You will need to have either 4,500 or 7,500 hours of experience leading and directing projects, depending on your education. PMP is the gold standard in project management because of its high entry barrier. How do you get started?
Keep a log of your work
This is important to understand now. You might lose your PMP application if you don’t keep track of your work. PMI requires details about the project work, including dates of employment, qualifications, roles, organization details, reference and a summary of experience. How can you determine if something you have worked on qualifies for a project? PMI defines a project as “a temporary undertaking undertaken to create an unique product or service.” This means that anything that has a deadline and has a deliverable can be considered a project.
Volunteer as an expediter or project coordinator. It’s often easier to get involved as a volunteer coordinator or expediter because it’s not paid work. To be eligible for the PMP, you will need to spend thousands of hours managing and directing projects. You might prefer to put those hours into your job. Volunteering is a time-consuming activity.
You can get great advice from conference attendees about how to start in project management. You might even be able to get a job with the right networking. Even project managers with years of experience value networking. It is worth building a strong professional network early on in your career.
Consider your industry
Project management is a popular job in software vendors and consulting firms. For entry-level roles, try titles such as business analyst or test manager. You should keep in mind that projects include creating websites, organizing events, and producing media. This means that there are many other industries that you can work in.
Companies don’t hire junior project managers and entry-level employees. You should work your way up in the company until you are able to manage a low-risk/low visibility project. Once you have enough experience, you can move up to bigger projects or companies.
Start your own projects
You can suggest small projects that you can take to your managers, such as a new way of processing vendor invoices. Ask yourself and other employees to help you determine the foundation of your project.
Which processes take the longest to complete?
What are the most expensive processes to complete?
What are the most frustrating processes?
You can automate or take out certain processes by mapping out one of these processes. You can test your new version to ensure it is fast and quality. Write a report detailing the time and/or money that you can save.
Don’t pay attention to job titles
The job title you held at the time is irrelevant if you can show examples of new products, processes, or systems that you have created. PMI doesn’t care about your current title. To verify that your description is accurate, all you need is a reference who has worked with you on the project.
Get a CAPM certificate
You can become a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), if you have never managed a project. This certification will allow you to understand the PMBOK(r), and prepare you for the PMP exam. This qualification can help you find new opportunities. This certification is a must-have if you want to get into project management. An accredited online training course is available here.