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Our Project Managers Tell us How it is

4th Dec 2013

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It’s no secret that the Australian IT market slowed down in the lead up to Australia’s (extremely drawn out) Federal Election,  however  we’re now more interested in finding out just how the market has been feeling in the months that followed.

To get some ‘real’ insights, I decided to ask our Project Managers about what they’re experiencing and their thoughts on the present and the future expectations of the Sydney market.

Remuneration vs. Happiness

There will always be an interesting mix of Project Managers (PMs) in contract roles as compared to those permanently employed. While it is hard to compare the salaries of the two groups, it is important to acknowledge how they are feeling about their situation, and our survey noted that of those surveyed only 37% were happy with their current remuneration package. The feedback highlighted a large discrepancy in permanent salaries, and on the contractual side due to vast numbers of available contractors who are willing to secure a role at a lower daily rate to their peers.

Competition is becoming increasingly fierce and being driven by those in the roles and also companies looking for highly skilled Project Managers at a lower cost.

Is that ‘Dream’ Role Really out There?

Yes! …Well many PMs believe so and 91.4% of those surveyed would be happy to hear about the ‘right’ role. 

While those surveyed were largely happy in their roles, generally they will always be interested in learning about new opportunities. These are the opportunities where they can learn, earn more or be involved in exciting projects in an environment where they are valued and developed.

In my experience working with this community of professionals, PMs are continuously looking to better themselves and 77.1% have completed extra training and courses while working full time and only 54.3% find value in joining professional associations. The majority put more value on networking within the PM community and building relationships. Working with a large number of professionals in this community, I have found that the contract market in Sydney is very much driven by forging relationships with previous colleagues, employers and maintaining a good rep in the market so as to be kept front of mind.

Diversify your Industry Experience

Over the past few years Financial Institutions have been undergoing large transformations and have relied heavily on contracted, skilled, Project Managers, while PMs in the public sector have experienced financial  cuts to sectors such as defence, as funding is being redirected into new areas such as e-health.

Yet no matter where a PM works, whether it be Sydney or Melbourne, job prospects are getting more competitive, however the ACT has seen a real shortage of candidates in the majority of technical positions. Does this mean the only hope for work is to take up a role in Canberra? Perhaps. Or this could be a good time to diversify your Project Management experience. There are more SMEs establishing themselves as they begin to recover from the GFC and buzz words in the market seem to be E-commerce, Enterprise Transformation, Digital and Payments, however the larger players are still certainly within Financial Services.

No matter the situation, the market or the economy, what is certain is that if you are enthusiastic, capable and knowledgeable within your area of expertise then there will always be a role out there for you.

In summary and in my experience, I can say that PMs will always be in demand, are happy to hear about different opportunities and are starting to diversify in experience due to the competitive nature of the market. What do you think? I’d love to hear!