Who's in Charge of Modern PM Career Progression?

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

At the beginning of every year, I always receive an increased number of questions from people looking for career advice. That’s not surprising—the new year leads people to reassess where they are and where they want to be. However, this year I’ve noticed a significant increase in the number of people who feel as though they have no control over how their career is progressing.

There seems to be a sentiment that the changes in what constitutes a project management skill set have put employers in control and left individual PMs unsure about how to advance their careers. As one person wrote to me, “I understand that the role is evolving, but I don’t know what skills I need to succeed three to five years from now, and my company’s expectations seem to be changing all the time.”

I find this concerning. Project management is a growth discipline at the moment—there are more opportunities in the field every year, and a shortfall in qualified people to fill those opportunities. That shouldn’t mean practitioners feel unsure of how to advance their careers, so I want to explore the issue in more detail. If this is a trend that continues and grows, it will be a problem for both PMs and the organizations that rely on them.

The impact of a changing role
Every job will evolve over time—expectations change, technology shifts…

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