We live in a world of opaque job titles: content manager, customer experience officer, user support technician.
When people ask me what my job is, I usually tell them that I work in publishing or that I’m an editor. But my job title is project leader. What exactly does that mean?
A clue is in the name. Project leaders take the lead on projects, and often on whole programmes of work for particular clients. Usually, we have several years’ experience of working at Prepress Projects or in another relevant publishing role, and generally a project leader is the main contact for at least one client.
Less prosaically, we take responsibility for meeting, and if possible exceeding, clients’ expectations. As project leaders, we need to be able to use good judgement to solve problems and identify the best way of approaching a project, and we’re willing to go the extra mile to understand and deliver exactly what the client wants.
Naturally, we do a good deal of editing, writing, proofreading and project management ourselves, but we also delegate work and handle quality control. In fact, ensuring a consistent high level of quality is a big part of the job, and that involves not just leading by example but also taking an active role in the training and development of less experienced members of the team, by providing training, feedback, coaching and advice.
A lot is required of a project leader at Prepress, but it’s a hugely satisfying role, not least because of the opportunities it presents to build meaningful relationships with clients and colleagues.