What Exactly Does a Project Manager Do?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

This is the third installment in the career series that answers the question "What exactly do you do?" Instead of tossing around vague industry titles, we're diving into the day-to-day activities of a few talented ladies in different industries and getting the nitty gritty on what exactly it is they do all day. Today I'm happy to welcome Kim from the blog Wholesome Nest.

I discovered Kim's blog after we left Richmond which is sad because I could've used a Whole30 buddy while we were there! I love checking out her blog for a Richmond fix every now and then, although it usually just leaves me craving Stella's and a walk through the Fan.

Am I the only person who panicked a little bit when they were in their 20's and at a miserable job they hated? Until last spring, a majority of my time after college was spent working at a newspaper doing a job that I walked away unhappy from every day. Then, late one night at 3am, I decided to re-submit my resume to a place I had applied to after college but was quickly rejected. Why not try again? Apparently a couple of extra years of experience were a huge help and within a month, I was walking away from corporate life to start a job that I would quickly grow to love.

I'm a project manager at a (pretty cool) technology company headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. If you're from Richmond, you may have heard of this unnamed place that is fully equipped with an in-office slide, ping-pong table, beer on tap and absolutely no dress code. At the highest level, we are a website that posts hourly jobs, and my job is closely related to this. As a project manager, I'm on a small team (of hilarious people) that is responsible for setting up all new accounts after the sales process has ended and the contracts have been signed.

If I had to simplify what my day-to-day life is actually like, it could be summed up to be hand holding and organizing other people's things. At any given time, I'm managing roughly 35 to 40 accounts and spend my days talking to both internal and external customers to ensure that these accounts are set up properly and by deadline. It's a highly customer service oriented role and I would say everyone that I work with plays a very specific and important role in delivering our mission of "putting people in right fit positions."

There are some days that I spend a majority of the day strictly dedicated to my Gmail account, sending emails back and forth to make sure we have all the information we need to get an account created. With customers all over the country and states have varying employment laws, attention to detail is an important part of my role. After building an account on the backend systems, I'm also responsible for the QA before everything goes live on our site. With this comes a lot of pressure from all different directions, but there is no better time to communicate with customers than when they are new and excited to get started. For the most part, everyone is so friendly and appreciative, which makes my job feel rewarding at the end of the day.

A lot of my friends probably think that I don't work because what they see are the pictures of the slide, or the (occasional) beer on my desk at 4:00, or a Snapchat of one of the VPs dressed up as Hercules for our product release party. But while we like to have fun, we have a "work hard, play hard" mentality and I can't stress enough how much it takes to earn that afternoon beer or how necessary it is for my mental health to be able to leave work at 12pm for a team outing to a cooking class (okay this has only happened once but it was pretty cool.) There are long hours that we put in behind the scenes to be able to do the fun things that we do, and after over 6 years of living in a corporate nightmare, I can say that I've finally found my perfect fit. It's just the icing on the cake to be in a position where my job is to help other people find jobs and while it might not be the creative job I dreamed of as a kid, it's definitely the job that I love going to every day.

Connect with Kim:

You can read other posts in the series here:
Operations SupervisorOnline Shop OwnerWriter | Marketing Manager | Jewelry Stylist


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