Project managers bring immense value to organizations. With the new year comes new job opportunities. Project Management Professionals (PMPs) who want to advance within their company or seek new job opportunities will stand out amongst the competition with expertise in the four skills below.

SEE: Telephone interview cheat sheet: Project manager (Tech Pro Research)

1. Culture and organizational behavior

Project Management (PM) spans all industries across the globe and reaches all demographics. This can complicate things in terms of cultural shifts and business practices. However, PMPs who participate in additional training relating to culture and organizational behavior will enhance any project team and stakeholder performance.

While this may not seem like a strictly PM skill, consider that project performance is heavily influenced by the activities and drivers of the people involved.

Companies are more likely to achieve project, program, and portfolio success when culture and organizational behavior are factored into all initiatives and goals. This is not to say that happy people automatically translate into high-performing teams, but it certainly impacts productivity, buy-in, and ultimately, goal attainment.

A PM who understands and has skills in culture and organizational behavior brings immense value to organizations and can help achieve goals with greater internal harmony, less conflict, and higher degrees of productivity and innovation.

SEE: Project manager resume template: A framework for highlighting your skills and achievements (Tech Pro Research)

2. Mentoring and motivation

In line with culture and organizational behavior, PMs who hold a solid grasp on how to mentor and both motivate teams and stakeholders provides companies with additional peace of mind. When team members are effectively mentored and motivated, they are likely to take on more responsibility.

Further, a PMP who recognizes that teams are stronger, smarter, and more capable of better results when each member is motivated becomes far more interesting to a potential employer than a potential job candidate who does not. Employers and recruiters tend to favor PMs who recognize that they are only as strong as their team and the contributions and skill sets of each member, and who further understand their role as a leader and mentor.

3. Business skills

Approximately 56% of companies with a Project Management Office (PMO) are still executing projects with a tactical or operational focus or mindset, whereas 60% of companies with an enterprise-wide PMO execute projects in alignment with business goals. Enterprise-wide PMOs are able to achieve:

  • The standardization of processes
  • Improved capacity planning and resource allocation
  • Improved benefits focus
  • Development of core competencies
  • Successfully establishing and monitor KPIs/Metrics
  • Successfully transitioning completed projects to the business

Directly aligning each and every project to program, portfolio, and overall business strategic goals is an essential skill. As such, it will remain a skill that employers, not only want but need, in their 2019 PM hires.

SEE: Quick glossary: Project management (Tech Pro Research)

4. Agile and hybrid methodologies

Agile project management continues to be the most sought-after technical skill by companies across all sectors around the world. As businesses struggle with the tough competitive landscape, and as customers continue to demand better quality deliverables faster, PMs need to be skilled and equipped with knowledge of Agile and hybrid methodologies to flex and shift when necessary.

Agile will remain in high-demand in 2019 and into the future, but PMs who recognize the benefits of a hybrid approach and adopt multiple approaches when applicable will be in higher demand.

While the skills listed above are not the only skills employers are seeking in 2019, they are skills employers will notice. Knowledge of culture and organizational behavior, business strategy, Agile or hybrid methodologies, and the ability to mentor, not only will let you stand out amongst other job applicants, but it improves your chances of being hired.

Also see: