PMI has released a new 2022 jobs report, which provides some insights into how the profession is looking around the globe. It’s not terrible, which chimes with my own experience here in the UK. I often mentor project managers who are looking for jobs and after interview practice or a CV review, and the market feels pretty good.
But anecdotal feedback aside, what do the numbers say about the future of the jobs market? Here are my key takeaways from the situation in Europe according the PMI survey.
Issues with supply chain
I know of projects that are on hold at the moment due to supply chain issues. My projects are being affected by longer lead times. Even buying a sofa is affected by long lead times: we have been told our sofa will arrive in 16 weeks and we can’t order an armchair because there is no fabric in stock.
So project managers might feel like the job situation isn’t too bad at the moment, but projects are certainly not progressing at the pace they used to. According to the PMI study, the supply chain issues have contributed to an inflation spike of 5%, which is going to affect salaries and put people under more pressure as the cost of living rises.
Demand for IT professionals
The report says that IT is the area to focus on if you are job hunting. The talent gap in this sector is huge, and there is a lot of tech funding around. Plus our ways of working since the pandemic began have massively changed – along with our customers’ expectations of what they can do online. That’s changed the requirements for many long-term projects and no doubt boosted the need for more IT project managers.
If you are a European project manager who wants to live the hybrid life, watch out for what your employer expects. My takeaway from the PMI survey is that employers want more of us back in the office – and we don’t want to go. Only 28% of employers believe that the model of work they are offering is aligned to their employees’ preferences.
Employees want more hybrid and remote; employers want more bums on seats in the office. I’m not sure how we reconcile that to be honest. However, it is worth spending some time thinking about how you can make hybrid work for your project team. Nearly 60% of people report that remote and hybrid work options result in increased job satisfaction, and that has to be good for project team morale.
However, only 34% believe that remote options lead to greater productivity. Perhaps there is a backlash against only seeing your colleagues as a tiny head on MS Teams. I think that hybrid certainly has a place, and I know of project managers who have turned down roles that were not hybrid or remote-friendly.
Overall though, the outlook for work in the project sector in Europe seems optimistic. There is still a lot of concern about job security and the cost of living – although I can only speak for what I see here – but globally money is being made available to reinvent and innovate where we can.
If you want to succeed amidst the current global economic situation and all the uncertainties that brings, it would be good to focus on adaptability, change, flexibility and resilience as there are all the signs that these skills are going to be in demand for many years to come.