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how to find a job without experiences
Network:353



Hello. Experts .I'm new CAPM holder, and I have a question about entry job of project management. I don't have any real-world experiences only did few during school years. My education background is Chemical Eng. and my current job is quality control technician. I want to land a job in the project field, I found it is not easy. could you please give me some suggestions about how to land a job without experiences? THANKS SO MUCH.
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Network:1712



If you are looking for a career change - which it looks like you are - it is a challenge without experience. So you should look for ways to gain some experience. Look for volunteering opportunities that have Project Management duties associated with them; volunteer for additional/different work in your workplace - work/roles that involve application of Project Management skills. Most importantly, consider all your duties in your current and former jobs, and identify any Project Management duties you have done... You don't have to carry the PM title to get the PM experience
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1 reply by QINGQING QIN
Nov 08, 2018 9:43 PM
QINGQING QIN
...
Thanks a lot for your suggestions. It is really helpful. I already started volunteer work to do some duties associated with project manager in our company. Currently, I only did some contract agreements and database analysis. I need to learn more. I will keep looking for more opportunities to grasp working skills. Thanks for replying. :)
Network:39



Usually it's more of a gradual transition. Often it takes a couple years to gain enough experience to be assigned a PM role unless they bring other outside experience with them. I've been assigned new-hire engineers as PMs, and they were not particularly useful.

Try to get yourself assigned to projects with an increasing level of responsibility. For example, as a quality control technician, see if there are any opportunities to lead quality improvement projects. Otherwise, participate on a project focused team as the quality representative. That broadens both your experience, and your network of people that you will engage with on future projects. Talk with your manager about doing these things as part of your personal development plan. Then they are signing up to help you meet your goals.

Look at those first experiences very much like a student. Write down the acronyms and other things you hear but don't understand then go research them. Make a conscious effort to know who everyone is on your teams and what their role is. Consciously plan and practice how to communicate with people who have different styles. As you develop skills, others will notice and you will get more opportunities.

What you absolutely don't want to do is jump in way over your head destined for failure. That is not good for career growth.

Good luck and enjoy the journey!
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1 reply by QINGQING QIN
Nov 08, 2018 10:00 PM
QINGQING QIN
...
Thanks for your constructive advice. It is really helpful. I realized that most of the times, I only focused on looking for a job not find a bridge and try to connect between them. Thanks for your suggestion.
Network:353



Nov 08, 2018 5:09 PM
Replying to Samuel Vaddi
...
If you are looking for a career change - which it looks like you are - it is a challenge without experience. So you should look for ways to gain some experience. Look for volunteering opportunities that have Project Management duties associated with them; volunteer for additional/different work in your workplace - work/roles that involve application of Project Management skills. Most importantly, consider all your duties in your current and former jobs, and identify any Project Management duties you have done... You don't have to carry the PM title to get the PM experience
Thanks a lot for your suggestions. It is really helpful. I already started volunteer work to do some duties associated with project manager in our company. Currently, I only did some contract agreements and database analysis. I need to learn more. I will keep looking for more opportunities to grasp working skills. Thanks for replying. :)
Network:353



Nov 08, 2018 5:55 PM
Replying to Keith Novak
...
Usually it's more of a gradual transition. Often it takes a couple years to gain enough experience to be assigned a PM role unless they bring other outside experience with them. I've been assigned new-hire engineers as PMs, and they were not particularly useful.

Try to get yourself assigned to projects with an increasing level of responsibility. For example, as a quality control technician, see if there are any opportunities to lead quality improvement projects. Otherwise, participate on a project focused team as the quality representative. That broadens both your experience, and your network of people that you will engage with on future projects. Talk with your manager about doing these things as part of your personal development plan. Then they are signing up to help you meet your goals.

Look at those first experiences very much like a student. Write down the acronyms and other things you hear but don't understand then go research them. Make a conscious effort to know who everyone is on your teams and what their role is. Consciously plan and practice how to communicate with people who have different styles. As you develop skills, others will notice and you will get more opportunities.

What you absolutely don't want to do is jump in way over your head destined for failure. That is not good for career growth.

Good luck and enjoy the journey!
Thanks for your constructive advice. It is really helpful. I realized that most of the times, I only focused on looking for a job not find a bridge and try to connect between them. Thanks for your suggestion.
Network:11291



Great tips are given so far. I read your post and I could see myself. I am also a Chemical Engineer and spent the first 10 years of my career in technical positions, very much R&D oriented. I also wanted to migrate to project management positions. In my case, the company I was at the time was not a good setting to do so, so I looked around until I found a company in the medical device arena that interviewed me for a PM role.

During the interview, they did ask why someone that has developed his career in R&D wanted to move to PM. I t is a fair question, they appraise this as a risk. I forgot what I responded to that exactly, but I guess I was convincing enough to get the job. So in my case, what worked for me was a change in companies and preparing very well for the interview at my next employer.

Best of luck, Qin.
...
2 replies by Adrian Carlogea and QINGQING QIN
Nov 09, 2018 6:49 AM
Adrian Carlogea
...
I wonder why moving from a technical position to project management may be considered a risk. On the contrary if you stay in the same industry this could be considered an advantage, at least in my opinion.
Nov 09, 2018 10:40 AM
QINGQING QIN
...
Thanks for sharing :). And you made it. That is really inspiring. Thanks. :)
Network:91



Nov 09, 2018 5:42 AM
Replying to Eduard Hernandez
...
Great tips are given so far. I read your post and I could see myself. I am also a Chemical Engineer and spent the first 10 years of my career in technical positions, very much R&D oriented. I also wanted to migrate to project management positions. In my case, the company I was at the time was not a good setting to do so, so I looked around until I found a company in the medical device arena that interviewed me for a PM role.

During the interview, they did ask why someone that has developed his career in R&D wanted to move to PM. I t is a fair question, they appraise this as a risk. I forgot what I responded to that exactly, but I guess I was convincing enough to get the job. So in my case, what worked for me was a change in companies and preparing very well for the interview at my next employer.

Best of luck, Qin.
I wonder why moving from a technical position to project management may be considered a risk. On the contrary if you stay in the same industry this could be considered an advantage, at least in my opinion.
...
1 reply by Keith Novak
Nov 09, 2018 10:23 AM
Keith Novak
...
It's often a different set of skills, much like moving into a management role from a technical one. Soft skills become more important, and you need to gain a higher level perspective on the projects rather than getting down in the weeds. There can be a tendency for technical specialists assigned as PMs to want to jr. engineer the solutions themselves, rather than enable the team to solve the problems, because that's a lot more fun for technical oriented people than managing schedules and work statements. It's actually quite common for companies to promote their most capable engineers into PM or manger positions and it's a bad fit for everyone.
Network:39



Nov 09, 2018 6:49 AM
Replying to Adrian Carlogea
...
I wonder why moving from a technical position to project management may be considered a risk. On the contrary if you stay in the same industry this could be considered an advantage, at least in my opinion.
It's often a different set of skills, much like moving into a management role from a technical one. Soft skills become more important, and you need to gain a higher level perspective on the projects rather than getting down in the weeds. There can be a tendency for technical specialists assigned as PMs to want to jr. engineer the solutions themselves, rather than enable the team to solve the problems, because that's a lot more fun for technical oriented people than managing schedules and work statements. It's actually quite common for companies to promote their most capable engineers into PM or manger positions and it's a bad fit for everyone.
...
1 reply by Adrian Carlogea
Nov 09, 2018 11:40 AM
Adrian Carlogea
...
I do agree that a PM coming form a technical background can get distracted and focus too much on the actual work in the detriment of PM activities but still I find it strange to disqualify a job candidate for this reason. Having technical background should be a nice to have skill for a PM candidate rather than a risk for hiring such a candidate.

As for management positions (not project management) the reason that companies promote their capable technical experts is because managers that directly manage working people must be able to understand in detail the work of their direct reports. An Engineering Manager for instance has to supervise, at a technical level, the work of a group of engineers, without being a relatively good engineer you simply can't do that.

The same is true for project management. You can't promote as a Manager of a Project Management Department someone that has never worked as a project manager. Before you can lead others you should have done their work before.
Network:353



Nov 09, 2018 5:42 AM
Replying to Eduard Hernandez
...
Great tips are given so far. I read your post and I could see myself. I am also a Chemical Engineer and spent the first 10 years of my career in technical positions, very much R&D oriented. I also wanted to migrate to project management positions. In my case, the company I was at the time was not a good setting to do so, so I looked around until I found a company in the medical device arena that interviewed me for a PM role.

During the interview, they did ask why someone that has developed his career in R&D wanted to move to PM. I t is a fair question, they appraise this as a risk. I forgot what I responded to that exactly, but I guess I was convincing enough to get the job. So in my case, what worked for me was a change in companies and preparing very well for the interview at my next employer.

Best of luck, Qin.
Thanks for sharing :). And you made it. That is really inspiring. Thanks. :)
Network:91



Nov 09, 2018 10:23 AM
Replying to Keith Novak
...
It's often a different set of skills, much like moving into a management role from a technical one. Soft skills become more important, and you need to gain a higher level perspective on the projects rather than getting down in the weeds. There can be a tendency for technical specialists assigned as PMs to want to jr. engineer the solutions themselves, rather than enable the team to solve the problems, because that's a lot more fun for technical oriented people than managing schedules and work statements. It's actually quite common for companies to promote their most capable engineers into PM or manger positions and it's a bad fit for everyone.
I do agree that a PM coming form a technical background can get distracted and focus too much on the actual work in the detriment of PM activities but still I find it strange to disqualify a job candidate for this reason. Having technical background should be a nice to have skill for a PM candidate rather than a risk for hiring such a candidate.

As for management positions (not project management) the reason that companies promote their capable technical experts is because managers that directly manage working people must be able to understand in detail the work of their direct reports. An Engineering Manager for instance has to supervise, at a technical level, the work of a group of engineers, without being a relatively good engineer you simply can't do that.

The same is true for project management. You can't promote as a Manager of a Project Management Department someone that has never worked as a project manager. Before you can lead others you should have done their work before.
...
1 reply by Keith Novak
Nov 09, 2018 11:48 AM
Keith Novak
...
You would be surprised how much managers can rotate through different positions where they lack the technical background. As a PM even, I have led technical teams in a very broad variety of disciplines. It requires quickly coming up to speed on what is relevant to my own involvement, and knowing who to listen to.

As someone who has transitioned from a technical specialist role to a generalist, I often describe my #1 core competency as, "Quickly becoming an expert in things I know absolutely nothing about." It's one of those places where continuous learning is beneficial to a career. It doesn't show what you know. It shows that you are still capable of learning.
Network:39



Nov 09, 2018 11:40 AM
Replying to Adrian Carlogea
...
I do agree that a PM coming form a technical background can get distracted and focus too much on the actual work in the detriment of PM activities but still I find it strange to disqualify a job candidate for this reason. Having technical background should be a nice to have skill for a PM candidate rather than a risk for hiring such a candidate.

As for management positions (not project management) the reason that companies promote their capable technical experts is because managers that directly manage working people must be able to understand in detail the work of their direct reports. An Engineering Manager for instance has to supervise, at a technical level, the work of a group of engineers, without being a relatively good engineer you simply can't do that.

The same is true for project management. You can't promote as a Manager of a Project Management Department someone that has never worked as a project manager. Before you can lead others you should have done their work before.
You would be surprised how much managers can rotate through different positions where they lack the technical background. As a PM even, I have led technical teams in a very broad variety of disciplines. It requires quickly coming up to speed on what is relevant to my own involvement, and knowing who to listen to.

As someone who has transitioned from a technical specialist role to a generalist, I often describe my #1 core competency as, "Quickly becoming an expert in things I know absolutely nothing about." It's one of those places where continuous learning is beneficial to a career. It doesn't show what you know. It shows that you are still capable of learning.
...
1 reply by Adrian Carlogea
Nov 09, 2018 12:26 PM
Adrian Carlogea
...
Managing an engineering project as a PM is one thing managing engineers as an Engineering Manager is another thing. The Engineering Manager is usually involved in the technical decisions the PM is usually not.

Even when engineers are assigned to projects it is still the Engineering Manager the one who's responsible for the engineering work being performed on those projects.

So managing may have one meaning for the PM and another meaning for the Engineering Manager.
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