Do you know how ‘good’ you are?

Do you know how ‘good’ you are?

In this month’s newsletter we’re kicking off a year of focus on project management careers (and recruitment of course!). In the first one we’re looking at two different aspects – the project practitioners own career planning and getting nearer to being able to answer the question, “Do you know how ‘good’ you are?”. The other side of the fence – the hirers of project management staff – we’re looking at some of the extended results from the Project Management Benchmark Report – to see if they are able to answer the same question about the project practitioners they currently have within their business – and the ones they hope to recruit. Whilst the initial answers are not as positive as we would have liked – at least it gives us a baseline and a place to start the improvements. Take a look at the newsletter if you’re interested in your own project management career and see what real practical steps you can start taking to answer the question, “Do you know how ‘good’ you are?”

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Celebrating People in Project Management

Celebrating People in Project Management

Head over to the latest Benchmark Report and download it – there’s a discount available for the book Last week was the official launch party for the Gower Handbook of People in Project Management. We held it at the National Centre for Project Management in Hatfield which we felt was a fitting place to bring together just some of the 50 odd authors who contributed to the Handbook. The book brings together all those soft skills; behavioural aspects of project management; career related issues and lots of other areas such as NLP; change and spirituality. We invited people from across the project management industry to join us for an evening talking about ‘people in project management’ and an opportunity to hear from some of the authors involved. Dennis Lock and Lindsay Scott – co-editors of the Handbook gave their thanks to the many authors involved in the mammoth project which took three years to complete and introduced some of them to the guests. Lindsay spoke to the attendees to share some insights and learnings from the project including the dreaded “ split infinitive ” and having a three-year lesson on English grammar from eminent author Dennis Lock. Lindsay’s side of the project included proposing chapter titles; commissioning the authors; initial proofread and subsequent read through of post edits.

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So you’re ready to go contracting?

So you’re ready to go contracting?

After years of being in the career doldrums (minimal promotion; small bonuses; wage increases below inflation…) more and more project management practitioners are turning to freelancing and contracting to start maximising and capitalising on their skills and experiences. We started to see the shift last year – it was highlighted in the Project Management Benchmark Report – rather than face unemployment, waiting months before a new permanent position would materialise – practitioners started contracting. For some it was a well thought out strategy – after all, there are families to provide for; mortgages to pay – it can be too much of a risk to suddenly start freelancing. For others, it was a case of “what have I got to lose?” Now the market has stabilised somewhat (there are more permanent roles available at reasonable salary levels) those working in the corporate world for the last six years in a permanent role are now starting to wake up and wipe the sleep crust from their eyes. This new-found confidence will mean one of three things: You’ll start loving your current job again – the business you work for will start investing in you again as an employee. You’ll have the confidence to start looking around and seeing what other businesses would be interested in you – after all, most businesses know this is the ideal time to start attracting top talent from competitors (the best people always leave first when recovery starts). You’ll be ready to leave the comfort zone of corporate life – knowing that there really isn’t much more you can learn from it and it’s time for a completely new challenge – new job but freelancing

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The Hard vs. Soft Skill PM Debate

In this article, we will explore the differences between soft skills and hard skills of a project manager. We will also find out which skill set is more important to the project manager in achieving his/her project goals. Let’s start by defining key terms and concepts that will be used in this article. Hard Skills:  These are technical and specific abilities that relate to the core business of an organization such as writing skills, networking skills, machine operation, business analysis, design, construction, etc. These types of skills are easy to teach and quantify. It often involves the learner learning or improving a skill without having to unlearn a previous skill.  Soft skills  on the other hand are subjective and undefined. It often deals with our relationship with people such as conflict resolution, communication, listening problem solving, etc

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The Project Management CV – Grammar and Spelling

The Project Management CV – Grammar and Spelling

Following on from the post last week about “ how NOT to differentiate yourself in the PM marketplace ” in this post we are going to look at some common problems with a project management CV when it comes to spelling and grammar. Let’s get to it. First make sure your spell checker is set to English (U.K) and not English (U.S). This should make sure that words like specialization, organization etc don’t appear in your CV. Secondly, don’t rely on the spell-checker! It won’t necessarily pick up all spelling mistakes (someone may have inadvertently added them to the dictionary) and it won’t always pick up the grammar mistakes (for instance it didn’t highlight that I had used “then” when I should have used “than” in my last post ). So read and re-read your ‘finished’ document. It’s amazing how the brain will insert missing words and correct spelling mistakes for you, especially when you know what the document should say.

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