“When I grow up, I want to be a _______.” Not many of us wanted to be a project manager when we were little. I wanted to be a ballerina, a gymnast, one of the Charlie’s Angels, but not a project manager.
My first job out of high school was as a hostess in a restaurant. Yes, the primary responsibility was to greet and seat people. Along with that, I was assisting in coordinating schedules, managing stations, knowing when to seat people, what waiter/waitress could and couldn’t handle 4 tables at once, parties, and being able to jump in and lend a hand when necessary. In college, I was the business manager on the school newspaper and responsible for advertising funds along with coordinating our attendance at college newspaper conferences.
Perhaps these early experiences led me to project management. I found my way into administrative / executive assistant positions. Along the road, I found myself at a large IT company and worked as an administrative assistant for a great guy, Tom. One of his direct reports was in charge of the PMO. One thing led to another, Tom put me up for a promotion into the PMO and that is how I got my start.
All those years of admin experience, the years of working as a hostess, a party coordinator, doing desktop publishing for a Sir Speedy printing company, they all gave me the experience and necessary requirements to fill out my PMP exam application. I was so fortunate to get into that PMO. Without my boss Tom, my new one Sherry, their encouragement and support, I would never have gotten my PMP certification.
What is your story? I would love to hear how you found your way into the project management profession. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will write a follow-up blog in the future, perhaps using a line or two from some of the emails, with your permission.