The PM Podcast


Project Management for Beginners and Experts

Episode 165: 30 Ideas For A Successful Job Search

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This episode is sponsored by Wrike:
Wrike

Tim Tyrell-Smith

This episode is not about project management. It's about how to find your next project management job.

It looks like the economy is recovering. After a couple of years of going down there are now many encouraging signals that indicate an upswing. And that means... there are once again more projects going to be started and companies will start hiring project managers.

If you remember, a few months ago we had a group of recruiting experts on the program who gave us their job search insights. Because I know that so many project managers are looking for a job right now, I decided to invite one of these experts, Tim Tyrell-Smith (www.timsstrategy.com) back onto our program to present to us "30 ideas of a successful job search". Tim collected and published these ideas as part of a book with the same name. But don't worry! We didn't bring onto the program to sell you his book, we brought him here to talk about his ideas. The book itself is free.

You'll hear in the interview that while Tim's book is free he also offers a real paper-based version. And as always... we are giving away 2 copies. One of these copies automatically goes to our premium listeners and the other one is up for grabs for anyone. Are you interested? No problem... just go to www.facebook.com/pmpodcast and look for the announcement with the book giveaway and just add a comment. Anyone who leaves a comment on this book giveaway notice gets a chance to win. And obviously 1 copy is reserved for our premium listeners.

Which brings us to the winners of our last book giveaway: We had two copies of Elizabeth Harrin's book "Social Media for Project Managers" to give away. And the winners are...

  • Kareem Shaker was selected at random from among all the people who left a comment on facebook
  • And from among our premium listeners the lucky winner is... Josephine Brookes from Surrey in England.

Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.

Podcast Introduction

Cornelius Fichtner: This is The Project Management Podcast™. We bring project management to beginners and experts. Find us on the web at www.pm‑podcast.com or send your emails to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Cornelius Fichtner: Hello and welcome to Episode #165. I am Cornelius Fichtner. This is The Project Management Podcast™, nice to have you with us.

Well, it looks like the economy is finally recovering. After a couple of years of going down, there are now many encouraging signs that indicate an upswing. And that means there are once again more projects going to be started and companies will start hiring project managers.

If you remember, a few months ago, we had a group of recruiting experts on the program who gave us their job search insights. Because I know that so many project managers out there are looking for a job right now, I decided to invite one of these experts, Tim Tyrell-Smith from www.timsstrategy.com, back onto our program to present to us 30 ideas of a successful job search. Tim wrote, collected and published these ideas as part of a book with the same name. But don't worry, we didn't bring Tim onto the program to sell you his book. We brought him here to talk about his ideas. The book itself is free.

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You'll hear in the interview that while Tim's book is free, he also offers a real paper-based version. And as always, we are giving away 2 copies. One of these copies automatically goes to our premium listeners and the other one is up for grabs for anyone. Are you interested? No problem! Just go to www.facebook.com/pmpodcast and look for the announcement with the book giveaway and just add a comment. Anyone who leaves a comment on this book giveaway gets a chance to win which brings me to the winners of our last book giveaway: We had two copies of Elizabeth Harrin's book "Social Media for Project Managers" to give away. And the winners are, I’m definitely going to mess that name, I know it:

  • Kareem Shaker was selected at random from among all the people who left a comment on Facebook
  • And from among our premium listeners, the lucky winner is: Josephine Brookes from Surrey in England.

Back to today's interview, which is really not much about project management at all and more about how you as a project manager should go about when you are looking for a new job. So expect many ideas on how to manage the project of finding your next job but not any tips on project management best practices.

Tim's journey began in 2007 when he became officially unemployed. He writes: "It was joyful, stressful, freeing, exciting and frustrating all at the same time. And, in some ways, I needed to make a game of it." And he did. He began by looking at his unemployment as a challenge and since then he has turned it into a system complete with tools and techniques that he offers to everyone for free on his website. He has turned being unemployed into his career and he is now a career coach and professional speaker.

And now, get ready for that job interview and enjoy the interview.

Podcast Interview

Female voice: The Project Management Podcast’s feature Interview: Today with Tim Tyrelle-Smith, creator, speaker and blogger at www.timsstrategy.com.

Cornelius Fichtner: Hello Tim and welcome to The Project Management Podcast™!

Tim Tyrelle-Smith: Thank you, Cornelius. It’s great to be here.

Cornelius Fichtner: Yeah! We’ve had you on a few weeks ago in an episode that I recorded at the PMI Orange Chapter Meeting and you have us your job search tips then and I decided to invite you back because you have a book out called “30 Ideas of a Successful Job Search” and this is the book that we want to talk about today. What did you write that book? Maybe let’s begin with that.

Tim Tyrelle-Smith: All the 30 Ideas book started out as an ebook and it was built off the blog. It took 30 ideas which was my site is all about that I thought really would really help job seekers have practical and easy-to-implement tools in their job search. Because let’s face it, when we are in the middle of the job search especially if it’s our first one in a while, it’s really a hard process. A lot of this really takes a long time to figure out exactly how to go about this process. You need to break it up into small chunks. So for me, taking some of the key ideas and key perspectives from the blog and turning that into a book made my content more applicable and helpful for people so that’s how I got started.

Cornelius Fichtner: Alright. The book generally consists of 4 major sections and those are the 4 sections that we want to go through and look at sort of in a high level. It all begins with a job search strategy. Why do I need a job search strategy?

Tim Tyrelle-Smith: Well, one of the things that happen to you when you leave a company whether you’re laid off, fired or leave on your own is that you leave this comfortable and very structured environment into an environment that is only structured if you build it. So no one’s telling you what time to wake up in the morning. No one’s telling you what time to have lunch, who to meet with, when to stop your day. There’s no natural built in context for that.

So if you don’t build a strategy, you are going to be impulsive and impulsive means you do what feels right and in job search, you need to be efficient and that’s kind of really where my whole blog and concept started. It was on this concept of plate spinning that you have lots of options of things to do during the day, lots of people you can network with. And if you don’t sit down decide what your objectives are and decide who your network is that you need to be networking with, you will end up doing a lot of really cool stuff but not really progressing your job search. So it’s about building a structure for what you do each and every day.

Cornelius Fichtner: My listeners are all project managers and they’re used to creating project management plans, schedules, milestones, goals so they are pretty savvy in that regard but I think one item that we have to keep in mind in doing the job search that once we have a strategy, once we have a plan, it still has to be flexible, right? Because things change and we need to be able to adapt.

Tim Tyrelle-Smith: Well, we definitely do. When you talked about the fact that project managers have that kind of built-in system and I have met a few of them who definitely have it but don’t necessarily implement it because like I said, they are now outside of the environment that they normally work. But they are the perfect people to be able to build themselves a strategy as long as they have an outside perspective and know what the right things are to be doing.

But I think that you’re right. If they don’t have flexibility built in, there are days when you do have to be a little more flexible. Sometimes a great opportunity will come up. But if you’re sole focus is reacting to the world and reacting to the networking market and doing what sounds interesting, you’ll spend a lot of time being very active but not necessarily building momentum and getting the right things done.

Cornelius Fichtner: You mentioned the outside perspective and one of the chapters in the job search strategy section is 10 reasons you should regularly read a job search blog. Let’s take a look a bit of that. First of all, what is a job search blog and maybe give us the top 2 reasons why we should read such a blog.

Tim Tyrelle-Smith: Yeah! Not everybody is comfortable online and it’s one of the reasons I actually did self-publish the book so that I could have a more traditional way to reach people. But for those people who do search Google and do find information developed by blogs, one are the number one things you can get out of a blog is new ideas.

Blogs are famous for really nice, deep, rich tutorials that help you through a specific thing whether it’s fixing a software problem on your computer or fixing a drain pipe on your house. So new ideas I think is really important. You get new thoughts about how to implement your job search, new ways to deliver your elevator pitch. So new ideas I think are one of the key ones.

The other thing is you meet new people. People get a change to meet me. I respond to every comment that I get on the blog and as you start to comment on blogs and start to read them, you start to meet other people that are either career coaches or other job seekers and that’s a way to begin networking and starting to get some other people who either after doing what you’re doing, trying to find a job or perhaps an influence source who might be able to help connect you with a target company.

Cornelius Fichtner: Okay. Next big section in your book, the psychology of job search: What’s that section all about?

Above are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only. Please subscribe to our Premium Podcast to receive a PDF transcript.

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