Career Change - Support to Project Management

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chris1011
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Joined: Tue 22 Mar 2016 12:04 pm

So for the past ten years, I have been involved in IT Support (service desk - 1st line and 2nd line) as a contractor. I have managed to work for big corporate companies, and I guess due to the good day rates, I haven't really excelled with my skill set and, therefore, have made no career progression as such.

It has got to a stage now that I am bored with support and would like a job that challenges me and doesn't involve the same repetition of duties every single day.

I have no PM experience nor any qualifications such as PRINCE2 or Agile. I have little understanding of the insides of PM and my only real exposure of PM has been working with PM's during support projects such as tech roll outs.

I can afford to take a month or two out of work to go on a full-time course if it means after successfully passing the exams I can get a job. I am more than happy to take an entry level role with the aim that within 1/2 years I will be making a leap with job prospects in terms of salary.

My current Salary is around 40k net however I understand I may have to drop to around 25k to get the experience, which I am willing to do.

Any advice on what route I should take?
stonesfan
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Joined: Thu 15 Aug 2013 1:43 pm

Evening Chris

Have been in a very similar position to you. Two years ago I decided PM was the way forward and was recommended to go down this route by PM pro's who knew my strengths and weaknesses. Subscribed to this forum about 18 months ago and have had some invaluable advice on here, especially regarding qualifications. There're two things employers look for. Experience and Qualifications. This is for all roles of course, not just PM.

Experience: Sounds like you've had very little or no experience of running even small projects? Although you have worked in a project environment at least. I guess in your contracting role it's going to be very hard to gain experience in running even very small projects. Have you seriously thought about making a move to a salaried matrix organisation IT support position? You can apply your present expertise and maybe get the chance to run some small projects of your own. It's chicken and egg syndrome. How do you get experience when no one has given you that opportunity? Are there any voluntary organisations you are part of? I managed to start my project management at a local football club who needed someone to coordinate summer ground improvements.

Qualifications: An absolute must for someone in my/your position. You will learn from undertaking courses, and you will also show a potential employer you have the motivation to make the transition to project management. You've mentioned PRINCE2 and Agile, but I'd honestly recommend APMP for someone like yourself. Think of PRINCE2 and Agile as training...think as APMP as education. APMP is easily the hardest of the three but in the project world is highly regarded. It's a written (gulp!) exam and according to the trainer who I did a week long course with, APMP is first-year degree level material. However, I'd also go for either PRINCE2 or Agile too. Both compliment APMP very well. Message me off the forum if you want any more details of APMP. Have passed PRINCE2 Practitioner and currently awaiting the APMP result.

I've been very lucky in that my IT support job has allowed me to manage projects. It's only a question of time before I apply for a PM related role. Probably PM assist or Project support.

Good luck Chris. Put in some hard work with the study and it should pay off :)

Cheers
jayashree
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Joined: Thu 28 Apr 2016 12:03 pm
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Your career option is a good choice and it is right to go with some training or a course if any for becoming a PM where the certification can add more value to it. So start searching for the best resource to go ahead with.
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