Becoming a Project Manager can take time however it can be a very rewarding career path.
Tell Us About Your Career Background?
I finished my A Levels back in 2008 and knew that uni wasn’t for me. I wanted to get out there and get some real life experience. I was already working part time as a Waiter/Supervisor at a large restaurant chain so I moved on to full-time whilst I was searching around for a job that I was interested in – I didn’t actually know what I wanted to do. I then moved on to work for Dixon Stores Group as a TV Engineer. After this I started to work for a finance company as a Call Centre Agent. I quickly thrived and within the first year I became Deputy Manager for an inbound team. My desire to always want to push myself then moved me into Special Projects as a project worker. After working in this area for 2 years improving my knowledge on Software coding, SEO, analytics, system design and usability I moved into working on some very key projects. In 2010 I moved to Advanced In-Car Technologies and I am now Project and Marketing Manager. They specialise in the retrofit of genuine equipment for Audi, VW & BMW vehicles. I have helped to streamline the business and heighten the company’s profile.
How Did You Become a Project/Marketing Manager?
It all started with a lucky chance when I was working on Special Projects in my previous position. It was only when I moved to my current company that I was given the responsibility of overseeing different projects and to market the company well.
Did You Need Specific Qualifications to Get Into this Industry?
There were no real qualifications needed apart from a good desire to drive yourself forward, put yourself out there and get noticed. I am however working towards my Prince2 Qualification which is a level attended by most Project Managers out there.
Tell Us About a Typical Day at Work
The great thing about this company is that there is no typical day. Every day can be different. It mostly starts with the usual communications in the morning, ensuring that all emails and phone calls are done and all orders are placed with suppliers. Throughout the day, I can be working on the SEO campaigns for our online marketing or creating/designing /building a new system to drive the company forward. I have a keen interest in web design and so constantly work on the website. I am also a firm believer in Social Media. I’m always on our Facebook page putting up about something we are doing, something new in the market place or even running a competition. I think Twitter is a great tool as well. You can interact with so many people about so many different subjects.
What Are Your Main Responsibilities?
My main responsibilities include the up keep of the website and to ensure that it is marketed well. I also ensure the business is run well and driven throughout the day with clear lines of communication to customers, suppliers and engineers. This includes communicating with our engineers and ensuring they have the right tools/ quipment to do the job to a very high standard and keeping the customer in the loop at all times!
What PC Skills Does a Candidate Need to Succeed in this Job?
You need to be pretty good with a PC in all aspects. The usual Office software is pretty good to know as it’s used quite a lot throughout the day. Knowing design software such as Photoshop and an understanding of software development and coding is important too. You can’t be a good Project Manager unless you understand what all your guys are doing, how they are doing it etc.
What Skills Do You Need to Excel in this Position?
I think the biggest thing you need is organisation and time management. You need to be confident of your timescales and that the project will be finished when it’s meant to. You also need to ensure everybody within your team is also organised. If one person isn’t working to a set level it can put the project behind. If a project over runs then it will ultimately cost the business money!
What Career Advice Would You Give to Someone Looking to Work as a Project Manager?
I think the best thing is to go out there and learn something new all the time. I’m always reading a book of some sort. Whether it is to do with web design, SEO or software development. It has helped me get noticed as it helps to create discussion.
In Your Opinion, What is the Most Important Thing on a CV?
I think the most important thing is to keep your CV short but ensure that you get your success stories across. Employers want to know what you did and how it affected the company so ensure you show how you have developed business in your previous roles.
To follow Tim on Twitter go to @timborrill