Project Management

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Topics: Agile, Organizational Project Management, PMO
PMs Looking to Start New Careers or Jobs.
Hi, I wanted to reach out to PMs who are interested in moving into new industries.

What are some things that you see that are hindering you from starting over as a Project Manager in a new industry?

Is that you are looking for a strategic sales angle?

Is that you have a lack of experience in a new industry?

Is that you have a lack of connections in the new industry that you want to move into?
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When I transitioned from the military to seek a PM job, the biggest hurdle that I had was how PMs in the civilian sector interact with stakeholders.

I now have a year of experience in my team member position and hope to be taking over a project soon.
Ivan -

While the lack of connections could be a barrier as most jobs are not advertised and a warm referral is orders of magnitude more effective than a cold application, the lack of domain knowledge and experience would be the biggest hurdle I've seen with all the folks I've mentored or managed.

Each industry has its own prerequisites for project management entries. Construction projects are beasts unto themselves. Engineering wants project managers with engineering degrees.
While you most likely will need some domain knowledge in the new industry, your knowledge doesn't necessarily have to be focused on the products produced in that industry. Big industries include a lot of domains.

One of the ways I have gained a lot of diverse experience is working on enabling architecture. These are the processes and tools used by the teams to develop and deliver the end products. These are things like CAD systems, training programs, support equipment for things like testing, office systems to manage projects, etc.

There may also be a lot of technical domains that are needed for the product like computing, electrical systems HVAC, water and waste, structures, etc. As you lead small projects in one area, you learn about other areas and take on broader projects giving you domain knowledge in multiple disciplines.

Point being, don't think that large industries are only one area of expertise. They are often systems of dissimilar systems and you can bridge between them.

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