Project Management Job Postings – What they Really Mean


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With the economy still struggling and companies slow to hire, we are still seeing resumes of good project managers looking for work.

Having been in the project management web-based SaaS software field for 20 years this seems like the longest time we have been through these challenging for PMs.

Well since we have no control over the Federal Reserve the one thing I can offer is a way to decipher the job postings they find so they know the “truth in advertising” behind some of these companies.

NOTE: I literally lifted these off of the bathroom wall were many people post funny quotes and stories and am unable to attribute the original author.  Whomever you are – thank you for your wisdom and the humor!  Hope you like the project management liberties I took with your jokes!

Project Management Job listings translator

Job posting says: What they really mean is:
Competitive Salary We remain competitive by paying project managers less than our more successful competitors.
Join our fast-paced company We have no time to train you or send you to PM conferences. Please introduce yourself to your project team members and co-workers as well.
Immediate opening The project manager who used to have this project gave notice and left the company a month ago with no information on what they did or how they did it. We’re just now running the ad.
Self-motivated Project sponsors won’t answer questions or provide requirements.
We offer great benefits We’ll allow you to fund your own 401(k) if you survive the 3 year project that got the last PM fired.
Seeking enthusiastic, fun, hard working, people Looking for young project managers with no training, certification, or experience who won’t mind our internship-level salaries.
Casual work atmosphere We don’t pay enough to expect that you’ll dress up.
Dynamic environment Your project team will be yanked from your project every 3 months or 3 weeks before a major deliverable (whichever happens first)
Fun work environment Your project team members will be insulted if you don’t go out and buy them drinks 3 nights a week.
A drug-free work environment. We booze it up at company holiday parties and base bonuses on ability to hold one’s liquor.
Must be deadline oriented Your project will be four months behind schedule on your first day.
Some overtime required Some overtime each night and some overtime each weekend will be required.
Requires team leadership skills You’ll have the responsibilities of your boss without the pay or respect.
Good communication skills. Management communicates what they want from your projects in vague terms that are impossible to decipher, you listen, figure out what they want and do it under budget and ahead of schedule.

So now that you know how to decode a project management job posting so happy hunting and best of luck to all those looking for a new employer.

I hope this brings a smile to a few of you out there struggling during these uncertain times.  Let me know if any of you have any “extras”.  I would love to post your examples too!

Virtually yours,

Nick Matteucci, MBA
WorkOtter