Lindsay Scott is the director of program and
project management recruitment at Arras People
in London, England.
n If you don’t have business cards from your organization, consider having inexpensive ones made
up yourself. Alternatively, use the LinkedIn app
on your smartphone to make an instant connection to the person you’re talking with.
n Go further with LinkedIn and categorize your
connections into how and where you met. This
is a useful feature that allows you to adopt some
customer relationship management principles to
manage your connections going forward.
An event is just as valuable as any training course
because you ultimately learn a lot about yourself
too. Time away at events gives you time for reflection, not just on current work challenges but also
about where your career is heading or where you’d
like it to be heading.
Q: I want to have more control over what pro-
fessional courses I attend rather than just tak-
ing direction from my manager. How can I go
A: As a project manager, you should feel comfortable putting together a case for certain types of
development options that will benefit both you and
The business case should cover the three main
Q: In interviews, my mind goes blank while I
areas of development for project managers: techni-
cal (tools, techniques, processes, methods-based
training), behavioral (communications, relation-
ships, leadership) and organizational (financial,
commercial, strategy). For a strong business case,
consider the benefits, value or any other positive
return for the organization for each development
option you’re proposing.
A strong case will include development that clearly
addresses some of your weaker areas, so it is impera-
tive that you undertake an competency assessment
such as the PMI Project Manager Competency
Development Framework. Referencing an industry
standard in your proposal will strengthen your case.
Also include development options that don’t
cost your firm much time or money, if possible.
For example, breakfast seminars or online training
courses require time more than anything else.
think about how to answer a question. Is there a
tried-and-true method to overcome this?
A: To gain more control in interviews, you need to
create a system for remembering everything you
planned for during the actual interview.
Think of five or six really good stories from your
career so far. When I say “story,” I mean something
worth telling that has a beginning, middle and end.
For example, how you managed to turn a negative stakeholder into one of the biggest champions
of the project, or how you saved your customer
money because of a certain action.
Write down each example, then categorize the
story. Think about the elements that make up the
story: What components of project management
does it include? Does it highlight leadership or
managing others? What behavioral skills were
needed? What business acumen does it show?
You should end up with a good example to share
regardless of the question you receive. Then research mnemonic devices that will help you recall
those examples. PM
Time away at
you time for
not just on
is heading or
like it to be