DPM Podcast

DPM Podcast: How To Get Into Project Management (with Suze Haworth)

By 15/01/2019 July 26th, 2019 No Comments

This podcast is part of an article published on The Digital Project Manager.
You can read the article here.

This podcast is brought to you by Clarizen, the leader in enterprise projects and project management software.

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Audio Transcription:

Ben Aston:

Welcome to the DPM Podcast, where we go beyond theory to give expert PM advice for leading better digital projects. Thanks for tuning in. I’m Ben Aston, founder of the Digital Project Manager.

Growing up, I had my sights on being a fighter pilot, and later a lawyer, but the career advice that I received from my school growing up was that I should consider a career as a binman, a refuse collector, someone who goes around and picks up everyone’s trash. Clearly, they had some different ideas to me. I suppose I still might become any of those things, but being a digital project manager was never really something I planned to do, and in fact, for most PMs that I’ve met, it really tends to be something that they’ve fallen into rather than planned as going into with a career, but if you’ve decided that you want to become a project manager, how do you do it?

That’s what today’s podcast is all about. Keep listening to find out how you can become a digital project manager. Today, I’m joined by Suze. Hello, Suze.

Suze Haworth:

Hi, Ben.

Ben Aston:

Suze is one of our resident DPM experts at the Digital Project Manager, and she works now as a freelance senior digital project manager in London. She’s got stacks of experience working across lots of different clients in different kinds of agencies, so I think today’s discussion is going to be really helpful. But Suze, let’s just start by … we were just chatting, and so what I want you to share is a little about your latest holiday adventures. Basically, it’s really hard to get ahold of Suze, because she’s normally on vacation somewhere. She’s a digital project manager, but she’s also kind of like a full-time vacationer. Suze, for those who are kind of thinking about where do digital project managers go on holiday, tell us where they go.

Suze Haworth:

You make it sound like I don’t work at all. But yeah, basically, since I became freelance, I’ve been able to plan my time a little bit more, so I do travel quite a bit more. But yeah, my latest holiday, which I just got back from yesterday, was to Sudan. Not your typical holiday destination, I know.

Ben Aston:

Going somewhere like Sudan, which is it on the list of the foreign office’s list of places not to go, or not?

Suze Haworth:

No actually, it’s South Sudan you’re not supposed to go to at the moment, which is a different country now. But Sudan is actually perfectly safe to go to in the areas that I went. I went to the capital, Khartoum, and then traveled up the Nile, going to various archeological sites and historic Sudanese sites on the way.

Ben Aston:

Do you project manage your holidays as much as you project manage your projects, or is it a chilled-out affair, just wandering around Africa?

Suze Haworth:

I’m guilty of project managing my travel, but that’s when I organize my own. This one actually, it was my boyfriend’s an Egyptologist, so I went with him as part of a tour he was involved as the expert. It was actually really tightly organized, and I was actually a bit worried about that, because I like to organize my own things and own travel, so relinquishing that control to someone else, I was a bit like ooh. But it was quite handy in a country like that, having a guide with us, so yeah.

Ben Aston:

What it did feel like being project managed, then?

Suze Haworth:

Interesting. Being told when to get up, when breakfast was, what we were doing the day, that’s something I’m not-

Ben Aston:

Yeah, did it give you any fresh insights on how you might project manage your teams differently?

Suze Haworth:

Well, recently, I’ve probably become a bit more relaxed with my time and that, so having very strict timelines and timing to keep to, it was quite a good wake-up call again. Our guide was very good at keeping us on time, even though he did say that the Sudanese time is generally a bit later than normal time.

Ben Aston:

Have you got a gig lined up for when you return from your vacation?

Suze Haworth:

I haven’t. I’m actually now off until after Christmas, because I’m going away again. But no, I don’t have one yet, because with the freelance sort of work and how it works in London, it more comes up a week or two in advance of when you start a contract, so it will be kind of a last minute look at the beginning of January.

Ben Aston:

If you’re looking for an excellent senior project manager who loves vacation.

Suze Haworth:

You can’t say that.

Ben Aston:

No, I’m sorry. Suze is available. She’s great. Awesome. Well, let’s kind of shift gears and talk a bit about your story and how it was that you actually got to be a project manager. I’m interested to learn more about, I guess, your educational background and what you were planning on doing. I mean, like I said, it was kind of in the stars that I should be a binman, but that never panned out. What career advice did you get at school?

Suze Haworth:

Oh God, I had a terrible one too. We filled in one of those forms where you put a mark against these questions, various. There were about five different answers you could mark against for each question. Basically, the results of that came up with prison officer. So I was like, okay. And then various jobs, obviously, as being a kid, I wanted to be an actress. I wanted to be an archeologist at one point. I wanted to be an air hostess. All professions beginning with an A, which I don’t think was to do with it. So I had various things I wanted to be growing up, but I think back then as well, project management, especially in terms of digital, wasn’t really around, because I was growing up when the internet, to make me sound really old, when the internet was coming out and becoming much more popularly used. But there wasn’t really that role out there to aspire to. So yeah, it never really entered my consciousness in terms of a job I wanted to do. I ended up just falling into it, as a lot of, I think, PMs do, so.

Ben Aston:

What did you study at university, though, in the end? You were going to be anything beginning with an A.

Suze Haworth:

Yeah, so I just picked the subject that I liked best-

Ben Aston:

Art.

Suze Haworth:

… at A levels. No, I didn’t pick art. I like art, but I wasn’t amazing at it. No, I picked English Literature. With the thought, I didn’t know actually what I wanted to do afterwards, and it was quite a broad subject, and I enjoyed it at A level, that’s pre-university school in the UK. So yeah, so I picked that at that uni, and still really after uni didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I spent a few years after that just … I did an MA then, a master’s, and I also worked in a mobile phone shop for a while.

Ben Aston:

What was your master’s in?

Suze Haworth:

It was in communication studies, which is quite a broad one, but kind of related to … I think a lot of English Literature and what was relevant in English Literature was things like analytical skills, reading, obviously, writing, so skills that, and this is where I think where I talk about in my article is the transferable skills that you can take onto other professions, and you don’t necessarily have to become something directly related to a degree. Whereas a lot of people said, “Do you want to be a teacher and teach English Literature?” I didn’t, but skills that I used in my uni degree helped, I think, throughout the course of my career.

Ben Aston:

Yeah, I think it is always … I do wonder whether or not when the teachers give career advice or you fill out those forms, whether or not they just give you these random jobs just because they’re trying to inspire you to something else or something more. It’s like, hey, if you carry on the way you’re going, this is how you’re going to end up. But, I think that’s interesting, maybe, a slight difference between the UK and North America in terms of our education is it’s more generally excepted, I think, in the UK to do a degree like I did, Politics and International Relations, and you did English Literature, and that’s cool. Whereas in the US, they often in job descriptions say, hey we want someone who has a business something or something else. They’re a lot more specific about their education.

Suze Haworth:

Yeah, I mean a lot of the jobs when I was starting out, a lot of the job applications and advertisements were asking for a degree rather than specific degree, and so, yeah, that was lucky for me, I guess.

Ben Aston:

So, how did you go from mobile phone salesman, woman-

Suze Haworth:

Yeah, that was an interesting one. I don’t think I was the best because I actually really wanted to help the people and a lot of the mobile phone sales was about getting commission and hitting targets. But, I’d actually tell people, I shouldn’t really admit this either, I’d tell people to shop elsewhere if I knew there was a better deal elsewhere. I actually, customer service wise, working with clients, and things like that, it’s actually quite a useful grounding, again showing transferable skills. Yeah, it was something I didn’t want to do forever, and wasn’t the best at. So, yeah, but, I kind of been, and think it was a vague idea at the time, but, I’d been looking at marketing and advertising, and fields like that.

So, I just started applying for a lot of jobs that a found when I was up in Leeds, which is a northern city in the UK, and so I applied for a job at an agency then, and it was an integrated agency so more direct marketing, but also had a little bit of digital at the time. And, applied for an account executive position so they, at the time, didn’t recognize the distinction between project management and account management, so it was more kind of all encompassing role between accounts person and clients services person and project management. But, yeah, I got that job so it’s kind of an entry level job into the industry. And, it all went from there.

Ben Aston:

Interesting. My story’s pretty similar in terms of I did Politics and International Relations at university and worked in different advertising industries. I thought I wanted to get into advertising so I worked at different ad agencies, and then tried really hard to get into one of the graduate programs. I got into the grad program at Lowe, but it was kind of like a Pop Idol thing where people get knocked out.

Suze Haworth:

Oh, wow.

Ben Aston:

I got knocked out. So, yeah, and then I ended up as an account exec at an agency called Wunderman. So, in someways, it’s a similar kind of path. Do a random degree and then get into an agency. But, I do wonder if … yeah, I wonder now, that was a lot of years ago. I wonder now how … because I think agencies have changed a lot since when we started out 15 years ago or something, so I suspect it’s a bit different now in terms of there are more … well, there’s lots more roles for sure then there used to be. But, I’m curious to ask you looking back now, do you think … you’re obviously still working in project management, and this is 15 years later. Do you see yourself always being a PM?

Suze Haworth:

Yeah, I do actually. Or, being involved in some way with project management. So, yeah, even though I fell into it, I went into the account manager role, I guess, first, and started moving up that path. And, when I recognized the distinction because at the point I was doing that I also didn’t really know much about the distinction between project management and account management. At the time, a lot of the roles were merged and you were doing some of both. When I realized that distinction, I quite … I actually felt I was more project management than account management. Even though, there are aspects of the roles you will do in both jobs. That’s was I really found my niche almost and moved into that side, the delivery of the projects and managing that. So, yeah, I see myself always doing something to do with this, at least.

Ben Aston:

And, if you ever had kids, would you recommend it as a career to them?

Suze Haworth:

Yes, definitely. Specifically, I think in digital as well. Obviously, there’s lots of different types of project managers out there all working different types of industries, but, I think digital is a really exciting industry to be part of. I think that’s partly to do with how much it does change, so you’re not working in an industry that’s very static, it’s going to be the same in 10 years time. It’s evolving so quickly that actually your job and your role evolves too, and I think that’s the case from when I first started to how I saw project management then and how it was seen in agencies, et cetera, and how it has moved on now, I think. So, I would recommend it.

Ben Aston:

Phew. And, what would you do if you weren’t a PM? Would you be an archeologist?

Suze Haworth:

No. I don’t know. It’s a very … you needed a lot of patience for that and a lot of focus on one particular task for a long time, I think. And, what I do like about-

Ben Aston:

Rushing things.

Suze Haworth:

Yeah. Exactly. Maybe, potentially, not finding anything for a long time. So, what I like about PM, and PM-ing is that fact that there’s loads of different types of things you’re doing as part of your role. And, you are having to handle a lot of things at once, and juggle different tasks, manage different things. I actually like that. I like having a lot of things and different things to do. It keeps the role quite fresh. But, if I wasn’t … I definitely do something still with travel. So, my ideal would be something like a travel photographer or something. Something very different.

Ben Aston:

That is very different. Well, cool, so I want to dig into some of the things that you talk about in your article. And, I think, probably, people listening are listening to this because they want to know how to get into project management. And, in the article, you talk about some different things, you talk about practical skills, personal skills, hard skills, and soft skills. So, practical skills you talk about are things like knowing how to do estimating, knowing how to write documentation, technical know-how, risk management, process, the way we manage projects, and how we get from project initiation through to project delivery. Managing that whole project lifestyle from the birth to the death, or the end of a project. In terms of those practical skills that you learned in order to become a digital project manager, what would be your advice to someone trying to learn these hard skills, either you know how to do it or you don’t. How did you learn and would you recommend someone else learn?

Suze Haworth:

Yeah, so, firstly, I like to call them practical and personal skills, rather than hard and soft, just because hard and soft sounds a bit negative I think sometimes. Practical skills, and I didn’t take any courses in project management. There wasn’t loads about, at the time, I think, as I was starting out, so, I think I just learned on the job, basically, so through experience. I still believe that’s a really valid way to learn all the practical skills of becoming a project manager. Learning through doing. I’m a real advocate of that.

If you are starting out in the industry fresh, and you haven’t had a PM job before to actually learn some of the skills from, I don’t think it’s necessary that going into an interview, you will know exactly how to do a project plan in a certain software or tool. So, I think a lot of it will be learned through experience. Obviously, there are things that you can do to try and help that along, so things like trying to apply to work experience, or internships at agencies, or on the client side, you have some PM’s. So, there are things you can do to try and help yourself along with a bit of experience there, but, a lot of the practical skills will be learnt on the job, I think in a PM role.

I think it’s always good to do interview preparation if you’re going for your first interview as your first job as a project manager to read around the topic and to have an idea of some of the skills that would be necessary as a project manager and try and, what I’ve mentioned earlier, is try and think about transferable skills. So, even if you haven’t created a project plan in MS Project before, how have you managed timings before? You might have been in a job where timings are very important, and how have you made sure you’ve delivered on time. Things like that. So, thinking about situations you’ve been in before in, say, other jobs, or even through university or anything where you need to manage deadlines. So, it’s all about those sort of transferrable skills that can apply to the practical skills you’ll need as a PM.

Ben Aston:

Yeah. I think I would agree. So much of the practical skills that we need, or the hard skills that we need as a project manager. I think can actually be learnt pretty quickly. And, you can learn those on the job reasonably quickly. We’ve also, a plug for the DPM school, if you go to dpmschool.com, you can read all about our course, Mastering Digital Project Management, which is a seven week crash course, where we teach a lot of the hard skills of estimating, planning a project, initiating projects, managing and controlling projects. So, check that out. We have a course running in the new year, so take a look at that.

But, in terms of what you’re talking about, I think, is really important, and that is the soft skills that we need, which are transferable, but, are really hard to learn. It’s not something that really that you can … you can go to school for it, but, until you’re put into the situation, it’s very hard to know how you’ll react to it. There’s a kind of textbook answer to how do you deal with people who aren’t delivering. And, you can give a textbook answer and that’s fine, but depending on the project, the client, the time of day, there’s just so many variables that it’s not really something that you can be like, hey, this is the answer to your problem. And, I think that’s what makes it an interesting job, like we really are … it’s a soft skills job. I think good PM’s are those who have really good soft skills because they’re going to get the best out of their team. What kind of person or what kind of character do you think makes a good PM? Or, on the other hand, maybe it’s easier to answer it the other way. What kind of person do you think makes a really bad PM? Answer either way you like.

Suze Haworth:

So, yeah, I think these soft skills or personal skills, that’s really, like you said, what’s core to being a good project manager. And, that’s where I’ve seen the role evolve a lot over the years, so there was quite a focus in the past on, you have to deliver on time, deliver to scope, and deliver on budget, and that’s core remit. Whereas, now, I feel like it’s a much more leadership role, and a slightly more strategic role than probably it’s been seen in the past. So, where I’d look, potentially, when interviewing project managers, I’d look at how they approached challenges. How they would deal with problems. What kind of way they would sort things out. So, if there was problem within the team, if there was a problem with the client, have they got examples of how they’ve dealt with issues and the past. So, it’s about being calm in a crisis, being transparent and honest and clear.

I think skills like that, and also, I mean, obviously, a big one for being a PM is being organized. How do they organize themselves, how do they organize a team. And, a bit more strategic thinking around that, I think, so it’s not just about having a daily to-do list. But, are they thinking ahead to the project as a whole, and how they need to guide the project’s path? So, being slightly more strategic thinker, so I think problem solving, the leadership, and organization are some of the core soft skills, or personal skills needed. And, obviously when you’re interviewing, one of the big things is about communication so actually just talking to somebody and understanding how they communicate with you is a good test on what they’re like.

Ben Aston:

Yeah. And, I mean, from my perspective, I think there’s the soft skills, there’s the hard skills, and there also this kind of character element. And, that is the … someone’s underlying … they’re underlying who they are as a person, and, they’re natural inclinations. And, I think there’s something about PM’s that they … you have to be a bit tenacious, you have to be someone who wants to get to the bottom of things, and I don’t think I’ve ever really met many good PM’s who are kind of sit back, slouchy, relaxed demeanor, and not … I think the PM’s are the PM’s who are a bit more driving and bit more … there’s a bit of get up and go with them. Which is hard to quantify, but, when you see a PM who has less energy or less … I think it’s hard to describe, but, someone who’s going to rally the team, and, I guess it’s that leadership part of it. Whether or not, they’re someone who’s would accept and take responsibility and carry it well, or be the person who’s kind of like, sit back, hope everything works around them. Those are the people who struggle more as PM’s because projects happen around them rather than them actually leading the project.

And, yeah, I think you can be project manager if you’re … you can do that more of a project administrator, the project happens around you and you’re connecting some of the pieces. But, the better project managers, I think are those who lead more, what you’ve been talking about. Have this strategic perspective and are tenacious and digging to get to the root of problems, who are trying to drive the project forward, who have an eye on the milestones, and the delivery dates, and are constantly driving the team forward, and enabling them to do their best work. There’s something about someone character. Either you’re inclined to do that. You’re inclined to ask difficult questions, you’re inclined to be okay with putting yourself in an uncomfortable situation for the good of project. For me, that’s something that’s hard to quantify, and it’s hard to describe, but there’s a certain drive that I think makes a good PM, good.

Suze Haworth:

Definitely. Yeah, I think it’s definitely about that drive, you need to whilst being, obviously, a nice person, you need to not be afraid to ruffle feathers at times. I had a great conversation about 10 years ago with the MD of the company I was interviewing at, and which I ended you working at for a few years. And, she told me that … she was talking about the split between account management and project management, and, she actually said, “We like to have facts.” I know there are roles where, obviously, these two roles are merged, but we like to have that split between account management and client services, from the product management delivery side because I see it as, the client services side are the good cops and the PM’s are the bad cops always.

So, you can go in. You are protecting the project. You’re protecting the project deliverables, timings, budgets, scope, your team. You’re trying to protect the project and hit that. Whereas the account management can be responsible for protecting the client, so you can kind of work together on delivering a good product then. Between keep protecting the clients in that side of the account, but also for a PM just being responsible for the project. So, you can ruffle the feathers if necessary. You can tell the client they’re not giving feedback when necessary. They’re not hitting their deadlines, and be a bit more bad cop because you need to protect what the project is. So, I really liked that at the time, and it’s always stuck with me.

Ben Aston:

Yeah. And, I would say, as a project manager, if you’re not ruffling any feathers then you’re probably not doing your job properly because one of the things that we’re doing as project managers is we’re bring together these conflicting people with conflicting opinions and ideas and we’re trying to help to find the way forward because, if everybody had their way the whole time nothing would happen, and you just end up with a Frankenstein project.

Suze Haworth:

Yeah, exactly.

Ben Aston:

So, one of the things we have to do, and this comes back to that character thing, it’s like, we’re going to have to tackle this thing head on, and I’m going to have to make a difficult decision and say this is what we’re going to do. And, I know I’m going to upset somebody, but if I don’t upset anybody then the whole project is going to fail. And, I think that’s one of the hardest things we have to do.

Suze Haworth:

Yeah, exactly. And, it’s about being able to have the … difficult conversations as well. Which is one of the harder parts of the job. But, if team members aren’t delivering and it’s going to effect the project you need to speak to them. You have to do that. If you need to speak to the client and say that something is going to be late, it’s a difficult conversation to have but you need to be able to protect the project and drive it forward to be able to do things like that.

Ben Aston:

Let’s dig into that a bit more. So, a little bit more uncomfortable parts of the role. What do you hate about being a PM? What’s the worst thing? For someone thinking about going into project management, what’s the worst part of the job for you?

Suze Haworth:

I think it’s, and this is actually something Patrice, one of the DPM expert panel members, wrote an article recently, this whole sort of being seen as the admin person or the one that all the other smaller jobs fall back on, so, that’s kind of a pet hate of mine, is that, as the PM, as the kind of center point in a project, so you’re dealing with everyone in the project, you often get seen as the person who should be booking all the meetings, should be in the meeting room, should be rounding up everyone to get into the meeting. Should be doing all those admin tasks that designers or developers don’t actually want to do. I do dislike that part of it. And, I do push back quite a lot and make people do things for themselves quite a lot which does annoy some people.

Yeah, I think there is a tendency for the PM to mop up and tasks that aren’t covered by strict roles in a project. I have done everything from content upload, content creation, I’ve done QA before in the past. Jobs were you don’t actually have a role for in the project can actually fallback on the PM if you’re struggling to find somebody. I think that’s always something to try and push back against if you can, or protect yourself against. You obviously have a lot to do anyway and don’t need extra jobs on your plate.

Ben Aston:

Or, embrace it and become a copywriter or a designer, or go into U8. Do you know I think that’s part of the interesting thing, I think part of the role of the PM is that we tend to be or we often tend to be a bit of a jack of all trades. So, we understand like, we could do copywriting at a push, or we could do wire framing at a push, or we could do write out the requirement. We could be the BA. We could be the business analyst and write all the requirements. We’ll do the QA. We can kind of fill in the gaps. We’re not really an expert at anything but we know enough just to make just a quick HTML update on a page, or to do some content entry because we know the CMS.

So, interestingly, it goes both ways. Some people who work in UX or Design, or Dev more commonly become project managers, but sometimes it can go around the other way. Project managers then realize that actually they have this ability or desire to do something else and go into something else. So, I’m curious to ask you, you’ve said you think you’ll carry on working as a PM, or best case scenario, become a travel photographer, but career wise, you’ve come through the ranks, account exec, project manager, now senior project manager, you’ve worked permanent, and now you’re working freelance to give you some more flexibility. But, career wise, where are you heading? Are you contend to stay in this freelance, senior role, taking on projects, or something else?

Suze Haworth:

Yeah, I mean, so more recently, I actually moved to a project director role as well, so it’s slightly moving up in terms of, whilst also still managing projects in more of the senior PM role, I also manage a program of work so that’s managing other PM’s doing more the day to day jobs. And, you’re looking at the overall program, so that was the next logical step in my career which I’m now stepping into. I guess after that there’s more head of project management, head of delivery role. At the moment, I’m sure that’s quite for me, yet, at least. What I do like about the hybrid role I’m doing, sort of the mixture of program, or project director and also senior project manager is that I’m still being involved in managing projects which I do actually like being a bit more hands on, and then also taking on that more strategic role of a project director, instead of looking at an overall project or program of work. So, I do like that sort of mix of role. I’m not sure I’m quite ready to relinquish managing any projects at all. I think I’m moving to a slightly more senior role and that’s the head of project management, or head of delivery, you are more responsible for overall delivery in an agency or client side or … managing the project management team.

Ben Aston:

Yeah. That’s certainly been my experience of moving more into that more managerial role where you’re heading up the project management team and then managing teams of project managers rather than actually delivering any projects yourself. I’d find often I’d be working with business development and scoping out projects, maybe kicking projects off, but then handing them over to someone else. Rarely, actually delivering them. Which is quite a different role.

But, let’s end on a more positive note. Tell us why do you love being a PM. If someone’s thinking, oh, is this something that I … do I want to be a PM? Why is it good? What do you love about it?

Suze Haworth:

I think it’s you are sort of, like I said before, like a central point in a project, so you are kind of coordinating the whole project, managing it through from the beginning to end, so you’re involved in everything. And, whilst that obviously comes with a lot of work, you actually get to see a whole …, a whole project through. And, that’s really nice that you’re involved from the beginning to the end. You can see it complete and be like, that’s great. I’ve been responsible for helping to lead that through. That’s a real nice aspect of it.

Also, you get to work across loads of different disciplines as well. So, obviously PM-ing is your discipline, but you’re working with designers, developers, QA, UX, you work across loads of different … types and discipline and get a lot more broader knowledge because of that. And, then specifically in digital, like I said before, it’s such a fast changing, quite exciting industry, and I think that’s really a nice industry to be involved in because things don’t stay static and too same all the time. So, things evolve, things change and you’re constantly learning which I do like. And, there’s new challenges coming up all the time.

Ben Aston:

Yeah. Definitely. It’s very different. When I started out in … as a digital project manager, everything … I mean we used to do lots of banner campaigns and simple HTML sites but, the majority of the really exciting work that we did was all in Flash and ActionScript.

Suze Haworth:

I was about to say Flash.

Ben Aston:

And, it was really … it was complicated, it was fun, but, hey, we don’t do any of that now. And, it’s interesting how things evolve, things change, you need to learn new technology, new skills to actually make projects happen.

Suze Haworth:

Exactly.

Ben Aston:

Great. So, I think we’ve talked lot of different things today, but I think going back to how to get into project management, I think we’ve discussed how we need to learn the hard skills, we need to learn the soft skills, and, I think, one thing we didn’t really talk about but Suze touched on, was actually if you’re interesting into getting into project management, I think it’s important that you actually start managing things. So, managing yourself. Try and find opportunities to manage other people. One thing that you can do is start trying to build things. It might be that you try building your own website on WordPress which is pretty simple thing to do but it will give you a good understanding of the kind of technical skills that you need. And then, the reality is, though, that so much of this is stuff that we learn on the job.

So, it’s important to get some experience. Get a job that’s going to be entry level. Yes, you might be doing a lot of admin stuff to start with, but it’s going to give you some exposure to the role. We also touched on interviews. Preparing for interviews. Thinking about what it is that you’re going to say. What’s your story going to be to try to convince someone that you could be a good PM, so do some interview prep. And, do some networking as well because that’s going to give you the opportunities. But, Suze, thanks so much for joining us today. It’s been great having you with us.

Suze Haworth:

Thank you.

Ben Aston:

And, just to say, as one of our DPM experts, Suze makes an appearance on our upcoming digital project management school that we’re running, and it starts in February. And, if you’re not sure what we’re talking about, but you know that you need some PM training, you know that you need to learn some of the hard skills, some of the soft skills, then check it out. It’s a seven week crash course that includes interactive video lessons, panel discussions, groups discussions, and the option of coaching too, so head to DPMschool.com, and get yourself signed up before the course fills.

And, if you’d like contribute to the conversation, comment on the post and head to the resources section of thedigitalprojectmanager.com to join our Slack team where you’ll find of all kinds of interesting conversations going on there about how to get into project management and the journey of a project manager, but until next time, thanks for listening.

Ben Aston

Ben Aston

I’m Ben Aston, a digital project manager and founder of thedigitalprojectmanager.com. I've been in the industry for more than 15 years working in the UK at London’s top digital agencies including Dare, Wunderman, Lowe and DDB. I’ve delivered everything from film to CMS', games to advertising and eCRM to eCommerce sites. I’ve been fortunate enough to work across a wide range of great clients; automotive brands including Land Rover, Volkswagen and Honda; Utility brands including BT, British Gas and Exxon, FMCG brands such as Unilever, and consumer electronics brands including Sony.

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