a couple of sites that cater for your industry and bookmark them. Then you can go back and search for new opportunities when the time is right.
Webinars are another great way to get training, and many webinars are free. This is great if your company can’t afford to send you on courses or you don’t have the time to spend several days out of the office. Make the most of the free project management webinars available – search online to find some on topics that interest you.