Any Project Managers here??

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Bakey, Oct 7, 2005.

  1. Bakey macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2003
    O Donny Boy
    Morning folks,

    I've been deliberating the prospect of a new job position for something like a week now.

    I'm currently in the field of video production with core strengths in multimedia production and design -- testing, accessibility and usability, the usual suspects really. Although currently in a "very" small company the role I have is very much client facing but without the ability to flex my muscles in any true fashion; in other words I very follow the lead rather than help massage new ideas to take shape from a business perspective.

    Now then, I've been given the opportunity for a major web development company as a Project Manager; not at a senior level and neither at a junior level, with the option for Prince 2 accreditation within the first six months of employment [obviously this isn't just a "given" it involves some serious work].

    It's not a question of money [although the wages are more - but not by much] but more a question of defined career path with the ability to take new skills further and may not with the new company in question.

    And the reason for the post? Well, I've minimal Project Management experience dealing with clients and suppliers as and when required - having successfully completed an MA in Interactive Multimedia Production has proven that I have the ability to perform as required but only through academic means -- as I've already stated my real world experience is minimal.

    The company is clearly prepared to invest in me but there is still an element of doubt in mind that I could completely mess things up and wind up with no job! My current position is pretty much safe and secure but I can't see a path that allows me to grow [I've been there for just over four years].

    Back to the reason for the post -- are there any Project Managers on these boards, and if so what would they recommend?

    Go with it and give it my best shot as I'll never know if I don't -- I'm sure I'll be regretting it every day if I didn't go, but then again if the going gets tough at the new place I'll be thinking "why did I come here?!".

    I'm at an age now where I need to look seriously at the future -- I'm not old, but then again I'm not a twenty-something living straight out of Uni living with his parents... I'm a "just thirty-one" chap!!

    I'd appreciate any gut feelings from you folks... I know project management involves decision making, which is something quite laughable at this moment as I'm trying to make the most informed decision but it feels like I'm stalling!!!

  2. kiwi-in-uk macrumors 6502a

    Sep 22, 2004
    Go for it, but before you leap make sure (1) that the new company understands your lack of experience (2) allocates a very senior mentor, and (3) allows you to meet that mentor before you commit.

    Project management is all about attention to detail, candour, holding people (vendors in particular!!) to their own commitments, committing yourself to realistic targets, and putting the onus on others to recommend or make decisions that are beyond your ken.

    Your other option is to go to your current employer, explain the opportunity, and see whether they are in a position to give you the same opportunity.

    Steve in WY
  3. petej macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2004
    My view on being a good project manager.
    Be a people person.
    Be very organised.
    Enjoy documentation.
    Have the ability to estimate timescales and cost based on relevant experience.
    Don't let anything distract you from the project manager role. i.e. doing something more interesting alongside.

    The best way to learn PM is to work with good PM and there are very few out there. The good ones really stand out.

    If you were in your 20's I would say stay away from management roles. If you are in you 30's at least consider them, but look to the future. What happens after the project.
  4. XNine macrumors 68040


    Apr 7, 2005
    Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?
    At 22 I became a Project manager in the company I work for now. I was in charge of developing, planning, and creating an entire team dealing with escalated situations for the department. We were only supposed to have 5 people at the beginning, which turned into 9. I had to coordinate the processes which they used, applications, test everything before launch, come up with a new phone system. It was great. VERY stressful, but it was a good stress. I like challenge. Stress of boredom is the worst.

    I would do as the others have suggested above.
  5. Bakey thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2003
    O Donny Boy
    Many thanks for all your comments and suggestions; unfortunately I left it too late!!

    After much deliberation and what I felt to be 'loyalty' to my current employer the offer had to be retracted due to a project over lapping the start date of the new position.

    What I realised as a consequence is that my loyalty, however admirable it may have first appeared, was somewhat misguided, ie. I should have walked away from the current employer with no remorse or feeling of guilt!

    I can say this now as the tension in the air is at times unbearable; I found [no 'confirmed'] to my loss that I must move on as soon and as quickly as possible without simply taking the first position that comes along!

    So many thanks once again for your words of support, encouragement and generally damn good advice! ;)
  6. ksz macrumors 68000

    Oct 28, 2003
    San Jose, CA
    California has an at-will employment policy in which both the employee and the employer have the right to terminate the employment at any time for any legitimate reason. In reality, most companies adhere to voluntary ethical policies that respect each other. As an employee, I would not leave a position during any critical phase of a project; that would be unethical in my view. Similarly, an employer will not terminate an employee without good reason and without the approval of at least 2 levels of management (I can only speak for high-tech companies in Silicon Valley).

    I think you should have taken the new job or at the very least negotiated a new start date. If the new employer wanted to hire you, they would have waited another week or two, but probably not more than 1 month.

    When I made the transition to engineering project manager several years ago, I had my own share of doubts. The responsibility seemed too much. The reward potential was there, but so was the risk. I read Louis Gerstner's [former CEO of IBM who is credited with turning around a sinking ship] book Who Says Elephants Can't Dance? It was inspiring. Gerstner felt the same misgivings. His previous experience at American Express and other companies had not really prepared him to take the helm of a huge technology company with deeply entrenched fiefdoms and an often stinging culture. He felt the responsibility was too much. He fretted over the offer for days or weeks, often spending time alone at his beach house to think it over and over. He didn't know whether he could turn IBM around; the spotlight was intense; the pressure was enormous.

    But Gerstner was himself inspired by a meeting or a phone call he received from then president Bill Clinton in which Clinton encouraged him to accept the job. Gerstner eventually did and the rest is history.

    There are many many project managers, but there are only a few good ones. You must be adaptable because no two situations are alike. You must have very good discipline to manage your time and the time of others. You must have very good organizational skills and clear-thinking ability. You must have good interpersonal skills that can motivate and lead people -- skills which can create a healthy job environment and provide job satisfaction for yourself and your team. It is a difficult job, but if you want to stretch yourself -- to break through your normal comfort zones -- it is a job like no other...especially in the high-tech field.

    Yes it's difficult, but you must enjoy it, and if you do, you'll find it extremely rewarding.

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