Sunday, November 20, 2011

Chronicles of an IT Job Seeker: I passed the CBAP!

Life is full of ups and downs and being unemployed is like riding an emotional roller coaster. One day things are looking up and you’re in a world of bliss. Other days just don’t go as well. If you’re a job seeker you’ll know what I mean. Does anybody handle rejection well?

“Life is full of ups and downs. The trick is to enjoy the ups and have courage during the downs.”

When I took a Business Analysis course at Microtrain this past summer, I decided to pursue CBAP® certification. CBAP® recipients are the elite, senior members of the Business Analysis community.

Like the PMP, it’s a very rigorous process to apply. You need at least 7500 hours of hands-on Business Analysis experience in the past 10 years, a minimum of 21 hours of Professional Development and two references from a career manager, client or CBAP® recipient. Then you have to pass the exam!

The CBAP® exam is 3.5 hours long and consists of 150 multiple choice questions with four possible answers to select from. Some questions are based on "comprehension" (e.g., definition, recall, etc.) and others are based on "situational analysis" (e.g., given a scenario, which is the best course of action) where the applicant must do a bit of analysis to arrive at the answer.

CBAP®/CCBA™ Certification and Preparation: Frequently Asked Questions

I like practice exams and I went with Watermark Learning. Their CEO, Elizabeth Larson, gave a talk at one of our PMI meetings. Elizabeth was a lead contributor to the A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge: (PMBOK® Guide), 4th edition (Collect Requirements) and to the A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge® (BABOK® Guide) 2nd edition chapter Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring. She knows her stuff!

Test Prep: I spent a lot of time on my iPad taking practice exams and it paid off. I liked the immediate feedback from right and wrong answers and the references to the sections and pages in the BABOK. I kept taking the practice exams and re-reading sections of the BABOK until I consistently scored in the high 90’s. This took about 100 study hours over a 4 week period.

Test day: I spent about 2 hours on the 3 ½ test and when I hit the “submit test” button, this is what came back.

Castle Worldwide: Results for MILTON HAYNES
Test Name: Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP®)
Test Taken: November 19, 2011


On behalf of the IIBA Certification Body, we are happy to inform you that you passed the CBAP® Exam. Thus, we are delighted to grant you the Certified Business Analysis Professional designation.

Today is a good day!

Milt Haynes is an accomplished IT Executive with extensive experience establishing and leading IT organizations responsible for business transformation, PMO management, program management, supplier management, organizational change management and IT service management. His professional experience spans a variety of industries including life sciences, pharmaceuticals, medical products, nutrition products, telecommunications R&D, insurance, technical consulting, manufacturing, stock exchange and banking.

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Chronicles of an IT Job Seeker: Staying Energized!

Running a job search is like running a project. You’ve got project objectives (e.g. land a job you like with the pay you want in the shortest time possible); and you’ve got a budget and expected time to completion. Just like project managers have the PMBOK methodology to guide the way, job seekers have The Pierson Method ( a job search methodology that’s scientifically proven to be over 20% more effective than the traditional job search methods.

But there is another side to job search that’s even more important. It’s a positive mental attitude that makes all the difference in the world! How can you stay positive? How do you stay energized? It’s not easy when we see so much negativity around us. Just watch the news on TV and you’ll understand what I mean. Couple that with the constant rejection job seekers receive every day and you will begin to see how hard it is to stay positive.

What can you do to stay energized? Feel like the Energizer Bunny and adopt a never quit spirit. Keep going and going and going! Feel like a Timex watch. It takes a licking and keeps on ticking!

Check out Napoleon Hill’s Thought for a day.

There always remains an opportunity to make a new start.

Though it may not seem so when you first encounter a serious blow, you can never lose two of the most important assets you have. These are the power of your mind and your freedom to use it. Once you have turned them to understanding what laid you low, you can begin forming new plans. You may not have the money you once had; you may lack the allies you had cultivated. But you still have the benefit of a universe that eventually rewards honest effort, as well as gaining the experience of mistakes you will never make again. Remember, no matter where you are now, whatever you can conceive and believe, you can achieve. Protect the most important thing you have.

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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Chronicles of an IT Job Seeker – Networking 301

When I heard that 70%-80% of all job seekers find jobs through networking it made me wonder why I hadn’t landed a job yet. I’ve known for a long time that relationships make the difference between long-term unemployment and finding a job quickly. I’ve been expanding my social network for years and my contact database has grown to over 10,000 people. I thought that leveraging my network would make finding a job easy. Wrong!

Networking to find a job is more about being at the right place at the right time and for the IT industry, effective networking takes on a whole new dimension. Because of the tight economy, hiring managers can afford to be “picky” so they look for specialized skill sets, relevant experience and recent experience. So the fact that you did a similar job ten years ago simply does not matter.

How can you compete? Networking, Networking, Networking. It’s all about taking networking to the next level!

Networking 101: Traditional networking involves attending networking meetings. When you attend meetings you get to meet people for the first time. You get their card. You give them your card and that’s where the relationship begins. This is where you plant the seeds for harvesting many months from now. This includes meeting people via a conference call too.

Networking 201: The next level is to connect online. I use LinkedIn for professional networking and I’m a member of many other online communities too. By engaging in dialogue online, you get to see and to be seen which is ever so important when it comes to leveraging your professional network for job hunting. To find your dream job in this tough economy, you need a ton of people looking out for you and helping you tap into the hidden job market. Networking with folks online is essential.

Networking 301: One-on-one “informational” meetings with decision makers takes networking to a whole new level. Let’s face it. The person you are trying to meet is the person who has the job you want and is willing to give it to you. This person is the “hiring manager”, but to get to the hiring manager, you’re going to have to connect with a lot of other people first. Here’s what the experts say.

The average search by the average candidate requires conversations with 25 Decision Makers. The Decision Maker is your next boss, or your boss’s boss.

-- Orville Pierson, The unwritten rules of the highly effective job search

The Unwritten Rules of Highly Effective Job Search tells you how to plan and organize the entire job search in the most effective ways possible. It includes information on making a Project Plan, creating a Core Message, and using Progress Measurements so you can tell how fast you're moving toward a good new job.

Live long and prosper...

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Job Hunters – A Resource Guide to Landing the Job

Samantha, a student at the Coastal Academy in California, found a really nice resource website for job seekers. It’s got links to resources and tips on resume/curriculum vitae, cover letter, interview etiquette, follow-up, career websites and staffing agencies. Thanks Samantha!

Finding a career you enjoy is a worthwhile endeavor, but it does take some legwork on your part to get the job of your dreams. Today’s employers want to get a comprehensive look at their potential employees before they make a hiring decision. As a job seeker, understanding the information that businesses are looking for can mean the difference between getting hired and just adding your resume to their files. It is essential to understand the process and know where to look for the job that will be the right fit for you.

Click here for more:

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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Chronicles of an IT Job Seeker-Job Search is a Team Sport!

This has been an exciting week! I joined a Job Search Work Team where I learned about the Pierson Method. Now I'm convinced that finding a job is a team sport. It's like basketball, football and soccer, it takes a group of people working together toward common goals to win on the field.

What is a Job Search Work Team?

A job search work team is:

  • a group of people committed to helping each other in job search by keeping each other focused on key tasks and accountable for getting them done.
  • an advisory panel that knows you and your search and can provide good answers to the questions that come up in job hunting.
  • an opportunity for job hunters to share information and information sources, so everyone gets smarter about the job market.
  • a core network for its members.
  • a project management team.
  • a way to make the sometimes difficult job of job hunting easier and more pleasant.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Chronicles of an IT Job Seeker - The Pierson Method

I attended a Job Search Work Team (JSWT) meeting and found it very enlightening. The JSWT team follows the Pierson Method found in the book “The Unwritten Rules of the Highly Effective Job Search” by Orville Pierson.

The Pierson Method is a job hunting system that uses a Project Plan and Progress Measurements. It guides you step-by-step through a highly effective job search in three phases:

1. Get Ready: Plan and Prepare.

2. Get Moving: Take a Systematic Approach

3. Manage Your Search: Use Progress Measurements

I like following processes that work and this methodology has helped over 600,000 people land great jobs using the proven strategies of Orville Pierson.  It uses Job Search Networking, a method that has been proven to work for 70%-80% of all job seekers.

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Chronicles of an IT Job Seeker

Somebody said I should write a book about Careers in IT and how to succeed in this challenging job market. Maybe I will one day, but until then you'll just have to keep reading my blog posts to stay abreast of the latest happenings. Yeah, that's right, not only has the technology changed dramatically over the last few years, the format for resumes, interviewing styles and job search strategies have changed dramatically too.

Just in case you haven't heard, I was laid off my job in January and I'm still looking. So let me start this post with a short commercial a.k.a. my 20 second  elevator pitch. 

I know clearly which job I desire.

I'm an IT executive looking for a position in cloud computing, strategy & planning, enterprise architecture, project management, program management, PMO management, supplier management and IT service management.

The good news is that I've learned so much since I started job hunting and I'm anxious to share. Do you know the 5 steps to get from job seeker to employee and what employers look for each step of the way? It's called 12 Employer Expectations – 12 Rules of Etiquette and since I started following these rules my phone has been buzzing every day!

Milt Haynes, Founder
Blacks Gone Geek

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