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Topics: Career Development, IT Project Management, PMO, Strategy
How difficult is to switch industries in project manager jobs? I am trying to switch from sap implementation to it infrastructure.
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I have around 8 years of sap implementation experience specially in manufacturing industries. I am trying to diversify to either it infrastructure or financial services
How did you change your domain? Any pointers appreciated.

Regards
Nisha
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With Infrastructure do you mean Building infrastructure (construction et al ) or do you mean IT infrastructure.

I can surely see your SAP implementation experience as a plus moving into a Financial Services domain. Try to get in using a Project that is implementing an ERP solution .
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1 reply by Nisha Lokesh
Apr 07, 2017 1:39 PM
Nisha Lokesh
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Hi Deepesh,

I meant IT infrastructure like network,datacenter etc
Network:1285



Nisha, it depends on you.

In my case, after working 14 years on projects as a technical guy (programmer, engineer), I decided to become a professional PM. From then, I did not need technical skills, I concentrated on listening to stakeholders, understanding needs and issues, getting the right people on board etc.. A good sponsor will hire for attitude, character and posture, not for technical or process skills. As a professional PM, I had a new industry every 3-5 years, after completing a project: energy, justice, insurance, investment banking, manufacturing.
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1 reply by Nisha Lokesh
Apr 07, 2017 1:40 PM
Nisha Lokesh
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Thank you Thomas! Appreciate your feedback.
Network:29



Apr 07, 2017 1:36 AM
Replying to Deepesh Rammoorthy, PMPĀ®
...
With Infrastructure do you mean Building infrastructure (construction et al ) or do you mean IT infrastructure.

I can surely see your SAP implementation experience as a plus moving into a Financial Services domain. Try to get in using a Project that is implementing an ERP solution .
Hi Deepesh,

I meant IT infrastructure like network,datacenter etc
Network:29



Apr 07, 2017 10:45 AM
Replying to Thomas Walenta
...
Nisha, it depends on you.

In my case, after working 14 years on projects as a technical guy (programmer, engineer), I decided to become a professional PM. From then, I did not need technical skills, I concentrated on listening to stakeholders, understanding needs and issues, getting the right people on board etc.. A good sponsor will hire for attitude, character and posture, not for technical or process skills. As a professional PM, I had a new industry every 3-5 years, after completing a project: energy, justice, insurance, investment banking, manufacturing.
Thank you Thomas! Appreciate your feedback.
Network:261



First, figure out how your skills would benefit the new industry into which you want to move, so you know which jobs you can likely move into. Next, be prepared to convince others of your skills' transferability. Sometimes recruiters and hiring managers can't see past a candidate's titles and companies to see how her skills would fit into their business.
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1 reply by Nisha Lokesh
Apr 07, 2017 2:53 PM
Nisha Lokesh
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Thank you Eric! It is frustrating to see this .
Network:29



Apr 07, 2017 2:09 PM
Replying to Eric Simms
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First, figure out how your skills would benefit the new industry into which you want to move, so you know which jobs you can likely move into. Next, be prepared to convince others of your skills' transferability. Sometimes recruiters and hiring managers can't see past a candidate's titles and companies to see how her skills would fit into their business.
Thank you Eric! It is frustrating to see this .
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I've worked across industries, partly by having a background in several disciplines prior to becoming a full-time project manager, and partly by being willing and capable of learning a new business and getting to know stakeholders, team members and sponsors who could help me along. I think that really good project managers with solid skills can work across industries, with the right drive and attitude.
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The key is what Mr. James Willard stated above. I am in the same situation than James. A project manager must not be a subject matter expert BUT she/he must make the job to understand all about the domain she/he will perform her/his duties.
Network:1285



Nisha, to add another story of my life.
I was asked to review a major SAP rollout program in trouble. We were three in the review team, only one having SAP background. We produced a recommendation to turn the program around after 2 weeks. After a month I was asked to implement the recommendation, eventually replacing the program mgr who was an experienced SAP implementer. After 3 months the program was running smoothly again and I was asked to continue leading that program for another 2 years. Never had SAP training, it was a new industry and a new culture for me.
A project managers job is to make dreams come true.
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Like everyone stated above, really, the domain should not come in the way of a PM's job. But most companies post certain technology or area as a requirement to be selected. I do not totally agree with that because a solid PM can drive any projects with any underlying technology successfully, if he/she has the right attitude to learn.
I was hired as an infrastructure PM al though I did not have experience and honestly, I did not like to be one either:-) My manager hired me because he wanted a solid PM and he saw that in me during the interview.
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