Many people working in various different industries choose to change or advance their career in some way at some point. For example, if you have pursued engineering, you might change your mind and opt for an MBA or decide to go into Project Management.
The Project Management field is quite a booming industry and career option at present. Whether you are looking for a change in your daily routine and life or you are looking to achieve new professional goals, there are ways that you can switch from being an engineer to a project management role. In this article, you will come to know all the details about how to make the switch from being an engineer to a project manager.
Why Change Your Career from an Engineer to a Project Manager?
Change is the way of life, as we all know. If you have made the decision to go from being an engineer to a project manager, good for you! Not only will you learn many new skills but you will also grow immensely as a professional with this new experience. You will also get a whole new set of duties that you will enjoy doing as they would be different from your previous job. It is a fact that engineering is quite a technical field, you will find that you are enjoying learning about the soft skills that are part of the logistics of your role as a project manager.
Moreover, depending on the industry and your respective organization where you do your job as a project manager, you might find that you have a larger set of responsibilities or that the job entails a promotion. A project manager generally monitors, plans, and implements several components of a project. They also schedule the tasks involved in the project and calculate the budget.
If these tasks sound like something that you are passionate about, you must explore the role of a project manager
How to Transition from an Engineering Job to Project Management?
If you are looking for steps on how to make the transition from being an Engineer to Project Manager, follow the ones listed below to make your transition.
● Research about the roles of project managers: The most important part about starting your career or even making a transition to a new one is research. You need to be completely aware of the demands of your new role and also the skills that you would need to fill in for the role. You must clearly understand the details of the role of a project manager. Though the job description might be slightly different depending on the industry and organization you are applying to, your basic role will be the same, which is planning a project, overseeing its implementation, and managing logistics throughout the project. Researching about roles would also include looking towards online resources to seek industry-specific requirements about the job.
● Develop the necessary skills to make the switch: Even though the jobs of an engineer and project manager are different, chances are you would have most of the skills required to be a project manager already. Just like you need to have logical foresight and problem-solving skills to be an engineer, you need such skills to be a project manager as well. You might want to find a skill assessment test and based on the result, hone the necessary skills that you would require for your new role. You could also discuss this with a trusted colleague, mentor, or coach.
● Consider both internal and external openings for the role: When you have started your research on the new role and are also working on your skills to make the transition in your career, you should also start thinking about whether you want to switch organizations or find a job in a different company. This is a complex and completely personal choice, so make sure your decision aligns with the values and goals that you have set for yourself. You make a list of advantages and disadvantages of staying in the organization that you are working in, at present or switching to a different company. Another choice that you have is to set flexible goals so that you can accommodate any sudden opportunities that might come your way.
● Update your cover letter and resume to suit the new role: If you have been a professional for a long time, you would of course know that a resume for the role of an engineer would not suit the role of a project manager. Thus, you must thus review your resume and cover letter and make sure you are highlighting the skills that you have to be a project manager. Since most of your skills as an engineer would be similar to that required to be a project manager, you wouldn’t have to change your resume too much. Ensure that you put in any new skills, training, or certification that you have gained for the new role.
● Start networking with relevant people for your new role: Leveraging your network when you are transitioning from being an engineer to a project manager is extremely important. Before you apply for the new role, try to connect with as many experienced managers and mentors in the new industry as you can. You must ask for their advice, directions, and references too. Ensure that you contribute your skills and time as well to the people that you are connecting with professionally.
One great advantage of being an engineer is that the job is flexible and most of the skills that you have would already be good enough for the role of a project manager. Besides the above-mentioned steps to make the transition from an engineer to a project manager, you can take the PMP® certification course which is conducted by the Project Management Institute, USA.
It is a certification that is recognized worldwide and would immensely help you make the switch in your career.