Sometimes I rely on other's optimism about my job hunt. I mean, objectively, it isn't heading the direction I want, so it is really great to have someone who knows what they are talking about say, "C'mon, I think you'd be a good fit for this position."
This was the formerly job hunting friend of mine who hooked me up with some of his great contacts- he suggested that for the right person and project, a Project Management job could be entry level. I have since learned that there are sometimes "associate PM" positions, but I don't see many listed currently. He saw a job at an old employer, and put me in touch with someone who knew the role and the hiring manger. Slam-dunk, right?
Not so much. The contact at Philips, while very encouraging and empathetic, was pretty clear that for that specific role they needed someone who understood either oral health, or manufacturing... ideally both. You can double check my LinkedIn profile, but I've got experience in neither. I was feeling pretty crestfallen, when he said, "You would probably be a better fit for a scientist position" which obviously made me want to explode. But, instead, I said, "I'd love to work as a scientist, but I don't have the clinical experience that most positions in the area are looking for. I can't find a role as a scientist, which is why I've been looking at alternative ways to use my education." He said he knew that Philips would be opening some positions 'soon' (in a couple months) and offered to pass around my CV, which isn't a bad outcome.
I had this phone call, and then went to my first Intro to Project Management class at Bellevue College. They offer a certificate, and can help people get the coveted PMP certification through PMI. The PMP certification requires thousands of hours of experience, which means it probably can't help me with my current effort to find a job. But, I head about another one that might. Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) requires much less experience (or just two classes, one of which I am taking already) and a certification exam. There is a knowledge requirement, so it is meaningful, but it is something I could get before the summer- so it might be possible to influence my current job hunt. This is a certification that isn't for established experts in the field, but does show that you take the PMI methods seriously, and have spent some time in this area of professional development.
I'm thinking about taking the CAPM, it will be nice to have something concrete to show for all this "professional development," but it might be hard to justify the time away from the job hunt.