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Project Manager
Project Manager

Joy Lee

Being a project manager and a mother: A 2-in-1 role

The line is truly blurred sometimes; we inadvertently let our personal lives enter our workplace, despite trying to keep them separate. But in the world of advertising, this can sometimes be a good thing, esp. in the area of project management. And as a mother, this becomes even more so.

With the increase in daily expenses, gone are the days when women are required to stay home solely to mind the house and children. Women now have to juggle running a household as well as being productive at work.

So how does translate to being a project manager while being a mother? Can we simultaneously check both boxes as we strive to balance our “mother hat” at home and the workplace to ensure as smooth a flow of things as possible? I firmly believe that we are more than capable.

Project managers, like mothers, see the small and big picture

Timing is everything when it comes to kids. Be it school, meals, homework and the like, we need to be on top of things. And we all know, children aren’t exactly the best in doing what’s needed of them.

As a mother, we have to look at every detail, thinking on our toes what can, should, or must happen next. Keeping track of everyone’s schedule and ensuring no one falls behind becomes 2nd nature, and this translate into being a bonus as a project manager. Managing workflow, reminding people of deadlines and sometimes even taking on financial matters, we embrace our mother persona by keeping the necessary tabs.

Project managers and mothers can both tell stories

Bedtime can be a nightmare; the kids don’t want to sleep. So what do we mothers do? Tell them a story! We excel at that, plucking things we’ve seen throughout the day, fairytales from memory, or just purely inventing. The sky’s the limit. Take it from me, my kids would sometimes want me to make use of totally conflicting characters and weave a tale out of them.

Taking this into the workplace, we use our keen sense of storytelling to visualise the necessary details required for a project, contextualising it, aid in building the content to ultimately deliver the final product. We’ve taken what come naturally at home to effectively manage situations, come what may.

Project managers and mothers are avid consumers

We need to know what’s out there. The best schools, the latest games, the in-thing for the generation. You can almost safely say that all mothers are constantly consuming content. This is to ensure that we give our kids the best, and to do so, we’re literally living the consumer journey. And that helps us in our line of work as we are familiar with what’s out there.

We understand the importance of trusting a brand, the power of brand loyalty and the importance a brand has to us. In lets us efficiently oversee the project, as diverse as they can be.

I am Mother, hear me roar

Author Diane Mariechild once said, “A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.”. In my experience, this has never been truer once I became a mother during my career in advertising, managing the various projects given to me.

As a mother, I make use of every avenue, every possibility, for the betterment of my kids. And this takes over when I’m at work. I manage the production line, provide inputs based on what I see, and share what I feel based on my understanding of what’s out in the market. In all aspects, I am creating, nurturing and transforming the given situation when I am needed to.

This is ultimately why I feel that there’s no full separation–my skills are useful both at work and at home.