What Are Alternative Careers for Project Managers?

April 3, 2023
Posted in Questions
April 3, 2023 Terkel

What Are Alternative Careers for Project Managers?

If you’re a project manager looking for a career change, we’ve got you covered. We asked nine professionals from various industries, including co-founders, CEOs, and community managers, to share their top alternative career options. From becoming a productivity coach to embracing sustainability management, explore these diverse opportunities to find your next professional path.

  • Become a Productivity Coach
  • Explore Sales and Marketing Roles
  • Assistant Director in Film Industry
  • Transition to Product Ownership
  • Pursue Human Resources Management
  • Consider Operations Management
  • Consulting as a Career Option
  • Business Analyst as an Alternative
  • Embrace Sustainability Management

Become a Productivity Coach

Project managers develop enhanced time management and motivation skills that help them guide their teams to successful project completion. When applied to time management and productivity coaching, these skills transform project managers into successful professionals in this field. Project managers can create a unique niche for themselves and create a demand for their service with additional certifications in psychology to help them interact better with clients.

Liam LiuLiam Liu
Co-founder and CMO, ParcelPanel

Explore Sales and Marketing Roles

Consider taking on roles in sales or marketing. Both require strong organizational skills (which every PM has!) for crafting effective campaigns and being able to manage large teams of people from various backgrounds (again, something PMs have significant experience doing).

Plus, these positions often come with great perks, such as recognition awards (and bonuses!) for outstanding performance, team-bonding trips throughout the year, and possibly business travel for conferences.

Roksana BieleckaRoksana Bielecka
Community Manager, ResumeHelp

Assistant Director in Film Industry

If you’ve ever worked on a film or TV set, this will make complete sense. There is always one person on the set walking around with a clipboard, ensuring that each member of the cast and crew is in the right place, time, and occupation for the moment. When I first saw this, I thought, “Oh, that’s the film’s project manager.” Schedules, logistics, unblocking people—this is the world of the assistant director.

Trevor EwenTrevor Ewen
COO, QBench

Transition to Product Ownership

I’ve found that it’s pretty easy for project managers to become product owners. The same skills that make a skilled project manager—task-oriented, attention to detail, ownership of a project, and team motivator—are assets as they switch to product ownership.

It’s like a step up in project management since they won’t be in the day-to-day team interactions, but they’ll still be managing a product.

This time, they’ll be a liaison between the client and the product team. If a project manager is ready for a new challenge, but they’re not interested in an entirely new career, apply for tech product owner positions.

Vlad DzhidzhiyeshviliVlad Dzhidzhiyeshvili
CEO, Ventive

Pursue Human Resources Management

A good alternative career option for a project manager would be human resources management. The reason for this is that human resource work requires a skill set that many successful project managers possess, such as organization, attention to detail, strong communication, and problem-solving.

Successful project managers are used to juggling multiple projects and timelines at a time, which translates into human resources where the possibility exists for competing deadlines with onboarding, payroll, and benefits.

Rebekah HayesRebekah Hayes
Project Manager, collystring

Consider Operations Management

Project managers can pivot to a variety of alternative career options that align with their unique set of skills and experience. Project managers have experience managing resources and ensuring that tasks are completed on time and within budget. These skills can apply to an operations management role, where they can oversee the day-to-day operations of a business.

Basana SahaBasana Saha
Founder, KidsCareIdeas

Consulting as a Career Option

One promising career transition option for a project manager is becoming a consultant. As a consultant, project managers can use their expertise to help organizations improve their project management practices.

Consultants can work with clients in different industries, providing a fresh perspective on project management and helping them achieve their goals. As a consultant, project managers can have more flexibility in their work schedule and work environment.

Lilia KossLilia Koss
Community Manager, Facialteam

Business Analyst as an Alternative

If you enjoy working with data, have strong communication skills, and are interested in project management, consider becoming a business analyst. It can be a great alternative career path for a project manager.

The primary responsibility of business analysts is to define business problems, investigate their reasons, and develop solutions. They also effectively convey ideas, goals, and expectations to team members and stakeholders. Therefore, to succeed in this role, you should have a natural analytical way of thinking and be able to explain complex concepts understandably. What’s also essential, business analysts need to be flexible and adaptable to adjust to changing project requirements and stakeholder needs.

A business analyst and a project manager share some similar skills and responsibilities. Thanks to understanding project management methodologies, tools, and processes, your transition from one profession to another can go smoothly.

Agata SzczepanekAgata Szczepanek
Community Manager, LiveCareer

Embrace Sustainability Management

A good alternative career option for a project manager could be to become a sustainability manager. This role involves developing and implementing sustainability strategies for an organization, including reducing waste, minimizing carbon emissions, and improving social responsibility.

As a project manager, you have experience managing multiple stakeholders, budgets, and timelines, which can be useful in this role. In addition, your experience with risk management, change management, and continuous improvement can help you identify opportunities to improve sustainability performance across an organization.

Will GillWill Gill
Event Entertainer, DJ Will Gill

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