Project Practitioners > Build up your future

Build up your future

By Alfonso Bucero

This week I had the pleasure to enjoy the PMI North America Congress 2013 in New Orleans. I always enjoy professional Congresses as speaker but also as an attendee. When I joined PMI twenty years ago I never thought how my professional career as a project manager would be positively affected by attending professionals Congresses worldwide.

Most of my professional life I worked for multinational companies that requested me to do performance evaluations every year. One of the results from those evaluations was my development plan. I was lucky because one of the things my managers did was giving me the freedom of choosing the activities that I needed to do to accomplish my professional development objectives. When I discovered PMI in 1992 a huge window was opened for me. I can remember that I asked my manager to go to my first Project Management Congress. At the beginning his response was negative and also he asked me why I wanted to travel so far away, because I lived in Spain. I prepared my arguments and offered him to prepare a report with a summary of my lessons learned in the Congress, in exchange of allowing me to attend the Congress.

I achieved my goal and I went to my first PMI Congress in the US. It was the beginning of a "never end story" about learning and developing my professional career. In my particular case I met several professionals at PMI Congresses that were key for my career development. More and more every year I prepared my paper submission to contribute and to have the opportunity to come back again and again and again every year. Now after 20 years of PMI membership and more than 15 years as volunteer in different PMI roles I need to say that joining PMI was key for my career success. One of my lessons learned is that “you need to build up your future”. If you do not do it, nobody will. In my first Congress I met a great professional who gave the opportunity to learn from him, who encouraged me to write articles, I have 20 years of friendship and I coauthored three books.

I would like to share with you some best practices that worked for me well building up my future :

  1. Personal Vision: At the end of every year spend some type thinking and writing your PERSONAL VISION, work on what is your vision personally, professionally and socially. Then you will move through your mission and objectives, finalizing with your action plan.
  2. Chose a mentor: You need to choose a mentor. Think about somebody who you are confident with. Somebody who may orient you in your career, somebody ready to listen to you. He or she will not give you all the solutions but will be a great help in your development.
  3. Use your courage: If you want to develop yourself, you need to try to do things you are not still ready to do. Try to do some activities that will allow you to grow as a person but also as a professional.
  4. Networking: Build up your network, selecting the members carefully. Not everyone can belong to your network. Try to select professional and charismatic people and your network will grow up so fast.
  5. Always say the trust: One of the key ingredients that make project managers successful is their credibility. It is built up through a set of details. If you say the truth you will earn the confidence of everybody.
  6. Be always ready to learn: Project managers need to be always ready to learn. Believe that you can learn from everybody in any project and organization. Be humble and you will learn a lot.
  7. Practice authenticity and integrity: Say what you believe and act on what you say. Inspire those behaviors to your team members, peers and colleagues and you will be respected by everybody
  8. Love people: Cultivate your respect for everybody, starting by yourself. You are supposed to be a leader so lead by example.
  9. Be confident with your people: Give the benefit of the doubt to your people.
  10. Recognize: Recognize your people every time they achieve something or obtain a good result. Give them positive feedback if they failed

You are the unique person that needs to plan your professional career. Spend time on it and you will be the best. Go for it.



Alfonso Bucero, MSc, PMP, PMI-RMP, PMI Fellow

BUCERO PM Consulting

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