PM’s Journal

As Long As You Are Getting Paid?

Often I hear comments like “Ana, are you getting paid for that?” or “Why do you keep doing that for free?” or “If you do a 3 men job, are you getting a triple payment?”

I say – it is not always about the money. Of course, being fairly paid is important and we must not do a great job free of charge. But there is so much more to it. I truly, deeply, unconditionally believe that money will come. I never did anything only because it was paid well. Everything I do is because I love what I do ❤.

What is most important is experience. This is the most valuable thing you can get on the job. So, if someone offers me an opportunity, I ask myself “What experience will it give me?”. If I believe that this knowledge is valuable and I can learn from it – I will do it, even if it means to sit over time, dedicate my private time or do a 3 men job😋.

Imagine this situation. You are working as a Project Manager. Your boss comes and offers you a job of a Program Manager. Your salary will stay the same. What will be your answer?

Before you answer, think about it for a moment. You can make investments from your side, accept the challenge, learn a great bunch of awesome stuff. Even if the pay is the same. Later you can ask for some bonus, but even if you are not granted – now you have this experience, you can offer your services for a better price somewhere else. Because you can, and your value has increased😎.

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If You Ever Get Angry

Never ever allow yourself to get overwhelmed with feelings and act upon them. This is the worst thing which can ever happen to you. Especially – making a permanent decision on temporary emotion😱.

We both can agree that in management world the most tricky and demanding part is to deal with people. Not everyone is predictable. Not everyone is an open book. And not everyone is straightforward. Some people (your customers, your employees or colleagues) will drive you mad from time to time. And this is OK. Most important is how you are going to react to that. One moment of allowing yourself to dive into emotions, may even cost you your career👆.

Acknowledge the emotions and go shoot some bottles in the garden😀. Now, get back with clean head and delete that angry email, which you were about to send.

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Keep Your Word

In Business and in personal life it makes a great deal to keep your word. It contributes a lot to our image of reliability, integrity and professionalism.

There are so many situations when people say they will reach back to us, they will send us an email with details or that they will provide us feedback. But they never do. Such type of behavior impacts our perception of them as professionals, especially in the long run.

This is why, we should be very careful with our own commitments and words in general. If we can not stick to our promises, let’s simply not give those promises. But if we have already committed, we must do everything in our power to make it happen!

What about you? Do you keep your promises and follow up on things as you said you would?

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About Goodreads

Are you still reading books? If yes, then I have something useful to share with you today:)

I hope at least some of you have heard about Goodreads, an application where you can search through the huge database of the books. It welcomes you with an exciting new quote each time you login into it, allows you to browse through different genres of books, add them to your bookshelves, categorize them, rate them, read and write reviews and see what you friends are reading and recommend.

This is amazing, isn’t it? You can plan the whole year with the books you want to read if you like. The app and your “friends” give amazing insights about books which you might want to read too. If not for the app, you might never hear about such books! You can see how I am using it if you search my name in the app, maybe you will be inspired to use it too, or at least you will find some cool book titles and will want to read them.

Hope to see you among my friends in Goodreads soon!

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Only If You Care

What I am going to write today might sound a little bit like an already known fact, like nothing new or too obvious, but I will still write it. As a reminder to future self. Because thanks to that and only to that I was, I still am and I hope I will keep being able to move forward in my life, try more, do more, keep doing what I like and moving to the next higher step, leaving behind everything what is dragging me down.

You can only succeed if you care. Deeply, truly and unconditionally care about yourself, your career, your future, your development, your relationships and family.

Nothing will happen by itself. Never happened and never will. You have to take charge of what is happening to you and start finally doing something about it. Start building the new ladder. Brick by brick, 1 step back- two forward.

I would never be where I am now if I let people and situations define who I am, tell me what I should and should not do, what jobs I am able to perform and what not, if I ever let others define me and my future and my abilities.

If you care, sky is the limit. Your sky, your limit:)

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Assumptions

Let us stop making assumptions. Assumptions about people, about their behavior, and situations. They rarely serve us well. What is more, in the majority of cases they turn out to be wrong.

When someone behaves in a certain way which we can not explain, or doesn’t perform well and forgets about certain commitments, we often tend to jump to unfavorable conclusions. And what strikes me, the majority of us don’t even bother to find out why people behave this way. Maybe something is going on in their lives? Maybe they interpreted something in their own way, or perhaps they are shy to clarify or maybe. Oh maybe this is who they are and it is time to part your way with them.

Assumptions take courage to be clarified. It shall work both ways – be brave to share what you feel and why, and be brave to conduct open conversations and find out how to improve things, how to work on the relationships, and how to turn a situation into a win-win solution.

Let’s gather facts, let’s talk to a people 1×1 and then, knowing the whole picture and verifying our assumption, then and only then let’s drive to opinions and conclusions and define the next steps.

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Execution is Worth Millions

To make Business you need 2 components: idea and execution. Your idea is worth nothing unless it is executed.

Some of us generate brilliant ideas, but they never get anywhere beyond the idea itself. Idea lives a very short life, gets forgotten and sinks into oblivion.

There are people, though, who are not very creative in generating ideas, but they are excellent executors. That is where many ideas get stolen, probably. But execution is where magic happens:)

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Know Your Priorities

I kept thinking today about why we need to check our priorities regularly. Not just once a month, but almost daily. It is simply impossible to say that everything is important. What sense does it make to prioritize at all?

I taught myself to start my day by thinking about the 3-5 most important things I need to focus my attention on. Whatever personal backlog I maintain, my top priorities in work on in private life are visible on the front line: a card or a note, in such a way that I always see them. I’ve built this habit to such an extent, that I do it automatically without even thinking. What is more, whenever I finish my work on that day, I close it with a clear mind – because I did what was most important on that day, the rest will wait for its priority:)

It does not mean I don’t care about other things at all. I actually do. If those “to do” are not important today, they can become super urgent tomorrow and I will keep “firefighting”. This is why it is super important to do one more thing – keep a bigger picture in mind to know why your priority is a priority and to know how long you can delay a non-priority before it transforms into the burning necessity and eat your free time:).

And you? Do you keep checking your priorities or do you do everything as long as you have power and jump into firefighting again?

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Are You a Chef Or A Cook?

I have rarely seen projects which could run smoothly if same approach was applied again and again. What worked well in one case, might not work at all in another case.

Think of a project/program as a person. If you treat each person the same way, your chances to find a common language with that person will drop significantly and you won’t be able to build a long standing relationship with them. But if you are flexible and can adjust your behavior as per the need, you chances for success will increase.

Same with projects. Use any framework for project management as a baseline and adjust it as per its needs and requirements.

Be creative, be flexible and craft your own recipe for success.

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Find Yourself A Mentor

Do you have a mentor? If not yet, then it is a right time to find one.

Why?

I found out about mentoring concept during my work at IBM. There are at least 2 major reasons why you should choose your “trusted advisor”:

1. We all face challenges in project and work environment. And I am sure that all of us are creative enough to find a solution to any challenge. But it is good to have someone who is more experienced than you, in order to be able to validate your approach. What if there is a better option? What if there is already a known way to address a problem?

2. When you think about your career or a field where you want to advance, it is good to have someone who already holds this position or has experience in that area. This person could guide you in finding your way to it too.

All successful people I know have or used to have a mentor. It can be someone in the company you work, or it can be someone you admire and follow virtually on Social Media.

How to find one?

No worries, look around and if you notice someone, who you think is a person you want to learn from – go and ask if this person would like to become your mentor.

Good luck!

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