What’s your next step as a Project Manager. The answer to your Project Management career is in the Japanese concept of ikigai.
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‘I’ve been working as a Project Manager for several years. What is the next step in my career?’
In different ways, that’s a question I hear a lot.
It’s based on a false premise. There is no ‘the next step’. If you are a good project manager, then you have a bag of career assets:
And this means you have a wealth of opportunities. Often the problem is less about what to do and more about narrowing your scope.
To help you answer that, think about what you:
These sort of questions will help you to determine your next destination. There is a lovely image doing the rounds of the web. It illustrates the Japanese concept of Ikigai. The literal meaning is ‘a reason for being’.
When thinking about your project management career, you need to find what’s right for you. Ikigai tells us that your perfect job is at the overlap of four things what you:
With any one of these missing, there is a feeling of:
Among the cohort of Project Managers I grew up with, some have gone in surprising directions. In my LinkedIn connections list, you’ll find a florist, cafe owner, print store director, care-home operator, and house builder.
But here are some of the more conventional routes I’ve seen:
Project Managers are nothing if not practical. So once you know what you want to do, start to think about how. What do you need to get before you are ready to make the move? When is the best time? How will you make your move?
Apply your Project Management skills to finding your goal, objectives, and requirements. Once you have them, think about workstreams, tasks, risks and stakeholders to build a plan.
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Dr Mike Clayton is one of the most successful and in-demand project management trainers in the UK. He is author of 14 best-selling books, including four about project management. He is also a prolific blogger and contributor to ProjectManager.com and Project, the journal of the Association for Project Management. Between 1990 and 2002, Mike was a successful project manager, leading large project teams and delivering complex projects. In 2016, Mike launched OnlinePMCourses.
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