VIE WPOIN TS
CAREER Q & A
CLIMBING THE LADD
To get ahead, build your business acumen and leverage your
social media connections.
BY LINDSAY SCOTT
QI’ve been a Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification holder for a number of years. However, I want to ensure my career-development plans include additional business skills useful in a senior role. What
should I be focusing on?
n Find people in the business willing to mentor you in
their area of expertise.
A show of commitment to self-development may also
create wider opportunities for you as you come into contact with members of the business team. Your visibility
will almost certainly be raised, and that may put you in
a better position to practice your enhanced knowledge.
I recently signed up on LinkedIn to reconnect with people,
but how else can it help me in my career development?
Your current experience, skills and certification in project management have provided a solid foundation for
your career so far. To take it to the next level, you need
to consider the wider business environment in which
Business management, commercial awareness, financial
strategy and business change are
just some of the business areas
that directly relate to project
managers. Widening the focus
to include organizational and
human resources management,
marketing, operations, and
leadership will give you a well-rounded skill set. That, in turn,
boosts your chances for moving
up the career ladder.
All this may sound like the
blueprint for a master’s degree
in business administration,
but your development doesn’t
have to take such a formal (and
expensive) route. The key to
building additional business
skills is choosing the learning
that best suits you and your
industry. Here are some ways to
n Engage your manager and
explain your objectives.
n Identify target areas in which
you’re looking to increase your
AWith Facebook seen as a personal channel, LinkedIn is widely rec- ognized as the leading profes- sional social networking tool.
Used proactively, three areas are
1. Networking: Keep in touch
with those with whom you already
have a working relationship—
current and past team members,
peers, managers and vendors.
These are the people who may
someday be able to provide you
with new career opportunities.
Be sure to also use LinkedIn to
follow up with the project managers you encounter at meetings,
conferences and seminars—
especially if you’re looking for a window into project management
careers in sectors and industries
other than your own.
It’s worth noting that 80
percent of career opportunities
don’t come through career or
corporate sites, but rather from
personal recommendations and
referrals. Make those connections work for you by staying
visible and proactive.