How to Become a Project Manager? Ultimate Guide

Most big companies and small-scale groups are usually focused on different projects, which is their major source of revenue. These projects can have any scope, and usually require skilled professionals from various fields, including IT, engineering, business, accounting. All these professionals work together for the successful completion and execution of a project. For the progress and completion of such projects what we need is a Project Manager.

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What is a Project Manager?

The phrase “Project Manager” is self-explanatory, i.e., he or she is someone that manages a project.

In our case, it is someone that manages projects of the scope we discussed in our introductory paragraph.

• They are responsible for things like monitoring all the employees and their progress, reviewing the project from time to time, and submitting a report to the higher-ups accordingly.

• They also hold the responsibility of assigning tasks and at times even hiring new employees for the project.

In most cases, Project Managers are left by the CEO and other higher-ups to manage the project. However, at most, they will be asked to lead a presentation that helps the company understand the scope of the project, and the progress their team has made. Project Managers stick to a project from the start to the time it is finished.

Skills you need to become a Project Manager:

Like all professional fields, particular skills are required for one to be a good Project Manager. If a PM has those skills, they can be called an ideal and skillful project manager. However, if he or she lacks those skills, they are deficient in a sense, and they might need a lot more experience. Some of the skills you need to have when we talk about How to Become a Project Manager are given below.

You should be good at managing risk

Risk management is an important skill that Project Managers need to know. This term means that an individual needs to have a cool mind whenever a crisis arises, or a task is handed over that puts a lot of things at stake. In such a case, they will have the ability to introspect, analyze, plan, and execute in a way that will give the maximum output to the team.

Another important aspect of Project management is being able to make quick and spontaneous decisions. An individual that has to depend on others to reach a decision, remains indecisive, or lacks the courage to do a critical task is unfit to be a Project Manager.

You should be able to communicate thoroughly

This is probably the most crucial skill that a Project Manager should have. In fact, an individual that shows this skill in an interview is about 100% sure to get the job as a project manager, given that they have the necessary qualifications.

With good communication, one can make people clear about what is going on, and what needs to be done. Moreover, good communication skill allows better relationships between employees and the smooth working of the system. It should be noted that good communication skills involve not only good spoken and confidence, but patience and having the capacity to listen to and understand others (including their emotions) is an important aspect of communication skills.

You must be able to lead and take responsibility

Within a project, a Project Manager is usually the leader or second to the leader. That means a Project Manager must have the capacity to lead others and give them directions. Someone that does not understand what to do themselves can by no means guide others, and hence is unfit to be a project manager.

• The second part is taking responsibility. A leader of any system, society, or project is the one that gave direction and made a plan.

• Thus, if things fail or go wrong, they must have the capacity to take responsibility for whatever happened, be it their fault or the fault of an employee.

• If the Project Manager cannot take responsibility, they have no reason to be where they are.

So, it’s really important skill to have if you are asking How to Become a Project Manager.

Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Project Manager

The path of becoming a Project Manager may not be as lengthy, but you will find it to be quite exciting. You can either become a Project Manager directly without any skills or qualifications, or you can go through the standard procedure to become a Project Manager. In this section, however, we shall discuss the standard procedure. The step-by-step guide is as follows:

Verify your inner potential

If the thought of, or wish for becoming a Project Manager crosses your mind, you have to peek into yourself before making an abrupt decision. That means you have to see if you have the necessary skills, experience, or even the capacity to become a Project Manager.

• If you think you “terminally” lack them, you should look for some other career option.

• “Terminally” lacking here means if you cannot get the necessary skills regardless of how much you try, because it is not a part of your nature.

However, if you believe with training and experience you can have those skills, you have to reason to give up on your dream. However, you will have to be honest with yourself.

Take a course on Project Management

You should look into taking a course on Project Management. It will help you get the necessary skills and will make you aware of the tools a typical Project Manager needs beforehand.

However, it does not mean you cannot become a Project Manager without a course. This path will be a little rocky though. We have discussed it thoroughly in the next section.

Realize your aspirations

Now your next step is to apply for a Project Manager job. However, be vigilant to apply in a company or organization where you will get closer to your dream, and you will see the real growth you wished for and anticipated.

See if you need a mentor

You should consider having a mentor. Although it is not a necessity, you will have a helper and a guide with you at all times, that will protect you from making all the mistakes a project manager generally makes. Moreover, through a mentor, you will be able to climb up the ladder a lot faster.

Why is it better to become a Certified Project Manager?

A certified Project Manager is the one who has received the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI). It is better to be certified as a PMP because with this you will get the opportunity to handle better projects, and companies will have greater trust in you.

• Moreover, this certification gives you skills that you cannot achieve by just randomly becoming a project manager.

• The skills you learned from PMI will enable you to avoid mistakes that you would have made otherwise (potentially), and that saves you and the company that hired you a lot of loss and embarrassment.

How to become a Project Manager without Qualifications & Experience?

We have already discussed the standard procedure for becoming a Project Manager. However, we skipped the part about becoming a PM without the qualifications and experience. We saved that part later, and now we shall discuss it. Here’s how you can become a Project Manager without qualifications and experience:

You should be aware of a corporate environment

A project manager is the essence of a corporate environment. In other words, it is as if they are an integral part of this system, rather, composed of it. If you are not aware of how things go in a general 9-to-5 job, you will find it pretty hard to adjust yourself as a Project Manager.

It would be quite intimidating for you. Even if you do not have a qualification or experience as a project manager, you should (at least) know of the environment they have to work in. This is really important when it comes to How to Become a Project Manager.

You must have a mentor

In this particular case (unlike the former), you must have a mentor. Without a mentor, you will not understand how you are supposed to do anything, and things are more likely to end up in utter failure. With a mentor, at least you will have a direction.

Having a reading habit would be a plus

If you have the habit of reading books, typically on self-help and leadership, you will perform quite well as a Project Manager. Your reading will give you all the necessary tools and teach you all the fundamental skills of project management.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we have discussed every nook and crook about a Project Manager, most importantly, How to Become a Project Manager?

A Project Manager is a well-paying job that teaches you a lot about leadership and polishes your skills. Moreover, unlike a typical employee, you get to learn a lot of things in a lot of other fields, which widens your horizon and gives you a better perspective. Seemingly, the potential of growth here is a lot, and those who make good use of a Project Management job are sure to excel and end up in positions of power and leadership.

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