If you think the interview was the hard part, then think again! Many new project managers heave a sigh of relief as they sit down at their new desk and believe that all will go swimmingly but the reality is that you will often be thrown in at the deep end in a new environment with new expectations that could see you quickly floundering if you don’t know how to keep a cool head above water.
There is a lot of good advice around on how you can navigate the choppy waters as a new project manager to get your feet back on solid ground and here are the top 5 tips that will help you carry out your job as a professional even if you don’t always feel like one.
Use your previous learning experience
Whether you have just finished a project management degree or completed a certified APM course – your job as a new project manager requires a starting point and that starting point is the foundation of the study and project management courses you already have under your belt. You may have learnt from a text book or an online course but whether you realise it or not – you will have amassed not only the theory of project management but the study skills and life skills to start to put these into practice in the practicalities of the work place.
Don’t worry too much about mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes; even project managers who work at the top end of the industry. Everyone starts on the first rung of the ladder and future successes are built on the mistakes of the past so it is important not to be too hard on yourself but reflect honestly on any slip ups and turn them into wisdom and words of advice for those who climb the ladder after you.
Listen, listen and listen again
It is important to always remain humble and open to advice and feedback because even when you have been in the job for years – there is always something new to learn. You may feel like the office junior but the way to win the respect of your colleagues is to listen, question and appraise the dynamics of each and every project and those who are involved in delivering it.
Chose a mentor
Young professionals are usually guided by mentors along their career path so it makes sense to connect to someone who can offer positive support and advice. After all – this is a natural part of study and learning that started from your first day at school and during your project management training.
Know your role inside and out
Become as familiar as you can with both the personalities of team members and the intricacies of the project you are working on. You must be confident enough to deal with deadlines, stakeholders and drive productivity to complete each project to its best conclusion.