We spend a third of our life at work – about half of our waking hours, which is more than we spend with our family, family, and hobbies combined.
Considering the amount of time dedicated to our job, it's only reasonable we strive to find happiness and contentment in the workplace. After all, spending your entire day doing something that doesn't make you happy isn't exactly a recipe for a fulfilled life, is it?
Is your passion for the job gone?
To be fair, it's perfectly natural for our excitement to decrease after the initial “honeymoon phase“ – just like in our personal life – but if you feel like you've lost your drive, the X factor, the “hunger“ for growth within the company – whatever you want to call it, it's definitely time for a major change.
Once you feel your passion for the job is gone, and Sunday evenings become the definition of anxiety, you know there is no turning back. So whether it's stress, boredom, a lack of challenges and responsibilities, or something entirely else that's robbing you from feeling content at your job, you need to remember – it is never too late to make a 180 turn in your career.
My first-hand experience with a career switch
That is exactly what happened to me. Today, I am a Project Manager in Devōt, but my career path used to be very different – so I decided to share my first-hand experience with a major career switch that completely changed how I view work.
Ever since I first started working, I was drawn to outlining, planning, and organizing ideas into feasible end-products. So, after a few student jobs and a couple of regular jobs, I started my own company in the vaping industry. For years, I've been in charge of every aspect of the business – from product selection and procurement, finance, direct sales, and customer management, to wholesale and marketing – it was a truly challenging scope of responsibilities.
Then, one day, in conversation with my friends from the IT industry – I found out there is a whole discipline called Project Management. I was immediately drawn to it, realizing there are so many similarities with the role I've already been in for years.
The most important skills are not the technical ones
As soon as I started exploring the area, I knew I wanted to dive deeper and learn everything I could – so I started with a Google course on the Coursera platform. After passing the first couple of modules, it was clear that Project Management is the field I want to work in.
Even though I had no IT experience, I quickly realized that core Project Management skills are not technical but rather organizational, communicational, and interpersonal. Since those are the areas I was already good at, I figured my future in the IT industry is not such science fiction after all.
As it usually happens when stars align, I came into contact with Martin, the CEO of Devōt. We started chatting about Project Management, and I shared my thoughts about making a career switch. In no time, we realized we were a great fit; we share the same level of enthusiasm and passion when it comes to working, and we’re both very open to challenges. So, we both took a chance – for him, it was hiring me, and for me, it was trying out an entirely new field.
What Project Management really is?
For those who found my story inspiring, and wonder what Project Management actually is, let me give you a brief overview.
Let's start from the basics. What can be considered a project? It is simply a set of tasks that must be completed to achieve a certain goal or outcome. Depending on the size and scope of the project, these tasks may be simple or elaborate – but every project can be broken down into objectives and tasks required to deliver them.
So, in simple terms, Project Management is the use of specific knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to achieve a project's objectives and deliver value to people. A project can be anything – from developing software or constructing a building to a natural disaster relief program or sales expansion. So the skills are pretty much universal and transferable – and that's the beauty of the job.
When it comes to Project Management methodologies, there are three main ones:
In Devōt, we are devoted to Agile methodology and Scrum framework (a subset of Agile and one of the most popular process frameworks for implementing Agile). Many of today's Project Managers have started their journey as Scrum masters – and that could be your first step when entering the world of Project Management.
What does it take to be a successful Project Manager?
To figure out if this role would fit you, it's important to understand the essential skills needed in Project Management. By playing a lead role in planning, executing, monitoring, controlling, and closing projects, Project Managers need a certain skill set, which depends on the project, industry, and experience level.
However, there are some essential skills that Project Management requires:
Communication and interpersonal skills
Excellent time management skills
Also, great organizational skills and risk management are a huge plus, same as team and stakeholder management.
No matter what your current job description is, I'm sure by now you've realized you already have a lot of these skills – so why not use them as your advantage in a career change?
When it comes to Scrum Masters – their job is to ensure a project team successfully implements Scrum principles in a project. They can lead team meetings and coach teams on best Scrum practices while supporting team members and resolving issues that come up along the way. You'll sometimes hear the Scrum master is called a "servant leader", because of the strong supportive role they play.
Scrum master, along with product owner and development team, is one of the three roles on a Scrum team.
Some of the essential skills needed for the Scrum Master role are:
Knowledge of Scrum values, principles, and practices
Excellent coordination with other teams and stakeholders
Capacity to resolve issues
Strong communication and collaboration skills
The ability to coach colleagues and quickly adapt to change
Hopefully, some of you will find inspiration in my story – because ever since I started my adventure at Devōt, I've been learning something new every day, finding new areas for growth each step along the way.
It definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone, but one thing is sure – I've never regretted it!
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