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In the wake of the pandemic and lockdowns finally easing in parts of the world, professionals of all kinds are taking their careers more seriously. If you were someone who didn’t want to get promoted just yet because you thought you weren’t ready. This should have put things into perspective. Time and tide wait for no man. Your progression up the corporate ladder should not be put off a second longer. This inevitably means, putting yourself into the deep end where management roles are based. If you want to be a project leader that has to deal with the most important responsibilities that go on day-to-day, you need to know these things.

Be Self-Taught

You must take on board that companies are moving away from the comprehensive employee ethos. They are looking for more specialists. Those that are really well-read and experienced in particular high-skill areas. Take for example this Kettering Online engineering management career expectations article. This lays out invaluable information for anyone looking to lead engineering projects. Your career expectations are very good, particularly in the US where employment in this field grew by 10% in 2020. This is because contrary to traditional pathways for engineering managers that would be mentored by a superior. Now they need to be self-educated. Companies want project leaders that they can immediately implement into their workforce instead of waiting years for them to be schooled internally in the organization.

Learn How to Say No

So many people who have amazing talent and a killer intellect, don’t succeed in project leader roles. This is because of one simple reason. They can’t handle the pressure of being disliked and not part of the gang. You have to be ready to say ‘no’ a lot of the time. There are too many risks that need to be averted, so telling your employees what they can and can’t do, will need to be established as part of your daily routine. This won’t make people like you but it will steer the ship safely through hard times. Taking a course in leadership, people management and stress management is very useful for your mindset. You’ll learn persuasive language techniques, studying body language to spot friction between employees and public speaking skills to help you articulate to your employees better.

Prove Yourself

New approaches to your career path have to be something you’re willing to try. Don’t always take the traditional path, although it might seem easier. One way to cut the corner towards the project leader role is to become a project leader outside of work. Whatever kind of hobby you hav. Get into an organizational role. Do you like playing tennis? Join a club and start helping to organize events and tournaments. If you like to hike, offer to volunteer for a charity walk. This will help you learn skills that are vital to any project leader. For example micro and macro-managing, morale-boosting, narrative forming and improving scalability.

Becoming a project leader is your pathway to become an executive. It takes guts and new approaches to achieve this goal in 2020. Especially after lockdown. 

This article is a partnered post that contains affiliate links.

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