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Want To Be More Employable? Brush Up On Your Project Management Skills

·6-min read
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Brush up on your Project Management Skills
Brush up on your Project Management Skills

In today’s uncertain job landscape, it might be helpful to find a career path that is in demand by a wide variety of companies. Project management once thought of as an informal practice, is now a full-fledged profession deemed necessary in this fast-paced world of work.

Those thinking of changing careers might find project management a good fit, as the role requires soft skills built through work experience. According to task management and team collaboration software company Teamwork, a project manager will need to rely on their soft skills to get the best out of their team, create good working relationships across departments, and keep things smooth sailing throughout the whole project.

Every company, every industry needs a project manager. Listings on Jobstreet for Project Manager roles cut across a wide variety of sectors, from IT to logistics, engineering to healthcare and more. If you’re interested in becoming a project manager, here’s an overview of what the role is all about.

What is project management?

According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), project management is “the use of specific knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to deliver something of value to people.”

Every organisation needs to run projects to create a product, a service or a desired outcome. What they all need are professionals to lead and ensure that the initiative will meet its goals.

That is where the project manager comes in. These people understand the project and use their skills and expertise to help drive the team towards achieving success. They are in charge of rallying the troops, making sure that everything is organised and overseeing every detail.

Project managers in Singapore earn an average base salary of SGD 75,603 a year, which can go up to an average total compensation of SGD 101,204, depending on how much experience they have.

As most jobs involve an aspect of project management, you can start brushing up on your skills by starting at your place of work. Sharpening your transferable skills is a good way to hone your project management experience and boost your resume for that better opportunity ahead.

What soft skills should a project manager have?

  • Leadership. Aside from managing a project, a project manager also oversees the project team. They need to keep everyone in line while also steering them through difficulties along the way. Keep in mind that there are different leadership styles, and what type you choose would depend on what kind of team you have. The best leader understands their people well and knows what motivates them best.

  • Collaboration. Collaboration skills involve the ability to work with other people well. It also ensures that everyone else can work with the rest of the team effectively. Being a good collaborator requires good communication skills because you need to get your point across and ensure that you are understood. Conversely, it also requires that you be an active listener so that your teammates will feel that they are heard, as well.

  • Empathy. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of other people. It works hand in hand with collaboration skills. Being able to empathise with your team puts you in a good position to play mediator in times of conflict. When stress is high and everybody’s on edge, an empathetic and compassionate leader can best help turn the situation around.

  • Innovativeness. The PMI identifies innovation as a core competency for project managers because it is needed to succeed in a “rapidly shifting strategic environment.” Project managers must search for, generate and implement ideas that add value to the group. They should also create an innovation-friendly environment for the team where team members are encouraged to be creative and share their thoughts and inputs.

  • Organisation. A project has a lot of moving parts – deadlines, deliverables, presentations and more – and the project manager is in charge of being on top of everything. They should have the presence of mind to remember what things are supposed to happen when and how they are being executed.

  • Adaptability. Unfortunately, things don’t always go according to plan. A good project manager can adapt to sudden changes in the project, even the ones they planned to the tiniest detail. Being able to adjust will help the team stay afloat and set the rest of the project back on track.

How to become an effective project manager

Michael DePrisco, Chief Operating Officer of PMI, identifies three tips on how one can become a project management professional:

  1. Take on more responsibilities at work – The skills mentioned above can be honed by on the job experience. If you volunteer to take on more responsibilities or projects at work, you’ll be able to gain valuable skills and learnings along the way. “You’ll also earn a reputation for accomplishment—as someone who gets things done. That, in itself, opens doors to bigger and better opportunities,” writes DePrisco.

  2. Join training programs – There is a wide range of programs to help people upskill in project management. Online learning platforms like Coursera and schools like the Singapore University of Technology and Design offers project management courses. In PMI, you can start with Kickoff, a free course that teaches the basics of project management to newbies.

  3. Keep learning – Every workplace changes all the time, so it’s important to keep learning to stay updated. The technical skills in your field of expertise will be very helpful in enhancing your ability to oversee projects and can help you become more innovative, too. Upskilling will always be a good tool to have in your back pocket, so make sure to keep your mind open to learning something new each day.

Project management organisations in Singapore

Much like other professions, career growth in project management can be nurtured by learning from other people in the field. The groups below are dedicated to sharing their knowledge in project management — networking with these professionals can help generate insight into the sector.

  • Project Management Institute Singapore. With over 2,000 members, PMI in Singapore can help Project Managers grow their careers through networking events, seminars, boot camps and other activities. They also offer the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, an internationally recognised standard issued by the PMI. The organisation has authorised training partners in Singapore that offers PMP certification courses. You can check their directory here.

  • Project Management Association of Singapore. PMAS aims to promote the standards of project management while also exchanging knowledge within the community. A member association of the International Project Management Association (IPMA), PMAS implements and offers IPMA certifications for project, program and portfolio managers.

  • Society of Project Managers Singapore – Primarily based in the construction industry, The Singapore Society of Project Managers has formed alliances or affiliations with various organisations to build a network and enhance their knowledge in project management. The SPM is also a member of the Construction Industry Joint Committee and the Singapore Green Building Council.

Check out our Career Resources page for more tips on how you can improve your skills and grow your career. It also offers expert insights and advice that could help you on your career journey.

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