Successful Work Search Needs Effective Project Management

Successful Work Search Needs Effective Project Management

Over the years, I have worked with many project managers as their career coach. The key 5 components for project manager were shared with me by several project managers when I worked at a recent Toronto Chapter Career Day Event. Subsequent coaching meetings with PMI Association members have emphasized the 5 project management components that lead to the successful end of a project.

Whether a project manager is managing a large IT project, a construction project or a job search, similar steps are required for the end goal. As project managers, you must see projects from conception to initiation to completion. With a job search must:

1) conceptualize the job that you are searching for,

2) develop a plan of action,

3) begin and conduct the actual work search,

4) manage the daily search and

5) evaluate the progress of the search on an ongoing basis.

Keep some of your training in mind, when you set out to manage your new project – a successful job search.

1. Project conception and initiation

To start a job search, it is critical to do an assessment of your skills and experience. What have you accomplished in your career and what are your immediate and future goals? Consider what you have achieved, both academically and professionally. Evaluate the career path that you have taken so far. Think about where would you like to go in terms of your career? Consider what is important to you when you conduct your work search. Think about your values, interests, motivations, salary expectations and preferred location. What size of an organization are you interested in working for?

2. Project management definition and planning

Now is the time to plan your job search project. Chart your plan of action that you will require to reach your goal. What timelines have you set for your work search? What research will you need to do? Will you need to meet people in your field – past employers, members of associations and networking groups? What information will you need to research to become more knowledgeable about your field of interest, the work outlook and the demands of employers? Which organizations are hiring and what will you need to do to effectively market yourself?

3. Project launch or execution

How many people will you meet every week in your job search? The recommendations are that expanding your professional network while maintaining contact with people in your existing network, are key to conducting an effective work search. Depending upon what statistics you read, between 70-90% of people looking for new jobs, succeed by tapping into their network. Plan your time accordingly.

With that in mind, how much of your work search time will you focus on building and growing your network – both online and in person? All avenues should be used for your work search including job boards and company postings. Make sure that your resume markets your key achievements and results according to what the post requires. Have you test marketed your resume and cover letter with people in your professional network? Do you have success stories that you can share in upcoming job interviews?

4. Project performance and control

Like any project, compare the status of your plan with the schedule that you set out for your work search. Track your work search process to this point. Are you on schedule? Is your resume performing to the expectations of employers for specific jobs? How is your confidence? Is there anything that you can do accelerate the progress of your work search? How many resumes have you sent out?

5. Project management completion

So your project has been a success and you have accomplished what you set out to do. You have found and secured work in your desired field. How would you evaluate your overall job search? How did you perform in your job interviews? What could you do differently?

After all search project tasks have been completed, you can evaluate the highlights and success of your
work search project. Like any project, you can learn what you have done well and what you would like to improve
– after the project is completed and you have secured your new work role.

Originally published on

To learn more about this strategy, contact me.