Have you always thought of yourself as a natural leader?
Do you pride yourself on your ability to think outside of the box when it comes to the possible ways to overcome an obstacle or fix a mistake in the workplace?
If so, then it's likely that you've already thought about becoming a project manager.
But you'll need to posses some serious skills if you want to make it happen.
In this post, we'll tell you four of the most important skills that you need to develop if you want to become a project manager at a high-powered company in the future.
This article should also help you to determine whether or not the project management career path is right for your personality as well as your current experience and education level.
Read on to learn more about setting goals, streamlining communication, and much more.
1. Know How to Set Goals
If you want to become a project manager, one of the biggest skills that you'll need to refine is your ability to both set goals and then clearly communicate your expectations to others.
You'll need to create goals that are realistic, but also suit the needs and expectations of your clients.
This means that you'll have to clearly and honestly explain potential pitfalls and setbacks to your clients, as well as illustrate the methods you've come up with for mitigating these potential risks.
You'll also have to show that you can create a clear path to success.
Often, this comes by setting up several milestones along the road to the larger goal at hand. You'll need to create lots of smaller deadlines and break down projects into manageable sections.
You'll also need to show that you can keep everyone accountable, clearly delegate tasks according to the skill sets of your team members, and most of all, continually motivate your team.
2. Learn Project Management Software
In addition to skills like the ability to set goals, praise your team members, and communicate effectively with clients?
Today's project manager qualifications also include a more technical knowledge and mastery of certain software.
Most of the software used by project managers will help you to keep track of your budget, inventory, and order you have coming in, and will work to assist you with scheduling.
Even if you're not exactly a computer whiz, you'll likely be surprised by just how easy this software is to use.
Plus, it will certainly make your resume stand out to recruiters.
Look for online courses that teach you programs like Basecamp, Microsoft Project, and Resource Guru.
You might also look into getting your Project Manager Certification. This is a wonderful way to not only learn how to use several different kinds of software, but also to develop your soft skill set at the same time.
The Project Management Institute is a great place to get started on your continuing education and certification as a project manager.
3. Know How to Communicate
If you really want to know how to become a project manager, you'll need to take a hard look at your current level of communication skills.
Are your written communication skills just as strong as your verbal ones? What are your methods of streamlining communication? If sudden changes need to occur to a project's schedule or technical plan, how will you ensure that everyone is on the same page?
Is a meeting really the most effective way to communicate with your team, or would a simple email suffice?
Most of all, how will you make it clear to team members that your door is always open should they have questions or even suggestions about how to improve things?
Remember that, especially in the world of project management, there's no such thing as communicating too much. Ensure that you can come up with ways to check in with your team, your stakeholders, and especially upper management.
Check out these tips on how to improve your overall communication skills.
4. Master Time Management
Even if you're working as an entry level project manager, time management skills are still one of the most essential skills that you'll need to develop.
After all, missed deadlines and stalled projects don't just cost your company serious money.
They also compromise your relationships with both your clients and your team members.
You'll need to be able to clearly and quickly determine which of the hundreds of pieces of information you'll get in a day are actually relevant to the project at hand, and which ones you can return to later.
You'll need to be able to leave every meeting with your team with a clear "to-do" list. You'll also have to look into ways to monitor and improve the overall productivity levels of your team -- without making them feel as though you're constantly looking over their shoulders.
For example, you may ask them to report back to you once every week about where they are in the process, or even show you a breakdown of what they did that day.
Ready to Become a Project Manager?
We hope that this post has taught you that it takes excellent time management and communication skills, as well as a knowledge of industry software and tools, in order to become a project manager with a competitive resume.
Whether you're interested in becoming a project manager for a credit union, working to lead in transportation or any other industry, we want to help to connect you with the best possible opportunities.
When you're ready to find your dream job, upload your resume to our job board and spend some time browsing through project management job openings.
Be sure to keep on checking back with our blog for more tips on how to develop your skill set, inspire your team, and earn more clients.