The PM Podcast


Project Management for Beginners and Experts

Episode 287: Optimize Your Project Management Career - Part 1 - Early Career (Free)

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Dev Ramcharan, PMPIf you are listening to this podcast, then you are most likely either someone who wants to start a career in project management or you are already working in the project management field and you want to advance in your career. Well… you have come to the right place. This is the first of three interviews that will help you optimize and boost your project management career.

My guest is Dev Ramcharan (http://ca.linkedin.com/pub/dev-ramcharan-pmp/1/677/750). Dev is not only a PMP certified project manager, but he is also a professional career coach with AROUCA Career Coaching (http://www.arouca-coach.com/) in Canada. That means he not only understands the profession of project management but he also has the coaching background to guide you and me into successful project management careers! And my oh my is he good!

We have recorded three interviews and each focuses on one stage of your career. The stages are early career, mid career and late career. My recommendation is that you listen to all three interviews in sequence, irrespective of your current career stage. So no matter if you are an absolute newcomer to project management or if you are a highly respected and senior VP of project management… you should listen to all three interviews starting with this one here.

Also, Dev has developed the Career Optimization Package for you. This package is just over 30 pages long and contains templates, workbooks, tools and plans to help you review, optimize, plan and boost your project management career. You can download this package for free in both PDF and Microsoft Office format from The PM Podcast website. Just go to www.pm-podcast.com/career. You’ll see that there is a 32 page long free version (that’s the one we talk about during the interview) and there is also a premium version.

The premium version is a much more complete package, because it contains additional career tools, checklists and workbooks. So compared to the free version, the premium gives you a comprehensive, full career-life-cycle coverage with a powerful toolset. We are launching this  premium version initially at the price of $29.99 but we are also giving away FOUR copies. As always… two copies are reserved for our Premium listeners and two copies are open for grabs. Please go to www.facebook.com/pmpodcast and participate in the giveaway. We will draw a winner at the end of October 2014.

And with all that out the way here's an overview of our first interview with Dev Ramcharan: We start out by looking at the benefits that a career in project management gives you, discuss the key factors and skills that will help you make your project management career a success, then we move on to discussing how to optimize your early career and we close the interview by looking at how to use the Career Optimization Package.

Note: During the interview I say that the free package is about 50 pages long, but the correct number is 32 pages. I'm sorry! I was looking at the wrong file. My mistake!

Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only. 

Podcast Introduction

Cornelius Fichtner: Hello and welcome to Episode # 287. This is the Project Management Podcast™ at www.pm-podcast.com and I'm Cornelius Fichtner.

If you are listening to this Podcast, then you are most likely either someone who wants to start a career in project management or you are already working in the project management field and you want to advance your career. Well you have come to the right place because this is the first of 3 interviews that will help you optimize and boost your project management career.

My guest today is Dev Ramcharan. Dev is not only a PMP certified project manager, but he is also a professional career coach with Arouca Career Coaching in Canada. That means, he not only understands the profession of project management, but he also has the coaching background to guide you and me into successful project management careers.

And my, oh my is he good. We have recorded 3 interviews and each focuses on one stage of your career. The stages are early career, mid-career and late career. And my recommendation is that you listen to all 3 interviews in sequence irrespective of your current career stage. So no matter if you are an absolute newcomer to project manager or if you are a highly respected senior vice president of project management, you should listen to all 3 interviews starting with this one here because there are nuggets of wisdom for every stage in each of the interviews.

Also, Dev has developed the Career Optimization Package for you. This package is just over 30 pages long and contains templates, workbooks, tools and plans to help you review, optimize, plan and boost your project management career. You can download this package for free in both PDF and Microsoft Office format from the PM Podcast website. Just go to www.pm-podcast.com/career. You will see that there is the 32-page long free version. That's the one we talked about during the interviews and then there is also a Premium version. The Premium version is a much more complete package because it contains additional career tools, checklists and workbooks. So compare to the free version, the Premium gives you a comprehensive full career life cycle coverage with a powerful tool set.

We are launching this Premium version initially at the price of 29.99 but we're also giving away 4 copies for free. As always, 2 copies are reserved for our Premium listeners and 2 copies are open for grabs. Please go to www.facebook.com/pmpodcast and participate in the giveaway. We will draw a winner at the end of October 2014.

And with all that out of the way, let's get in to our first interview with Dev Ramcharan. We start out by looking at the benefits that a career in project management gives you, discuss the key factors and skills that will help you make your project management career a success, then we move on to discussing how to optimize your early career and we close the interview by looking at how to use the free career optimization package.

So please, get into an optimal listening position and enjoy the interview.

Podcast Interview

Female voice: The Project Management Podcast’s feature Interview: Today with Dev Ramcharan, Founder and Lead Coach of Arouca Career Coaching.

Cornelius Fichtner:Hello, Dev! Welcome to The Project Management Podcast™!

Dev Ramcharan: Thank you so much for having me. It's a real delight to be here, Cornelius.

Cornelius Fichtner: And it's great to have you here. So we want to talk about career optimization for project managers. So tell me, what will the listeners get out of our conversation?

Dev Ramcharan: Well, I hope they'll get a couple of things.

  • First of all, clarity on some of the success factors that project managers need to keep in mind as they're actually performing their jobs and seeing their careers move forward.
  • In addition to that, an understanding of some of the principles or some guidelines, some good advice on what they need to be mindful of at each of the key stages of their career.
  • And then finally, orientation in a package of tools or at least some thoughts about some tools that they can use to help them in a very proactive way manage the different stages and some of the challenges that they experience along the way in their career.

So those are the 3 areas I'd want listeners to get something out of.

Cornelius Fichtner: And the one thing we can't forget, they are also going to get a template out of this for their career optimization. But we'll take a look at that in just a little bit.

Before we get started with the actual career optimization that we want to focus on, let's take a little bit of a step back here: What are the benefits of a career in project management?

Dev Ramcharan: There are some significant, significant benefits for anyone in project management. If you're interested in coming in to or coming more fully into project management or you're already in it, thinking in terms of these benefits actually helps you to anchor yourself and it gives you a sense of hopefulness when you hit those doldrums periods in your career.

One, there is an end to end view of an organization from planning to operations, from strategy down to day-to-day everyday work that a project manager tends to get line of sight into. Unlike many of the individuals that are in very specific and tightly siloed areas of the organization.

Second, being a project manager is an excellent way to develop management skills. You're a virtual manager without the headache of having to be accountable for someone else's performance, reviews and performance development though in some instances, that might be something that you do give some kind of input into and then form the process for.

Third, you have the chance to be a real change agent in the organization. As you go from top to bottom, side to side, department to department, going through all of the different stages of your career or of your project, you above any other role in the organization have got a sense of the cross-functional process improvements that need to occur. Those key overlaps that sometimes need to be differentiated a little bit more than they usually are, you are the one who identifies those things and you are the one particularly in the intelligent use of lessons learned sessions who can come back to the organization and suggest things that can be changed and improved.

Another thing is you gain transferrable skills and you really do develop the technique for getting things done because there is nothing more painful for a project manager than becoming someone who doesn’t know how to get things done. You'll learn very quickly through blood, sweat and tears how to get things done effectively.

You develop expertise in business process, there's no longer considered to be something that is buried down underground with the orcs i.e. which is where I was down in the IT organization as a specialized mysterious skill set. It's not a standard business process. Project management is thought at university. People that are getting their MBAs are more than likely to learn project management in school and I can tell you being a practitioner for over 25 years, quarter century ago, that would have been absolutely unimaginable. Now, it's something that's a standard and strategic business process.

Another thing is there is an increase demand for our skills in a still-troubled, a still sluggish world economic malaise. So as organizations try to think how to do more with less and how to do what they do more efficiently, project management is one of those absolutely crucial skill sets to have. It's a real benefit to be a PM in a time of economic malaise like ours. There's a massive variety of opportunities available to project managers and you have skills that are transferrable across industries unlike many other people who tend to be very nailed up into a niche and unable to move from industry to industry.

And then finally, it's a life skill. If you become a good project manager, if you really put your heart into project management, you're the kind of individual who's going to make a difference in the world in which you live because it informs every single other aspect of your life. You think in terms of goals, outcomes, risks, timelines, budgets, et cetera, et cetera and that just makes you overall from a person point of view, a human point of view, a much more effective human being.

So I hope that answers your question, Cornelius, but that's some of what I would respond to in connection with the benefits of a career in project management.

Cornelius Fichtner: Right. You know you got me thinking with all these skills and techniques that we learned, the depth and the breadth of how we see companies and the people we interact in companies, would you say, project management, the job of a project manager can also be a spring board into other careers?

Above are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only. Please subscribe to our Premium Podcast to receive a PDF transcript.

Tags: PM Career Development

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