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Breaking through to the next level as a senior PM - where are the jobs?

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  • Feb 7th, 2022 6:35 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Jun 18, 2019
10 posts
1 upvote

Breaking through to the next level as a senior PM - where are the jobs?

Looking for some advice on breaking through beyond the lower 6-figure (i.e. $100k) salary range as a senior project manager, into the $120k+ range and am looking for some advice.

I've been steadily climbing my way up over the years and have over 10yrs of experience in the PM world, mainly coordinating of IT services. Currently manage a small team of BAs, coordinators, working with vendors, etc. to implement systems. I work for the government (I'm in Downtown Vancouver fyi) and consider it a stable job.

However, as of late I'm finding it difficult to break into the next level (i.e. director/ED) simply because there are so few at this level in my space (openings rarely ever come up), and the way the government is structured in general.

At this point I'm willing to expand my search.

For those of you who have broken into the $+120K salary range in the project management space (ideally in the systems implementations field), where would you advise for me to look?

What position (titles)/keywords should i be searching for?

I've scoured the large companies in the area (i.e. other government areas like Health, Transport, etc., universities, etc.) and all over Indeed and workopolis, but can't seem to find related positions in that range.

Are there remote US job sites that would perhaps be better (I hear a the market in the US is crazy hot right now, but can't seem to find anything)?

TY!
12 replies
Deal Addict
Jan 1, 2017
1742 posts
1708 upvotes
Get our of government and go into the private sector. You should be easily able to make $120k without being a director level as long as you have good experience. Also look into working as a contractor you will make money this way.
[OP]
Newbie
Jun 18, 2019
10 posts
1 upvote
ProductGuy wrote: Get our of government and go into the private sector. You should be easily able to make $120k without being a director level as long as you have good experience.
-Thank you- any suggestions on where to look for these private sector jobs (for Canadian and remote US jobs), and some related job titles I should be searching for to broaden my search (instead of the generic senior project manager title)?
ProductGuy wrote: Also look into working as a contractor you will make money this way.
-I know contract work isn't always stable (i.e. contract per project), and form what I understand you would always be fighting for contracts... how is the current climate for project management contract/consulting work and what are your thoughts on the general risk for getting out of a permanent f/t job and into contracting?
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 10, 2005
10690 posts
4057 upvotes
contract, especially if young and can afford a bit of risk - plus - the extra pay off sets some of that risk anyway. If you're good definitely contract, IMO PM's are always in demand, good ones that much more. and yea private sector is also an option. Get into Agile if not already
"If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid." - Epictetus
Deal Guru
Oct 7, 2010
12136 posts
3348 upvotes
Go into consulting. Can make way more money.
[OP]
Newbie
Jun 18, 2019
10 posts
1 upvote
spike1128 wrote: Go into consulting. Can make way more money.
Which route do you suggest?
-apply for a job at a consulting firm (i.e. KPMG, EY, PWC, etc.)?
-bid on government contracts on my own via online government portal (i.e. essentially start my own small business)?
-join a recruiting company that specializes in consulting contracts (essentially giving them a cut of my pay if they find me a job)?
Deal Fanatic
Jul 4, 2004
8986 posts
1932 upvotes
Join a recruiting company would be my choice. Bidding on Govt contracts and "door to door" sales yourself without any contacts takes too long. Yes, the recruiting company will be getting their cut but at least this will get you in the door and eventually when you've built up your own contacts, you co go directly yourself.
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Member
Oct 27, 2013
328 posts
89 upvotes
MISSISSAUGA
I know some here say for you to go into private or consult, but take your entire compensation package into consideration. Government usually means defined benefits, good benefits, vacation.

Not saying you shouldn’t, just make sure to consider everything.
Deal Fanatic
Dec 20, 2018
6358 posts
5413 upvotes
RolandML64708 wrote: Looking for some advice on breaking through beyond the lower 6-figure (i.e. $100k) salary range as a senior project manager, into the $120k+ range and am looking for some advice.

I've been steadily climbing my way up over the years and have over 10yrs of experience in the PM world, mainly coordinating of IT services. Currently manage a small team of BAs, coordinators, working with vendors, etc. to implement systems. I work for the government (I'm in Downtown Vancouver fyi) and consider it a stable job.

However, as of late I'm finding it difficult to break into the next level (i.e. director/ED) simply because there are so few at this level in my space (openings rarely ever come up), and the way the government is structured in general.

At this point I'm willing to expand my search.

For those of you who have broken into the $+120K salary range in the project management space (ideally in the systems implementations field), where would you advise for me to look?

What position (titles)/keywords should i be searching for?

I've scoured the large companies in the area (i.e. other government areas like Health, Transport, etc., universities, etc.) and all over Indeed and workopolis, but can't seem to find related positions in that range.

Are there remote US job sites that would perhaps be better (I hear a the market in the US is crazy hot right now, but can't seem to find anything)?

TY!
if you want higher pay, go into private. you have the experience to go into consulting but as a PM, how's your linkedin? you should be getting approached quite frequently by recruiters already
Deal Fanatic
Dec 20, 2018
6358 posts
5413 upvotes
RolandML64708 wrote: Which route do you suggest?
-apply for a job at a consulting firm (i.e. KPMG, EY, PWC, etc.)?
-bid on government contracts on my own via online government portal (i.e. essentially start my own small business)?
-join a recruiting company that specializes in consulting contracts (essentially giving them a cut of my pay if they find me a job)?
you're not going to get any contracts/rfp as a single person company with gov't or any large organization.

do you have a big enough network to have people you've worked with in the past to hire you? typically a lot of people/PMs get poached by vendors and etc.
Member
Sep 11, 2017
469 posts
298 upvotes
ProductGuy wrote: Get our of government and go into the private sector. You should be easily able to make $120k without being a director level as long as you have good experience. Also look into working as a contractor you will make money this way.
What type of $ rates could a senior contract pm get right now?
Deal Addict
Aug 26, 2004
2437 posts
341 upvotes
Toronto
Abacus1010 wrote: I know some here say for you to go into private or consult, but take your entire compensation package into consideration. Government usually means defined benefits, good benefits, vacation.

Not saying you shouldn’t, just make sure to consider everything.
Pension for public service is competitive. Not so sure with consulting.
Member
User avatar
Jul 24, 2014
337 posts
127 upvotes
Toronto, ON
Generally speaking PM is more on a coordinating role than technical and what you are getting paid is pretty decent

In the technical world , mostly technical professionals get a bit more leeway but not necessarily more pay.

PMing in the public sector is very different from private and the latter is generally more stressful

Just think carefully, I am not a PM but I worked a lot with them and frankly it’s not an easy job however easily replaceable. At where you are now, you get to know a lot people already and that is very valuable itself, there is no such similar asset you can have outside
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