If you have worked in IT for a decade or more, it is well worth applying for project management jobs. Doing so will considerably improve how much you are paid. Many project management roles are permanent positions rather than short-term freelance roles. If you work for a good firm this means that you can build up a good pension and will get a great package of other benefits.
In addition, you will find the work extremely interesting. Rather than dropping in and out of a company you will be able to stay with the firm and watch it develop. Many IT professionals are not around to see the fruits of their labour transform the firms they have installed new systems for, so miss out on a lot of job satisfaction.
Plan to be a Project Manager Early on
However, the position of project manager is an extremely important one, so it is not easy to land this kind of job. There will be a lot of applicants, and you really need to stand head and shoulders above the other candidates to secure such a role.
The biggest thing firms look for when recruiting an IT project manager is relevant experience. Large gaps on your CV without work do not look good. If you want to be an IT project manager, you should plan to do so from an early stage in your career.
Try to specialise in a specific industry. If you have spent a decade, working on medical research projects when a lucrative project manager job becomes available in the field you will stand out as the top candidate. Your years of working in the medical field will mean that you have a depth of experience others do not have.
As a project manager, you will be the main link between the people who will be using the new technology and systems and those developing and implementing them. The more you have worked in the field the deeper your understanding of both groups will be and the more effective a linchpin you will be.
If possible, build up experience of leading a team early on in your career. Within most projects, there will be chances to lead at a supervisory level, take advantage of those opportunities. If your team manager offers you the chance to take the lead on the snagging team take on that role. The experience of working with others in a supervisory capacity will look good on your CV and will definitely help you when you want to apply for managerial roles.
Keep Looking for Management Opportunities
There are not that many IT project management jobs out there, so you need to keep an eye on the market. Doing so will mean that you will not miss any opportunity. The best way to find these roles is to go online, find the specialist IT job boards and sign up for their e-mail notifications. If you can, add your CV to their database, that way firms who are looking for project managers can approach you directly with job offers should they wish to do so.