I am often asked in interviews and conversations with colleagues something like "why have you moved around so much" or "why do you have gaps in your job experience". My answer is this.
We live in a changing world and it is a very exciting time to be alive! Over the last 30 years, technology has changed all our lives - mostly for the better. The way we shop and bank is changing. The United States' geopolitical position is changing. Domestic politics and social issues are changing. Even the way we think of money is changing.
20 years ago we had tools and emerging standards like Lotus 123, Alta Vista, Lycos, America On Line. Apple was almost dead. Chrysler was almost dead. Land lines were still predominant. But the shifting sands of change (mergers, acquisitions, political will, bailouts, outright failures) take their toll. We adapt and overcome, or we are left behind.
As a project manager, I see myself as an agent of change, not a victim. (Incidentally, this makes me a "D" communicator type in the DISC Communication Style!) Projects I have worked on have failed. Proposals I have written have not been accepted or budgets have been cut. Technologies I believed were once viable have gone by the wayside in favor of more robust or flexible solutions. I have also had my share of successes, and I always give my excellent team the credit for those. But the key here is to adapt and find a way to profit from our experiences with failure and success and use change as a learning experience.
Even the role of project manager itself is evolving. As a solution to constantly changing client software demands, we use Agile and Scrum techniques to shorten the commitment cycle and respond daily, weekly and monthly to moving targets. Waterfall style SDLC (software development life cycle) approaches are falling out of vogue. We use offshore teams to effectively create a round the clock production cycle where some team members are working while we sleep and recreate in our own time zones. We use our phones and home screens to "telecommute" and respond to issues in the moment. In terms of process and product engineering, we use just in time, lean manufacturing and AI and robotics to streamline inventory cycles and cut costs to remain competitive in a global environment.
When I am hired as a project manager either as an employee or contractor, my job is to help my team find the profit in these changes. We must deliver projects quickly (before the technology evolves - again! or somebody else will beat us to the punch), on budget (or our funding may get cut), and with resources that may still be in shock from having their last project pulled out from under them. A big part of my job, like a captain in rough seas, is to help the crew navigate the choppy waters. I use my experience, critical thinking skills, and knowledge and training to bring as much consistency as possible to an ever changing landscape. I use interpersonal skills to help motivate and focus a frazzled team. I make sure we keep our eye on the ball while still having fun and laughing at the crazy world in which we live and work. And, perhaps, most importantly, when the water gets too rough (financial crises of 2007, dotcom bust of 2001, recession of 1987), we dock the boat in a safe harbor and ride out the storm until it passes. With proper personal planning and budgeting (debt management, living within one's means and saving for a rainy day) we can do the smart thing and lie low until conditions improve.
To summarize, I respond with a simple equation: change=life. Were it not for the rapid rate of change all around us, we would not have many of the wonderful tools and choices we enjoy today. Change allows competitors to swoop in and grow market share from long established, monolithic organizations. It allows new ideas to take hold and bring novel solutions to market. It has the power to make all our lives better. And change happens one project at a time. Project managers are true agents of change, and the world depends on us to solve its problems and bring new solutions to the individuals, corporations and governments. It truly is a great time to be alive, and by working together we make miracles happen, and when we do it right, the profits follow.
||"Project management is my life. I love what I do!"
I will measurably enhance your project budgets and solve the biggest problems on your plate with real-world efficiency gains by empowering others and applying over 23 years of strategic and critical decision making experience.