Toying with the title

Here’s the scoop. What I have done, successfully, over the years is management consulting. Here’s the rub. That isn’t a title that gets hired.
I think the challenge is to spin my skills into ‘value-add’ statements that are so enticing that the reader can’t help but want to talk.
Bottom line, I am a horrible resume writer. I have paid real money to have it written for me, more than once, to no avail.
I hate Candidate Tracking Systems. They only work if you the role is completely repetitive and leaves absolutely no room for decision-making or creativity.
A productive member to a new team is so much more than the skills that pass through the algorithm. Plus! The tracking system is only as good as the recruiter using it.
Recruiters have a rough job. At the core level, they are sales people. They have been hired to find ‘x’ any ‘y’ will pay them. For years, I called the company that actually paid my ‘my pimp’. Why? I never heard from them, unless something was wrong. Communicating with the ‘people’ who were actually performing the activities that got everyone paid was outside of the company’s scope.
This arrangement actually worked for me as I am rather autonomous and driven by a good set of core values. I believe in an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work. So it works.

I am a catch. I apply my core values to everything I do.
I need to find the place that appreciates those core values, too.
Maybe I will spend part of my day dissecting my current marketing document (that is all a resume is) and flipping it, focusing on what I deliver as a management consultant.

Job descriptions ugh!

Why I write in notepad rather than the web ui.
I always need to roll back!

I am in the midst of the job search. Joy of joys!
Means I am reading job descriptions. The problem with the descriptions is they rarely reflect the actual activity.
Add to the problem I am having to update my CV and explain it to the world, I am getting a little frustrated.

Had an appointment with a recruiter yesterday. Wouldn’t say it went incredibly well.
Okay, the first half hour was okay – the account manager had some specifics she wanted to discuss.
The opportunities are great fits, but –
1. I am on hiatus for x length of time. Unless blah, blah, blah
2. I am not doing that commute – you cannot pay me enough to do that drive daily!

The recruiter and I were left to discuss.
I really felt like this was a pity meeting because she had been given my resume 2 months ago when my other account guy moved onto something else.
We never connected.
When I found out about my end date, I reached out to my network. I have more than a few friends who work there and like working with me. She started getting bombarded with my resume.

Last week, we scheduled two appointments.
She missed the first one because of parking. I totally get it.
I cancelled the second one because it was at the end of the day I was waling out the door. I get EQ points for recognizing that fact.

This week we met, yesterday.
I was early. I did not want a recurrence of the parking fiasco last week.

Let’s just say, we didn’t hit it off.
She printed my resume as we walked into the room.
She made a lot of notes during our conversation.
She provided me feedback and gave me samples of resumes that had recently been placed in scrum master roles.
She provided harsh criticism. Well deserved? Maybe, maybe not.

I read the samples.
Good heavens! These look like a laundry list of activities I classify in the category ‘other duties as assigned’.

Back to the drawing board.

Below is a scrum master job description:

**Need Locals and Face to Face interview is required**Required Skills:
***MUST HAVE VERY STRONG WRITTEN AND VERBAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS***
3 years as a Scrum Master, not a Project Manager that ran scrum meetings, a designated scrum master.
Experience working on customer-facing applications (web and/or mobile)

Additional Skills:
Certified Scrum Master (CSM)

Job Description:
– Senior Scrum Master

Description:

The Customer Systems team at Client is responsible for continually enhancing our website, mobile apps and the applications our employees use to provide excellent customer service. We believe that routinely shipping increments of functionality, collaboratively planning and working to continuously improve will allow us to deliver innovations to our customers more often.

As a Scrum Master at Client you will be responsible for being the rock-star facilitator between development teams and product owners while remaining the shining example of Agile Scrum. You will be expected to hold the standard Scrum events, assist product owners with achieving a well-groomed backlog, removing impediments, and empowering your team(s) to continually evolve. 

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES:
Facilitate the Agile Delivery Practice
– Facilitate sprint planning, daily stand-up meetings, reviews/demos,
retrospectives, and release planning meetings for 2-3 product teams 
– Track and communicate team commitments, velocity and sprint/release progress
– Remove or escalate team impediments that jeopardize sprint goals
– Ensure the development teams are practicing the Agile principles
– Identify, suggest and collaborate with development and product owner on measurable
improvements for the team(s)
– Coach, train and support other scrum masters within the organization

Support the Product Owner
– Promote and contribute to the betterment of the product backlog 
– Promote and contribute to internal and external communications, improving
transparency, and radiating information 
– Facilitate value-based prioritization and resolution for new stories

Support the Product Team
– Participate proactively in developing and maintaining team standards, tools, and
best practices
– Identify and escalate and remove impediments to sprint goals 
– Facilitate discussion and conflict resolution
– Empower the team to self-organize
Other duties as assigned
– Embody the Alaska Spirit and conduct oneself with Professionalism, Integrity,
Resourcefulness, and Caring

Qualifications
– Bachelor’s degree or combination of relevant education and experience required
– Minimum 3+ years of experience as a Scrum Master required
– Minimum 5+ years of experience in technology industry and customer-centric
applications required
– Comprehensive understanding of Agile, Scrum XP software development methodologies,
values, and procedures required
– Certified Scrum Master (CSM) is preferred
– Excellent interpersonal skills, ability to work with diverse personality types
– Ability to understand technical issues at a high level
– Exceptional communication, organization, and time management skills
– Ability to lead and coach the team to reach their highest potential
– Collaborative approach to driving decisions
– Strong analytical and problem solving skills with a high attention to detail
– High school diploma or equivalent required
– Minimum age of 18
– Must be authorized to work in the U.S.

I signed up to produce ‘TPS Reports’ – really

I was recruited.  Actively pursued to take on the responsibility to deliver the onboarding factory for this communications company.

They needed me.  I needed them.  The timing was right, the environment was wrong.

There was a team in place, they needed some organization and leadership.  As a team, we were able to clear the backed-up pipeline in less than ninety days.

What we didn’t know is that we were picking up the wreckage from the previous attempts.  We wound up dissecting the processes and redesigning the delivery directly to the architect of the nightmare, the creator of the out-of-control-pipeline.  This taught me to ask a few more questions before jumping in with both feet.  Test the waters.  Do your homework.  Unless this is a greenfield project there are people attached and somewhere someone is connected to this chaos. Be careful.

This happened so long ago that it is truly a distant memory but the emotions that came running back when I started thinking about what happened were disconcerting.

I really think it is those damages that led me to stay in my next position so long.  Far beyond the expiration date for the role, so it is time to be moving on.

This is the place where I literally produced TPS Reports.  I tried to make jokes about ‘flair’ and ‘red swingline staplers’ but my humor was lost on my fellow cube dwellers.

Resume Updating

  • Good reason – I am now a Certified Scrum Master (CSM).
  • Bad reason – I am feeling really, really old….one of my co-workers was using a number of chat-like responses to me in email.  I could easily go off on a rant about the negative effect SMS has had on business communications etiquette and the maturity usage implies about the sender, but I prefer to focus on the end result of this encounter.

I realized I am not up on the latest “net” lingo, but I am familiar with “standard” instant communications lingo, I have a link or two bookmarked to help me out.  When I checked for the acronym tossed my way in the above mentioned encounter, the symbols used are not recognized; so I asked for a definition.  I got one – this specific symbol set is exclusive to this person’s previous employer and has absolutely no translation in this ecosystem.

The ageing part was yet to come.  While researching text messaging shorthand, I tripped over this:

In the old days (circa 1980)

Thus why I feel old…..