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Project Management No-Nos That Apply To Your Job, Too

The following post is courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap:

Though I’m not a project manager, I often pick up issues of PM Network to see what kind of career advice it has. I often find that the career advice it gives is widely transferable to many fields beyond project management. The February 2012 issue of PM Network boasts an article titled “10 Mistakes That Could Get You Fired,” which I found to be both enlightening and applicable to almost all industries.

So many professionals are guilty of these missteps that it bears spreading the good information that the article provides. I picked out five of the 10 mistakes featured in the article (some were indeed more focused project management) that could apply to any professional. Here is a summary of those mistakes outlined and how they may apply to you:

1. “Guesstimating.” Providing clients, teams, and superiors with guesstimates and of required or requested data can be dangerous and can ruin your credibility if proven false. In a large executive meeting I once attended, a young analyst was asked to address a crowd of corporate clients to provide information on an upcoming new product. When asked in front of the crowd by our company CEO to provide the date of launch the analyst gave a noncommittal “mid spring” as his answer. Frustrated the CEO fired back “Spring is not a date; it’s a season.” However prepared the analyst thought he was, he quickly learned that rather than replying with a “let me get back to you on that”, his guesstimating efforts wouldn’t cut it in that corporate environment.

2. “Ignoring processes.” It may be true that rules were made to be broken, but processes certainly weren’t. Companies establish processes in order to maintain productivity, comply to regulatory requirements, or for any other number of reasons. But they do have rationale. If an assignment requires you to take an extra step to prepare reports, you can bet there is a reason. To that, processes could use improvement so to good idea to keep your eye out for those that may not be benefiting the company.

3. “Always saying ‘yes’ to the customer.“ This point could definitely be applied to many service industries in which the customers’ insistence on one or more decisions can stifle productivity, cause poor quality, and even cause failure to deliver the end result. While keeping the client happy is of vital importance, providing a quality end product is of equal significance, and the customer can benefit from your expertise if delivered correctly.

4. “Forgoing user feedback.” Depending on your interpretation, this can relate to the previous point – rather than listening too much to customer feedback, this one addresses not listening enough. Weather in a product or service industry, knowing what your customers are looking for is of paramount importance. Look at your clients as if they are your extended product, service, or process testers, and be responsive to their feedback. They will appreciate being heard.

5. “Overlooking change.” Adaptability is a talent that is in high demand in this job market. Employers want to know you can not only role with changes, but that you can thrive in them. Change is a permanent part of your job no matter what it is you do, and overlooking it will only make your job grow without you. Keeping open avenues of communication and documenting new processes are keys to thriving despite change.

Many trade magazines give great advice that can carry over into multiple industries. If you see a trade publication in a doctor’s waiting room or client’s office, leaf through it and look for nuggets that you may be able to apply to your career path. Check out the original article here: 10 Mistakes That Could Get You Fired 

Author: Cathy Eng, Certified Advanced Resume Writer

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

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