I passed the exam for the PMI’s Project Management Professional certificate today. I studied for the past three weeks, at least an hour every day (though on many days much more) and it paid off. Nevertheless, the test wasn’t exactly easy and despite being quite confident that I’m well prepared I had some moments during the exam when I thought I won’t make it. Those seconds after clicking “Exam End”, when the Prometric’s software displayed some progress bars and churned hard-disk ferociously were quite stressing.

But, in the end, it turns out I made it and my scores aren’t bad at all. The exam software doesn’t display one score for the whole exam, instead it gives percentages by knowledge areas. In my worst area I had 76% right answers and in three areas I scored at least 90%. I have to recommend the ESI’s study book – on practice tests contained in it I never scored better than 70%. I’m sure reviewing wrong answers with the descriptions provided and PMBOK guide helped me a great deal.

While sitting over that book one evening I reflected upon my career choices and what attracts me to project management. I guess I’ve never fitted into the world of operations, repetitive actions or just keeping something up and running – that bores me quickly. I’m inspired by creation, thrive on chaos that surrounds it and can push really hard towards getting things of the ground. But once they are up and running it is, from my experience, way better if I hand them over to others and move on. There are some long runners, people who are able to keep doing something on and on for years – something that amazes me and that I respect deeply about them. Peter, one of my friends, is just such a person – he was able to keep a travel-related Internet service that was a result of one of our discussions up and running for more than six years now. I would have never done that – once the idea was done I just couldn’t spark any more interest in it.

Of course, I work on improving that because with some things in life perseverance and long term, systematic effort pays off. But I’m still attracted to creation and building things. That’s why I like project work, why I took the time and effort to get certified and why I want more or less continue along this path.

Interestingly, this is something that I don’t share with my father who is a systematic, passionless person. Surprisingly though, over time I discover that I do understand my late grandfather more. He was a civil engineer, but he didn’t like sitting at an office – he liked it best at the construction site. I remember that I wondered as a kid what he found attractive about those muddy, chaotic places but I think I do get it now. He participated in creation, saw it happening just before his eyes and could move on when it was done to experience that again. And some of the things he designed and built are still standing – like a dozen of train stations on a suburban line near Warsaw, Poland.

Funny that I came to this point of understanding twenty years after he passed away.