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The Pros and Cons of a Career in Project Management

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Consider a career in project management? It’s important to determine all facets of this path before jumping in. Most of the pros and cons of a career in project management depends mostly on the personality traits of the person involved.

Project-Management

While impressive salary rates and a diversified work flow can appeal to many, the stress and unpredictability of this field can deter others. Consider the pros and cons of a job in project management and determine whether or not it’s the right fit for you.

Pros

  • Great Income. Project managers rake in a lot of money.  Their special training gives them a lot of responsibility, and with that, a great income.  According to GlassDoor, the average salary hovers around $91,000, and some areas see project managers making upwards of $104,000.
  • If you are someone that thrives on planning and delegating tasks, then you will enjoy this job.  You may not have direct control over the employees, but you will become the person that everyone turns to when it comes to following plans.  If the idea of taking authority thrills you, then you’ll thrive.
  • Chances are that you will work on many different projects in your lifetime.  Even if you specialize in one field, such as engineering, you will see many different new and interesting projects come and go under your authority.  You will essentially become a jack-of-all trades—someone who knows a bit about everything.  This job requires exemplary communication and people skills, and you will also have to know a little bit about the project itself and the skills needed from your employees.  People who love to learn new things and embrace change will enjoy this aspect of the job immensely.
  • Become a CEO. Want to become a CEO one day?  The field of project management serves as excellent training ground.  You will learn through trial and error which strategies are most effective, and your boss may take notice.  As you gain experience, you can take on bigger and bigger projects and gain further experience in various facets of a particular industry.

Cons

  • The idea of taking on heaps of responsibility is energizing to some people, but for others it only causes stress—it’s a double edged sword. Sure, you can take a lot of credit for the success of a project, but if the project fails, you will take the brunt of the blame.  Because you are the go-to for all information representing those under you, any one higher up the chain will look to you to know all the details of the past, present, and future of a project. If you don’t excel at understanding big picture of a project and instead can only see minutia, you may not be a good fit for this career.
  • You have to be flexible in order to accommodate the variables of your job; this industry is rife with unpredictability. That means you need to have a plan A, B, C, and so on. If you are a perfectionist who can only see plan A, then if may be difficult to adjust to changes.  You must be willing to break out of your rigidity and embrace change, otherwise this job may not be suitable for you.
  • All projects must come to an end.  If you need long-term consistency, this may be difficult to work with.  As a project manager, you will see jobs come and go.  You will have great teams, and you may have not so great teams.  The temporary and flexible nature of this job is not best for everyone, so consider this as you think about this field.
  • Continuous Education. Project managing is becoming a competitive field.  More and more managers are getting advanced degrees—be it a bachelor’s, master’s, or beyond.  If you want to remain relevant and stand out among those in the field, you must at some point consider furthering your education.  Instead of going to graduate school, for example, you can research more certifications. Most project managers strive to achieve a PM certification, often devoting hours upon hours to PMP online training in order to prepare.

There are many reasons qualified individuals go into project management, but there are deterrents to this career path. Before dipping your toe into the project management field, consider these advantages and disadvantages and make an informed decision for your future.

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