The PM Podcast


Project Management Interviews for Beginners and Experts

Episode 166 Premium: Career Networking with a Purpose

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Tim Tyrell-Smith

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

This is a premium episode. And normally, that means that only our paying, premium subscribers can listen to it. But we have decided that for a second time in just 2 weeks we are giving everyone access to this premium episode.

Why? Because this episode is once again not about project management per se, but it is about job searching strategies. In particular, it is a discussion with Career Coach Tim Tyrell-Smith (www.timsstrategy.com) about a presentation he recently gave called: Career Networking with a Purpose. And because there are so many PMs out there looking for a job, I found that it's important to let everyone hear this and help them find a job. 

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 this Premium Episode #166. I am Cornelius Fichtner. This is The Project Management Podcast™, nice to have you with us.

This is a premium episode. And normally, that means that only our paying, premium subscribers can listen to it. But we have decided that for a second time in just 2 weeks, we are giving everyone access to this premium episode. Why? Because this episode is once again not about project management per se, just like the one last week, but it is about job searching strategies. In particular, it is a discussion with Career Coach, Tim Tyrell-Smith, about a presentation he recently gave called: “Career Networking with a Purpose”. And because there are so many project managers out there looking for a job who need help with their career networking, well, I found that it's important to let everybody hear this and help them find their next job.

But as always: My gratitude goes to everyone who has a paid, premium subscription. Thank you for supporting The Project Management Podcast™. Your subscription helps us pay our expenses.

So, put on your nametag and take out those business cards - it's networking time. Enjoy the interview.

Podcast Interview

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

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

Tim Tyrell-Smith: Hi, Cornelius. It’s great to be back.

Cornelius Fichtner: In this interview, we want to talk about a presentation that you occasionally give which is titled “Career Networking with a Purpose”. So why is it important to have a purpose?

Tim Tyrell-Smith: Well one of the things that I do in this presentation is I ask people 3 questions and my goal with those questions is to provoke people a little bit. Because I think that in some ways, people are out there networking which is great. But without a purpose, your networking isn’t giving you a whole lot of value. So I ask people 3 questions: “What are you doing here?” because I’m at a networking event. “What are you doing here?”, “Why today? Why this event? Do you even know?” The second one is “Who are you here to meet? Do you have a specific plan? Was there somebody that you knew was going to be here today that you wanted to take the time to come to this meeting to come to meet?” And third, “How does this event support your goals this week?” And the question is there to say: Do you even have goals this week because a lot of people that I meet don’t have specific goals that they set for themselves. And when I go and present, I have a card that I hand out that basically says: “My goal in job search this week are…” and there are 10 lines to fill in --- two things per day to keep you focused on the right stuff.

So those are the questions that I ask and in the end what I ask people to do is to set a specific plan for networking. And the line that I used which I think is just a great line is “Networking without a purpose is just socializing.” And while socializing can be a lot of fun and I like to hang out with my friends, I’m not going to justify spending 3 hours at a networking event away from my family if all I’m doing is socializing not even looking at the fact that I’m not progressing my job search forward. So networking with a purpose is just really, really important to make sure that you’ve got a plan from what you’re doing and you’re taking time to do the right things.

Cornelius Fichtner: You know when I think back to the time when I was looking for a job, I’ve attended many career networking events. But I never asked myself these questions: What am I doing at this career networking event here? Who do I want to meet here? And how does going to this event support my goals? I don’t think I ever asked myself these three very simple and powerful questions. How often do people tell you that: “Oh, I know the answer to these questions!”?

Tim Tyrell-Smith: I’d love to say that it was often. The answer is rarely. Most people in my experience are all trying to do the right thing but they don’t necessarily have a plan and we talked earlier in our interview about how project managers are very much about having a plan, very much about structured thought process so this is a group. Your listeners should be very good at this but someone needs to tell them.

And one of the things that I do with these questions is it’s like hitting people gently over the head with a 2x4 and then giving them my  hands to help them up and explain to them what I mean by “You really need to have a purpose in everything that you do.”

Cornelius Fichtner: One of the recommendations you give in the presentation is to know yourself and I believe that has to do with the style of how you network, right?

Tim Tyrell-Smith: It’s not just that. But you’re right. It’s just knowing who you are. For example, are you an introvert? Are you naturally comfortable in a networking environment? Because if you are then great, you can get out and be yourself and really be progressive meeting a lot of people and getting a lot done. But some of us, we’re not extroverts, were introverts and we struggle with getting out and introducing ourselves to people. We get nervous. We’re unsure about the way that we’re supposed to talk and work at these events. And then there are others, they just still don’t get it. They just don’t get that networking is an important part so that they’re passive or they end up avoiding the process altogether which is very, very harmful.

Cornelius Fichtner: You also recommend that people have to be memorable in their job search and I guess to support this, you have a picture here, Steve Martin wearing a bunny suit. I don’t think you recommend that we suddenly all show up in clown costumes at networking events, right?

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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