Going for Gantt
February 2, 2013 6:43 AM Subscribe
Would becoming a project manager be an opportunity for growth, or an exercise in frustration?
posted by freya_lamb to Work & Money (5 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a senior editor/digital producer/UX type with degrees in arts and media production. I'm generally creative and non-linear but with strong analytical and process-design skills and have been working in and around large-scale IT development projects for most of my career. I've just been approached to consider a job as an IT project manager.
Currently I manage a team of other editors/producers in an organisation that supports lawyers. I'm good at my job, the pay/benefits are great and my team are smart and competent but the projects we're involved with and the content subject matter are not that interesting to me. This mis-alignment often gets me down and outside hobbies haven't quashed the yearning for a more vocationally-focused day job.
The new gig would be working for an organisation that is much more in line with my general knowledge and interests (and also the subject of my first degree). On the one hand it sounds like a good opportunity - pay is a little lower but I'd get to work on cutting edge projects and new technologies with opportunities to explore broader career paths within that industry. I'd be in an internationally renowned centre of excellence around very creative people who are both ambitious and successful. Through working on project teams I'll get insight into the real-world application of some of the skills I've been nurturing as an amateur. I'll also be learning new professional skills and would get certification in a highly transferable discipline that will be useful in any any industry.
The downside is that pure PM work would make huge demands of my weaker skills, ie, being very organised (I am good at this but can find it stressful), managing competing priorities, managing very technically-complex activities, doing a lot of admin and document control and spending much more time writing specs and requirements and less time having ideas, developing concepts and mentoring a team.
New place thinks my existing knowledge and soft skills make me a good candidate, and that the kind of projects they have will give opportunities for creative input. I'm not so sure. Has anyone here made the transition from team to project manager? What should I be considering?