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PROJECT MANAGEMENT JOB SEARCH TIPS FOR QUEBEC
|1. A Career in Project Management in Quebec||2. Integration to the Work Market in Quebec||3. Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resumé||4. Presentation letters (Cover letters)||5. Job Offer||6. Business Directory|
1. A CAREER IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT IN QUEBEC
Hint: You can always consult the job offers published by PMI-Montreal.
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Project management is applied in many business sectors and industries in Quebec. It offers excellent career opportunities for a professional with experience or training in this field.
There are numerous positions and job titles related to the field of project management. These will differ depending on the level of responsibility attributed to the position within the project and the scale or importance of a project. The specific title may also depend on the organizational career path within a company. For example, we can find:
- Project Controller (or PCO - «project control officer»): responsible for planning, updating and controlling projects. Reports on the project status. Often seen as the co-driver of a project.
- Project leader or junior manager: leads a project (within cost, time, quality and specifications). Often under the responsibility of a project coordinator.
- Project Coordinator: responsible for the management of small projects. Often assists a project director.
- Project Manager: responsible for the overall advancement and success of a project from start to closure.
- Project Director: leads large-scale projects as opposed to a project leader/coordinator. He/she pilots the project, anticipates impacts, leads changes, arbitrates decisions and ensures communication.
Note: nowadays we often see the concept of project portfolio at the corporate level. The mandated person is responsible for managing a set of selected projects, often in line with the strategic plan of the company.
The more you advance in your career in project management, the more your interpersonal skills will be sought. So, keep this in mind when you will seek courses to improve your skills or for when seeking new positions.
A PERMANENT POSITION OR CONSULTING?
A fairly common practice in Quebec is to have project management professionals working as permanent employees for an agency or a project management consulting firm. The latter seeks mandates for you. In Quebec, there are numerous firms that work in this way, for example R3D and Sirius, among others.
A career as a permanent employee allows you to develop a long-term relationship within an organization, if it is what you are looking for. You will be part of the core group of employees of the organization and will benefit from corporate advantages. You will become familiar with performance evaluations, salary increases, promotions, establishment of career goals, etc.
A career in consulting is often the case when working in IT. In this context, you can function in a more independent manner. Mandates often last from 6 to 18 months and you will not be part of the core employees of an organization and will not receive any corporate benefits or advantages. You may eventually start your own company so as to bill clients and deduct expenses incurred for your projects. Hourly rates are generally higher than those of permanent positions because you will have to absorb the cost of your own insurance, your vacation time and down time between mandates. You may require advice from accounting and tax law specialists (depending to your knowledge).
The attributes sought for professionals looking for a permanent position are different from those requested or expected from consultants. The CV of a professional looking for a permanent position often shows his/her interest in process improvement and promotions while the CV of a consultant will focus on the applicant’s variety of professional experience in different organizations.
THE PARTICULAR ROLE OF PROJECT CONTROLLER (PCO) IN QUEBEC
For a project management professional who arrives in Quebec as an immigrant, the role of PCO can be an excellent gateway into the field of project management. Even if you have had the role of project manager in previous positions, or have even been a director, it might be easier to get into the business area of managing projects through a PCO position. Listed below are some of the main reasons:
The position of PCO does not require you to make decisions critical to the project. For someone who had just arrived in Quebec, not knowing enough about local practices and Quebec culture can potentially lead to bad decisions, resulting in being discredited as a professional. The PCO can observe, analyze and learn a lot while giving support to project managers.
It requires good communication, especially in writing. Yet for newcomers, this position provides a good opportunity to learn the jargon and customs of locally used communication.
It gives you a good visibility and can open doors for you within the organization: a good PCO will have his work acknowledged.
Finally, the position of PCO allows you to refine your technical knowledge with software commonly used in Quebec, in particular MS Project