I work as a Senior Network engineer in Telecomm industry in Sydney for 5 years. I am been involved with few of the projects but not into the role of a PM or PC. How can I get started into Project management field from my technical field ? I have done Prince 2 and have my MBA with me. Advice please. Thanks in advance
My background is similar, so I'll tell you my lessons learned.
- To get started, let people know you are interested in the PM role, and that you would like to work as a project admin or coordinator to get some experience. These are roles where you get to see a lot of the management activities but for the most part you don't have a lot of responsibility for the project giving you a chance to learn techniques, something that will pay immediate dividends.
- Get a mentor. Someone that can go to with questions, and to learn from their mistakes instead of needing to make your own.
- You are going to make mistakes anyway. Don't beat yourself up. I had a period where I thought that being a PM was just not for me because it did not come to me as easily as my previous role. My mentor reminded me that I had a lot more experience in the previous role, therefore not a fair comparison. It does get better!
- If you are a reader, I recommend The Project Management Advisor by Lonnie Pacelli. It is a book of lessons learned, early warning signs that something bad is happening and how to fix it proactively. It's a book I wish I had read years ago.
- Keep notes of your project hours so you can get the PMP certification, even if you aren't planning/ready to write the exam. For the submission you will need to have records of each project you worked on, with contact info and the number of hours you worked in each domain. It's a lot easier to create this data while you are doing it.
- Join a PM networking group. Like the mentor, this is an arena where you can ask questions. Also, depending on your personality, you may be a bit introverted or shy. Networking is great practice area.