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Project Gratitude: Thanksgiving 2013

With all the stress and issues we encounter on the job, it can be easy to forget why we got into project management in the first place. With Canadian Thanksgiving right around the corner, now is the perfect time for us to reflect on why we tolerate the long hours, frustrating bugs, and constant cat-herding that is project management.

I don′t want to put words in your mouth (it′s probably stuffed with turkey), so I′m going to speak strictly for myself. But feel free to not along if you agree.

I work on challenging projects

I′ve done menial entry level jobs where there was no more at stake than stapling the right number of pages together. It was easy, had no pressure, and was totally, utterly boring.

Yes, project management can sometimes make me so worked up I want to tear out my own hair, or so confused I don′t know left from right, but when I think about it I′d rather be intellectually stimulated in a high-stakes job than watch my career drag on doing tedious tasks. Facing down challenges and solving problems is interesting, and I love being able to fix problems and bring a project to a successful conclusion.

I get to work with great people

I′ve worked with people who were lazy, confrontational, self-absorbed, and irresponsible (sometimes all at once). But more often than not, the people I work with are brilliant, sociable, and utterly generous with their time and effort–especially during crunch time. In fact, some of the friendships I′ve made on the job have lasted me far, far longer than the ones in my personal life.

Project management isn′t a job for the faint of heart, and it takes a certain kind of drive and mindset to be able to prosper. Maybe that′s what binds so many of us like-minded professionals together, even after we′ve moved on to other roles.

I′m constantly growing

In project management, you have to learn and grow to succeed, otherwise you stagnate and become irrelevant.

Every challenge gives me valuable lessons, whether I overcome them or not. Every person I meet teaches me something new. Project management has given me so many chances to improve myself and learn new skills and experiences, even when I′m idle.

Project management has allowed me to grow as both a person and as a professional. Most importantly, it′s taught me how to look for opportunities to develop, so that even after I leave the PMO, I can still apply the same lessons to other situations.

And for that, I am thankful.

What about you? What about project management are you thankful for?


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