There are a lot of amazing project managers out there: they have exceptional communication skills; they’re great leaders; incredible problem solvers; dynamic motivators & provide fantastic support to our clients’ projects as they arise.
But over the past year, we’ve experienced a shift in our clients’ requirements which has meant some of our very capable candidates are having to shift with them.
Sarah Lamborn, who heads up our project management and client services team here at DG Towers, talks us through some of the changes:
We’re finding many agencies these days want a project manager to be client facing. It’s not something that all project managers do as standard yet, so finding the right person for a role of this nature can sometimes be a stumbling block. That said, most are very used to dealing with people on a day-to-day basis and are highly adaptable, so this isn’t a difficult transition to overcome.
Our advice: Where you can, highlight on your CV the projects that have given you exposure to client facing tasks. If you haven’t had the opportunity yet, try to add smaller client facing jobs to your everyday role. You already have great communication and leadership skills, it’s just adapting how you use them and portraying this effectively to potential new employers. LinkedIn recommendations from clients you’ve worked with will also add strength to your application, even if the role itself wasn’t labelled ‘client facing’.
The other key change is that clients are now seeking project managers with working knowledge of both campaign based work and web builds. Traditionally, there has always been a very clear divide between the two, on the understanding that one is more technical, and the other more creative. Now, an increasing amount of roles require someone who can do both really well. The most challenging transition will be for those who currently focus on comms, moving into builds, whereas the reverse seems to be more straightforward.
Our advice: Project managers are very open minded in their approach and end up ‘dabbling’ in different projects when needed – take full advantage of these opportunities, ensuring you’re building a solid foundation in both areas. For those of you who are only experienced in comms projects, work hard to improve your technical know-how in your spare time. This will allow you to demonstrate your enthusiasm for tech and your willingness to learn to future employers.
We work with the most exciting, forward-thinking businesses in the UK and have some fantastic vacancies to fill that will allow you to future-proof your career in project management. If you’re keen to find out more, get in touch with Sarah.