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The Critical Path

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Why I Became A Project Manager

We all have days at work where we want to bang our heads against a wall and we ask ourselves, “Why am I even doing this?!” 

You know those days.  Where things that should be simple turn out to be complicated in unforeseen ways.  Or where you just can’t seem to clearly communicate the amazing idea you have in a way that gets heard.  You know that everyone is trying to do more with less, and sift through all of the “nice to have” ideas in order to get to the “must have” requirements.   You know everyone is really on the same team and that not everything can be “priority #1” – but it’s still frustrating.

Even community managers can have days like that – and we have a pretty fun job!!

The great thing about being a community manager here is that we get to attend events like Congress and the answer to my previous question comes crashing into us like a runaway train…  We do this because our members care just as much about the community as we do.  Because the profession makes a real impact on the world around us and on the people working to make a difference.   Because when we have the privilege of connecting with the members of our community, they never fail to energize and inspire us all over again.

I had the opportunity to support nine members of the community who spent their time at Congress connecting one-on-one in informal “consulting” sessions with attendees.  They were there to serve as expert advisers from the community, and by the end of our time together, every one of them had told me how much they had learned and benefited from their time talking with members of the community.  After being booked solid for two days, they too, were re-energized and inspired!

We had a great interactive space to facilitate all of these conversations, complete with chalkboards for quick collaborative discussions and idea sharing.

On a whim, I had posted the following statement to one of the peripheral boards, as a kind of conversation starter:  “Why I Became a Project Manager”.  At the end of the first day, I did a quick tour of the boards, and when I saw this one, my jaw literally dropped.  It was nearly filled with responses.  By the end of the last day, there wasn’t room for any additional postings. 

There were your expected answers, of course, like:  “I fell into it” / “Boss made me” or “Job security” / “The money is good”.  There were some fun answers, too:  “Too short for modeling”, “Because I want to predict the future and learn how to control it”, or “I have been taken into the maelstrom”.

The ones that really got me, though, and reminded me why I love my own job so much, were the ones that spoke to the passion for the profession and the impact it has on the world around us – and there were almost too many of these to count.  “To make a bigger impact on the organization”, “It’s what I was born to do”, “To change the world” (which got three votes), “It’s who I am”, “My calling”, “I discovered what I want to be when I grow up”, “Taking ideas to reality”, and “It felt like a fire inside – passion”.  I don’t really know what more to say to that, other than, “WOW”.

Your passion is our passion.  It inspires us and keeps us looking for new and better ways to support you, to connect with you and to help you to be successful in your careers.  Thanks for all that you do to, in turn, support your community and to keep that fire burning!

Posted by Danielle Ritter on: October 19, 2015 03:40 PM | Permalink | Comments (14)

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules."

- George Bernard Shaw