How to Get Your First Project Manager Job

Adriana Girdler

Best ways to start your project management career (even when you have no experience!) Are you hoping to start a project management career and wondering …

Best ways to start your project management career (even when you have no experience!)

Are you hoping to start a project management career and wondering how you can get your first project manager job?

The big question when it comes to finding your first project manager job is, which comes first: the chicken or the egg? What happens when you’re looking for a job is they always ask, “do you have experience in project management?”

If it’s your first project manager job, then of course you don’t have experience!

So, what do you do?

  1. Determine whether you’ve done projects

A lot of people don’t realize that they’ve worked on projects already! Even if you haven’t formally or officially had the project manager title, you’ve likely still worked on or even managed a project.

Remember, a project has a distinct start and end date, tasks you need to execute, and often you’re working with other individuals to get it done. So, if you’re in the working world, think of projects or initiatives you’ve worked on that fit that description and draw from that experience.

If you’re looking for your first project manager job out of school and you haven’t really been in the working world yet, you can still draw from experience you gained in school by working on projects or initiatives within your education experience.

All you need to do is look at things a little differently and pinpoint where you actually have done project work.

  1. Consider a related role

To get into project management, there are some professional roles that naturally fit into it. For example, if you’re an engineer, you will be doing project work.

If the roles you’ve been in or the program you graduated from aren’t necessarily project-based, you can still ensure you get project experience by asking to be on projects that relate to your role. Every organization has projects, so whether your professional role naturally leans towards project work or not, you can always ask to be on projects to gain experience that way.

  1. More ways to land your first project manager role

If you want to get some more options on how to get your first project management role, make sure you check out the video I made on how to get your first project manager job. In the video, I go into detail on a number of routes you can take to get your foot in the door of project management!

Meanwhile, if you really are committed to mastering your next project, do consider taking my SLAY Project Management online course where I show you step-by-step how to successfully manage a project, plus you get access to every template you will need, along with detailed video instructions on how to fill them out.


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Adriana Girdler is a project manager, productivity specialist, entrepreneur, professional speaker, facilitator, visioning wizard, and author. As President of CornerStone Dynamics, Adriana is one of Canada’s prominent business productivity and project management specialists—helping both individuals and businesses do what they do, only better. She is a certified master black belt lean six sigma with over 20 years’ experience improving how companies work.

She also holds both PMP (project management professional) and CET (certified engineering technologist) designations. She’s a Tedx speaker, as well as a HuffPost and Thrive Global contributor. She has been interviewed on Global, CBC, CTV, CHCH, 680News Radio, Newstalk 1010, Sirius XM and published in the Globe and Mail and numerous industry magazines. WANT ADRIANA'S FREE ONLINE TRAINING? In 45 min, learn Adriana's 5 project management secrets she use on EVERY project. Sign up for the Free Webinar here: THE FAB FIVE FUNDAMENTALS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT

SLAY Project Management

Online Course

5 Sections and 24 step-by-step HOW TO Videos! The only 5-hour on-line course that teaches you the PRACTICAL side of project management. This course will guide you step-by-step on HOW to successfully run a project and provides you with all the templates and tips you need to be successful.

Fab 5 Fundamentals

Free Training

Are you striving for successful projects, but get overwhelmed figuring out what elements of project management to focus on for the best results? In the Fab Five Fundamentals of Project Management, you’ll learn the five things you need to do on EVERY project to bring it to success.

Why Projects Fail?

Free Download

If you're new to projects or need a refresher, here's a guide of all the things I learned during my journey. Project success is about knowing how to navigate and stay clear of roadblocks, issues and problems. Understand the top 10 reasons why projects fail and how to avoid them.

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