How to Find Your Dream Job in Project Management

Manage Your Career Expectations

Businessman Jumping in Air
Finding Your Dream Job. Laurence Monneret/The Image Bank/Getty Images

We were often told as children, “You can be whatever you want to be.” At some point along our path to adulthood, you come to accept that maybe your fantasy expectations were too far away from your reality. Reaching maturity means coming to know ourselves, our strengths and our limitations. We need to realize how our talents can realistically blossom. Over time, you learn that you can make any job your dream job.

After all, the characteristics of your dream job are based on your expectations.

Every Job Has Its Highs And Lows

There are positive aspects and bad elements to any position and project management is no different. The environment, team, industry, and projects make a difference to your experience and enjoyment of the job. Other factors could be the money and benefits. Or the challenge of the project work and what you learn from it.

All these factors will contribute to your performance and satisfaction with your project management career. There may be projects you enjoy and others that must be done, which you do not enjoy as much. There are team members and project stakeholders who are a pleasure to work with and others you may find challenging.

Over time, what starts out as a dream job will change.

Your “Dream Job” Will Change

Nothing remains the same. The workplace has evolved dramatically over the last ten years.

You need to ensure that you are not stuck in the past. Keep up-to-date, develop tolerance and resilience to new ways of working. If your choices are limited and you need to stick with your current job (even if it isn’t a dream job any longer), try and find your satisfaction outside of work, whether that’s through hobbies, volunteering or your family and friends, always focus on maintaining your happiness.

However, another option is to move on to a new position, either through making this current job back into your new dream role or by switching to a different post completely.

For example, your dream project coordinator job probably won’t meet your career goals forever. Over time, you acquire knowledge and experience. This will make you develop into a different person, and you’ll probably want to take on greater responsibility to use your new project management skills. While the business environment changes around you, you’ll find that the biggest change in what makes a dream job is in your expectations for your own career.

Learning Should Never Stop

It has become more crucial than ever to ensure your current skills and techniques are up to date, and in many cases your company can help you get there. (Read more about how you can encourage your boss to pay for your training on the College for Adult Learning blog.)

The more skilled you are, the easier it is for you to obtain the level of productivity and efficiency essential to getting or creating that dream job as part of a project team at any level, from an administrative role to Project Sponsor. Whatever adult education courses you do, upskilling will benefit you by allowing you to gain new skills, build upon your existing skills and let you take new project management qualifications.

Every Job Will Teach You Something

Every job will teach you something. This may be a skill, a method or it may be a piece of specific knowledge, or most importantly it may teach you something about yourself. It may not even be something you immediately recognize until something changes or you move on but it will always be highly valuable to you. Always be optimistic and progress, hopefully, you can find or create the perfect dream job for you.

Helen Sabell works for the College for Adult Learning. She is passionate about adult and lifelong learning. She has designed, developed and authored many workplace leadership and training programs, both in Australia and overseas. Helen also works with a select group of organizations consulting in People Management & Development, Education and Change.