One thing that I’ve heard often is that a project manager role is a good thing for your career and will help your ascent up the ladder to more responsibility.
I’m wondering how often this actually occurs. I’ve met a lot of Project Managers who have been PM’s for years and have had very little chance to be promoted. Now, some of these people are perfectly happy being PM’s and don’t want to do anything else…but others are struggling with moving into higher responsibility positions.
I’ve got a good friend who’s looking to make the transition into a leadership role (she’s hoping for a Director or VP spot) and she asked for my thoughts on what she needs to do to make herself more appealing for a more senior role.
I couldn’t really answer the question…surprising I know! She’s a great PM but an even better leader. She understands business and technology and is a perfect candidate for a a senior leadership role but she’s found that companies are passing her over for advancement. I took a look at her resume…everything looked great. She’s personable and interviews well. She has peer reviews and recommendations from current and previous managers…everything is the way it should…except she can’t land a job in a more senior role.
I’ve mentioned to her that she might want to start looking elsewhere because it seems as if her managers don’t want to promote her because she is skilled at what she does and they don’t want to lose a good PM. I’ve seen this happen other places…people aren’t given a chance to move into a management role because they are ‘too good at what they do’. Of course, that’s absolutely the wrong thing to say and do…if you have good people and they have the right skill sets to be a manager, you should move them into that role.
Does anyone have any ideas for those PM’s who can’t seem to get promoted?