Will Lukang, PMP, CSM, CLDC

In this competitive marketplace, every opportunity is contested by numerous people.  Sometimes it feels like American Idol, because you’ll be going through numerous job interviews before you’ll receive an offer and are later hired.   The current market setting is a buyer’s market—the buyers are the employers.  They can be selective because they know that there are many candidates.    Aside from being selective, they often look for an exact match or a very close match.

Once you’ve made it through and received an offer and accepted the job, the fun begins.   You’ll be put to task to demonstrate that you can learn and adapt quickly.   Learning the business will be key to your success.

Here are a few ways of accomplishing the aspect of learning.

  • Learn as you go, but that will take a long time.
  • Read materials or published articles related to the industry to help get you up to speed.   This is valuable and can help you stay current.
  • Join a forum or user group to exchange knowledge and experiences
  • Attend conferences – this is another way of keeping abreast and networking with others in the field.
  • Work on attaining your certification where applicable.   This will be a great way of enhancing your value.
  • Lastly, find a mentor—this means finding someone whom you respect who is knowledgeable in the area in which you’re interested.

There are no rules as to how many mentors you can have.  You need to make sure you can honor the commitment and are not just wasting people’s time.    It is important that you come up with a reason why you’ll benefit from having that person mentor you and what you expect to get out of the relationship.

Finally, you can seek mentors for multiple aspects of things you’re working on.  It is important to take things in perspective and make sure you can spend the time to continue the relationship.    As you gain more experience working with a mentor, do the same and mentor other people.  Please pay it forward.