Project management is not necessarily hard to learn, but some of the soft skills required are very difficult for some people to master.
Although the details of work as a Project Manager are important, they aren’t that difficult, thanks to a wide variety of software and tools that can make things like scheduling and budgeting a breeze. Much of the job boils down to scope, schedule, and budget, and although they require a vigilant eye and keen mind, they’re not necessarily hard to do once you have some experience.
The soft skills, however, can be quite difficult.
Project Managers have a variety of stakeholders, clients, and employees to deal with and navigating those relationships while trying to get what you need out of all involved is a very tricky tightrope walk. Often, you don’t have the authority to hire and fire, and you might only be in a work setting for a short period of time, making it hard to build relationships and trust with the people who are working for you.
Imagine dealing with a CEO furious over what he or she believes to be a substandard final product, or a disengaged employee who is dragging down your entire team and putting a deadline in danger. Certainly, it can be a stressful position.
You’ll also be in a position of facilitating and setting up many, many meetings — and how many employees do you know who get excited about more meetings? The responsibility of keeping everyone engaged and focused in those meetings falls to the Project Manager, and it’s another example of how it can be a difficult job.
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