How My Career Accelerated after PMP Certification

By Vinai Prakash

Before I even became aware of the PMP Certification for Project Managers, Yosemite Mountain I was an active and busy Project Manager for many years. Naturally, I thought I knew it all when it came to managing projects. After all, who can be a better teacher than “real time project management experience” of many years.

Boy… I was in for a BIG Surprise!

When I attended the first PMP class, I realised how vast the Project Management Body of Knowledge was…  how much formal thought was given to each of the 9 Knowledge Areas, and the 5 process Groups. Back then, there were 44 processes in the PMI Framework…

And although I was extremely proficient in handling contracts, having negotiated some very large multi-million dollar contracts that covered over 200 contract staff at our project site, I had not known certain types of contracts altogether.

The area of formal Risk Management was completely new to me. And being a “non-medical” or Science student in my college years, I was completely new to Human Resource Management theories – what motivates people, how to inspire people, and how to resolve conflicts etc. Just by becoming aware about so many topics made me realise how little did I know about Project Management.

The studies for the PMP Exam, and the attempting of the hundreds of PMP questions really opened my mind to the huge new possibilities in managing risk, managing people, and managing communications etc. Previously, my idea was to only manage time, cost and scope for a successful project. And I really did not care much about the people, whether they got burnt along the way or not.

Even after getting the PMP certification, I continued to read and learn more about “effective project management strategies”. The fiction books I used to borrow from the National Library slowly made way for more of the “non-fiction” books on  project management, risks, communications, HR, and other topics. I then began to write about my experiences in Project Management… and many articles actually got published in The Straits Times, Today’s Manager magazine.

As I learnt, read more, and practiced what I read, I became more and more proficient in managing people and the project planning, execution and delivery became better. However, I did not realise this automatically… It was only when I was getting more frequent promotions to do more complex and larger projects that someone remarked how I had “accelerated” my career growth after getting “PMP certified”…

That’s when I wondered if it was indeed true? How very True! PMP had certainly opened my eyes, and paved the way for my future growth – both personal and professional.

I did not mind the extra dollars it brought, nor the status that went with it, and the people I interacted with began to change… for the better.

Much of this happened within 2 years of my passing the PMP Exam. I then joined the local chapter of PMI, after having paid the membership fees for many years, but never ever attending any actual meetings. And this opened another big avenue to network… But more on this at another time.

As you can see, my productivity increased dramatically just by being exposed to the proper project Management Methodologies and the right Project Management Framework, and then bringing them to practice.

PMP Certification opened up a new horizon for me, and did more than wonders for me… My entire career leap-frogged in the fast-lane, and my life actually changed for the better.

Has it impacted your life too?

Do share your thoughts with me. Let me know how preparing for the PMP exam, or being a certified project manager has made a difference for you. Post your comments below.

Cheers,
Vinai Prakash, PMP

Photo Credit: Khalid Ghamdi

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About Vinai Prakash


Vinai Prakash is the founder and editor of PMChamp PMP Exam Tips. "I love coaching and training PMP® aspirants to pass the PMP Exam in their first attempt, without stress, and without hassles through classroom & online PMP coaching workshops." Learn more about Vinai here.


Comments

  1. Udayan Mukherjee says:

    Dear Vinai

    U have written a good story but does it help? If u can prove that u can get a decent job @60 with PMP, u may contact me. It is not the Certificate that can help improving ur employability rather it is ur experience that counts.

    Cheers,
    Udayan

    • Vinai says:

      Hi Udayan,

      Appreciate your feedback. You are right that experience counts. However certification helps to add value to the CV, differentiate from other candidates, and shows that you are serious about being a PM.

      Every month I meet many people who are not able to get jobs in Singapore, even after working for 10+ years in companies like TCS, Infosys etc. But once they get the PMP certification, most of them have been able to find jobs. Certification has made it easier for them to get noticed. Also, most jobs descriptions that I come across now clearly say “PMP Preferred”… So I guess it helps if you have some formal PMP certification, but real experience is also required…

      • Manjeet says:

        @ Udayan: You can 100 people who think PMP helped them changed their career.. and 100 people who though PMP will not do anything to their career and they never did it and never realised what they might have missed. Its will be rare to find people who did PMP and did not succed in thier objective. A person should not look for certificate that gurantee a pay package.. look for knowledge… !!!

  2. Venkat says:

    Guys,
    I just want to tell you one thing, which I am sure, most of us would agree. Its all a matter of luck. I have been working tirelessly & relentlessly to achieve some status in the IT industry. Its been 10 yrs & I am still looked at as a Tech Lead/Developer.
    I have earned my PMP, I thought I’ll get promoted from being a Module Lead to Project Lead… nothing worked. Forget about me, there are many deserving guys I know who have not got what they deserve & on the other hand, few who don’t know even the A in Architect are at that post..

    Any comments / responses are welcome, but this is what I believe & that’s what I have written.

    Thanks

  3. kathryn says:

    Hello, Vinai:
    Thanks for your article. I am currently preparing to take my exam, and I greatly appreciate the encouragement. You mentioned that in addition to getting your PMP, you also started to read books on “project management, risks, communications, HR, and other topics.” I’m wondering if you have any recommendations for further reading?
    Like you, I thought my years of experience would make this a piece of cake, but the more studying I do, the more passionate I become about learning better practices!
    Thank you in advance for your feedback.

  4. Sam says:

    Hi Guys,

    Have come across a few healthy PM reads in recent months, that maybe of interest to you.

    1. Project Manager Street Smarts
    2. The Perfect Leader
    3. 97.Things.Every.Project.Manager.Should.Know

    It really is exciting to delve into the PM sphere

    Regds,
    Sam

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