Many people ask us if PRINCE2 gets you a job or helps you progress in your career. The simple answer is – yes! This interview with Lisa Gobell, a former Knowledge Train student, proves how valuable PRINCE2 is to your project management career. Read on to find out more!
Gobell took a PRINCE2 Foundation course with Knowledge Train last year. She is now a Business Support Manager for Project One Consulting Limited, a project management firm based near Manchester. The following article is an interview we conducted with her, to find out how PRINCE2 helped her career. We hope you find it useful!
Knowledge Train: Why did you choose to take the PRINCE2 course?
Lisa: I was considering a career change into project management. A friend told me that the PRINCE2 qualification helped her become a project manager. She told me it was globally recognized. Being from Australia, I needed something transferrable in case I ever moved back. Even if I decided not to pursue project management as my core role, I wanted more confidence in how to manage a project – no matter how big or small - so that I could lead change in any organization I worked for. Having this qualification on my CV would show my dedication and commitment to personal development. It would also make me more eligible for promotions and salary increases over time.
Knowledge Train: Where did you learn that this course would be helpful to your career?
Lisa: A friend of mine changed to a project management career. The first thing she did to prepare for that change was to gain PRINCE2 Foundation qualification. This is because employers wanted to see the qualification on her CV before allowing her through to interview. I also did my own research online and it was clear that PRINCE2 was recognized in various industries and multiple countries.
Knowledge Train: What job did you have prior to taking the PRINCE2 course?
Lisa: Principal Advisor. I was an investment advisor and family office advisor to wealthy individuals and families.
Knowledge Train: Had you searched for and applied for project management jobs? If so, what was the outcome?
Lisa: Yes, and although it did not result in a project management role, I have become a Business Support/Operations Manager in a project management company. I work within the operational side of the business, so I manage projects which allow the business to grow over time. For example, helping to implement a new IT system for client resourcing or managing the fit-out of our building.
Knowledge Train: How much project management experience did you have prior to taking the course?
Knowledge Train: Did the PRINCE2 course enable you to get a job? If so, what was the job and how did the course help you?
Lisa: Yes. Business Support Manager, as described above. The course gave me the confidence to sell myself in the interview when they described the sorts of projects I would be managing. It also helped me to familiarize myself with the project terms that are used daily amongst my managers and colleagues, of which 95% are project managers themselves.
Knowledge Train: Has the PRINCE2 course helped your career in any other ways?
Lisa: Yes, it gave me the confidence to excel at my role when managing projects. I feel more comfortable when seeking advice from my colleagues who are project managers, because I am more familiar with the terms they are using that were very foreign to me before.
Knowledge Train: What steps did you take to find work after the PRINCE2 course?
Lisa: I Googled project management organizations and applied for junior level jobs online in the hope I would quickly be promoted up the ladder (because I didn’t have any project management experience before, so I couldn’t jump into a higher-level role). I contacted recruiters who specialized in this industry and subscribed to industry reports, so I could stay up to date and learn new names of companies out there that may be hiring.
Knowledge Train: Did you find job searching easier after doing the PRINCE2 course? If so, how?
Lisa: Yes. It gave me the confidence to send my CV out with descriptions of some small-scale project management work I had done, plus the qualification to back it up which I didn’t have previously.
Knowledge Train: What job interviews did you get after finishing your course?
Lisa: I was very fortunate and got my current job very quickly, within about 2 weeks of looking. This was the only interview I attended.
Knowledge Train: Did you feel like you were well-prepared for job interviews?
Lisa: Yes, this was a factor of my own dedication but the confidence that extra qualification gave me.
Knowledge Train: Have you taken anymore project management courses since? If so, which ones?
Lisa: No, but I intend to do the PRINCE2 Practitioner course eventually.
Knowledge Train: What are your future career plans?
Lisa: I intend on staying in my current role for many years and haven’t thought past then. The business continues to grow, and it means more and more projects for me to manage to keep the business up to date with regulation, IT infrastructure, and anything else to keep us efficient.
Knowledge Train: Would you recommend PRINCE2 course to others who are looking to start their project management career? If so, why?
Lisa: Yes. It’s about having a qualification on your CV to get you through the door. You may already have some small-scale project management experience, but the qualification then gives you the confidence to use the right terminology in interviews to describe your experience. It will also make you feel more comfortable when talking to colleagues once you have the job.
Knowledge Train: Would you say that the PRINCE2 course successfully helped you to start your career in project management?