In market research, the role of a project manager is vital. This role acts as the bridge that connects fieldwork to research and insight, therefore connecting all aspects of a project and providing an invaluable part in the journey to the clients business.
Before I moved into recruitment I spent years working in POps (Project Operations) for a range of agencies, most recently IndieField and Simpson Carpenter. I thoroughly enjoyed the nature of the work and the challenges that came with it. Overseeing multi-country qualitative and quantitative projects is a very stimulating part of the role, building and maintaining client relationship is wholly rewarding and successfully completing the studies is even more fulfilling.
Recently we have seen a trend of “full service” researchers moving into project management roles as they appreciate the satisfaction of seeing the job complete. It’s a great move for some as it combines many aspects of research, but removes analysis and presenting which some people just don’t enjoy.
There are three key attributes I believe are significant for a proficient project manager to have:
- Attention to detail – the key is to keep honing this skill and your eye for detail will become second nature. Start with a slow methodical pace and apply it on every piece of work that lands on your inbox or desk. Increase your speed without rushing and continue building it up until you notice a change in how you review your work. You will eventually have an effective eye-brain-hand coordination skillset.
- Adaptability – this is a trait a progressive-thinker with a positive outlook possesses and the phrase “can hit the ground running” will apply in most situations. Flexibility means you are open to a variety of challenges, not afraid to be thrown in the deep end and are happy to tackle tasks outside of your comfort zone. This is a quality of someone who does not mind taking a stumble or making a mistake and will instead own it and learn from it. This person smiles a lot!
- A “getting it done” attitude – easier said than done, however, this attitude emanates from an optimist and a hard worker. You accomplish tasks – the word “never” is not part of your vocabulary. You tend to strive harder, you think outside of the box, will find solutions and always offer a smile when the going gets tough. You become the trustworthy go-to person and any contribution you make becomes valuable.
As a project manager you work with multiple stakeholders, so you must be able to juggle tasks and time and if you are that sort of person, it’s a great job. No day is the same, no project is the same – its fast paced, dynamic, can be stressful, but is ultimately rewarding and fun.
If you want to talk more about project management as a career please give me a call. We are always on the lookout for brilliant talent for our clients.