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?”
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.
Once again the underlying messages in the news and media this week are that UK Plc. is on the up. After the gloom of the “great recession” this is surely a welcome relief, though it would appear that ‘the workers’ are not yet convinced that the time is right to look for a new opportunity and kick start their careers. The good news: The latest Report on Jobs by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and KPMG LLP published this week (8/4/2014) reports that more employers are showing confidence by offering full-time roles rather than temp, fixed term or contract positions; and at the same time permanent salaries on offer have risen at the fastest rate since July 2007. This week we have also seen the IMF (International Monetary Fund) saying that the UK will grow 2.9% in 2014, up from their January estimate of 2.4%, and they expect growth of 2.5% in 2015. The BCC (British Chambers of Commerce) also joined in with projections that the second quarter, starting in April, will see GDP exceed the level seen at the start of 2008.
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
In last week’s post we looked at the grammar and spelling aspects of the project management CV , this week I’m going to cover the format and ideal layout for a project management CV. CV Length Let’s get something cleared up straightaway – the CV length – it should be two or three pages maximum. It doesn’t matter if you have worked for 2 years or 25 years, the fact remains that people just don’t read long CVs so why put people off straightaway. The other angle to this is – as a project manager, if you can’t communicate clearly and concisely I’m concerned. A five or ten page CV tells me that you are not able to tell me what I want to know quickly – so what does that say for your project communications? CV Length again It’s really important that the CV is short – that’s why I want to convince you further to take action. The really important bits are the last 5-10 years of your career.