Getting (Project) Management capabilities accepted!

This blog tells Claudia’s story of career change. A couple of years ago SEEK surveyed that 57% of their audience had ‘pivoted’ their career at least once. About 70% of them have changed careers already more than 3 times. We expect a further growth in the number of career changes due to technology developments, the labour market and societal changes. The Key Factor in getting the desired job is to be appropriately qualified. What does that mean? Obviously, having the knowledge and being competent in the new role or industry, is key. Having the credibility to be competent or being officially qualified is second. However, this has become a key factor to get the desired job. When someone was successful in their first career, you don’t want to start all over again at the bottom of the ladder… Right? So, there are a couple of things you can do. 

Claudia’s story: career change to Circular Economy

Though not commonly accepted, prior experiences in the workplace or in voluntary roles include a lot of learning and should be recognised. However, the reality is that often they are not recognised. For example, Claudia worked as a designer and gradually took over project management tasks from the manager she worked for. In the end, with 10 years of working experience, she worked herself up to a programme management role when she decided to take a gap year at 36 years old. After a year she decided to pursue another programme management role for a differentorganisation, however she was asked to retrain again, or better still: get the project management qualification. Without the official Project Management qualification: there was no chance that she could secure the position. 

Experience and competence wise, Claudia was better equipped than many other ‘qualified’ project managers. She learned on the job, step by step, to execute and manage complex projects and even programmes. An excellent project manager mentored her, enjoying Claudia’s quick wit and eager learning. The previous rejection for the position as a project manager did some damage to her self-confidence. Fortunately, at the time, she made the decision to do the diploma and later even her Bachelor degree. She still feels that her experience was not fully appreciated and  valued at the time. Claudia now is a well-reputed and -respected programme manager and change manager in the space of Circular Economy. 

Develop capabilities by the Book or by Experience?  

Learning by doing or learning ‘by the book’ – Claudia is a strong believer in learning by experiences. By undertaking challenging projects she develops her capabilities within the different contexts. She applies different approaches and a variety of solutions and learns from the process and outcomes. Claudia strongly believes that the value of her working experiences is much higher than the university learning. When her experiences were accredited at the Bachelor level she deserved, she would have saved 2 years of study plus a significant sum of money. In our conversation, Claudia gave us valuable insights in her motivations: ‘needing’ the qualification made her choose to study the bachelor.

The key conclusions: Saving 2 years of study!

Firstly, she would have loved to have had her experiences accredited in the relevant qualification by a recognition process – that would have saved her 2 years of full-time study). Secondly, she would have been keen to see her capabilities matched towards the Circular Economy industry. When she knew her gaps in capabilities, she could have addressed them very specifically. Do you recognise Claudia’s story? Let us know!

Joseph P Lin, Forbes

“Take a manageable, brave leap of faith to open new doors in your career”.

Want to know more? Give us a ring at 1300 019 303 (outside Australia +61 3 9108 4235) or send us an email: info@macarthurinstitute.org

About MacArthur Institute

At MacArthur Institute we help experienced professionals with 5 to 35 years of working (or voluntary) experience to prove their capabilities into associate degree, a bachelor or masters level. We work with career switchers to improve their lives.