Want to Become a Project Manager? Here’s How To Get Started

If you’re organized, love to plan, and enjoy working closely with others, then you might be dreaming of a career in project management. A project manager oversees the development and execution of various projects. Depending on the role and industry, this can also include managing the people working on these projects and their budgets to ensure the project is completed on time and on budget.

Sound like the job for you? Then keep reading below for tips and tricks on how to get started!

Hit the Books 

While some project managers don’t have formal education in this area, it never hurts. This is especially true if you’re new to the industry. While there are full degree programs available in the areas of project and business management, there are also credible certificate options as well. While there are many options out there, the most well known is from The Project Management Institute. Working towards an official degree or certificate in project management is a great way to set you apart from the competition! 

Assess and Hone Your Skills 

What makes a good project manager? On top of having the right education and passion, here are some of the skills you should be prepared to use in a project management role: 

  • Team leadership
  • Planning 
  • Risk management
  • Scheduling 
  • Communication 
  • Budget 
  • Contract management 
  • Empathic 
  • Coaching 
  • Being a people person

Get To Know The Tools  

In addition to these skills, having experience or familiarity with common project management tools and software is also important. Some of our favorites include Atlassian, Basecamp, and Microsoft Project. If you don’t already have experience with these, do a bit of online research and watch some free “how-to” videos on YouTube so you’re not starting from square one.

Reach out to the Community 

Networking with other project managers certainly won’t hurt your chances for being in this field. In fact, being able to positively communicate and engage with other professionals is one of the key skills used in project management. Put a call out to your personal network to see if anyone has connections in the industry they can share with you. Research local networking or professional association opportunities. The bottom line is, don’t wait to get that first project management job to start getting to know others in the industry! 

The Georgia WebMBA, Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management, and Master of Management Information Systems at Georgia College offers professionals the opportunity to make their next move by earning an accredited online master’s degree. If you’re curious about how we can work with you to help you complete your online MBA and if you have any more questions about tips and tricks on how to get started to become a project manager, especially in the face of a pandemic, click here to contact us today

How to Boost Your Productivity

The current pandemic has had an undeniable effect on mental health across the United States and around the world. With that comes negative consequences for productivity as well. Are you struggling to stay focused on your tasks throughout the work day? You’re not alone.

But that’s why we’re here to provide our favorite tips for how to boost your productivity. Keep reading for suggestions on how to refocus and improve your productivity during these uncertain times. 

Take Breaks

As tempting as it can be to power through your full to-do list, this can actually be harmful to both your productivity and the quality of your work. To stay sharp and focused, your brain needs breaks. That’s why it’s vital to schedule those in along with all of your to-dos. In addition to making time for meals and quality sleep, also work in 5-10 minute breaks every few hours throughout the day. 

Keep Track of Your Time and Tasks 

Start your day by fleshing out a rough list of tasks and time commitments. This will help you keep track of everything ahead, while also giving you the satisfaction of being able to cross things off as you finish them. It’s also a great idea to keep track of how much time items take you. That way, you’ll be able to devote the right amount of time to the task if it repeats in the future, or you’ll be able to pick up the pace if you notice you’re going too slow. 

Additionally, consider including deadlines next to your tasks. This will help keep you on track and also give you the peace of mind that no deadlines will be missed. 

Try to Tackle Your Biggest To-Dos First 

Also called “eating the frog”, many people believe in the productivity tip of tackling the biggest to-do first thing in the morning. This is usually the thing you’re dreading the most, whether it’s finishing up that pesky paper or finally sending out that email you’ve been putting off.

Once that task is done, you’ll find yourself feeling better about your workload, confident about the day ahead, and better able to focus on your remaining to-dos.

Avoid Distractions 

There are lots of distractions out there. One distraction that’s often overlooked is email. After all, staying on top of emails is likely part of your job! Knowing that, it may be tempting to drop everything to respond to emails as they come in. But know that doing so will impede your ability to fully focus on what you’re working on. We recommend turning off notifications and setting aside dedicated blocks of time to catch up on emails, rather than tackling them as they come in throughout the day.

The Georgia WebMBA, Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management, and Master of Management Information Systems at Georgia College offers professionals the opportunity to make their next move by earning an accredited online master’s degree. If you’re curious about how we can work with you to help you complete your online MBA and if you have any more questions about how to boost your productivity, especially in the face of a pandemic, click here to contact us today