In a nutshell, project work is work that you accept and complete under certain deadlines and to a certain standard. A project can be a piece of marketing, communications, social media or sales work that you agree to take on and complete in a specified time-frame and to a certain quality.
Often, you will be assigned a project and presented with numerous tasks to complete in the shortest possible time. You will not be given much room for error and will be held accountable for the work that you do. You are in control of the tasks and the timeline for the project, but you don’t always have complete control over the resources that you need to do the work. In other words, you are being outsourced to complete the project but you don’t want to entirely outsource your professional work. This is where project workmanship steps in.
The Difference Between Project Work and Projektarbeit
So, what is the difference between project work and projektarbeit?
The key difference is that project work is generally short-term and straightforward. You will be given an assignment and then you need to hand in your work. You don’t have all the bells and whistles attached to it. You have a clear scope of what you are supposed to do and you can assess whether you have what it takes to do it well. This is contrasted with freelancing, where you get to define the scope of work and select your own tools and resources to do the work.
In project work, your deliverables will be checked by your employer or client. With projects, you are responsible for checking and verifying the results of your work. This is quite the opposite of being “outsource-able”. In fact, in many ways, project work is the antithesis of being “outsource-able”. If you are, for example, a graphic designer and you are given the task of creating a marketing campaign, you will not be given the freedom to choose the tools that you need. Instead, you have to use pre-existing templates and follow established formats. In other words, you are not truly “in control” of the creative process like you are in a freelance scenario. This is where project management comes in.
How to Become More In Control With Project Work
If you are going to do project work, it’s essential that you understand how to make the most of it. This involves a number of things, such as
- Getting to know your employer or client
- Defining and refining the scope of work
- Handling time-sensitive tasks
- Getting things done to the best of your ability
- Being accountable for the work that you do
- Evaluating the work that you do
- Adjusting and improving your work flow
- Having a clear scope of responsibilities
- Getting the right people involved
- Being efficient with your time
- Encouraging staff to get involved
- Taking regular breaks
- Getting the best quality work done on time
- Handling multiple projects at once
- And much more…
Making the Most of Project Work
So, once you are doing project work and you have signed on the dotted line, what do you need to do to make the most of it?
Well, you need to become more professional in your dealings with your employer or client. This means that you have to
- Put in the extra hours (or the best hours that you can) to get the work done
- Use your resources efficiently
- Be selective with the work that you take on
- Understand the objectives and the priorities of your employer or client
- Communicate effectively
- Set a good example for the other members of the team
- Be accountable for the work that you do
The Pros And Cons Of Doing Project Work
There are a number of pros and cons to doing project work, so it’s important to understand what you are getting into before you start. Here are the top cons:
Lack Of Stability
One major con of doing project work is that, generally speaking, it is not a stable form of employment. As a general rule, project work is something that you are either going to take on or you are going to turn down. If you are going to turn down a project, you will probably end up with a few more options than if you had said “yes” in the first place. This can be frustrating if you are looking for a permanent position.
No Career Development
A second major con of doing project work is that there is little room for career development. If you are, for example, looking to break into the graphic design industry, you will probably find that most of the available work is going to be project-based. Once you have completed your project, you will not be offered any further assignments. You will simply be expected to do another project. This can be disheartening for anyone who is looking to forge a career in the field.
Another major con of doing project work is that there are fewer rewards and recognition for the work that you do. Generally speaking, project work is going to be compensated at a lower rate than your normal earnings. Furthermore, your employer is not going to give you any additional benefits, like paying for your training or providing you with an office space. These are all part of the package if you take on project work.
A third major con of doing project work is that the experience itself is limited. Generally speaking, a lot of the work that you do is going to be based on your existing skills and your familiarity with the subject matter. Even if you are a expert in your field, you will not be able to bring your whole array of skills to bear on a project. This can make you overqualified for the task and, in the eyes of your employer, as good as somebody with less experience. This is going to put you at a severe disadvantage when it comes to negotiating for a higher salary or getting a raise.
A fourth major con of doing project work is that it is going to cause you more stress. Generally speaking, project work is going to be hectic and demanding. You will not be given much time to relax and you will have to deal with frequent interruptions. The scope of the work is also going to be daunting and you are going to have to deal with all kind of issues that arise (more on this later). If, for example, you are working on a web design project and you run into trouble, you will not have access to the kind of support that you need. Generally speaking, the more complex the project, the more support and resources that you are going to need. It is also going to add to the stress. Imagine dealing with client issues and not having the time to focus on your work…not a good combination for work-life balance.
The Pros Of Doing Projektarbeit
Now, let’s look at the major pros of doing projektarbeit:
More Freedom And Control
One major pro of doing projektarbeit is that you have a lot more freedom and control over the work that you do and how you do it. Typically, you will have complete control over the tools and the manner in which you process the work. For instance, if you are doing web design work and you decide that you want to use a template rather than create something from scratch, you can do so. You will not have to ask your employer’s permission and you will not have to justify your decision. More importantly, you have the ability to change gears and switch between projects with ease. If you have completed one project and are now faced with a choice between taking on another project or returning to your previous assignment, you can opt for the latter. This is not always the case with project work. There is often some level of supervision and micromanagement from your employer or client.