My sister builds airplanes. I met a man yesterday who works at one of the local ski resorts driving a space-age looking machine all over the slopes. People can make a living playing with dogs, reporting news, and drifting from the sky in a parachute. They can also make a living at managing projects which—next to the careers I’ve mentioned—might not sound exciting. Let’s face it; few people hear the term “Project Manager” and wish they could give up their unicorn farming careers to take up such a profession. But they’re missing out.
One great thing about being a Project Manager at a top training company like Allen Communication is that, really, nobody knows exactly what project managers do. People will agree that PMs Do Paperwork, Obsess over Budgets, and Report to Higher-Ups. They might add that PMs are Creative Partners, Client Satisfaction Facilitators, and even, on occasion, Food Delivery Systems for team members working late. We’re all of those things, and navigating through the way these roles constantly shift and evolve is what makes a PM’s job—at least in my eyes—even more fun than, say, dolphin training (Project Management is also deemed a significantly drier occupation than dolphin training and, as an added bonus, rarely smells like dead fish).
Here are some of the little victories in a day in the life of a Project Manager at Allen Communication:
- Watching amazingly creative people crowd around a table and dream up exciting activities, beautiful art and brilliant programming strategies to help people all over the world learn every kind of subject matter
- Learning new facts about various industries every single day. I know about compliance policies for brokers in the banking industry, viable substrates for freshwater aquariums, and strategies for telling a team member he’s not meeting expectations
- Knowing just enough about .xml to help someone fix a problem in a web-based course
- Celebrating the moment that the team finds consensus on a solution to a problem that they all agree is just right
- Reading an email to the team from a client who is thrilled at the way we’ve all partnered together to make an instructional vision into a reality
- Reviewing metrics from a client that show us that the training we’ve built is making a measurable difference in the professional lives of employees, managers, and executives
- Remembering that when I walk out the door, I get to do it all again tomorrow in a very different way
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