Is portfolio manager a good career?

Project Portfolio Manager on your career path? Is it a good choice? Short answer: “yes”. Longer: “yes, but”. You need to consider few things and find out pros beats cons in your case.

Challenges

Project Portfolio Manager position is a challenging job. That’s not a phrase. It’s a fact. Every day is a new challenge (or few) – you need to face it. Many people depend on you. They have their problems, challenges, doubts. In many cases partially those are also yours. If they have problem, they can’t move with project. If they can’t move with project, that effects whole portfolio.

Constant learning

Prepare for constant learning. Especially if you have R&D team. They are making something new, something unique. They know what they are doing. But you need to know it as well. Not on their level, but you need to have at least general knowledge. It’s crucial for:
  • risk assessment,
  • team management,
  • reporting to higher management,
  • resolving day to day problems,
  • and many more.

Satisfaction

Creating something from nothing, seeing the personal growth of your team, building great company from the scratch. That can be satisfying as hell. But don’t forget that there will be times when some things go wrong, and the first person to blame is YOU.

Money

Money is important in every job. As Portfolio Manager standard salary can be very high (comparing to Project Manager, Team Member). But with high salary comes high expectations.

Hard decisions

For many people that is a crucial thing. As Portfolio Project Manager hard decision making is your day-to-day job. You need to decide what is the best course of action for your company. If you need terminate a project, you do this. If you need to make reductions, you do it. If you need to make changes that nobody wants, you do this. But behind all those decisions are people – your team. Their career, life, problems, expectations. Your decisions affect many.

You can’t please everyone

Everyone knows that you can’t be “people pleaser”. It’s not working on the long run. But even if you aren’t, there will be many situations in which many people will disagree with you. They will be very unhappy because of your decisions. If you can live with that – that’s ok. If not – try to find another job.

Long, long hours

Portfolio Project Manager is not 9 to 5 job. Especially when you have some crisis (and you will have them quite often). It’s long hours, high pressure job. If you can keep up, you’re good to go.

Is it worth it?

It’s not for everyone. But if you’re not scared after reading this article, you may have a chance to make from it a great job and very, very satisfying journey.
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