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I invited my friend, Joe, over last night to hangout, shoot some pool, drink some beer and talk about life. Joe's been out of work for awhile and I was interested in talking about our job searches. He and I have been working in Project Management in recent years and I wanted to pick his brain about what he’s been seeing out there and what industries and opportunities he’s looking at. In some cases we’re competing for the same spots, but I was more interested to see what he is learning about the local job market since he’s been looking for about 4 months and I’ve only been looking for about 4 weeks.
Now it’s important to note that Joe has a lot of clout in the Project Management industry. He’s written several books about Project Management and was instrumental in getting me to take a look at the PM career path as an alternate to the IT Director, VP, CIO roles that I’ve looked at in the past. While I do have the credentials to qualify for some of the top IT job spots at companies around town, there are so few of them that competition is really difficult to land an interview.
Joe’s book helped me pass my PMP (Project Management Professional) certification back in 2009 and I got a job as a Project Manager, and that worked great for a couple of years, but that job ended. Now I’m looking at both IT Director/Manager and IT Project Manager roles. I’m seeing A LOT more PM jobs and my best chance to get back to work quickly is probably in that field.
In comparing notes with Joe about what he’s seen and what he’s doing, the thing I discovered that works for us in common is that we have both been keeping a log book (Excel spreadsheet) of all of our job leads. It’s a really good idea to do so, because when you start talking to 2-3 different people/companies a day and then one of them calls you back you need to remember who they are and what you’ve said to them or you can really lose a lot of credibility.
Joe’s got over 150 leads and mine is up to 78. Many of mine have been explored and extinguished, but it’s good to know which ones to focus my attention on. I strikethrough the dead leads and highlight the “hot leads” in yellow so that they get my attention readily. The job lead log is my piece of advice for you job seekers. Track your leads and follow through with them until you get a “Yes” or a “No”. It’s like crossing items off of your grocery list. You know what to look for and what you have already.
Let me hear from you. I, sincerely, hope this is good advice for you that you can put to use right away! Please share your story with our readers by posting your comments!
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