A Project Management Career

Stacie Jansen van Vuren
Updated on

If you are a born leader and are looking for a career that affords you continuous new challenges, then Project Management could be a perfect fit. Project Management will utilise your natural skills and provide you with opportunities to test your quick-thinking and leadership capabilities.

What is Project Management? Although you may have an idea of what Project Management entails, there is the possibility that you may not know as much as you will need to in order to make an informed decision regarding your future. A standard definition of Project Management is “The application of knowledge, skills and methods to achieve the objectives of a planned project”. This may not be the most informative explanation to someone with no experience in the field. The following quote from the (former) President of APM® Group International, Dr. Martin Barnes, puts it in much simpler terms: “At its most fundamental, project management is about people getting things done”. This is precisely what Project Management is all about. A team of people using the same method (e.g. PRINCE2®), to work together on a project in a manner that supports the successful completion of that particular project. The Project Manager will close the gap between the client and the team that is tasked with completing the work. Ultimately, the Project Manager is responsible for ensuring that the objectives of the project are completed successfully.

PRINCE2® Foundation Now that the definition of Project Management is clearer and you have decided that this is the career for you, you will need to begin your studies. The PRINCE2® Foundation course will teach you the knowledge and skills that will be required to perform your Project Management role. This is the ideal course for those who have no experience in the field and need to learn the method from the very beginning. PRINCE2® is a Project Management method that is used globally – in both the private and public sectors. It is the leading Project Management method in the UK and is rapidly increasing in popularity across the world. Many recruiters and employers are now demanding a PRINCE2® certification as a non-negotiable criterion for any positions in Project Management. This means that the lack of a PRINCE2® qualification on your CV can cause you to be excluded from thousands of career opportunities. Employers want the assurance that comes with knowing that the candidate is already familiar with the method and will be able to become a productive member of the team immediately. Given that the PRINCE2® Foundation course is relatively quick to complete, there is no disadvantage to adding this internationally recognised certification to your CV.

PRINCE2® Practitioner Once you have studied that PRINCE2® Foundation course and passed the certification exam, you will be able to study the PRINCE2® Practitioner course. In the Foundation course you will have grasped a good basic understanding of the PRINCE2® method and terminology. The PRINCE2® Practitioner course will now delve deeper and strengthen your knowledge whilst going into the finer details of Project Management – the PRINCE2® way. The Practitioner course is the second of two examination courses that will result in you becoming a Registered PRINCE2® Practitioner (the first being the Foundation course and exam). The PRINCE2® Practitioner course will train you to a level of understanding that will prepare you to be fully capable of successfully applying the method to real situations and projects. Upon completion of the Practitioner course, and subsequently passing the examination, you will have the skills and knowledge that are required for you to function in a PRINCE2® project environment. At this stage, you will be competent enough in the method to begin managing simple projects. After working in Project Management for some time, the experience gained, together with what you have been taught, will enable you to move on to bigger and more complex projects – furthering your progression up the corporate ladder.

Certification Exams Examinations can prove to be very stressful – the need to study, the interference of everyday life and the pressure to make a success of your study endeavours. Although it is much easier said than done, try to retain the image of your end goal in mind and it will motivate and encourage you through the tough times. Studying is an immensely worthwhile investment in your future and will assist you in achieving your career aspirations. Once you have completed your studies you will be equipped to follow your goals and find satisfaction in a career that you have chosen for yourself. Always bear in mind that the exams will only be based on what you have learned. If you have paid attention during the course, studied the provided material and your own notes and learned the various aspects of the PRINCE2® method, then there will be no reason for you not to pass on your first attempt. After passing both the PRINCE2® Foundation and Practitioner examinations, you will be a Registered PRINCE2® Practitioner and have all that you need to begin a rewarding and thriving career in Project Management.

A Project Management Career With your new PRINCE2® certifications attached to your CV and a confidence in the skills and knowledge that you have acquired, it will be time to begin applying for Project Management positions. There is an enormous demand for qualified PRINCE2® Practitioners and this will only increase as the method continues to spread across the globe. Although job searching is always a daunting task, rest assured that you now posses a highly in-demand certification and your CV will not be missed in the filtering process (which often excludes any CV that does not contain a PRINCE2® qualification) by recruiters and employers. A little research on job boards will clearly indicate the appeal of a PRINCE2® certification and this will greatly increase your confidence in attaining a position within the Project Management field. It is undeniable that a PRINCE2® qualification greatly enhances your employability and earning potentials. The PRINCE2® method is a common language and not only will this appeal to prospective employers, but it will also make starting a new job much easier. The “settling in” period will be greatly diminished and very soon you will be a productive and valuable member of the Project Management team. All that you have been taught throughout the PRINCE2® courses will guide you through your career and give you an ideal foundation for success in Project Management.