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Career Change: From Cashier to Software Engineer #HomeDepot

October 18th, 2019

When I was at the Pluralsight Live conference in August they showed this video… it was so freaking inspiring! Take three minutes and watch this:

The “OrangeMethod,” Home Depot’s “in-house skill development program.” Wow.

I’ve heard that The Home Depot is a great place to have a career. This video showed the awesome story of Jennifer, who started out as a cashier, and had the opportunity to grow into a software engineer role.

Talk about a career change!

Many of the people I talk with through JibberJobber, The Job Search Program, and through my speaking opportunities are ready for a change. These changes can be big or small… but they are in a point in their life where they need to make decisions about their careers moving forward.

A question everyone should ask is “should I stay on this path I’ve been on? Why?”

You should also ask “What if…?”

What if you could learn to do something more rewarding?

What if you could make more of an impact in the world (even if you make less)?

What if you could, like Jennifer, make A LOT more money than what you have?

What if you could retool yourself, add new skills, and do something that only “smart” people could do?

What if, what if, what if…

Don’t get me wrong… I don’t think that any of my courses were on Jennifer’s radar. My soft skills courses don’t teach you how to be a developer… but there are around 6,000 other courses in Pluralsight that do. And I’m proud to be associated with an organization that is passionate about helping others find and develop skills that can improve their lives as well as the lives of those around them.

I’m not saying you have to be a software developer. I am only asking, inviting, you to think about “what if?”

Why not me?

Why not now?

Career transition is a real thing, and maybe, just maybe it’s the right thing for you.

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Job Search Program: Introducing Nick’s Box

October 17th, 2019

A few weeks ago my friend Nick Corcodilos said that one thing the Job Search Program was missing was more anecdotal “Jason Albaisms.” He might not have said Jason Albaisms, but he did say that I needed some more something. After going back and forth on phone and email I decided to put in a fifth box on the Job Search Program page.

You have to understand this was not an easy decision. Nick was right, of course. It did need something else. But, I didn’t want to add that something else into the recording. I don’t want Job Search Program customers to think “oh boy, I need to listen to Jason again… but I haven’t blocked out 30 minutes!” I really, really want to keep these recordings as short as I can, which is why they (probably) average around 5ish minutes.

But I needed to add more.

The other thing I was up against was adding more stuff on the site. JibberJobber is a very complex system and there is a lot going on on any given screen. With Job Search Program I wanted to keep this super clean. Adding one more box… yuck.

But, I really needed to get the new information in… internally we call it “Nick’s Box.” Externally it will look like this:

job-search-program-nicks-box

I’m excited to fill these boxes in… which I’ll be working on over the next few weeks. I don’t want to duplicate information, but I think this anecdotal stuff, with links to blog posts and videos and books and articles as well as my own experiences that will enrichen the experience of everyone who goes through this program.

Enjoy!

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The Job Search Program Focuses on Networking

October 16th, 2019

When I talk about the Job Search Program to career professionals (resume writers and career and job search coaches) I say that it is designed to help the job seeker have “the right conversations with the right people.”

Networking is a funny, misunderstood beast. The joke is that it is, for job seekers, a four-letter word. Not many people like to do it. It feels fake, and many people can’t wait to land a job so they don’t have to network anymore.

In my job search I remember finally dragging myself to network meetings and making up goals like “I will get 10 business cards today,” or something just as lame. I wasn’t focusing on having right conversations and didn’t even understand who the right people could be. I was just going for a number because, sometimes, the job search really is a numbers game. So I thought.

Job Search is Not a Numbers Game

Enter the Job Search Program. This is a six week self-guided kind of coaching program where every single day I give you three tasks to do. And then you work on them. They are not fake tasks… they are intentionally designed to get you closer to having the right conversation with the right person. Every day builds on previous days. You start out kind of slow, setting up a good foundation, and then as you learn and practice and gain confidence and practice more, you find yourself having conversations with people in your target industries, then target companies, then target departments within your target industries, and next thing you know you are talking to decision-makers about opportunities just for you.

This program is unlike anything I’ve seen. It might seem very simple but the premise is that you are doing the right things and getting real traction, instead of hoping that in the numbers game model you are getting closer to the right number. I played that game and it sucked.

Here’s part of an email I got from Noah, who is in week one:

I am really enjoying the process so far! The messaging and advice is very clear and the overarching theme of self-empowerment through provided prompts/benchmarks seems well crafted. I especially appreciate the built-in daily accountability, which is critical for anyone who is serious about putting in the effort to achieve the goal they want.

Ready to stop doing stuff that isn’t getting you anywhere? Check out the Job Search Program here. The normal price is $497 but right now we have an introductory price of $197.

JibberJobber Job Search Program

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Stop Overthinking and Just Do Something!

October 4th, 2019

A hundred years ago (in 2006) I started up a little software company called JibberJobber. It was the cat’s meow, better than sliced bread, and would consume me for years.

I really had no idea what I was doing, but every day I had a list of things that had to be done and worked diligently to make progress on anything. I was comfortable with some things (product management and stuff) and not so comfortable with other things (marketing and networking and sales). But I did what I could, learned what I needed to, and just fudged my way around.

I didn’t know what I didn’t know, which is good. I’ll explain why in a minute.

One day I wrote a press release. It was probably good. I honestly have no idea. Could have had some spelling and grammar errors. A real PR professional probably would have ripped it to shreds and rewritten it. But I was just dumb enough to not know what I was doing. I wrote it and submitted it on the PR sites.

That press release I got noticed… and one thing led to another which led to another and today I can track good things that came from that one press release. Thankfully I didn’t overthink it, I just did it.

JibberJobber Overthinking Dude

Fast forward a few months. This is still 2006, towards the end of the year. I sat down to write another press release. The last one went so well, why not do it again? I sat down and stared at my monitor for over an hour. Instead of writing, I was overthinking it. Now that I knew people actually read it, and that what I was writing was important, indeed, that the very future hinged on this one press release (dramatic, I know), I couldn’t do it.

I was overthinking it.

JibberJobber Overthinking Man

I drafted a few releases but never submitted them.

Too often we do this. We think and overthink and we don’t get the job done. We think the level of acceptability is really high when in fact it’s way lower than what we thought. The key was to get the job done, not to have it done with white-glove perfection.

Of course, you need to know the level of acceptability. Sometimes it is high and you really need to take care of quality. I am not dismissing that. But sometimes you just need to write the email or pick up the phone or go to that networking meeting, even if you feel like you need a new shirt or new pants. JUST DO IT.

JibberJobber Overthinking Old Man

I know the job search is hard. I know networking is uncomfortable. I know that overthinking can lead to stalling which can lead to avoiding the hard an uncomfortable. But that isn’t how you land a job. If you just do it, even though you won’t do it perfectly, count it as practice. Learn from it, and do it a little better next time, and a little better next time. I’d rather have you do and practice and improve than not do anything for months and months.

Stop overthinking it and just do it, today!

JibberJobber Overthinking Old Man

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On Reputation, Brand, Integrity, Character, and Happiness

October 3rd, 2019

Two posts on social prompted this post today. First, this post on Twitter, which I clicked through (but didn’t read):

Happiness at work. What a concept. I just posted on Snowfly about employee satisfaction… you can read it here.

The other social post was on Facebook (John Wooden was a famous basketball coach):

John Wooden on Character and Reputation

The Wooden quote stuck out because in the career space we talk a lot about personal branding, which is essentially reputation. I love the idea of personal branding, and creating your own brand, and leading with your brand, and understanding your brand.

But I don’t think that brand trumps character. Without character, and integrity, your brand is a facade. I have worked with people who have the character of a wet napkin but have very strong personal brands. It isn’t until other people get to know them that they understand just how horrible of a person they are, even though the brand was there.

So there you go: perspective on branding (very important for your career) and character (way more important than brand). I advocate working on BOTH.

Regarding happy at work… look, if you aren’t going to be happy outside of work, why do you think you get to be happy in work? Work on YOU, and figure out joy and happiness. Then, even if you have a bad day at work, even if your boss is an idiot (their idiocy might not be temporary, but that they are your boss is most definitely temporary :p), even if you are working for a promotion, you can be happy where you are (while working on something better).

If you wait to be happy until some change happens, after the change you’ll have a new reason to “wait to be happy.” Figure out how to be happy now.

Side note: when I started JibberJobber and had some appearance of business success people would ask if I was happy. I would respond with “I’m happy, I’m just not satisfied.” This reframing of happiness helped me understand that it’s okay to be happy even while I knew there was more to come and changes in the air.

How about you? Are you happy? Are you happy with your character?

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Make Time for Career Management

September 30th, 2019

I saw one of my favorite quotes on Twitter, shared by Pluralsight’s Head of Practices Mariah Hay… and it prompted me to make my own quote:

JibberJobber If You Do Not Make Time

I love the quote she shared… the older I get the more true it rings. Health and wellness is not something that people my age get to enjoy without some effort.

For over thirteen years I’ve been acutely aware of the career and job search space, starting when I lost my job after having done everything I was told to do to have “job security.” I soon found out that was a facade… a fraud. What was good career advice for 1970 was not good career advice for 2006, when I was laid off. I was well-degreed, well-experienced but had a week brand and a week network and had no idea how to do a job search, or manage my career, in this new era.

And so I’ve been on a weird mission to create tools (JibberJobber) and system (Job Search Program) and training (my Pluralsight courses) and encouragement (my speaking) and new thinking (51 Alternatives to a Real Job (book)) and thought leadership (on my social channels). It’s weird because I didn’t get my MBA so I could be an entrepreneur and create. I got it so I could have an easy path to the corner office and a fat salary and great retirement. Did I mention facade and fraud?

Yet here we are. I do what I do, and I try to spread the word and help others prepare.

This week I’ll probably hear someone say “I’ve never heard of JibberJobber before – wow!!” No, you haven’t. Because career management was off your radar. You were busy working hard at your job only to realize you were a day away from long-term unemployment… even though you had the title, the degree, the experience.

I hope the professional legacy I leave will be that of encouraging others to think differently about their jobs and their career. I hope when people think of me they think “man, he really changed how we think about careers.”

But for now, I’ll take people who should have been doing career management who are in the job search, looking like deer in the headlights, wondering what happened to them and how to recover, and help them, one step at a time.

But you, who reads this post, will not be there. Because you are working on career management. You are doing the right things right now. Right?

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The Difference Between Branded and Nobody #personalBranding

September 24th, 2019

Almost two years ago I hung my shingle out and looked for a full-time job. I had JibberJobber at a point where it didn’t need (or want) my full attention, Pluralsight wasn’t ready for anymore of my courses… and I had time. I also needed a change of scenery. And heck, if I had time, why not look for something where I could get paid, and create one more income stream?

So I did what I had been talking about others doing for years and I became a job seeker. It wasn’t as fun as it sounds, but it was definitely more fun than years early, in 2006, when I didn’t know what the heck I was doing. Long story short, I got a job, and here’s how it started: I found a posting on LinkedIn that was just plain weird. It fit me perfectly and I couldn’t imagine it would fit anyone else. I applied, thinking it would go nowhere, but I got this reply from the hiring manager, a VP (I blurred out his name but then thought he wouldn’t really care :p):

Jason Alba Rusty Lindquist

Up to that point the only response I got to any applications was a canned automated email or crickets. And now I get this flattering response from the VP. When I told my wife about his response she thought for a minute and then said “he probably says that to everyone who has applied.” I was pretty stoked, but she brought me down to earth :p

Long story short, I got hired, months later Rusty left, and a few months later they pulled the plug on my whole program. So I got nine months in corporate, refreshed my ability to “politic,” and had a fun time working my tail off on something that was just destined to die (well, as long as Rusty was there it wasn’t. That’s another thread, though).

The point of this post is not about my last job, or its demise. It’s that I impressed the hiring manager enough that he would respond to me in such a way as he did. Yesterday I was thinking about this and realized that it wasn’t necessarily my background… sure, I’ve done some really cool things, and everything I have done was perfect for this role… but I know tons of people who have done amazingly cool things. Would Rusty have given them the same kind of response?

I’ve heard sayings like “if you aren’t on LinkedIn you don’t exist” and “if I can’t find you on Google you don’t exist.” Not true. There are plenty of people who have no online presence who exist and are very successful. But, as I was thinking about why Rusty would respond to me that way I thought it had to do with how I presented myself and my experiences on my LinkedIn profile.

I’m not going to say that you “don’t exist.” But, I can tell you that as a hiring manager, if I’m down to the last five or ten profiles, and they are all pretty lame (I call them skeleton profiles), but one stands out because not only does that person have the experience I want, but they explain and dig into their careers in a way that they are memorable and prove they have what I’m looking for, I’m inclined to be more interested in them than you.

Skeleton profiles on LinkedIn don’t help you. Not looking? Congratulations… but you might be looking soon :p

Let me suggest one of the most important courses I’ve ever done for Pluralsight… I just tweeted this yesterday:

The concepts in that course are timeless principles. In the olden days we called it reputation and reputation management. Now we call it personal branding. Who knows what it will be called next. Whether you use LinkedIn or Instagram or whatever, there are principles. And that’s what I go into. The course is 2 hours… if you want a 30 day pass to the entire Pluralsight library let me know.

Pluralsight a Developing Killer Personal Brand

Since I started out with talking about LinkedIn, let me also recommend my LinkedIn courses… the first is on optimizing your LinkedIn profile and the second is on developing a proactive strategy on LinkedIn.

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The “War for Talent” Has Become the “War on Talent”

September 23rd, 2019

JibberJobber War For TalentWhen I lost my job in 2006 I learned about this disgusting concept of the war for talent. I don’t quite understand it completely, probably because I’m not smart enough. But it feels to me like a big pot of bull.

Some context for this post:

New Study Reveals Skills Gap Grew By Double Digits Since Last Year

Skills gap will cost US economy $1.2 trillion over the next decade

Skills Gap Growing as Companies Struggle to Find Capable Talent

Those are three Yahoo Finance articles.  The headlines are bleak. The arguments and stats are sometimes not as bleak, but I think the are very shortsighted.

Since 2006 I’ve been passionately involved in the job search space. Not from HR’s perspective, not from the job board perspective (they cater to HR, not job seekers), but from the job seeker perspective. I have been an advocate of job seekers for almost 14 years now. I have traveled to many locations in the U.S., and some outside of the U.S., and have had opportunities to talk to JibberJobber users and my audience from around the globe. What I know is that there are a lot of exceptionally smart and talented people who are being overlooked for stupid reasons.

One stupid reason to overlook this exceptional intelligence and talent is that, for some reason, job seekers are broken. They are, or should be, unhireable. The longer you’ve been out of work, the more broken you are. I don’t have time to find out why you have been out of work for a long time, I am just going to sit here and stereotype that something is wrong with you. It would be easier for me, as a recruiter (disclaimer: I am not a recruiter) to justify why I hired talent away from a competitor than why I hired someone who no one else would hire for the last year.

Headlines, like the ones above, make it sound like there are not any smart humans around, and we are going to lose “$1.2 trillion over the next decade” because of it. Of course, we all know this is because schools aren’t focusing enough on teaching STEM, right?

Why then can I go to various cities in the U.S. and speak to audiences from 10 to 300 people, who are ready and willing to plug right into your little talent deficit? Hello? I’m waiting…

While you are coming up with a good answer, humor me by reading a recent tweet I wrote:

I recently worked at a company that was, what I thought, my dream company. Turned out, it was not meant to be. When I sat across the table from the lady who became my boss (the guy who hired me had left the company to start his own entrepreneurial endeavor), and she told me I had six weeks left, I had a lot of thoughts run through my mind. One of them was how Jim Collins talks about, in Good to Great, getting the right people on the boss. As I remember it, Jim made a strong argument for finding the right people and even if you didn’t have a specific job for them, getting them on your bus.

Now, I realize that you can’t just go find a bunch of great people and get them on your bus if you (a) can’t afford them, or (b) don’t have anything for them to do (last thing you need is a dozen employees with no jobs, but hey, they are great “cultural fits”!). But when I was getting let go I kept thinking “but I’m the right person for this bus! Sure, you are eliminating my role, and the mini-department that I was supposedly going to run, but I have other talents, expertise, etc. I am clearly a great team and company and cultural fit, and I’ll be a great cheerleader. I contribute. I add value. I have shown, in nine months, that I value and should get a seat on this bus.”  Alas, the posters in the hallway, even the one that pulls from Collins’ book, was not aligned with this concept. You out. Da boot. Who cares about all that fluffy stuff. Who cares about the fit if we haven’t got a job description waiting and approved.

That’s okay. I landed on my feet. But if I hadn’t been working for twelve years on my other revenue streams, that would have been (another) devastating life experience. But I digress…

Companies will talk about the war for talent. How hard it is to hire a this person or a that person. It’s nearly impossible. Let’s change immigration laws so we can get more H-1B visas, because no one here is smart enough to do this job, and we just have to import the talent.

I should mention I’m not opposed to bringing talent in from outside of the U.S. But I am not happy to see talent that is here being thrown to the side of the road, ignored, trampled, and spit on. I’ve seen this from Seattle to Orlando, from Boston to San Diego.

I know I’m not going to change the world. I won’t change laws or affect how HR, recruiters, and hiring managers find and hire talent. But maybe… just maybe, we can start to rethink what talent is. Maybe we can start to think about great companies and cultures that value humans, and instead of declare war on them, or war for them, we think of how we can re-skill people as the world changes.

When I started college a friend from high school told me I had to get into programming. “You learn new stuff all the time! It’s awesome!” Frankly, that sounded horrible to me. I didn’t want to be in a role where I always had to learn, or I’d get phased out. So I chose to major in Spanish (I changed that later), which is something that doesn’t really change. I wanted to get my sheepskin, get into a great job/career, and then have a comfortable retirement.

That is not how things are done today. Today we need to re-skill constantly. We need to continually learn new stuff. When I went to the Pluralsight conference (Aka LIVE!) and saw that was their theme (skills), and their focus around skills management, skills growth, skills measuring, and all thinks skills, I was completely on-board.

It is OUR job to learn new skills. Yes, I think companies should create a learning environment, and they should help us retool and reskill regularly, but we need to understand that life and work now is all about learning new…. new ways to do things, new ways of thinking. No longer can we rest on our laurels because we have a degree, or a masters degree. We need to seek out learning. We need to seek out change. We need to figure out how we can keep up on what’s new, and adjust and shift and change.

That concept sounded horrible to me back in the 1900’s, but now it’s kind of exciting. To improve, to innovate, to keep up with… and to stay competitive.

It’s our job to stay competitive. If our employer offers us real continual education, what a great blessing that is. But it’s our job to learn, to invest our time, and to keep up on ever changing skills.

What I have found is that a person who does this and knows how to communicate it (personal marketing, personal branding, story telling, etc.), is the person who is unemployed for the shortest lengths of time. This is career management, and it’s ours to own.

Now, what are YOU going to do for the rest of this year, and into 2020, to improve your skills? You already missed out on the $100 off special on Pluralsight (it will come around again). Tell me, what’s your strategy? Because it’s much more fun to have a war FOR you than ON you, and that, my friend, is up to you.

 

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Pluralsight for Project Managers and Business Analysts (Interview with Casey Ayers)

September 13th, 2019

I met Casey Ayers years ago at a Pluralsight conference. He is super smart. He also has just finished his 48th(!!!) course on Pluralsight. You can see his course list here.

Once upon a time I wanted to be a project manager. I also applied for business analyst jobs. And so I thought it would be fun to hear from the expert on both career paths… I asked Casey some questions and he graciously shared his expertise. I hope this inspires you. Please share this with others who are interested in project management or business analysis, which are great fields for people who want to be in tech but don’t want to be developers.

Down below Casey talks about his PMP exam prep courses. This is a full suite of courses to prepare you to pass the PMP exam… I did a quick search online and found that you can get in-person classroom training to pass the exam for around $2,000 to $3,000. I found other classes for $1,000 and on-demand course for $348… the prices are all over the place. Let me know that you get all of Casey’s courses, including the PMP exam prep courses, with your Pluralsight subscription. Full retail price is $299. That is a super deal if all you want is PMP exam test prep…. and you get a whole year to do it at your own pace. The bonus is you get the other 6,500ish (give or take a few hundred) courses for that price.

But wait, it gets better! Click the pink image on the right and you can get all of that, including Casey’s PMP exam prep courses, for only $199. Seriously, why isn’t every future PMP doing this killer deal? It’s like buy one exam prep series and get a year of access to the thousands and thousands of other courses. This deal ends next Friday.

Tell us a little about your career… why are you the authority on project management and business analysis (which are two different career paths)?

In a variety of roles, including Development Director for a mobile app studio and Chief Operating Officer for a startup healthcare company, I’ve had to define missions and lead teams to accomplish objectives successfully. I find the intersection between business analysis and project management to be fascinating, where designing the solutions to challenges shifts to making those plans a reality. The relationship between these two professions is as unique as the roles analysts and project managers play in their organizations: serving as arbiters of change and creation in environments often more focused on simply maintaining or expanding on what exists today.

I’ve learned enough to know that no analyst or project manager is so complete in their individual knowledge and experience as to be unable to benefit from standards and practices developed from the collective knowledge of a global array of experts in these fields. That’s why my courses tend to focus on industry-recognized certifications and frameworks. Knowing how much the experience of each viewer may vary from others, and certainly from my own, this focus on making best practices as accessible and applicable as possible helps me to connect and offer value to PMs and analysts from a variety of industries and different backgrounds.

Casey Ayers Pluralsight AuthorWhat are things that project managers do? What might a typical day (or month) look like?

The specific tasks project managers (PMs) might be faced with on a daily basis will vary drastically based on an organization’s structure and norms, the scope of the project in question, whether a more agile or prescriptive methodology to accomplishing project objectives is being followed, the size of the team, and a limitless array of other factors. PMs working on a standardized sprint basis to deliver incremental value to stakeholders follow a different rhythm from PMs working toward milestones or phases in long-term projects, where most value is delivered at one or a few points in time.

What doesn’t change is this: the need to balance limited resources, ensure a clear and continuous connection between work in process and underlying objectives, and a mandate to work with a wide array of stakeholders who may bring conflicting viewpoints and priorities to the project.

If I want to go into software project management, what are some recommendations you’d give me?

Working as a member of a project team can provide valuable insight into how the work of the project is accomplished and help in better assessing the complexity and worth of potential initiatives. However, the actual work of coordinating resources and managing the project can often seem subtle to even members of the project team when it is done effectively.

Taking on increasing responsibilities for administration and coordination within project teams can assist in making the transition into project management, as can studying the frameworks, methodologies, and best practices that effective project managers rely on to ensure they’re providing adequate attention to each dimension of project work.

What are some key characteristics or attributes successful project managers have?

Project managers must be effective communicators, first and most critically. Without expressing objectives and priorities clearly to others, without receiving and leveraging information from others, and without fostering support and a shared vision between stakeholders, the project will inevitably run into challenges or failure.

Secondarily, effective project managers must develop the ability to balance limited resources while best serving their organizations’ needs. Changes to either project scope, schedule, cost, quality, or resources will always impact all other factors in a variety of expected and unexpected ways. Determining what mix of these priorities best serves the organization’s underlying goals empowers effective PMs to deliver solutions.

If I want to become a business analyst, what are some recommendations you’d give me?

Successful business analysts come from a variety of backgrounds. Some may initially serve as financial or quality control analysts, while others may come from a sales background or have spent time delivering solutions as a member of a project team.

New business analysts are typically well-served by selecting positions that place a particular emphasis on their previous background. For organizations where ensuring solutions can be delivered on time is a top priority, prior experience in project environments can prove helpful. For those where defining underlying needs and objectives are most critical, communication skills and a sales background can help the analyst to gain insight from stakeholders.

Begin by building on what you know best, and never hesitate to clarify information with subject matter experts or conduct additional research if you’re not certain where the organization stands today, or what direction it should take tomorrow.

What are some key characteristics or attributes successful business analysts have?

A sense of curiosity can serve business analysts well, coaxing them to chase down leads, clarify information, and allow conversations to yield unexpected revelations. The ability to communicate with others effectively is perhaps even more critical than in project management, if that’s possible.

Maintaining a willingness to question assumptions and biases – especially those the analyst themselves brings to the table – and vigilantly ensuring that recommended actions remain aligned with underlying needs, especially when scope creep or environmental changes might lead the analyst astray, can help to ensure successful outcomes.

If I wanted to become a project manager, which of your courses should I take, and in what order, and why?

Those without much prior experience managing projects or even working with project teams would be well-served by my CompTIA Project+ (PK0-004) learning path, which starts with Beginner’s Guide to Project Management – this is a great opportunity to learn the fundamentals of project management and to earn a well-respected certification not requiring formal experience or training.

If you’ve been leading project teams or been managing components of projects for some time now, the PMP® learning path  beginning with “Introduction to Project Management & the PMP Exam” will help you learn and apply time-tested frameworks to your project-based work. This series will prepare you to earn the gold standard in project management, the PMP® certification, and equip you with formal tools and methods that will greatly enhance your work as a project manager.

If I wanted to become a business analyst, which of your courses should I take, and in what order, and why?

The PMI-PBA learning path culminates in a certification that is particularly valuable to business analysts working in project environments, but can be useful for business analysts serving in any capacity. Introduction to Business Analysis & Needs Assessment  is my most popular Pluralsight course, and provides a great overview of the value business analysts offer organizations on a day to day basis.

I’m presently creating courses for Pluralsight’s ECBA, CCBA, and CBAP certification series, each of which will prepare viewers to earn industry-leading business analysis certifications offered by the International Institute of Business Analysis. Some of these courses are available now, with more on the horizon. Stay tuned for the official learning paths to be launched later this year.

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Pluralsight for Job Seekers? #Yep

September 12th, 2019

This post is part of a series of posts through next Friday, to promote (push!) the $100 off at Pluralsight. Instead of paying $299/year you can pay $199 a year and have access to their rich library of over 6,000 courses. Most of them are technical, and most of them are for technologists. But back in 2012, when they invited me to do my first course, they showed that they value soft skills and professional development. There are now around 200 soft skills or professional development courses in the library, and more on their way. Here’s a list of six of my courses I suggest for people in a job search:

Developing a Killer Personal Brand

No matter what you think about personal branding, it’s important. Neglect your brand if you want, but you’ll still have one. I say: you be the author of what your brand is, and create the narrative the way you want it to be. Otherwise, others will create it for you, and you might not like that.

Informational Interviews

I believe there are no silver bullets in the job search. But I have said, across the country, that if I were in a job search I would spend about 95% of my time on informational interviews. Seriously, 95%. Haven’t heard of them? Or, they aren’t working for you? Watch this course and learn how to do them well, and get your job search MOVING! Speaking of 95%… my new Job Search Program holds your hand as you put this into practice.

Working and Communicating with Different Personalities

In your job search you need to understand how to influence others, and why others act and speak the way they do. Working with others can be baffling… but the more you understand human nature, personalities, and why people are the way they are, the better you can work with, communicate, and persuade others. You might even learn something about yourself!

Becoming a Better Listener

Listening is about the most important aspect of communication… and I think we all have some room for improvement. Listening better will help you in your networking, your interviewing… in every aspect of your job search! This course has the most ratings and comments of any of my courses. Come on over and listen!

LinkedIn Strategy: Optimize Your Profile

This is where most people (should) spend their time… making their LinkedIn profile better. This course is a how-to on every bit of your profile.

LinkedIn: Proactive Strategies

And then, this is Part II for your LinkedIn strategy. “LinkedIn doesn’t work for me!” Neither does that hammer behind your workbench. The tool works when you use it! In this course I teach you how to network on LinkedIn instead of assuming having an okay profile will get you your next job.

There are more courses that are appropriate for job seekers. But let’s do the math… if you only watch those 6, and pay the $199 for the year, you are paying about $33/course. But, for the $199 you get 12 months of unlimited access (think Netflix) to the entire library! That includes the full PMP certification courses… you could pay thousands for that elsewhere. Not to mention all of the other stuff you could get… even the introduction to programming, design, databases, etc. courses. More on that over the next few days!  Click the banner above to get your one year pass for $100 off… it’s only $199 for the next few days!

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