After teaching a project management seminar, a student asked if he could speak with me in private. He wanted guidance regarding how he could apply this new knowledge to jumpstart his career. During the multi-day class, he was participative, showing excellent enthusiasm. |
Here is the conversation:
DAN: Dr. Flores, project management seems to have many applications. I’ve worked on projects for many years, and I want to earn the PMP [Project Management Professional] certification. I think I meet the requirements, and plan to get started right away.
ME: Based on what you told me during the class, I’m sure you have the credentials. Your focus now is to study for the exam, and I’m sure that you will do well.
DAN: I like what I do here at my company, but I’ve had chances to do even more. Each time an opportunity presented itself, I decided to pass it up. ME: What were those opportunities?
DATE: Several years ago, a colleague asked if I would help him provide technical training to employees in a company. This was perfect for me because the focus was on database technologies, which is my specialty. The training would take place on several weekends, which meant that I wouldn’t miss any work. After talking with my wife, I decided that spending my weekends at home was probably better, even though my wife insisted that I go for it. Today, my friend is doing very well with the training. I asked him if he needed help, and he told me that he is fully staffed. It was a missed opportunity.
ME: It does seem like it usually pays be proactive. Making the decision is tough at first, but taking chances is part of getting ahead. DAN: Right! About four years ago, I was going to begin my doctorate, and hopefully seek a teaching job as an adjunct professor. I submitted the application, and was accepted at a university. However, a week before my first class, I decided against it. I didn’t think I had the time to commit to it. Now, it’s four years later. Had I stuck with the decision, I would be done with the program. I think about this misstep all the time. It was going to be hard work, but I love learning. I can’t believe that I didn’t do it.
ME: Let’s deal with where you are today. You like project management, and you have the credentials to pursue the certification.
DAN: I agree. This is a chance I am not going to pass up. I’m 52-years-old, and I want to take control of my career. I want to do work that I love.
ME: I agree, Dan. I can tell during our class that you have what it takes to be an excellent project manager. Earning the PMP will place you on the right track. It’s a difference-maker.
I heard from Dan a week ago, and he is scheduled to take the exam here soon. He is allocating the time to study, and I’m sure that he will pass the exam. Although he is upset that he failed to take advantage of previous opportunities, he is still enthusiastic about his future. It’s great to see that he is focused and committed to bettering his career.
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