Thursday, November 8, 2018

The PM Job-Search Effort

 AuthorBenny A. Recine, MBA, PMP, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, CAMS

The PM Job-Search Effort

 I am an active member of several job network groups in New Jersey. I have been privy to many job-search stories from Project Managers (PMs) and individuals outside the  PM field. I must tell you that the job search is no different from any vocation. We may think that our own vocation has its own idiosyncrasies, but in truth, all job-searches have the same common elements.
However, as PMs, we should know that putting together a job search is very similar to setting up a project. As a matter of fact, it’s exactly the same. So let’s go through the phases in a project-oriented fashion.

This beginning phase can occur in one of two fashions. You may believe your current organization is not in your long-term plans and it is time to move on from your current position. Or, in a worst case scenario, you are let go by your current organization. If this is the latter, most likely you did not see this coming. Whether or not you should have is another discussion, but let’s say the signs were not there for you to read, and one day you get the word that you are no longer part of the organization. Either way, the planning must begin. Sure, you want to start hitting the job boards and calling your close contacts. These may not be the best things to do first.
When planning in a job search, you have to begin with the end in mind, to steal a line from a famous author. Is what you have been doing or what you are currently doing what you want to continue doing? One of the first steps is to begin a campaign to research the organizations that you would like to be associated with. Hopefully, they are not too far from your home and are a short commute.
Also, begin by writing your marketing plan. This is the written document you can share with your contacts that highlights what it is you are great at and includes a brief description of what role you are seeking to fill. Next, you should list the companies that you have researched.

As you are writing your marketing plan, you should begin writing your job search plan. This should include, but is not limited to, a list of individuals and companies you want to contact, what days you want to be out “pounding the pavement” and meeting individuals, and if you were let go, the beginnings of a budget because you likely now have limited funds.
In this plan, I would suggest putting together a board, a group of individuals who can offer you advice and counsel during your search. I would suggest that most of these individuals be in your line of work, but there should be at least one individual who is not but who is successful in their own line of work. Plan to meet with your board via conference call (there is a free website for conference calls, on a monthly or every other month basis. I would suggest that they make it a point to hold you to your plan as you should report your progress to them. You also want to continue working and finalize your marketing.
I strongly suggest that you join a network group. I belong to several and like to keep active in them.  I know that, if by some chance I am asked to leave an organization, my contacts and my network groups know me and can help me as soon as the separation happens. I urge you to join a group and stay active even after you land a job.

Execution and Control
Once you have your plan in place, it is time to execute it. While you are executing the plan, you must document your progress (the control phase). This is what you will be using to report to your board, or to just see your progress.
Yes, you should keep your significant other in the loop regarding what you are looking for and what is happening. As a matter of fact, you should employ your whole family in this endeavor. It is in their best interest to help you. This is all part of the execution and control of your plan. You may also discover, as in a project, that you must re-plan or re-scope a portion of your plan. Hopefully not your whole plan, but never stop reviewing your plan for updates and for modifications.

This is the phase where you land a position. When this happens, you must still keep in touch with the contacts that you have made and the groups you belong to. You should also make an effort to help those you can; as you sought help, others will look to you for help. The closing phase is really the “never forget” phase. Yes, you will be busy making a decision on which organization you want to join and other critical factors. But never forget that you once were looking for help and others helped you.

Friday, October 12, 2018

My Pledge to Myself

Author:  David Steinberg, IWA, Poet and Sustainability advocate

My Pledge to Myself
The following is my commitment to myself as an expression of self-love, I hereby resolve to make myself a JOB MAGNET with the following steps:
ü Forget the past as to what I did, said, or thought that got me into my present situation.
ü I forgive myself and I forgive other people for any hurts, real or perceived.
ü I will neither blame others, nor accept it for myself.
ü I will not judge others, nor myself for anything I have thought, said, or done.
ü I simply resolve to change what I do that is negative and affirm that I do the positive things that will help me to get my financial house in order.
ü The power to change my life exists only in the present moment.  As I express that power, I am on the road to financial success.
ü My security is neither in my bank account nor assets, no matter how little or much I have.  Instead, it is the knowledge that lies within me that sustains me and will always guide me to right step at the right time to the right people and the right circumstances that will always help me to achieve my prosperity.
ü Worry, fear, and anxiety are words that are hereby banished from my life forever.             
ü My retirement is not in my outer assets, for it is within my mind, my soul, my very being that affirms my abilities to create a bright future for myself.
ü Everything that I think, say, and do has positive consequences that will lead me only to the good I deserve.
ü There is no room for lack or the appearance of lack for anything I need in my life.
ü No one, except me, has the power to change my vision for a secure future.
ü Nothing I do shall cause a loss to another to justify my gain. 
ü This rich earth has a bountiful harvest for each one and I claim my share of the harvest.
ü This is my contribution to the financial stability of myself, my family, my neighborhood, my town, my state, my nation, and my planet.

On this _____ day of ___________________, 20___,    I have affirmed this pledge to myself to face the future with unshakable confidence.

Approved by me  (Sign it, date it and put it up on your mirror, so  you won’t forget it)


Friday, September 21, 2018

How to Differentiate Yourself in a Sea of Competitors

Author:  Lisa P. Kaste  (HR Business Partner)

“I saw you didn’t do an elevator pitch today.” said John Trach, a fellow job seeker, to me at our PSG meeting.  It’s true; I had snuck out to the bathroom because I just couldn’t deal with the elevator pitch that Friday.  I was feeling stuck in my job search with no hot prospects and not knowing what to do next to generate some new job leads.  What really struck me however was that someone – maybe several someone’s – had taken note of me at the meetings.  I had let myself down by not taking the opportunity to let people know who I am and what I do professionally.  That was the whole point of this networking meeting, right!?

On the ride home I had an epiphany.  I needed to create an Elevator Pitch that was memorable.  The radio was off and my creativity started cooking.  Inspiration came quickly as I considered how I could use a set of playing cards to highlight my HR skills.  By the time I got home I had the whole concept in my head.  I walked in the door and over the next two hours I created my own deck of cards listing the HR skills I want to be known for as an HR professional.

I rehearsed my pitch over and over until I could deliver it smoothly and without a hitch.  I used The Breakfast Club meeting and another networking group to practice the pitch and get feedback.  The feedback was resoundingly positive with many suggestions to tape it and post it on LinkedIn.  A networking friend offered to video tape me, and a tech savvy cousin helped me load it onto LinkedIn as a posting.  I had finally found a way to ask my LinkedIn network to help me find job prospects without me actually having to ask them!

The video views started to jump into the hundreds with many Likes and Comments.  Additionally I chose to market it aggressively by reaching out to individual LinkedIn contacts asking them to watch my first video posting and asking them to share/repost it, or “Like” it or make a “Comment”.  As of today I have over 11,000 views of the video and I have also loaded the video into the Media Section of my profile so that anyone who views my profile can easily watch it.  As I add recruiters and other people to my network – I highlight the video to them.  It’s my new calling card.

Was the effort worth it?  You bet!  I clearly made an impression on many people who complimented me for my creativity and nerve.  I heard from former colleagues and other HR professionals who shared job leads which resulted in some interviews.  My goal was to differentiate myself in a sea of other HR professionals.  I have a new tool to market myself and I will continue to use it until I come up with my next creative idea.  Stay tuned!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Why Worry

Author:  David L. Steinberg  (Poet and Sustainability advocate)

Why worry just because you lost your job?   Really?

        Is the repo man outside wanting to take your car?
        Is the sheriff coming up the street to evict you?
        Are the police knocking on your door to arrest you?
        Is the hangman waiting on the steps of the gallows? 
        Is the IRS attaching your assets?
        Is the grim reaper chasing you down the street? 
        If the answer is NO, then what are you panicking for?

 Take a step back and begin to take stock of yourself. 
 Take a deep breath, hold it for a count of four, and slowly exhale.
 If you need to, take another one.
 And another. Take as many as needed. 
 First of all: This is neither final nor fatal.
 Count them, do you have all your marbles? 
Are all the parts of your mind still there?
 Minus your panic, of course!

 Let’s look at this job thing from a different perspective. 

 Today, you have a GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY
 to do what you really want to do for the rest of your life.
 Today is a New Dawn, a New Day, different from all other days. 
All things, without restriction, are possible today!
 Strangers are waiting to help you. 
 Good things are just around the corner to make your day! 
Angels in heaven, in all their glory, are waiting to assist you! 
The stars above are aligned moving you closer to your goals!
 All the forces of the universe are waiting for your beck and call! 
Today is your day to start to create your future! 

 You and ONLY YOU control your destiny! 
You have the power within you to reach out and change your world! 
You have more power within you than all the forces of nature! 
Earthquake, volcanoes, hurricanes and tidal waves cannot deter you! 
Black holes, comets, gamma rays, solar winds won’t stop you! 
Not only do you have the power, YOU ARE THE POWER! 
And the ONLY POWER that determines your destiny!

 Tomorrow, if you feel a letdown, reread these words today!

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Rejection is a ball

Rejection is a Ball

  Author:  John M. Dix  Trainer, Facilitator, Strategist, Founder JMD Partnerships

I’ve been thinking about it all wrong and maybe you have too.

Getting that rejection notice thus bringing the interview process to an end.

“We’ve decided to go in a different direction.”

“We have selected a candidate whose qualifications and skills better match our needs.”

If you are like me and have been in job search mode for a significant length of time, you don’t even want to think about the number of times you have heard and read those types of statements.

But I have come up with a better, healthier and more realistic way to look at it.

Think of it as similar to being the batter in baseball.  That feeling you have as you wait for the pitch, anxiously awaiting what you might get.  Curve ball, fast ball, slider, change up, low and away, etc.  The waiting can seem like forever.  Kind of the same feeling you get when you are waiting to hear how the interview went and whether you are still in the game … or not.

That feeling you have when there is a called strike or a swing and a miss.  Remember that feeling?  It’s kind of like when you get the word that you didn’t get the job.  Loser, dejected, denied, etc.  With that swing and a miss, it didn’t turn out the way you had hoped.  Kind of like when the interview process comes to that end you were hoping didn’t happen.

Better to think about it as a ball, a pitch outside of your strike zone, a pitch you couldn’t hit.  A pitch you shouldn’t take a swing at.

The interview process is about two things; them getting to know you and you getting to know them.  The end result being a decision, by both parties, of whether or not it is a good fit.

So when the rejection comes, think of it as a ball.  A job you should not have been offered.  A job that is not the right job for you. It’s a ball!  Rejection is a ball.

Now pick yourself up, get back in the game and wait for that next pitch.  It could be a home run!

Friday, February 16, 2018

A Picture is worth a thousand words

Author: Sam Cohen
         Leader of on-time process and technology solutions, engaging a passion for working with people.

A Picture is worth a thousand words; or so the saying goes. Our profile photo on LinkedIn, for example, leaves an impression, whether we like it or not. And, it is part of our branding.

 The following information comes from Photofeeler...

 "There's rich academic research which says different photos of the same person create wildly different first impressions. "

This is proven again and again on Photofeeler. "If the same face can score high with one photo and low with another photo... well, it's not the face that's changed. It's the photo.

 "Let's say a man is about average-looking. With the wrong angles and lighting, his picture could make him appear below-average. Now, if he fixes those problems and then starts to experiment with the kind of story he's telling with his photo, his scores can go higher and higher.

Say, for instance, you have two pictures of the same man: one of him standing alone in a dimly-lit bedroom and one of him accepting a Grammy award. Likely the picture that portrays the man as skilled, interesting, and successful will be rated much higher.

 "That said, here are some tips we've put together, based on Photofeeler data, for increasing photo scores on particular traits:

 "How to Look More Competent in Photos

 "How to Look More Likable in Photos

 "How to Look More Influential in Photos

 "How to Look More Intelligent in Photos

 "How to Look More Trustworthy in Photos

 "How to Look More Attractive in Photos

 "How to Look More Confident in Photos

 "How to Look More Authentic in Photos

 "How to Look More Fun in Photos"

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Where Oh Where Has My Accountability Team Gone?

Author:  David Steinberg, IWA
              Poet, Management & Administrative Expert

Where Oh Where Has My Accountability Team Gone?
Sung to the tune of: Where Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?
(A long time ago in a Galaxy far away, this actually did happen to me)

Where, Oh Where, Has My Accountability Team Gone?
Where, oh where is my team?
I came to a meeting on Friday.
Mark was my teammate that day.

Where, Oh Where, Has My Accountability Team Gone?
Where, oh where is my team?
I came to a meeting on Monday.
Mark (again) was my teammate that day.

Where, Oh Where, Has My Accountability Team Gone?
Where, oh where is my team?
A meeting is scheduled for Wednesday.
Who will be my teammates that day?

Where, Oh Where, Has My Accountability Team Gone?
Where, oh where is my team?
If my teammates don't do what they say they will do
Then who can I be accountable to?

Where, Oh Where, Has My Accountability Team Gone?
Where, oh where is my team?
I guess that to me it has been handed.
I now announce that I have LANDED!

Where, Oh Where, Has My Accountability Team Gone?
Where, oh where is my team?
I must be responsible to me, again.
In June, I started with Raymour & Flanigan!

Where, Oh Where, Has My Accountability Team Gone?
Where, oh where is my team?
Inside, I am so excited that I am just oozing.
But, I guess my accountability team is snoozing.

Where, Oh Where, Is My Accountability Team Gone?
Where, oh where is my team?
I hope you enjoyed hearing my song.
Hey!  My partner was me all along.

                                 See you soon. Maybe. Perhaps. Perhaps not!