If you excel when it comes to leading a team and enjoy managing timelines and overseeing projects, working as a project manager may be the perfect career for you. Project managers are responsible for planning, communications, logistics, and, of course, the management of a variety of projects, depending on the industry you are in. A day in the life of a project manager will typically entail reviewing timelines, ensuring deadlines are met, and communicating with those necessary to get the job done right and on time.
What are the responsibilities of a project manager?
A project manager’s roles and responsibilities will vary depending on the business and industry they are in. Typically, the responsibilities of a general project manager may include, but are not limited to:
- Planning: A project manager is responsible for initiating and drafting plans for a project. Defining main objectives and goals is also a top priority for most project managers.
- Team plan: Integrating a working plan of action that is not only suitable for the project manager, but all team members involved is also the responsibility of a project manager.
- Overseeing execution: A project manager is responsible for overseeing the execution of any plan they have created for a specific project.
- Monitoring: Supervising team members and monitoring the overall progress of a project is essential as a project manager.
- Closing: As a project manager, you are also responsible for finalizing and closing out a project once it has been successfully completed.
What does a typical day look like for a project manager?
Although a project manager’s role will depend on where they are working and the number of employees they are managing, many project managers complete similar tasks throughout each of their workdays. A possible example schedule for a project manager may look like this:
- 7 AM: Arrive to work earlier than other employees to get a head start on the day’s objectives and overall mission.
- 7:15 AM: Review emails and manage emails from the previous day/evening. Respond to emails and voicemails.
- 8:00 AM: Check project management software. Track the progress of the current project and make changes to daily tasks. Delegate additional tasks and review the overall productivity of team members who are also currently involved with the project.
- 8:30 AM: Work with any contractors, partners, or off-shore workers who may be living and working in a different time zone.
- 8:45 AM: Gather notes and to-do list for the morning meeting. Set a meeting for 9:00 AM or later, depending on the current workload of the team.
- Discuss project issues, initiatives, and potential challenges throughout the morning meeting and as employees arrive at the office.
- 10:00 AM: Check and respond to emails.
- 10:30 AM: Host another meeting to review new additions to the project and to review the overall productivity of current ongoing projects.
- 11:30 AM -1:00 PM: Communicate with clients and customers as necessary. Lunch break.
- 1:00 PM: Review billing and finances after lunch break.
- 1:15 PM: A meeting regarding project management, regulations, or potential restrictions based on the type of project you are working on and the industry you are working in and representing.
- 2:00 PM: Work with IT crew or technical employees who have discovered potential bugs and software issues that require addressing.
- 3:00 PM: Conduct a candidate interview
- 4:00 PM: Make rounds to discuss the overall efforts of the day with employees and members of your team.
- 4:30 PM: Check, review, and respond to project-centric emails before the end of the day.
- 5:00 PM: Check the calendar for the following day to prepare and make plans ahead of time before ending the workday.
Are project manager schedules flexible?
They can be. A project manager may have the ability to create and set their own schedules, which is ideal for those who prefer positions that are not micromanaged by another supervisor. If you enjoy setting your own hours and schedule and feel confident in doing so, you are more likely to thrive and excel as a project manager.
Do project managers travel?
At times, yes, a project manager may be required to travel, depending on your role and position in the business you represent. While some project managers are responsible for in-house work, others may be required to oversee the construction of buildings or the production of a theatrical play, depending on where you are employed. For some project managers, traveling in their everyday life is necessary, and expected. If you are thinking of becoming a project manager, consider whether or not you are interested in a project manager position that requires you to commute and travel as part of your actual job itself.
Is it possible to work remotely as a project manager?
Yes, it is possible to work remotely as a project manager, depending on where you are working. Project managers with the option to work from home and to work remotely typically work for software and IT companies. Most project managers that work remotely can only do so if they are in a position that does not require an in-person presence to get the job done.
If you are thinking of working as a project manager but want to do so only if you can work remotely, seek positions that are advertised as remotely-only, as many project managers are required to drive or travel otherwise. Specifying that you are interested in a remote-only project management position is advisable to prevent and avoid confusion if you are chosen as a project manager for a role that does require you to travel.
Do all project managers have the same workday?
No. Not all project managers have the same tasks, responsibilities, and teams to handle on a daily basis. While some project managers may have the ability to work from home remotely, others may need to travel to work sites if they are working in construction or another hands-on industry.
Your workday will also vary based on the current type of projects you are managing.
How do I know what my day will look like as a project manager?
If you are interested in working as a project manager and you have submitted a job application, you may be wondering about what responsibilities you will need to take on each day. Whenever you are applying for a project manager role, take the time to read and review the job requirements, responsibilities, and duties prior to submitting your application. It is also highly recommended to get to know more about the employer you are interested in working for as a project manager to become familiar with the type of work environment you will be working in.
When you are familiar with the employer you are thinking of working for, you will also know what type of responsibilities to expect if you are chosen for the position. When you are familiar with the daily responsibilities and roles of a project manager, you can determine if the job is right for you. If you enjoy the prospect of managing team members and overseeing a project from start to finish, working as a project manager may be an ideal position for you.