What did you do right before becoming a PM?

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begeland
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We all enter project management from somewhere. What were you doing right before you entered the world of project management? For me, I was a application software developer who knew I didn't want to do that all my life. I was bid on a big government contract in a PM-type role, we won the contract and the rest is history. How about you?

Brad
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dhaughey
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Hi Brad,

In my early career, I worked as an Operations Manager shipping car parts from Germany to the UK and vice versa. This was in the early days of desktop computing, however, the company was still working in a traditional pencil and paper style. Being young and enthusiastic, I was keen to 'computerise' the operation and after some reluctance at first, top management agreed to let me bring in some PCs. Once they saw the benefits of 'computerisation' they appointed me Systems Manager and I upgraded the operation. One of my first challenges was to install a Local Area Network and get everyone working together. This was effectively my first project and although I didn't know it then, my introduction to project management. Further projects followed until I joined an international software house as a project manager. I've managed projects ever since, and although I miss the cut and thrust of operations, I enjoy the challenge of project management.

You could say I'm an accidental project manager, a very fortunate accident, as it has provided me with a varied and rewarding career thus far.

Duncan
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kwalford
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Hi Brad,

Great post and I have been meaning to respond to this for some time now!

My Journey:

I was in sales (business cold calling for a Telecoms/IT provider) and I did not overlay like it. I was actually on the verge of handing in my notice and then out of the blue in a company meeting it was announced that a nationwide BT contract was coming our way. Being the opportunist that I am, I jumped on the manager after the meeting and I showed a keen interest to get involved in the new position which had opened up. I interviewed for the position and got the job to manager the project delivery aspect of the BT Contract. The type of projects were very small and single phase delivery. I did that for a few years and slowly got my foot in the door to project delivering our own pre-sold IT solutions (servers, private internet connections, VOIP phone systems etc) and worked my way up the ladder there. These were a lot bigger (multi-phase) projects and require more project skill and attention. To this day, I am with the same company and enjoy delivering a multitude of IT infrastructure projects.

My strategy to personal development is to show enthusiasm, be a proactive opportunist and be forward-thinking, look for opportunities and take advantage before others do. Look for opportunities that have (or could) arise, and then pounce!

Thanks
Kit
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