How do you know you're exceeding in your job role?

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Danbone
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So I've been a project management assistant for a year now and I believe that I do a good job. I perform all tasks asked of me, but from time to time sit around with nothing to do. I've spoken to my boss about this and asked for more and as a result I am being given two of the smaller contracts to own and look after.

Whilst this can be seen as a good sign that the pm believes me to be ready for this. I worry I am not doing as well in the job role as expected.

I realise that without seeing my work you can't really comment, but I wonder what are the signs your doing well in the role so I can stop worrying! What makes a good assistant to you?

Thanks
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kwalford
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Danbone wrote:So I've been a project management assistant for a year now and I believe that I do a good job. I perform all tasks asked of me, but from time to time sit around with nothing to do. I've spoken to my boss about this and asked for more and as a result I am being given two of the smaller contracts to own and look after.

Whilst this can be seen as a good sign that the pm believes me to be ready for this. I worry I am not doing as well in the job role as expected.

I realise that without seeing my work you can't really comment, but I wonder what are the signs your doing well in the role so I can stop worrying! What makes a good assistant to you?

Thanks
Hi Dan,

The the key to being a good assistant is having a proven record of making a good cup of tea :) .

In all in seriousness, if would pay dividends to document any client feedback and keep a portfolio of your project work. You could even carry out a mini survey after the project where you ask the client for feedback on your performance.

Having evidence of your project achievements will show you have progressed and that you have evidence to back it up too.
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dhaughey
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Hi Danbone,

Here are a few signals that a Junior PM or Assistant PM is doing well from my experience:
  1. They get on and do their work without being repeatedly reminded about their responsibilities.
  2. They bring problems to the PM and discuss possible solutions and ideas.
  3. They're keen to learn and spend time on research and training.
  4. When things are not going well for them, they take time to understand how they can improve.
  5. They're keen to work with and learn from other team members.
  6. They get involved in team activities with enthusiasm.
  7. They often suggest process improvements and ideas for better team working practices.
Strange as it may sound, I've found the best Assistant PMs the most difficult to manage because they are always asking for more responsibility, doing their work quickly and pushing me to help them expand their role so they can progress their careers. Don't misunderstand me, it's very satisfying working with these people and seeing them succeed.

@Kit, good tea making is always a bonus.

Hope this helps.

Duncan
Danbone
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Thanks to the both of you!

I do push for more works and roles hence the two contracts being put on me! I would say I do 6 out of 7 of the things you've listed which is a good start. I am always looking for ways to improve. I fall down on the group activities. Not that I don't have ideas I am just working up the confidence to speak out to the team. I've been on the front line up to this job so this is what proving a challenge for me. I've asked to chair as many meeting as possibly to overcome it. Face your fear and all that!

I think a portfolio is a great idea I already keep hard files of the work a do for company records I can easily pull my own file together thanks.

Any more suggestion appreciated its giving me a good idea on how to improve as well!
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dhaughey
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Hi Danbone,

One thing you need to have in your place and as a PM is what I call the 3 Ps - Perseverance, Persistence and Patience. You may think all your hard work is going unnoticed, but often that's not the case. I've been in similar situations, in the past, only to realise later my manager was waiting for the right role to become available for me.

My advice is to keep working hard and thinking about how you can improve. Keep moving out of your comfort zone to prove to yourself and others you have what it takes to be a good project manager.

Keep us posted, I'm interested to hear how you get on.

Duncan
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kwalford
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I like the points that Duncan has put and this post in general has made me think about how I can further my career too. It has got me thinking!

The bottom line with a lot of this is showing willingness to learn and ultimately progress in your career.
Danbone
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Ultimately this is the goal. I've sat down and given this some thought. Set goals and action plans of how to progress. I have my electrical degree I am taking along with pm specific training I get sent on and I let my boss know I am looking to progress and ask for the roles and responsibilities above my position.

I've set a goal to become scheme project manager in 2 years (1 year as of now) and once I get there I'll set a goal for PM.

I think a personal development plan is important for everyone in our line of work! Even if your where you want to be you still need to keep up with the latest methods and processes.
Danbone
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While I have your attention, I want to make a start on the portfolio, however I am unsure on how to set it out. I do electrification projects for network rail.

Should I make it specific to that and list the disciplines e.g. overhead equipment, distribution, civils and signalling or should it be purely project management e.g. Risk, CDM, commissioning and planning?

Thanks
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dhaughey
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I'm not clear from what you say the kind of portfolio you are looking to create. Can you be more specific. Is it a project portfolio, personal work portfolio?

Thanks,
Duncan
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