Project Management

Can You Be a PM Without Loving It?

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 [email protected]. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

“I don’t really want to be a project manager, but it seems like it’s a good job right now.”

That was what someone told me when I was speaking with a group of people who were taking a PM101-type course. Virtually everyone in the class was already working for different organizations, but in different roles than project management. They had presumably been sent on the training by their employers as part of their development.

I’ve taught a lot of classes in my time, and I’ve had my fair share of people in those classes who clearly didn’t want to be there. But not many have admitted as much. And I’ve never had others in the class agree with such a sentiment, but this time three or four other people agreed with this individual.

On one level, I understand the desire to work in an in-demand discipline, and project management is certainly that. It provides greater job security than a number of other roles, and that’s clearly important.

But I can’t help thinking that project managers need to be more than that. I want to explore that here, but I also want to hear what you think in the comments. Am I being unrealistic in thinking project management needs to be more than a job? Have I been too close to it for too long, and am I too personally invested to be objective on this topic? Please share your thoughts.

But …

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"Of course the music is a great difficulty. You see, if one plays good music, people don't listen, and if one plays bad music, people don't talk."

- Oscar Wilde