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    Thread: Girlfriend lost her job

    1. Member PKstrategy's Avatar
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      10-04-2012 02:08 PM #1
      So I'm just posting this here in hopes of helping her out.

      She was working at a media marketing group and they "terminated her immediately" because she wasn't a well suit PM (Project Manager) for their sudden onset of a slew of projects. Just like that, out of NO WHERE. Sure there were ups and downs during her time there (she hasn't been there long) but I personally didn't see/hear of anything major that could have warranted this. Then again, I don't work there and haven't worked there with her either.

      She's torn and I feel bad for her. She was about to start training for her PMP.
      She's aware that she wasn't a fully certified PM, but the company knew that when they hired her. They didn't mind and definitely suggested training and offered discounts on PMP courses, etc.

      So anyway, I want to help her get back on her feet.

      Is it a better idea to not work for a while and really focus on getting certified and then try again?
      Or does she pick up work immediately or ASAP and try to get certified in the interim?

      She's a newbie to NYC but has been here for about a year and a half. She's got rent to look out for and has a couple of months left on that as it is.

      Just lookin for feedback/advice.

      Thanks all

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      10-05-2012 05:48 PM #2
      Welcome to NYC, getting fired in NYC is probably the best experience in her career. It gives you a chance to reflect on what you need to improve.

      I've been fired just 3x in my 15yr+ career working in NYC.

      I highly recommend attending free trade shows in her industry where ever you can do a little free networking. In the meantime it's best to sort out the finances and wack out any unnecessary bills like cable, gym, eat in, but don't quit Starbucks. I've actually met some important people at Starbucks in NYC.

      Don't go back looking for PM jobs those are very difficult to compete for, big firms hire only the creme of the crop these days. For a women this means looks and physical appearance before anything else, sadly.

      Start looking for different roles in the same industry that you understand and can get you in the door easily. Michael Bloomberg created his empire, he started from the bottom.

      I've had a PM that was 6'1" blonde, clueless, and we were scratching our heads as to how she even got the job. I figure she always has fresh lipstick she must be putting it on a lot!

      NYC is a big rat hole, everyone's here to run the big rat race here.

      Here are my unwritten rules for working in NYC:

      - There are no real friends at work
      - No such thing as job security unless you own the company
      - Always watch your back and watch what you say and email to others
      - Workday starts before the boss comes in and ends after the boss leaves
      - Never show up to meeting empty handed
      - Always answer a question with a 1/2 answer and a question
      - Never make promises, keep your hands clean

      If she can make it in NYC, she can work virtually anywhere.
      Last edited by Vision33r; 10-05-2012 at 05:52 PM.

    3. 10-08-2012 12:08 PM #3
      Jesus Christ, that is horrible advice. What the hell are you talking about?

      My suggestion would be to start looking for jobs immediately. The longer one is unemployed, the harder it is to get a job. Along with looking for jobs, it would be beneficial for her to try to get certified in the interim if she can swing it. It shows employers that she's proactive and it's a good thing to talk about during an interview. It's still tough to get a job out there so the sooner she starts looking, the sooner she'll land one. Good luck.

    4. Member PKstrategy's Avatar
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      10-08-2012 12:35 PM #4
      thanks for the advice guys

      What we concluded on recently is that the PM work she was doing here was vastly different than the PM work she did at her last position. Here, the focus was on web development (where she is not technically sound) and the last position had to do with Medical Healthcare companies (she left this one because of this position she just lost - fail) So the summary is "she isn't good at PM'ing web development projects/technical projects". She will need to spend some time investigating what type of PM work she would truly be good at.

      She's torn between starting to look immediately or if she should take some time to "look into her strengths/weaknesses" and really attack where she needs improvement most. Since she will be out of $ now, she's afraid of pursuing any certs in fear of not affording them.
      But I do agree with you, Spiffy, that she should stay on top of it because it will show that she is proactive.

      What else can she do?

      She is entertaining the idea of part time work like admin assistant, clerk, baby sitting (has years of experience), etc.
      Last edited by PKstrategy; 10-08-2012 at 12:38 PM.

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      10-08-2012 01:24 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiffyGTI View Post
      Jesus Christ, that is horrible advice. What the hell are you talking about?

      My suggestion would be to start looking for jobs immediately. The longer one is unemployed, the harder it is to get a job. Along with looking for jobs, it would be beneficial for her to try to get certified in the interim if she can swing it. It shows employers that she's proactive and it's a good thing to talk about during an interview. It's still tough to get a job out there so the sooner she starts looking, the sooner she'll land one. Good luck.
      You have no clue working in NYC is like. You don't get hired to be a PM in NYC without good experience and references.

      If you start looking for a job unprepared you are basically killing your chances in NYC. Headhunters want studs, once they find that you need a lot of help to ace an interview they're gonna run for someone else.

      I tell headhunters, don't waste my time sending me amateurs. I want studs. I don't care if you are certified or not, you have to come into interviews prepared to get grilled. If you're not cut to be a PM in NYC, give it up. Try finding a different position to get your foot in.
      Last edited by Vision33r; 10-08-2012 at 01:26 PM.

    6. 10-08-2012 02:02 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by Vision33r View Post
      You have no clue working in NYC is like. You don't get hired to be a PM in NYC without good experience and references.

      If you start looking for a job unprepared you are basically killing your chances in NYC. Headhunters want studs, once they find that you need a lot of help to ace an interview they're gonna run for someone else.

      I tell headhunters, don't waste my time sending me amateurs. I want studs. I don't care if you are certified or not, you have to come into interviews prepared to get grilled. If you're not cut to be a PM in NYC, give it up. Try finding a different position to get your foot in.
      wow. OP made no mention of working with headhunters. I have a pretty good idea of what working in NYC is like though. If I told a headhunter "don't waste my time by sending me amateurs, I want studs," and they kept a straight face, I wouldn't trust them.

      Anyway, OP, if your girlfriend still wants to pursue PM jobs, then I would stick to jobs within that realm. If she wants to do babysitting on the side to make money, by all means she should do that. Obviously she should focus on career-building jobs and certifications though if she wants to stick with PM. Even an admin assistant job can lead to advancement opportunities with the right company. It's different at every company though. At least if she's working, she can continue making contacts and working on her skills.

      I wouldn't necessarily recommend taking time off to analyze strengths and weaknesses. It's pretty straightforward in my opinion. If she was let go because she lacked the technical background for web development projects, then there's the weakness - lack of fundamental understanding. Pretty easy to cure - read/study/learn. This comes with every job though. There are a ton of resources available online to help with that stuff. Losing a job sucks but she'll get back in there soon enough.

    7. 10-08-2012 02:42 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiffyGTI View Post
      wow. OP made no mention of working with headhunters. I have a pretty good idea of what working in NYC is like though. If I told a headhunter "don't waste my time by sending me amateurs, I want studs," and they kept a straight face, I wouldn't trust them.
      There is nothing wrong with that if you're willing to pay for it. That's pretty much what my current employer (IT consultant in Metropolitan DC) said to the recruiter I was working with. We deal with a lot of high-powered divas here (lawyers, lobbyists/consultants, NGO's, PAC's), and you really need an all-star who is both very knowledgeable about tech (quite a few of those around here) and also a high-functioning human being that can sound intelligent and articulate when interacting with clients.

      It's another reason why a native English-speaking .NET developer can pull $125k with 2 years of experience. You need technical ability AND the ability to express yourself and communicate. You have a gigantic pool of people with one or the other, but not both.
      Last edited by Angry_Birds; 10-08-2012 at 02:45 PM.

    8. 10-08-2012 02:53 PM #8
      I completely agree. Going with a headhunter is a very viable option for a lot of people. You're absolutely right about that specific kind of .NET developer though. I used to do that and I've always thought about getting back into it because of the opportunities out there.

    9. 10-08-2012 04:20 PM #9
      She has media experience as a PM. Tell her to look into advertising/marketing agency's that have more of a traditional focus. Look at JWT, Grey, Ogilvy, etc.

    10. Member PKstrategy's Avatar
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      10-08-2012 05:47 PM #10
      vision and spiffy, I understand where you guys are coming from but I'll tell you a few things about her:
      She was definitely articulate and ready to be grilled on the interview.
      The lame part is, they had already "established her short comings" in the interview and made it seem like "no sweat, we'll provide you or honor any training you take to get up to par".

      That weakness is exactly what she needs to work on to get back into a job PM'ing technical web development projects - which she does not want to do....

      Thanks slowvento bc I think you're making a good point there as she may be a better suit for those industries.

      It has been 2 working days now (she got fired on Thursday)
      She's meeting with a best friend today who is in the media/marketing biz.
      So I'd like to think she's got the right cap on today and is going to scoop some viable career path info from her tonight.

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