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Career Choice: Project Manager. Why?
By Deniz Iren

When we wake up in the morning, we have two simple choices. Go back to sleep and dream, or wake up and chase those dreams.

  • Assumption 1: Individuals at the higher level positions in the organizational structure, are more capable and knowledgeable.
  • Assumption 2: The higher the position of a manager is, the less he needs to know about the details of the project.

These assumptions are self explanatory. I agree that they are often correct. However, there is an apparent exception; the project manager.

Project managers must know many details about their projects, so the statement of assumption 2 is not correct. Also, I believe, project managers are (should be) more capable and knowledgeable about their projects than anyone else in the organization. I know this does not sound about right. I just want to draw attention to the unique knowledge, viewpoint, skill set, and capability that a project manager possesses.

For instance, the senior manager is the one who placed a bet on a game and watching the game on a screen. He doesn’t know how to score, he doesn’t need to, and moreover he doesn’t need to care.

However, the project manager is in the game. Right in the center of the chaos, trying to tame the beast… He has the knowledge. He has the skills. He has the unique viewpoint of the entire show. He has the ability to have full control over things.

Norman Agustine, defines a benefit of being a project manager as “being where the action is”, in his foreword of the book Visualizing Project Management.

There are more. People within the team, the customer, and even his senior manager, they all trust him. Pressure, stress, possibilities, the thrill… The challenge… Intense sensation of victory, fear of loss… Creativity, vision, analytic thinking…

Isn’t it wonderful for those who yearn for a world where 8 + 8 may not be equal to 16?

What about being able to see the tangible results of the project, experiencing the success so intense? Can people who are primarily motivated by success find a better position to achieve a self actualization?

© Deniz Iren, PMP. You can read more from Deniz on his blog.

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