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Becoming a Project Professional
Listen to Mark Viner’s Interview
Lay-offs, acquisitions, and downturns have occurred at historic levels over the past several years and have left white collar professionals seeking different and newer ways to take control of their work lives to avoid becoming work casualties often caused by these events.
One way these professionals accomplish this is to become a dedicated full-time project professional working for professional services firms that focus on helping businesses variably manage change through their access and utilization of these experienced resources. Many people historically have thought of interim resources as providing “temps” or low-level staffing. However, the landscape has significantly changed where more and more companies are turning to professional service firms to hire project professionals within Accounting, Finance, IT and Human Resources.
To effectively manage change, a company can access and/or leverage human capital in one of four ways: 1) Utilize their internal HR department which is charged with hiring new internal employees. The HR department may augment their internal recruiting effort with utilizing outside search firms; 2) Hire an outside consultant to bring in experts and methodology to the company to analyze certain aspects of the company and, in turn, give the company recommendations on how to do things. They operate as an outsider coming in; 3) Out-source certain functionality to a third party where it would be unnecessary to hire internal FTEs and; 4) Variably access interim talent to plug into the company to fill missing internal expertise and/or provide bandwidth during peak work periods.
It is the 4th example above where dedicated project professionals are increasingly being leveraged by companies to cost effectively manage change. In choosing to access a project professional, they have determined that they don’t need to necessarily hire an internal FTE or need an outside “expert” to come in and tell them how to do something, and they don’t need to outsource or give away certain functionality. They would prefer to access somebody who “has been there before” that can plug in and hit the ground running and requires virtually no hand holding. This is the very core and essence of what successful project professionals look like.
Becoming a dedicated project professional as an alternative career choice allows professionals the ability to take control of their careers with increased variety, flexibility and exposure to multiple clients, industries and systems. Their skills are sharpened and expanded which often times make them more valuable and in-demand than those who are traditionally employed.