Projects big and small make up a more significant part of people’s lives and jobs than they tend to realise. Whether you’re renovating your home or delivering a raft of improvements at work on a deadline, even if you have organised your move from overseas to Australia for studies, it’s possible you might be temporarily taking on the role of project manager without the job title.
An accidental project manager is someone who has “fallen into” project management due to doing a good job in another discipline, but who has no formal project management qualifications or experience.
However, being a project manager means more than unwittingly managing a project here and there.
If you’re a professional who spends more than half their working hours completing project management tasks and bearing their associated responsibilities, you might very well have ended up as a fully-fledged accidental project manager.
Identifying this is important because it’s totally possible that you could have overlooked a whole career in the Project Management field up until now. You may not even realise that you already have a project management skill set and some job experience to match.
How can you tell if you are an accidental project manager?
Just answer the easy 10 questions in this quick quiz and you’ll soon find out.
In your working role, do you often:
- Lead a team and delegate tasks?
- Develop and oversee a plan, budget or strategy?
- Manage relationships and contracts with clients, suppliers or vendors?
- Report on your team's progress to managers or clients?
- Track costs in order to meet a budget?
- Monitor progress of tasks according to a timeline, and adjust your plan accordingly?
- Identify goals for your business and find new areas for innovation?
- Assess the risks and potential outcomes of your innovation?
- Manage some areas of logistics and operations?
- Work according to a deadline?
If you answered ‘yes’ to more than half of these questions, congratulations: project management is right for you.
All 10 of these questions above describe the common tasks and responsibilities of a project manager. You will find many of these listed in the job description section of a project manager employment listing.
So what does being an accidental project manager mean for your career?
Basically, it means you may have a whole new career open to you that you didn’t identify with because you didn’t realise that you had the basic skill set required. If you’re curious or interested in different career opportunities, and you’ve enjoyed completing some of those tasks listed above in your professional life, you might be the ideal candidate to become an effective project manager.
With some formal training and qualification, you could easily step into the project manager role just by listing your current experience and completing some of the 10 project management tasks above.
It is certainly a desirable area to move into: right now, project managers in Australia are in high and growing demand, commanding an average salary of $127,928 in 2022.
Which qualification is the best choice for a career change into a project manager role?
The Graduate Certificate of Global Project Management at Torrens University Australia (TUA) is perfectly designed for professionals with work experience in other roles who are interested in switching career trajectories into project management.
It is ideal for those who want to dip a toe into project management even if you’re not sure where you want to take this qualification just yet because it offers a lot of flexibility to choose what you study, and where you want the course to go.
The course comprises two core project management units and two elective units. You can choose your elective units from the Master of Global Project Management or the MBA, giving you the ability to tailor your study. These units can then be counted towards the master's degree of your choice if you decide to continue with your study after completion. So, it’s ideal for professionals who are testing the water and trying out a new career path as they go. If you go on to study the Master of Global Project Management, you will find that it is accredited by the Australian Institute of Project Management, a professional body for Project Management practitioners.
As a graduate course, students are required to have a minimum bachelor's degree in any field or three years of professional work experience.
You can find out everything you need to know about enrollment, costs and subjects for the Graduate Certificate of Global Project Management here.
Not sure if it’s worth studying a course in project management in order to switch careers? Take a look at these five benefits of studying project management, to understand why you might need some learning and qualification to enter into this highly skilled and sought-after profession.