QOther options include something called “encore careers,” a phrase used when people opt for more substantial involvement in public services or charity work. This is about using your considerable experience to make a huge difference to an organization
that wouldn’t normally be able to afford someone of
your caliber. With a wealth of business and project
experience, project managers often make great teachers and lecturers. Maybe writing a book and conducting lecture tours appeals.
Yet, project managers don’t always remain project
managers. Of course, project management skills are
useful in many different settings. But keep an open
mind while you think about what really interests you.
You’ll be surprised at just how many options emerge.
Q: I’ve been asked to prepare a presentation on
project management for a job interview. Could
you provide some advice and tips on how I can do
A: If you have the instructions before the interview,
take the time to do more detailed planning. You most
likely will have a set amount of time to deliver the
presentation. In an interview, presentations tend to
be between 10 and 15 minutes long, so plan to cover
one slide every two minutes. Keeping to the allotted
time is an important assessment area and one where
many people fail, so you absolutely need to stick to
Q: Do you have any advice for a baby boomer
looking to do something new? I’m in my mid-fifties with considerable project management
experience at a large company.
A: Like a lot of experienced project managers, there
comes a time when you stop, look around and wonder if there is a new career waiting for you. As we
move through our working lives, priorities change,
which leads us to consider new avenues and challenges. Think about your own priorities. Consider
salary, work/life preferences, what your ethics and
values are, and what kind of challenge you would like
in your working life.
A career as a project manager is an excellent
foundation when thinking about new opportunities.
This could be the time to try freelancing or setting
up a small consultancy offering specialist services
or advice. Many people opt for this because it gives
them greater freedom to pursue work that really
interests them. This can also offer a better work/life
balance, as well as new learning and development
opportunities, depending on the new situations and
clients you work with.
For many more experienced project managers, this
is also a time when it would be great to give back.
This can manifest itself in a variety of ways: Some
become mentors to younger project managers; others
become more involved in professional associations
such as PMI, stepping up and volunteering more at
local chapters. This type of volunteer time tends to
open more doors and opportunities to explore, as you
are networking much more than you ever did.
Whether project managers are searching
for a new career or some meaningful
mentoring, the first step is to evaluate
current skills and future goals.
BY LINDSAY SCOTT