Project Management Central

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Topics: Career Development, Construction, Organizational Project Management
Breaking into a Project Management role...

For the past 10+ years, I have worked as an administrative professional in the hospitality and consulting industries. Following completing my Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and earning my Undergraduate Certification in Project Management at the end of 2017, I am now searching for a way to break out of the admin field into a role in the project management space (easier said than done!).

Throughout my career, I have assisted with the review and closeout processes of multiple capital projects. Specifically, I focus on cost reconciliations, coordinating directly with PMs, capex directors, and fixed asset accountants. I want to continue on this path and expand my career into a project analyst, project coordinator, or some other role that compliments my administrative background, but also encourages my career development.

Any advice that can be given in terms of furthering my career would be greatly appreciated! It is incredibly difficult to break away from the, what seems like, concrete ceiling of the admin role, but I am excited to see where I can take my career in the future. I am currently studying for the PMP exam (have not yet registered), but would welcome any tips on prep courses, study resources, etc.
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I have had a similar experience. For nearly 10 years I have been managing projects as an education administrator and was looking to make the jump to a PM title and other attributes since I was already doing the work. A recommendation would be to apply for PM roles citing your length of time in the industry as a positive thing and that you haven't learned any shortcuts or poor practices as it relates to the methodology.

Aside from looking for opportunities within your organization, when it comes to career changes, I always recommend to find and utilize a good professional resume writer and/or career coach - many times they are the same person. They will really help to formulate your resume to show related experience and skills, how they apply to the new industry, and how best to share your accomplishments when in the interview process. The first step is getting your resume viewed and selected, the next is to sell them on your value.

Based on your description and writing style, I am confident you will find your path.

If you are able to consider working with someone who can help you develop your "personal brand." It's very difficult to step back and look at your own resume and LI profile objectively. It sounds like you already have a lot of transferable skills so it could be something in the way you are packaging yourself that is not getting through to hiring managers. Most recruiters and hiring managers apparently spend a total of 6 seconds looking at your resume and/or LI profile so you have to know how to catch their attention.

This worked for me and I was in a similar boat to yours.

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