A friend of mine recently purchased a large Victorian home in a small town. His intent was to turn this lovely icon into his workplace, i.e., law offices. One afternoon I joined him and his wife for lunch where they began to share with me what has be a lifelong dream of owning their own office space and expanding their practice with their son. .
Talk quickly turned to the building and keeping the flavor of the Victorian home while creating an inviting non-sterile office space. Doing what all good teachers do, I asked questions, posed problems, and showed interest in what seemed to be an insurmountable task.
Before the entrée was complete, we were talking about architecture, colors, and the reasons for staying true to Historical Society’s requirements. By the time the check came, I found myself saying yes to a project that would consume my thoughts, dreams, and time for the next nine months.
Contractors, electricians, painters and such were asking me to make decisions. Budget and ADA requirement codes were being assessed. Soon, I began to wonder, how did this happen to someone that offered to choose paint colors and how can an elementary art teacher become a project manager?
Now, as I sit back and take in the fruits of my labor, I have to ask myself in what ways these two jobs strangely similar.
10 ways that being a project manager is like being a teacher:
1. Have patience.
2. Bring together a group of people to complete the task.
3. Follow a schedule and keep a deadline.
4. Organize supplies within a budget.
5. Submit plans for approval.
6. Make decisions on the spot.
7. Communicate with superiors on a regular basis.
8. Be flexible and make changes when necessary.
9. Work and manage many different personalities.
10. Enjoy yourself!