Tips to Break Into Project Management

Tips to Break Into Project ManagementGeoff's Request

Professor of project management at Durham College, Geoff Crane, just published an ebook titled 52 Tips to Break Into Project Management. Back in early May, he told me he was compiling an ebook for his students and asked if I would be a contributor. Geoff and I have (virtually) known each other for several years. He's written really on-point stuff over on his blog, Papercut PM.  One of my favorite pieces is titled How Relevant is a PMP?

So, what did he ask me?

I teach project management at Durham College in Ontario. My first batch of students will graduate next month and as a gift I'm looking at putting together an ebook for them...

What advice do you have for project management students fresh out of school who want to break into the discipline?

This is a burning issue for most of them--they're really looking for advice. As someone with a vested interest in the field, I know your insights will be valuable.

The resulting ebook was really well put together. I'm honored to be included in the list of contributors.

You can even click through the ebook via Slideshare (see below).

Tips to Break Into Project Management

So, what did I have to say?  I wanted to keep it short and sweet.  I have nieces and nephews still in college, so I can empathize with Geoff's students.  I limited my response to a bulleted list of 10.

1.  Grab the first opportunity that comes your way. Don’t play hard to get. 2.  Get in there and really hustle. Work smart and hard. 3.  Give all the credit to everyone else. It’s the experiences you’re looking for. 4.  Pay attention to what others are doing around you. This includes people who are not project managers. 5.  Try to learn a little something from everyone, even those whom you may not like. 6.  Don’t get too upset if things don’t go as planned. Things are going to get messy. 7.  Focus on what is valuable to your customer first, to your boss second, and yourself last. 8.  Share what you learn with others. 9.  Ask a lot of questions (even dumb ones). 10.  Be honest.

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