Next move: Project management

The question

How do I get back into project management?

I have seven years' IT experience, mostly in sales. I was made redundant in 2001 from a large IT supplier and have since been working for a legal firm. I would like to return to IT in a project management role. I started out as a project control officer and was headhunted into sales - I feel I missed my true calling. Any ideas?

The solution

You will have to start  in a more junior role

Project management is a very popular area, and one that is getting crowded. It is important that you take time to understand which aspect of project management you want to get into (ie infrastructure, development, analysis, etc) and plan your approach before embarking on any radical changes.

It may not be easy to gain enough experience to get your career going in a new direction.

You need to be realistic about getting into project management. You will have to start with project co-ordinator positions, or project management office administration positions, where you can gain valuable hands-on experience and learn project management from people already in the profession.

As a first step, it would be advisable to get some qualifications - the most applicable is probably Prince 2. There are many other courses and modules to discover, so research your chosen area and focus on achieving the relevant qualifications.

Only you can decide what your true calling is and how hard you are prepared to work to achieve it, but it seems that if you get sucked back into sales, even in the short term, you should consider a consultant position. This would combine pre- and post-sales elements with the possibility of getting some exposure to project management.

Solution by Robert Nunn, senior account manager, Plan-Net Services

The panel: Plan-Net Services, Zarak Technology, Hudson, Reed Technology, Spring Group

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