The Art of Project Management: Expert advice from experienced project managers in Silicon Valley, and around the world
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How do you transition from a consulting job back to management?

Hello, this is Laura Lee Rose – Corporate Exit Strategist for the blooming entrepreneur – and I am a business and life coach that specializes in Time Management, Project management training and work-life balance strategies.  I recently received a question regarding “How do you transition from a consulting job back into management?”.  This is a great topic, because the answer is useful whether you are moving from a consulting job back into IT, or management; OR moving from any field to a different career.

Side note: When re-entering into the corporate environment from either a consultant or previous entrepreneurial position, I highly recommend targeting executive or skip-level positions.  Do not focus on corporate positions that are a lateral role to your previous corporate position.  The experience that you gained as a consultant or entrepreneur is equivalent to executive, director or VP status.  Please don’t sabotage yourself by aiming low.  You do not have the same corporate skills as when you started your consulting firm.

Take this specific scenario:

A senior manager or VP of research and development group has a direct report who is a contractor from a consulting house. This person, who has extensive functional experience, helps the VP execute his responsibilities. Included in his project management tasks:

  • facilitate budget funding
  • develop business plan/case research & preparation,
  • create project management scheduling
  • design and track development and quality reporting/metrics,
  • collect and define business analyses and requirements
  • verifies all development, legal and client requirements are met on time with appropriate quality

This person, who had both development and project management responsibilities prior to this role, wants to jump from the consulting house and re-enter IT management.   As a consultant, he is not a direct employee of the company and cannot claim a director or VP title for his consulting. He has
assisted with tasks at the executive-eye level, but has been out of circulation from operating as a manager for a bit long. This is part of the challenge.

Questions for us to answer:

  1. What kind of title would he use to describe his advisory role?  Although his current title is consultant, his person has a hands-on execution experience (not just advisory)
  2. How does he convey this experience as value-added to his career path?

One recommendation is to simply avoid titles.  Instead, consistently focus on the role or position that you are seeking.  Even though most of us are familiar with Chronological Resumes, there are other more appropriate resume templates that will better highlight our transferrable skills without emphasizing our titles or various jobs experiences.  In a Functional Resume (for example), one can highlight your skills and desires upfront, without focus to job titles or even job lengths.  The Functional Resume is useful for transitioning into a different field and/or de-emphasizing your job chronological history.

Some steps to get started:

Step 1)  Create a Functional Resume. In a functional resume, you can highlight your professional’s skills and career goals regardless of the job titles and company positions.

Step 2) Be selective in the experiences that you share.  Highlight only the transferrable and professionals skills that support and drive you toward your new career choice.  The resume is not meant as a history of all your work history.  The resume is merely a tool to excite your ideal employer.  It is a tool to created a memorable impact

Step 3) Focus on your accomplishments versus responsibilities.   Responsibilities are the duties assigned to you and can probably be developed from reading a job description for your position. Accomplishments are what you personally achieved with that responsibility.

Step 4) Use the Three-Elements to describe your accomplishments.  Make use of your editor’s thesaurus.  Use active, action verbs and include: What you personally did AND the actual benefit to the employer (how much money, time, resources did you save or make, etc).

Step 5) List your employment history toward the end of the resume (versus up front).  Remember, you want to create a memorable impact on the reader.  Therefore, list your professional skills and summary up front.  Provide your list of previous employers at the end more as a reference (instead of the  body of your resume).

Below is a sample of a Functional Resume focused on transitioning from a consultant position to a technical executive position.

SUMMARY

Transitioning to an Executive IT position based on proven management, supervision,

training and development, and administrative experience. Demonstrated ability planning and

implementing programs impacting employee development and productivity. Highly effective in

motivating and directing employees. Exceptional interpersonal and written communications skills.

Skilled in assessing and resolving a wide range of product and software development issues including:

 

• Product Design • Strategic Planning
• Business Requirements • Customer Feedback
• Change Management • Teambuilding
• Beta Program Management • Performance Management
• Budget Planning and Tracking • Recruitment & Selection

 

 

SELECTED ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Research and Development

• Led team in the development of national express service program representing 45% of all business transactions and resulting in a 5% market share increase.

• Maintained employee productivity and commitment to quality by encouraging and facilitating involvement in process improvements, implementing applicable suggestions and rewarding and recognizing contributions.

• Designed and implemented a self-diagnostic and support program resulting in significant gains in productivity and 7% reduction of overtime costs.  This program allowed the software to self-calibrate itself to avoid stop-production downtime.

• Managed team through transition to new business model by communicating and focusing on results,

building support, planning and facilitating for success, and monitoring and rewarding progress.

• Received Technical Specialist of the Year Award by making significant improvements in customer service and developing technical support tools to reduce client calls and problem reports.

 

Executive Management and Supervision

• Established recruitment objectives and developed relationships with community organizations, local

business associations and minority placement agencies, ensuring implementation of affirmative action

and succession planning programs.

• Investigated facts and represented company responses in all grievances and termination hearings

resolving most without arbitration.

• Reduced time not worked by 20% by negotiating three union contracts, including part-time staff,

flexible hours and more cohesive policy on employee absenteeism as part of contract.

• Created positive employee relations environment through development of employee newsletter and ongoing employee communication programs.

• As process improvement team member, wrote, updated, and implemented policies and procedures for all US and International locations resulting in clear, easily understood and consistently applied policies, procedures and guidelines.

 

If you would like a cheat-sheet of Active Verbs and additional hints on describing accomplishment versus responsibilities,  please check out Laura Lee Rose’s Resume Accomplishments versus Responsibilities  (or cut/paste the below link: http://eepurl.com/dUi81)

 

If you enjoyed this article, you can at Laura Lee Rose’s Professional Career Development Library  (or cut/paste the below link: http://eepurl.com/dUi81)

If you are interested in more detail professional coaching or a professional coach to help you stay on target with those goals, please consider one-on-one coaching sessions to propel you forward faster.

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About the Author

Laura is a Corporate Exit Strategist for the Blooming Entrepreneur. She is a certified business and personal life coach, specializing in time management skills, project management training and work/life balance strategies. She has been in the software and testing industry for over 20 years. She’s worked with such companies as IBM, Ericsson, Staples, Fidelity Investments and Sogeti in various client advocacy and project management roles. The techniques she uses in her business coaching and client advocacy work saved these companies both time and money, which resulted in on-time, quality product delivery with higher client satisfaction. Laura now uses her client focus, project, quality and people management skills in her personal life coaching career. As a personal life coach, she helps people transform their life by integrating their goals and dreams into their everyday lives. Laura uses creative and practical tools to help her clients realize what really matters to them. She helps others to easily transition into their next chapter whether it’s the next ladder of success within their corporate environment or into the entrepreneurial playground. I am not a fan of choosing to act in spite of fear. Rather, together we will collaborate toward a plan of inspired action. We will develop a plan together that you feel confident and excited about. For us, Taking The Leap will be magical, exhilarating and natural. If you are eager to take that next logical step but are unsure what it is signup for the Corporate Exit Strategy Coaching group. We have books, tapes, training materials, twice-monthly group coaching events, 3-day workshops, and individual coaching sessions to help you on your way toward your freedom and prosperity.
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