Oftentimes people get held back by the old school of thought whereby permanent contract is the answer to a career stability and consistent growth. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case. In this article, we will be exploring the idea of Interim/Contract Project Manager in a broader perspective.
What is Interim Project Manager?
When organizations undergo a major change, trying to implement a critical strategy or the need to use one’s specialty for a specific project, interim project managers are the to-go-to people.
Why are companies hiring Interim PM(s)?
- Flexibility– Contract PMs are available to start anytime with the minimum of recruitment or termination formalities.
- Qualifications – A contract PM is usually highly experienced in the subject matter of his field.
- Track Records – A contract PM with a flawless track record and performance knows how to deliver the best result with minimal supervision.
- Objectivity – Interim PM(s) are independent contractor. Henceforth, they will not be constrained by the company’s politics, personalities or protocols.
- Highly goal-oriented – Contractual PM(s) are hired to complete a very specific task and therefore, they are focused to deliverexcellent results.
Next, do you have what it takes to be an Interim/Contract Project Manager?
Here are some of the questions you can ask yourself before applying for a contractual Project Manager:
- Specialization – Does the project scope fit into your area of project implementation? The more niche you are in your field of expertise that is relevant to the project scope, the more popular you will be amongst the companies.
- Experience – Do you have the sufficient project-based experience? How many cycles of implementations have you completed?A veteran whom have gained anin-depth of knowledge are more in demand with the companies as opposed to a novice.
- Certifications – Are you professional qualified in your space of practice? It is always better to have qualifications under your belt such as APMP/APM PQ (practitioner qualification), PRINCE 2 practitioner, PMP (certified project management professional) etc. when entering the world of project management.
- Relevant skills – Do you have what it takes to be an effective project manager? Time management,listening skills, communication skills and problem solving skills are some of the most needed skills required of a project manager on a daily basis.
- Risk management – Are you aware of what you are getting yourself into? Can you comprehend the life cycle of the particular project you took on? It is crucial to fully understand the challenges you will be facing during the implementation stage and for it to go live.
Now that we’ve touched base with the introduction and pre-requisites for an Interim PM, we will be moving on with how to secure your next contract PM role.
Ways to secure your next role as a contractual Project Manager:
- Make sure that your CV is up-to-date and competitive.
- Network…. Network and more Network. When was the last time you’ve updated your LinkedIn profile?In this digital age, it is as simple as ABC to get connected with groups and communities that are relevant to you. Put yourself out there (professionally) and make your profile visible within the Project Manager communities.
- Similarly, sign up for as many Job Board databases i.e. Monster, CareerBuilder, JobStreet.com, etc. as possible. Let hiring managers know that you’re out there available to work at this specific date and your specialty in the field. It may be tedious and laborious but the end result is totally worthy.
- Get as many referrals as you can on your previous projects – these referrals can be requested from your client, employers, or even former peers. It is the golden key for a continuous job.