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Old 03-15-2019, 04:17 PM   #1
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Default How to become a project manager

Hello everyone, I have worked in construction for 27 years and been a superintendent for 17 of those years. I would love to move up into an office job as a project manager but have no idea what steps to take. I’m working on completing my bachelors degree in business this year. I have had a few years of what I call working as a project manager just by being thrown into the position. The company I worked with lost the PM and I took over running 4 jobs concurrently while doing all the paperwork. Can anyone give me some pointers on where to begin?
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Old 03-15-2019, 07:02 PM   #2
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How good are you at estimating?
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Old 03-15-2019, 10:55 PM   #3
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How good are you at estimating?
Project managers don't necessarily do estimating.

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Originally Posted by BigGuy43 View Post
Hello everyone, I have worked in construction for 27 years and been a superintendent for 17 of those years. I would love to move up into an office job as a project manager but have no idea what steps to take. I’m working on completing my bachelors degree in business this year. I have had a few years of what I call working as a project manager just by being thrown into the position. The company I worked with lost the PM and I took over running 4 jobs concurrently while doing all the paperwork. Can anyone give me some pointers on where to begin?
The PMBOK is the book , on which the PMP ( Project Management Professional ) exam is based.

There are a few auxiliary books to fine tune the sections.

in order to write the PMP, you need 10,000 hrs of management and a good understanding of the PMBOK.

Ideally, a local community college would have a PM course, which would be of great assistance to learn
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Old 03-15-2019, 11:43 PM   #4
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As far as managing hours, the years of being a superintendent comes to be just over 35,000 hours. I read to take the PMP I will have to have written proof of my hours of management, along with someone from each job to verify what my role was. I’m not sure how accurate this is, but it’ll be nearly impossible to find guys from every job I’ve ran to do that. Will I also have to get something else besides my business management degree?
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Old 03-16-2019, 12:15 AM   #5
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As far as managing hours, the years of being a superintendent comes to be just over 35,000 hours. I read to take the PMP I will have to have written proof of my hours of management, along with someone from each job to verify what my role was. I’m not sure how accurate this is, but it’ll be nearly impossible to find guys from every job I’ve ran to do that. Will I also have to get something else besides my business management degree?
https://www.pmi.org/certifications/t...xoC32cQAvD_BwE
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Old 03-16-2019, 01:14 AM   #6
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Every firm I know of would NEVER permit you to become a PM: they need you too badly as a super!

PM slots are -- in my experience -- given to pretty boys and pretty girls -- who are young and astoundingly dumb. Their role is as go-fer between the EC top brass and the customer.

LOYALTY -- due to utter dependence -- is what the Top Man is looking for.

You have too much talent and experience. You are too much of a threat to be left in the room with customers holding the Big Pencil. ( true contracting authority )

You'll occasionally run across savvy PMs. Typically they are 'plank owners.' ( co-founders with the Big Man, they often have special profit over-rides you know not of, not made popular news.) These golden handcuffs and general comradeship keep the Big Man satisfied. To those on the outside, everything is an illusion. They are led to believe that a similar slot might actually await them.

BTW, at your age, savvy and seniority, you ought to be a field superintendent... which is an office job that is run from a desk and out of a pick-up truck.

&&&&

Do consider your impending retirement -- which can't be two-decades away.

Real estate -- if you can buy it right -- is your best bet. I lament that the general market is at insane levels -- pretty much globally.

The only cheap land has maniacs running around with guns -- real Road Warrior-ville.

In which case, prepare yourself for the Big Reset.

As Icarus could tell you, the Big Comedown can be quite a fall.

&&&&

For background reading that may prove extremely valuable:

Wareham's Basic Business Types ( and the rest of his oeuvre )
The Anatomy of a Great Executive ( Wareham )
Rainmaking ( Harding )
Pre-Suasion ( Cialdini )

Without book-learning you have no chance of being made a PM or of going out on your own... ( unless going broke is your business plan.)
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Old 03-16-2019, 06:47 AM   #7
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I gather the OP is from Canada and the job "Project Manager" is narrowly defined and even government regulated. That's adorable

From what I've seen in the States, the title "Project Manager" is all over the place. There are Senior Project Managers that have a lot of experience, know the process very well, and make good money. There are entry level project managers that are fresh out of school or off the tools who make very little other than mistakes and a chance to move up.
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:26 AM   #8
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I gather the OP is from Canada and the job "Project Manager" is narrowly defined and even government regulated. That's adorable
Apparently you have to pass an exam and get licensed to tie your shoes up there. The strangest thing is, no one seems to mind
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:36 AM   #9
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Apparently you have to pass an exam and get licensed to tie your shoes up there. The strangest thing is, no one seems to mind
And yet Justin Beiber's half wit brother was able to make prime minister, there seems to be a chink in the armor
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:44 AM   #10
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And yet Justin Beiber's half wit brother was able to make prime minister, there seems to be a chink in the armor
That's hate speech and it is a crime in Canada.
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:46 AM   #11
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That's hate speech and it is a crime in Canada.
Will that hurt me when I run for prime minister?
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Old 03-16-2019, 12:22 PM   #12
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I've been thinking about how to respond to this post since it was posted, and there was a lot of good info posted in the responses.

the position of project manager really is all over the place, but there are some general parameters that you might consider, as well as refining exactly what you would like to do.

Firstly, as someone who worked in every position at one time or another, I can tell you from my experience that I always enjoyed running work from the site more than anything else, but that may just be "my type", because I'm a hands on guy and I like getting my feet muddy. It took a lot more commitment to push paperwork, negotiate prices and backcharges, run back and forth from job to job when necessary, and deal with all the other horse$hit that goes with being an office person (for me, anyway). Sitting at a computer screen and plans and phone calls all day is similarly more boring than working in the field. So make sure that what you wish for is really what you want.

Secondly, what you want can vary wildly. There is a huge difference between being a PM for larger companies than medium and smaller companies. A lot of larger companies just want younger, professional looking hit men to beat subs and employees down, keep BSing the clients, bring jobs in on time and increase the bottom line. There is no joy in being a profession Ahole. Besides that, these types rarely promote from within. If you are looking to look for a small company that treats you well, and values your field experience, that might be a better fit.

I don't know what you are looking for, so I can't say, but have specific ideas about what you are looking for so that you can narrow your search to that thing, and tailor your resume as well as present yourself in the fashion that you want to be seen as going forward.

good luck with it
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Old 03-16-2019, 12:29 PM   #13
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To answer Tesla, without the long quote, the only reason I would like to move into the PM position is for the higher salary, and retirement is what I'm looking towards. I've been a field superintendent for several years and the salary has never been that great. I've always managed to finish on time/early and make at least a 15% profit and as high as 30%. There's just not many opportunities in my region of the state. I've even considered a traveling superintendent position, as long as the offer is a great one.
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Old 03-18-2019, 11:36 AM   #14
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Not to be Debbie Downer, coming from someone that has passed their PMP you better be ready to really study hard and I mean study hard. In my opinion it was way harder then passing my Electrical Master License Exam. It's not impossible, I'm just telling you that if this is a road you want to travel you need to be committed to it. Feel free to PM me with any questions you have for the PMP.
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:25 PM   #15
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Not to be Debbie Downer, coming from someone that has passed their PMP you better be ready to really study hard and I mean study hard. In my opinion it was way harder then passing my Electrical Master License Exam. It's not impossible, I'm just telling you that if this is a road you want to travel you need to be committed to it. Feel free to PM me with any questions you have for the PMP.
I never said it was easy. I just posted the link for information. I have taken a project management course, offered by a local college. Its based on the PMBOK, and when completed, in theory, one is prepared to write the PMP exam.
Even at that, without years of experience behind you, I think it would be a very tough exam.
Didn't need my PMP, so never applied to write. Its been too many years, i would have to retake some of the sections as a refresher
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