As I sat across the Senior HR Partner from a big 4 bank in a job interview, he leaned complicity towards me and said, “I can’t tell you what the project is, its top secret, so do you want the job?” From that moment on I was hooked on projects. I had no experience with projects before and no idea what I was in for, but somehow I had managed to land myself a Project Coordinator role in a fast-paced merger and acquisition project. The rest is history.
I recall this story in response to projectmanagement.com’s call out for project love stories in 2016 (also published on their website with other PM love stories). Here I was enamored with projects; but like anyone on their first date I really didn’t know who or what I was inviting into my life; I just knew I wanted more.
My very first exposure to projects was a welcome baptism by fire. Luckily I was working with an amazing Sponsor and Project Manager that I came to idealise as demi-corporate gods with visionary powers. Later I learnt that it was methodology rather than crystal-balling at play.
The project was still in its early conception: the feasibility stage. And depending on how due diligence progressed it could be canned at any moment. Instead it gained momentum. The strategy changed day to day in those early months and we were tasked with massive planning & scoping tasks overnight to determine the impact of the changes and the way forward.
I worked ridiculous hours: early starts; late finishes; lunch on the go; red bull habit; weekend work too. And it was our job to bring order to the chaos. Seemed so much more interesting and important than any other role I had previously had.
So why do I love projects? Quite simply because I love change and being part of something bigger. It makes me feel alive. Organising disorder or bringing the unknown into focus is a compulsion; an itch that must be scratched. Equally I appreciate the discrete and cyclical nature of projects – that is clearly defined objectives in a temporary setting and the fact that tomorrow will be different from today.
However jump back to that first project and it wasn’t long before I realised I was trying to cross the ocean without a map. Madness some would say. I sought out knowledge, experience and a project management qualification, which have all served me well over the last decade.
Project Management has given me an exciting journey across different projects, companies and industries – and the chance to meet many great people and professionals along the way. Moreover, I have been able to focus on the development of different skills and project management knowledge areas at different times. In recent years I have been fortunate enough to transition into project management training and assessment in Sydney – giving me the chance to share my love for projects with others.