How to Find Work as a Project Manager
Getting a job in project management does not need to be difficult. To help you do just this, we have put together some useful information that will help you find, secure, and keep a project management job.
Where can I find a project management job?
There are a number of resources available to people looking for project management jobs. It isn’t just about going through the newspaper’s career section anymore. Here are some great places to find jobs:
- Online job directories: There are countless sites such as Indeed and Careers24 that host job ads. This is a great place to start, as you can use keywords (like ‘entry-level jobs’) to narrow down your search. You can also do a simple Google search for ‘Project Management Jobs in South Africa’.
- Business social networks: Sites like LinkedIn and Bizcommunity are great resources for job-hunters. You can create a professional profile, upload your CV, and apply for jobs listed exclusively on these sites by companies. These are also good places to start networking and building connections.
- Trade journals: You can look for job ads in project management publications, or industry-related publications. Trade journals or newsletters often contain plenty of job listings.
- PMI membership: Belonging to the Project Management Institute gives you access to a variety of project management job listings. Belonging to the South African chapter of the PMI will also give you a chance to access local resources and networking opportunities.
- Networking: This is one of the best ways to get a good job. You can go to project management companies and get to know the role-players, or if you know someone working in this profession they can help you get your foot in the door. It’s always about who you know.
- Newspapers: A great resource to fall back on. There is plenty of construction, industrial, and governmental work advertised here. You can also buy publications like Jobmail to see if there are project management jobs available (remember to look under categories like ‘Engineering’ and ‘Construction’ for project management jobs as well!).
- Recruiters: Recruitment agencies often look for project managers. Give your CV to a number of these agencies and they will help you find the perfect position.
- Internships: Paid or unpaid internships are great opportunities to get your foot in the door at a company, or simply build the experience and connections you will need to find a full-time position somewhere else.
Getting the job
There are innumerable jobs out there. But actually getting the job is much more difficult than finding it.
Make sure you have what it takes
Study the job description of the position you are applying for thoroughly before sending your CV. Make sure it is a suitable position for you, and that you have what it takes to fulfil all the requirements, responsibilities, and duties set out for this position. Do you have the correct skill set and qualifications? Do you think you will fit in with the company? Do you have the experience needed?
You should also remember to tailor your CV to fit each different job application. Make sure you focus on relevant information when sending in your job application.
Don’t be discouraged if you can’t find work at first – or if you don’t hear back from companies after sending in a CV. Sometimes it takes long to find the right job, especially if it is your first job as a project manager. Remember that it will all be worth it when you get that job and start building the experience, skills, and knowledge that will push your career forward.
Prepare for the interview
A project management interview might be somewhat different to other job interviews. Firstly, this is a profession in which leadership skills, initiative, pro-activeness, and decisiveness are important – so be confident and pay attention to how you present and carry yourself during the interview. You should also remember to dress professionally.
Most likely, a project management team leader or director will be part of the interview. They will want to determine two primary things:
- Do you have the technical competence to do the work expected of the person in that position?
- Do you have the behavioural qualities – or character traits – to fit in with the team, company, and nature of the project?
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