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 Now You’re a PMP! What Next? | PM Tools - PM Tools

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Now You’re a PMP! What Next?

Now You’re a PMP! What Next? Congratulations! You have earned your PMP certification and reached a career milestone. While it is an accomplishment worth celebrating, after a short time, the question becomes “What’s next?”

What’s next?

Yes, high achievers especially experience this “What’s next?” urge. I recently heard a podcast in which the author talked about the challenges and experiences of the astronauts who had walked on the moon. After years of preparation and intense focus and discipline, they reached their goals – only to return, in some cases, to a sense of loss of direction and purpose. Some had deep troubles because of the ‘loss’ of having achieved their goal – and not having a new goal with which to replace it!

Leverage your time: PMP PDUs AND another Certification

So, it is great to leverage your PMP certification, to apply the principles, to show you know your stuff, perhaps to advance or move crosswise to another interesting and lucrative career position. But perhaps there is more that you can do to keep up, and even accelerate, your career momentum. As you assess your goals, another certification could be your ticket to further advancement, and could also keep you fresh and excited.

Five Realistic Possibilities to Consider

Here are a five ideas related to career goals and professional certifications – and you can ‘kill two birds with one stone’ by earning a new certification and PMP PDUs at the same time!

1. Perhaps you find yourself operating or moving toward a more international venue. In Europe, as well as some other parts of the world, the PRINCE2 certification is very popular and highly respected. You have the distinct advantage of having a great deal of project management background already behind you, and might find that the first step – earning the PRINCE2 Foundation certification – is fairly easy in comparison with the PMP. It could earn you with an additional credential relevant in your current work, and provide addition perspective and skills for your current or next job.

2. A large number of PMPs work in the Information Technology (IT) field. Some may already have one or more technical certifications with such vendors as Oracle certification, Cisco certification, IBM certification, and others. Since you have already made the move to management by earning a PMP, the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) certification may interest you. ITIL certification can provide specific deep expertise and credentialing in the IT space that is valued by many organizations worldwide. You may find that it enables you to get in charge of projects that might otherwise have been out of reach.

3. You may find that the pure project management profession suits you just fine, and that you would like to simply take a path to bigger and better things. The PMI has laid out a path for that – the Program Management Professional (PgMP) certification. Program Management certification is a very logical extension to PMP certification, using a similar approach to the PMBOK framework, and building directly on the PMP skills base.

4. In today’s economic environment, one of the favorite types of projects to be funded is that of the cost cutting or efficiency producing variety. In those cases, many organizations want to turn to proven methodologies and processes, one of which includes Lean and Six Sigma. Six Sigma Green Belts and Six Sigma Black Belts are in high demand for any of these projects, and project management skills are also at a premium. The combination of Six Sigma certification and project management certification can be powerful!

5. One of the most important areas in a project is requirements management. Actually, the scope of requirements management can be broadened to that of ‘business analysis. Many could find a great appeal to the analytical skills required in business analysis, and the combination of a Business Analysis certification with PMP certification can be powerful, especially in environment where the analysis portion of typical projects is particularly crucial. This is often the case, for example, in the area of application development projects.

Concluding Thoughts to Ponder

So, when you ask what’s next, consider additional certifications. You might find that it is easier than you think to add another credential on top of the PMP and whatever else you might have, and that it is especially enticing when you can earn PDUs for the work at the same time!

While it’s great to celebrate, don’t linger on your success too long. Remember, it’s not where you are, or where you have been, that’s important; what’s important is where you are going. Keep that fresh and forward moving feeling going and set some new goals today, and consider tackling another career-enhancing certification.

John Reiling, PMP, PE, MBA is an experienced Project Manager and certified Project Management Professional. John’s web site, http://www.pmtrainingonline.com provides online project management training for beginning managers and for PMP exam prep and PDUs. John also writes regularly in his blog, <a href=”http://pmcrunch.com/” rel=”nofollow”>PMcrunch.com (http://pmcrunch.com).

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