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Pawel Brodzinski on Software Project Management

What Will You Do Five Years From Now?

I’m in a situation where I have to review my professional future a bit. It happened so a few of my friends are in similar position at the moment so there are a lot of chances to discuss the subject. A strange thing for me, as a person who is involved in project management, is how often people don’t have a plan B.

We look at our careers seeing ourselves in our today workplace. We plan several months or several years with the current company. Until then we want to develop specific skills or gain experience in specific areas. Then we think about moving somewhere else either to get fresh view on things or to push the career to higher level. Cool.

What if the plan doesn’t work? Your branch of the company can evaporate (yes, it did happen). There can be some mess in the company resulting in changing your status for the workplace from “bright future here” to “no future here.” You can be simply fired. The work can appear quite different than they told you during recruitment. What then?

Of course I’m far from blind skepticism here, but if your bright future is tightly woven with your current workplace, well, you may play a tricky game.

And this brings me to the question from the subject: what will you do five years from now? I’m far to expect definite answer from anyone including myself. What more I’d expect a number of options as an answer, although definitely there will be some top choices and others which are considered only as a rescue plan.

If you asked me I’d say I’d prefer to be in the middle of building another team of people who share my passion of developing good software (yes, it would be yet another time). However I’d see me also on a position of an outsider who was hired to help to organize things in software development and/or project management a bit (a consultancy job… ouch). I don’t consider positions of project manager or software analyst as scars on a resume. Actually not the ugly ones. A good idea for a startup, possibly neither the first nor the second one at the time, would also be appealing (although so far no successes at that area). I’m not sure if I would go for a boring VP role responsible for drinking coffee and surfing the web but probably I’d take it into consideration too.

As you can see there’s really a bunch of choices and all of them are possible in a given perspective of time. How about you? What will you do five years from now?

in: personal development, recruitment

2 comments… add one

  • LouisvillePM December 1, 2008, 7:57 pm

    Pawel, I think that you make a great point. I have been writing about the need for PMs during hard economic times but the truth is that business goals CAN be realigned when times are tough and there could be no chair to sit on when the music stops…

    From what I’ve read, there is plenty of opportunity around the world (South Africa and the Middle East in particular) for project managers. Uprooting the family to manage projects in a faraway land sounds adventurous five years from now. Although the cushy VP job sounds good too. ;)

  • Pawel Brodzinski December 2, 2008, 3:33 am

    I don't think IT project will be stopped because of crisis. Sure we'll probably see less R&D projects but you can't stop technology progress. Even with recession. That means there will be a lot of job around project management.

    Another thing is an experienced specialist should easily find a job no matter what's the situation on the job market.

    And cushy VP role is overrated anyway.

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