Project Management

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Topics: Career Development, Leadership, Sustainability
I quit a save and well paid job as a project manager. What`s next?
The question and topic I m trying to raise here is quite a popular topic amid our society and life. Having a save and well paid job, is something the majority seeks and wants to achieve. Is that an correct statement? Yes and no, because on one side it is save and easy to have an organized day and life (at least from Monday until Friday). But after years of following that kind of rhythm you start asking critical question and generally questioning your job and yourself. Lets discuss, question and share experiences from project managers or project team members point of view and find clarity of how to deal with this topic amid the current pandemic and in future
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It depends on the personality type. Some people seek stability and will work the same job their entire lives. They don't want change. Others thrive in a more chaotic environment. Too much of the same thing bores them, and they seek new adventures.

In the PM world, some people are experts at a specific domain and managing projects that mostly look alike. Others are experts at being dropped into a problem, establishing control of the situation and developing a plan to get the project out of trouble.

The first group will usually follow a problem through completion. The second group might hand over the project once the situation is stabilized and move onto the next crisis.

I personally tend to fall into the second group, and have been very happy with the variety of experience it has provided.
Hi Andreas,
It is true that monotony gets so boring at one point in our career and it's advisable to change jobs if the opportunities area there. The scenario is different in Africa and especially Cameroon, where getting a job is a stormy and an uneasy ride. People will prefer to stick to where there are just to guarantee job security
Hi Andreas,

You have raised very interesting question and topic for discussion. As usual Keith gave a good summary, and I am with him on that one. I know people, excellent professionals who, however are sticking to their jobs, because of high salary, even though sometimes they are being mistreated and downgraded, but the big pension plan is not something they want to miss, even is it is years to come.

I personally, am from the second type of people - I like challenges and always went for the unknown, being "hungry" to learn more and meet different people. In addition to my experience, all my jobs have always brought me high level of satisfaction and fulfilment. I guess this is something I have always been looking for in my profession. And this is something I would not trade for anything.
And at the end of the day, I have always ended up with good salary as well. So for me it payed off. This is my experience.

Very interesting yet common scenario. I have done quitting of some lucrative and good jobs. I left KPMG in 2000 for some trivial reason at the time it looked right. I left Infosys in 2016 simply because they did not keep me busy.
Looking back now it seems a wrong decision. More so now that I am looking for a project or employment. I always had good offers and without my PMI and other certifications I was very effective and positively influential for my clients.
Now I have PMP, Cisco, Genesy, AWS certifications and an MBA but what I learnt or think I feel I missed is the right advice.

Its always good to consult outside your domain. While one may be good at what they do but having an outside perspective will keep things on right track.
With current environment AI technology and pandemic one may know alot yet no one would know everything. What you don't know is not a weakness rather consult collaborate and take median approach.
An opportunity in hand is better than a lucrative potential offer however this can be an exception in some scenarios but not always.

Thank you for reading my points and time hope it adds value to you.

In my experience project people in the infrastructure delivery industry historically reflect both the long-term employee seeking security and the one-project types that look for new challenges. However this is changing as more and more project managers become contract personnel - the obvious advantage to companies is the flexibility contract personnel offers in terms of corporate commitment and benefit packages. On a staff basis the employee holds the cards on termination towards the end of the project - gives notice - whereas with contracts the termination timing or date is set. There is a disadvantage to the company with contract personnel in that they start with a new slate for every project, but that allows them to tailor the project team to the project specifics.

I have always advised people to be wary of the pension monkey - yes it provides for your retirement however it can be used as a hammer in the twilight of your career. I've known cases of mistreatment by companies knowing that the employee can't afford to walk away.

I suggest a couple cautions to contract personnel:

1) make sure you know your value and include for standard benefits, office and other project related expenses typically picked up by the employer

2) set up your own pension fund so as not to be beholding to others including employers when you choose to retire - or the work runs out.
Hi Andreas, I have worked for the same company for 30 odd years, but I have always changed my role, the technology, location or department every 4 or 5 years. You have the stability but yet you can pursue many different things to satisfy your appetite for new things.
Variety is certainly the spice of life. Knowing one's value, as Peter mentioned, is vital. Reinventing yourself every 4-5 years like Amir mentioned is also a good alternative. It's a toss up between what you want and enjoy versus what pays the bills. I think it would be optimal to have both. But if I had to choose, I'd prefer to be doing what I enjoy. That is the best motivation. Of course, everyone is different.
Hi Andreas,
It's a journey of self-actualization based on Maslow's hierarchy of needs. As some point, once you have satisfied the lower levels of the hierarchy, you desire to move to the next level. I come across many people who are not satisfied in their current situation and want more responsibility, challenge and ability to make a lasting impact. What level are you on the hierarchy and what's the next level you are aiming for?

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