Does Project Management Make You Happy?

From the Voices on Project Management Blog
by , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Voices on Project Management offers insights, tips, advice and personal stories from project managers in different regions and industries. The goal is to get you thinking, and spark a discussion. So, if you read something that you agree with--or even disagree with--leave a comment.

About this Blog


View Posts By:

Cameron McGaughy
Marian Haus
Lynda Bourne
Lung-Hung Chou
Bernadine Douglas
Kevin Korterud
Conrado Morlan
Peter Tarhanidis
Mario Trentim
Joanna Newman
Vivek Prakash
Christian Bisson
Linda Agyapong
Cyndee Miller
David Wakeman
Jess Tayel
Jen Skrabak
Shobhna Raghupathy
Rex Holmlin
Roberto Toledo
Ramiro Rodrigues
Taralyn Frasqueri-Molina
Wanda Curlee

Past Contributers:

Jorge Valdés Garciatorres
Hajar Hamid
Dan Goldfischer
Saira Karim
Jim De Piante
sanjay saini
Judy Umlas
Abdiel Ledesma
Michael Hatfield
Deanna Landers
Alfonso Bucero
Kelley Hunsberger
William Krebs
Peter Taylor
Rebecca Braglio
Geoff Mattie
Dmitri Ivanenko PMP ITIL

Recent Posts

4 Tips for Project Closing Parties

Project Planning Using Canvas

What Do the Great Thinkers Say About Change Management?

Combat Pushback—and Protect Your Portfolio

Free Your Team With Liberating Structures

Categories: Human Aspects of PM

Alfred Lord Tennyson once said, "The happiness of a man in this life does not consist in the absence but in the mastery of his passions."

I think this directly correlates with project management. To me, part of the secret to happiness is being able to connect how you approach life with what you do for a living. Then your passion will come out naturally.

Let me explain: I tend to classify people in three groups. Each group finds joy in what they do in life and that is related to their approach to project management.

Searchers are always looking for the next thing. If they don't like what they are doing, they simply change their direction. They like freedom and avoid tight schedules. They approach life from a "big picture" perspective.

Searchers are better at the beginning of a project. They are passionate about thinking how to approach the project to achieve the best results. That's what makes them happy.

Wrestlers have clear, defined objectives. They don't give up until they achieve their goals. From a project perspective, they are very passionate about doing the job until they get results. That is what makes them feel fulfilled.

Balanced people are equal parts searcher and wrestler. Life has taught them that both traits are needed to get results. I tend to think that seasoned project managers are balanced.

They find satisfaction in the ability to propose the big picture -- like a searcher -- and then pursue it until they get there -- like a wrestler. They are happy because they know they are contributing to build a better world.

If you are lucky enough to find and establish the connection between what you enjoy most in life and how you approach a project, you will enjoy every second of your profession.

Perhaps it will happen to you as it happens to me: You won't care whether you get paid for your work on a project because you've enjoyed the process so much.

The only thing that you'll seek is personal and professional satisfaction with your daily duties. It makes you happy and will bring out the spark you need to stand out of the crowd.  

If you don't feel happy with your current job in project management, perhaps you should try to answer these three questions:

What are you looking for in a career?
What kind of person are you?
What are you willing to do, even if you are not going to be paid?
Posted by Jorge Valdés Garciatorres on: August 08, 2011 12:16 PM | Permalink

Comments (0)

Please login or join to subscribe to this item

Please Login/Register to leave a comment.


"Intelligence is not the ability to store information, but to know where to find it."

- Albert Einstein