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What you need to make it as a project manager

Careers in project management are increasingly becoming attractive options for people looking to build careers. The project manager can be a role in so many fields – it could be eventing or construction or digital development or space exploration. The options are many, but the skillset across all those fields remains consistent. But what are those skills, and if you are looking to move into project management as a career, what are the attributes that you should have. Here are a few of the things that will go into making a success of a career in project management.


One of the things that underpin almost any successful person is the qualifications that they have. It is not to say that qualifications make a person, and it is true that over the years there have been many self-made success stories. But the reality is that even people who have started by themselves have at some stage looked to study and learn more. In this regard, if you think that project management is the place where you want to play, enrol for a diploma project management, or something similar. There are many good courses around. Pick one that fits your budget and your career goals and commit to acing it.

Organizational abilities

If you are not a natural organizer, then rather look for something else. A Project Manager needs to be able to work with multiple moving parts and hold everything together with calm and efficiency. People who fuss and faff, people who shy away from organizing, those who don’t like to issue commands or tell people what to do… this is not the job for you. Project management is all about organizing things, usually on a very large scale, and organization is something that you either have or you don’t. You can learn to refine the skill set through studying and learning new methodologies, but if you fundamentally lack the organizing ability to start with then no amount of studying or work experience is going to make things easier for you. Reading published can also help.

Communication skills

A PM must be a good communicator. Be prepared to ask questions and to issue clear and concise instructions. There is no space for mixed messages or unclear expectations. You need to be able to keep everyone on the same page, often with tight deadlines, and you need to be able to do it politely and effectively. People just want to work for you, even if they are not that keen on the work.

Subject matter expert

It is not enough to just be a good organiser, you also need to understand the field that you are working in. If you are Project Managing a big web development but you are not able to hold your own in a conversation with a designer, a developer and a business analyst then you are going to be in trouble. So, remember that you need to have a solid grounding in the field of your expertise. A good digital PM will more than likely struggle managing a construction or building project. So, play to your strengths and make sure that you are skilled both as a PM and in the specific field in which you are operating.

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