The Second Step on the PM Career Ladder

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's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

If you want a career in project management, then getting that first opportunity to be a PM is a huge step toward success. It’s the achievement of a goal, but also the start of a journey to build that project management career from the first position to a potential lifetime of success and personal growth.

But it’s also a time of uncertainty. You know it’s the start of a new chapter, but you’re not quite sure where that chapter is going to lead. And that means that even as you get to grips with succeeding in your first PM role, you inevitably start thinking about how to build on that position and develop your career.

In many ways, the second PM role you achieve is more important than the first. It’s your conscious choice of direction within project management, your selection of a path through a PM career. And while there’s nothing to prevent you changing direction in the future, it’s still important to ensure it’s a direction you are comfortable with.

Do you want to focus on a particular set of technical skills to be an IT project manager or a PM in an engineering discipline? Or would you rather focus on being a business project manager? Are you looking to stay in your current industry, or do you want the opportunity to apply your PM capabilities in multiple industry verticals?

That’s a lot to figure out at the …

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