Question: “I want to be a PM, should I?” or other variations of this question, like “Should an engineer move to the role of a project manager?”, “I’m in my late 30-s and I want a career change, is it too late to become a PM?”
Q&A is a section where I answer frequently asked questions about project management, work relationships, business development, career management, team management, and other topics. In most cases, these are questions that I usually receive on a daily basis.
If you are asking this question, it means at least the following:
- You have some understanding of the role of a project manager
- You like the idea
If the answer to any of these is “No”, then that’s the answer to the original question – probably no, you shouldn’t be a PM, either because you don’t like it or because you don’t know anything about it. But let’s assume that this is not our case here.
If you like the idea of being a PM, then there’s no reason not to give it a try, right?
You may feel like you don’t have enough skills, but people who don’t have a predisposition to be a PM don’t like the idea. And every time I heard this question, it was from people with the right skills.
Usually the question “Should I be a PM” pops up when we want to break into a career, while our experience or knowledge is in some other areas. This is not a problem. Of course, the right education helps, but not every company needs all the knowledge and skills. Out of millions of companies, there are sure to be a solid number that need someone like you right now or very soon. You just need to find each other.
The biggest part of being a good project manager is being strongly self-motivated and able to help others. So if you think you’re capable of keeping yourself highly motivated and helping others, you might see yourself halfway ahead.
To try, find open positions on the market, read through the requirements. You don’t have to match them all 100%. You may want to read a little more about some of the requirements mentioned in most of the positions you view.
Then apply for a job and attend an interview. You can apply to multiple companies. It is OK to fail in the beginning. Every time you fail, you write down questions you want to learn more about. Over time, you will be able to find the right company for you – not only one that will make you an offer, but one that you will also like.
Is it too late to become a PM?
As for age, if everything written above seems good to you, then there is no reason not to try. There are many companies that care about results, skills, and personality, rather than age or other unrelated characteristics. Just ignore those who care about age.
Keep going and you will succeed. Don’t wait, make the first step today.