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Ambushed! Some Thoughts on Protecting Your Project Management Career
By Meade Rubenstein

Happily walking to your meeting not expecting anything outside of some boredom and quality doodling time….then they strike! Ballistic questions, explosive statements and then the eerie quiet of a ruined career…there are some situations like this that you could never predict, but there are many that you can:

  • Holding information back or not proactively communicating – shame on you! You’re leaving the only avenue for people getting information from you in an open meeting where there’s no place to hide…like beating the bush to shake the tigers out, don’t get caught in a situation that you could have easily avoided.
  • Your project is missing delivery dates, once again openly communicate prior to the meeting and be prepared in the meeting to answer some tough questions. Open and honest communication is key – if you don’t know an answer say you’ll get back to them and DO SO…people’s confidence in you is only really tried in bad times.
  • Change of management? Expect anything and everything. It’s during shakeups that new management start asking some very pointed questions. A response of ‘that’s the way its always done’ may get you a trip to visit the prior managers on the unemployment line.
  • New peer? You may not be competitive, but your new neighbor might be. Time to keep your eyes open and realize the footsteps behind you may not be friendly ones. Do your job well, keep good notes, don’t slack and hope the person isn’t a direct relative to someone higher up…..
  • Office bully – there’s always someone that got beat up in grammar school and now its their time for revenge. A sharp comment, unfounded or not, needs to be addressed quickly and directly. Its an unfortunate fact of life that once a bully gets an upper hand, they tend to play it to the max. Be direct and devastating….if it’s an unfounded comment/question/remark say so loud and clear and then back it up with facts – time to take the gloves off.

Work is work is work – if you’re feeling comfortable and you’re not home with the doors locked and a cold beer in your hand…think again.

Meade Rubenstein has over 20 years of IT experience. He is currently the COO of Gráfica Group. Meade’s website can be found at http://www.itprojectguide.com/ and his personal blog can be found at http://www.itprojectguide.blogspot.com/.

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