How to Use Your Agile Skills to Land a Better Job

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“I’m the best Scrum Master in this company, and I get no appreciation.  I haven’t gotten a raise in 3 years!!”
“So why are you still around?”
“Because I care and I think I can make a difference!”
“Ok, but what is it that you really want?  Your current company has shown they don’t really value you”
“I want to go to a place where I’m appreciated and I can make a difference”
“Ok, I think it’s time for you to find another job…”

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Why we don’t have the job we want

Because we have notions of career progression straight from the 60’s:  “Work hard, do everything you’re told, and you will be recognized for your contributions.”  Let me ask you something, how many of you have done just that… worked hard, did everything you were asked (and more), and sat frustrated while some bozo who skates by on other people’s work gets all the promotions?  How many times have you seen someone who sucked at their job but was great at politics continually get recognized as a “game changer” in your department?  Why are you working hard and doing everything you’re asked while the sociopaths kiss up and get all the glory?  Because the bozos know something you don’t (yet) know:  Visibility is the key to raising your profile and having your choice of great jobs.  All things being equal, hiring managers will hire the person with the most visibility.  Its a branding thing.

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Start a blog

When Agile professionals ask me about how to land a better position.  The first thing I ask them is “Do you have a blog?”  If they say yes, I ask them, “When is the last time you have written anything?”  I’m usually met with a sheepish grin.  The difference between those who have high visibility and a platform to continually grow that visibility and those who do not is… consistent demonstration of expertise.  How do you consistently demonstrate expertise?  Consistently write.  So sorry, your blog that has the most recent post as August 2012 does not count, otherwise, you’re “Just another wordpress blog”

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Engage with your local agile community

At the San Diego Agile monthly meetings, someone is always either looking for a job or looking to hire.  Those who are looking to hire are looking for ways to find the most attractive candidate.  The best candidates are the ones who are involved.  They are constantly learning from the best in the industry, and consistently refining their skillsets to match those that are the most sought after in the market.  The local Agile community is a great place to let people know you’re looking (then send them over to your blog).

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Speak

I hear the excuses already, “I’m not an expert… I’m just a .. <insert job title here>.”  There is one thing you are an expert in is your journey.  That is to say even an experience report of your personal Agile journey or your company’s Agile journey.  Some of the best speakers don’t start as experts.  They start as someone willing to share their experiences.  Pro tip:  Start with speaking at your local Agile user group meeting.  They tend to be more forgiving as an audience and you can work out the kinks in your talk.  Speak at other regional Agile user group meetings too.  It helps raise your profile in a broader area, and the name recognition helps when looking for a new position.

Give me the to Growing My Influence

Until Next Time,
Stay Agile, My Friends

Interested in building your profile and influence and getting more speaking engagements?  Download my “Guide to Growing Influence

 

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