livan says he made a point of intro-
ducing himself to co-workers and
neighboring cubicle dwellers and invit-
ing them to lunch. “They helped give
me insight into the culture, practices
and protocol,” he recalls. “That was
For Mr. Sullivan, it was jumping
into uncharted territory.
“The environment here is different,”
he admits. At his old job, “it was all
about tools and techniques and culture
change,” he says. “Now my time is
spent obtaining, analyzing, interpret-
ing and reporting information, as well
as helping to facilitate communication
And while he played a pivotal part
in his previous employer’s project man-
nearly 212 million
The number of unemployed
workers worldwide last year
The projected global unemployment
rate for 2010
Source: Global Employment Trends, International Labour Office
agement office, Mr. Sullivan’s current
company doesn’t have one.
The switch in organizational culture has required him to make some
personal accommodations. “I’ve had to
readjust my personality,” he says. “I’ve
had to learn to be patient.”
>GETTING UP TO SPEED
With the business world transforming at lightning speed, project managers can
feel out of the loop after a long bout of unemployment.
“If you haven’t been working for a while, you can lose a bit of your sharpness and get out of touch with what’s happening in the marketplace or
corporations,” warns John Hannon, New Projections, Welwyn Garden City,
Here are five steps to take your project management skills from rusty to
1 Study. Technical courses, seminars and webinars are an excellent way to
brush up on your skills and gain new accreditations.
2 Connect. Share knowledge and take advantage of networking opportunities
through PMI chapters or virtual communities of practice.
3 Read. Whether it’s flipping through a trade journal or turning on your iPad,
nothing beats reading about the latest trends.
4 Attend. Head to conferences and trade shows that can put you within
arm’s reach of some project management authorities.
5 Partner. Find a mentor who can provide you with valuable advice and help
you navigate the ever-evolving project management landscape.