Project Managers enjoy quite a privileged position because they can switch companies and fields without much effort. That’s because the skills are transferable, and once you get some experience, it’s easy to apply your knowledge wherever you go.
However, in order to get to a level where you feel comfortable switching teams, you need to sharpen the skills you have and get the ones you’re missing. So, if you’re planning on becoming a stellar Project Manager (PM), here are a few skills to add to your portfolio.
#1: Curiosity and Willingness to Continue Learning
You can’t grow as a professional (regardless of the field and position) without being open to new information and actively searching to learn new things. This skill is crucial if you want to become a PM that’s known as one of the best in the field.
But you need to be curious about things outside your regular field as well. For instance, even if you’re managing sales teams, it pays to know the ways how Artificial Intelligence helps businesses in the near future.
On the same note, it also helps to get a few certifications under your belt. For instance, you can get certified with Dooey, which is a top-tier training Bootcamp where PMs can gain new skills and network at the same time.
#2: People Skills
It goes without saying that you won’t go too far in this field without people skills. But it’s not just about knowing how to communicate with people from all walks of life, it’s also about knowing how to mediate conflicts and how to bring an entire team of people together to follow one goal.
The PM role requires strong leadership skills, but it also requires empathy in order to understand the needs of your team and your customers.
#3: Adaptability to the Unknown
Things can change in a heartbeat, so you need to be able to react and adapt to the new reality in real-time. One great way to train yourself to be more flexible and comfortable with change is to apply the famous Murphy’s Law, which states that “everything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”
As a PM, your job is to shoulder this responsibility and come up with solutions that will allow the team to overcome the problem(s) and continue with the project. Plus, this is a skill that will come in handy if you change the field or the company.
#4: Methodology and Scheduling
It’s impossible to keep track of an entire team without being organized and a bit anal about details. Whenever you start a project, you need to follow a schedule (which is not always according to your will) and use a series of specific methodologies such as Agile or SCRUM.
These methodologies are everywhere, regardless of field, so it helps a lot to know how to use them and how to get everything you need out of them.
When it comes to scheduling, your job is to make sure deadlines are met, whether you helped plan them or not. More often than not, each project comes with a specific deadline, so you won’t have much of a say in it. And yet, you’ll have to find a way for your team to make the deadline without overworking the people.
The skills that will help you become a stellar PM are curiosity and open-mindedness toward learning new things, people skills (including conflict mediation), leadership, flexibility toward change, and the capability of working with a strict schedule and rather stiff methodologies.
Of course, this list is not exhaustive, as there are lots of other skills that can help you shine and differentiate yourself from the crowd. But you can start with these and build upon them.