Hey, internet. It’s been a few months. The MBA program I’m in is keeping me extremely busy, plus I still work full-time at the day job. However, I have been doing some thinking about, well, everything. Basically, I’m starting to realize I actually have some professional skills. Maybe it’s the MBA talking, but perhaps it’s time to start trying to figure out ways to use more of them? I have this blog here that I use for blogging about random projects – well here’s my next random project: planning and starting a freelance business using my project coordinator skills so I can make some extra money and get more relevant experience in the professional world.
What project coordinator skills do I have?
I didn’t really start out thinking I had “project coordinator skills”. But, throughout my professional career, I have mostly used them. I just called them coordinator skills. I know that I’m still learning a lot of about business. I’m only halfway through my MBA program, but I am catching onto some things pretty fast because of my experience in my current job and previous jobs.
Skills I’m currently using that I’m pretty confident in:
- Scheduling and daily planning skills
- Organizational skills
- Communication skills
- Task delegation skills
Or, you could say these are office coordinating skills.
Now, no one really “freelances” office coordinator skills like these. But, if we’re imagining that I’m doing this kind of stuff on a freelance basis, it makes more sense to call them “project coordinator” skills.
Either way, I can totally coordinate the crap out of some stuff. I can send emails to directors and executives all day long. I can schedule your stuff on your Outlook calendar, my stuff on my Outlook calendar, their stuff on that Outlook calendar, and even make sure it all goes onto another Outlook calendar, because we all just love Outlook calendars. That’s all fairly easy, not too complicated, totally doable day-to-day. I can call people and get gears turning and make sure people know when and where and why and how.
Sometimes I also organize information to make it useful, sometimes a lot of information at once. Actually, sometimes, way too much.
I do also, on occasion, need to delegate tasks to others. It’s not as easy as some of the other stuff, but once you get into the swing of it, you know. Not too scary. So, I’m looking at all of my project coordinator skills, or the stuff that I do for money, and I’m realizing that I could easily start doing some simple project coordinator work. I think sometimes people advertise it as virtual assistant work,, too.
That’s right. I could totally start my own virtual assistant business if I really wanted to.
And, you know, I hear it’s pretty nice. People that do it seem to like it. I’d even be pretty good at it. I could throw in some more “services”, like travel planning, inventory ordering, client correspondence, or pretty much anything anyone needs me to do in order to maximize their own productivity.
But, why stop at virtual assistant stuff? What if I start to feel bored after doing it for a few years?
So, I’m looking at my list of “skills”, and my “virtual assistant” job title, and I start playing around with the title a bit. Virtual coordinator. Project planner. Project coordinator.
Okay, the truth is, I’m not 100% sure if project coordinator skills and virtual assistant skills are completely the same, but there is definitely a ton of overlap.
I start a lot of projects with my project coordinator skills. I should use them.
I start projects sometimes. Sometimes I do them and they work out, and then I move onto the next project. Other times, they don’t work out, so I move onto the next project. This “let’s start a freelance virtual assistant business” project that I’m talking about right now is a current project.
How could my interest, or experience, or um, “love” of starting projects be useful to people? What other skills should I work on developing? Project implementation? Project planning? Or maybe um, project handling? Maybe some supervisor skills, or some management skills, perhaps? I could manage projects. Oh! Managing projects. Project management!
Project management is already a thing and people make money doing it.
Now, I’m not saying that I have a lot of project management skills or experience, but I definitely have SOME. And there is definitely some overlap between project coordinator skills and project management. I may not have seen any professional projects from conception to close, but I’ve definitely at least seen and worked on some projects in their various stages. I don’t have any project management certifications, but I’m in an MBA program, and getting a project management certification definitely seems like something an MBA candidate might do one day. You know, eventually. I will definitely need to work on some new skills though.
Like I said, I already do some task delegation at work, and use my communication skills that go along with that. But, I could definitely use some more experience with managing others.
Other skills I guess I need to work on as I gain project management experience:
- Project planning
- Market research
- Performance monitoring
- Team building
- Cost control
- (I’ll probably add more to this list over time because I was supposed to be working on a paper tonight but I’m writing this blog post instead and I haven’t really thought it through.)
So, I think maybe I’ll look for some virtual assistant and project management work.
You know, freelance style. Maybe with my Facebook page? Eric Shay Howard, project manager and creative coordinator. What about Eric Shay Howard, project coordinator and creative consultant? Eric Shay Howard, creative project manager. Okay, the only reason I keep putting the word “creative” in there is because I spent $60,000 on an undergrad English degree. I guess I need to get over that.
The point is, now I have something of a plan. A way to build up my own clients. An “expertise”, if you will. I can take on a few virtual assistant jobs and even try some project management work if there’s a project I can handle with my current skillset.
Over the next few months, I’ll do some planning, try some virtual assistant stuff, and see what happens. Of course, I’ll try to blog about some of the interesting stuff.
Eric Shay Howard, Project Manager.