5 Things You Need to Do as a PM to Keep Learning

ProjectManager.com

Complacent project managers are project managers who end up out of a job. You know that it’s crucial to keep up on the cutting-edge developments, honing your skills and experience. In this video, Jennifer Bridges, PMP, shows you some ways to quench that thirst for knowledge.

In Review: 5 Things You Need to Do as a PM to Keep Learning

Jennifer talked about the importance of continued education for project managers in this short video. She breaks it down to five helpful hints to maintain that love of learning, which translates into professional success.

  • Be prepared to learn by asking questions when you don’t know something
  • Assume responsibility instead of expecting your company to keep you updated on trainings, etc. Remember your value and be insistent on keeping your skill sets sharp.
  • Schedule time for continued education.
  • Monitor the trends in your industry, see where its going and where you are, and act accordingly.
  • Leverage technology to access free information online through social channels, among other platforms, it’s also a great way to meet people and collaborate.

Pro-Tip: Not all training is free. Some information is valuable and to gain access you need to pay for it. That’s fine. Just be sure to have allocated in your personal budget the funds to apply for education. You’re worth the investment.

One course of action Jennifer recommends is PMP certification. To learn more, watch her video on getting certified as a project manager.

Thanks for watching!

Transcription

Hello, I’m Jennifer Whitt, Director at ProjectManager.com.

Welcome to our White Board Session today on “Five Things You Need to Do as a PM to Keep Learning.” If you’re watching this video, number one you’re willing, so thank you for joining us. There is so much as a project manager to know. Not only things going on in our industry, but the world and the economy, in our organization, with people and ourselves. There’s so much, where do we even start? Here are five things that I’ve found helpful.

Number one is to prepare yourself. I find that in order to ready, set, go, you need to be open to learn. Be willing to say, “Hey, I don’t know it all.” If you can get past that step, then you’re in the right direction. Also, be willing to ask questions. I have two little nieces, and one thing that I’ve learned is, they constantly ask questions. They are always asking, “What are we doing? Why are we doing it?” So, if we’re willing to step back and ask questions, like someone younger, back in the day, then I think that’s helpful for us to discover new things we haven’t considered before.

Number two. Assume responsibility. Some people, and some organizations I’ve seen, are always expecting their company to keep them up to date. It’s not going to happen, so I feel it’s important for you to take responsibility for not only yourself, but also your career. See yourself as an asset. We find time for investing in our portfolio, our financial, our retirement, our family, and other things, with the exception of ourselves. If we look at ourselves as our greatest asset, then we’re going to make great strides to start looking at things differently.

Also, your value and your demand. The more you improve your learning and the more you know, then the demand for you is going to increase. The more skills you have, the expertise, experience, knowledge, value actually drives the demand for you upwards. People are going to want the value that you bring, and the information that you have. So, the demand of you goes up for other opportunities.

Number three is to schedule time, and allocate budget. You actually have to invest in yourself. Number one, just setting, allocating time. You are your most important project. You have to schedule time in your day, in your week, in your year. I begin my year by scheduling out. When am I going to allocate time for me to learn? Is it going to be on weekends? Is it going to be after hours? Am I going to take a vacation? Is it going to be weekends? You have to set your schedule. I actually put that on my calendar. I block time out.

Then I allocate budget. Again, we allocate budget for the kids to go to school; for their school supplies, maybe their school clothes, your food and everything like that. A lot of times I find that people don’t allocate budget for their training and their learning. People tend to think that everything is free, all the learning is free. There is a ton of free information out there on the Internet, but not everything is free. There may be special programs that you need to learn in order to, again, gain value and position yourself. Maybe learn things you don’t know. Sometimes you have to pay for that. You have to put that in your budget. Not all training is free.

Then, we have to monitor the trends and see, where is everything going, and where am I? So, there are trends that are going on in the world. What’s happening in the economy? What’s happening in your profession? How is it changing? Are the standards increasing? Are there new opportunities coming up, new certifications? Then look at yourself. What are the trends in yourself? What do you want to do? What have you done in the past, kind of been there done that? Where do you want to go?

I find that you have to release the past. My friends kid me about my stories of back in the day. I can tell stories of back in the day when things were different, or we did things a certain way. Sometimes we have to release, and let that go and say that things aren’t going to come back. They’re actually changing for the better. How do we position ourselves?

Where are we in relation to that, and where do we want to go? There are things that I’ve done in my past that, I’ve been there done that and I don’t necessarily want to do that anymore. I have to learn, keep continue learning maybe new things. Maybe a new career or a new position that I want.

Number five is leveraging technology. We subscribe to going social, getting mobile, going global. Our teams are global so we have to learn, how do people in different parts of the world do things? What are their standards?

What are their interests, and how do they go about their day to day?

Then, again, social. There’s Google, Pinterest now, Facebook, LinkedIn, all types of resources we have available for us today to find the free information, or find opportunities, or find groups that we can get into. There are online social media groups that we can go into and collaborate and meet people. I’ve met people all over the world by joining some of these social groups.

Getting mobile. I say, I iPhone is my greatest companion. I can look up things when I’m traveling on a Marta train, or on a plane, or even sometimes in a meeting. I can Google things and looks things up if I want to know. If someone mentions a term or a concept that I don’t understand, it’s easy to find.

These are things I think are very helpful to do as a project manager in order to learn, and keep up to date with all the things we need to as a project manager.

If you’re looking for a tool to help you manage your project, which is you, or better yet help you learn, then sign up for our software at ProjectManager.com.

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