June 24, 2013

Think Like a Project Manager to Land your Next Job – Part 3

Monitor your progress

Use your chart to see if you are on target by monitoring your progress. As you work on a task, mark it complete or use a percentage to show how much you have accomplished. If you track the actual begin date and the actual end date, you’ll have a clear picture of how well you estimated the time needed for each task and know if you need to adjust the dates for successor tasks.

By looking at your project plan, you will see how much you have accomplished and how much you still have to work on. This is your status. Are you on track or have you slipped?

Be flexible

A good project manager knows that things don’t always go as planned. Be flexible! You may be running behind schedule, or maybe even ahead of schedule. It may be necessary to reschedule tasks by adjusting the begin date and end date of uncompleted tasks.

There are a lot of unknowns in a job search! How many interviews will you have? How many offers will you receive? If you are unhappy with how you are progressing, you may decide to broaden your scope to include a different type of position or another geographic location.

Any changes to the initial scope changes your plan and requires change management. Go back into your plan and see if you need to add any additional tasks, such as rewriting your resume, joining a different networking group, or going on additional interviews. How do the changes affect your timeline? Continue to add new tasks to your project plan as needed.

Learn from the process

When you finally land your dream job, take a few minutes to update your project plan and close your project. Take some time to record lessons learned. Which tasks went well? Which tasks can you improve upon?

Next time you find yourself back in job market, you will have a plan that you can dust off and put into action. 

Remember, every person is unique, so each person’s project plan will look different.

-Annette Lange
Project Manager
Communications Committee