growing plant

SVPM: Planting the Professional Seed

We all know the Catch-22: You need a job to get a job.

“This role requires 1 to 3 years of experience,” the job posting states as nonchalantly as a cat in the sun. How does one get a job with relatively no experience? While many job hunters encounter this conundrum at the beginning of a career, rest assured, you may also face this dilemma when making any professional changes or pivots as the years go by.

Planting the Seed

Enter the genius of SVPM, an organization that allows volunteers to participate in Scrum sprints and gain direct agile experience in real time. If you want experience working in Scrum or simply want to keep honing your skills while on the job hunt, let me share my journey of how I discovered SVPM and how it may be helpful to you on your professional journey.

After spending years in project management without using an agile framework, I started working at a nonprofit. As someone who likes to know the latest workplace trends and practices, I heard a lot of buzz around this word “agile”. After a few discussions with former colleagues, I eventually took a Scrum Master course and became a Certified Scrum Master (CSM) this past fall. But what next? I asked my small group facilitator for advice on next steps to apply my skills in the agile world.

He mentioned the group Women in Agile and, in particular, the one in my city. I checked out the the group on Meetup and found they were meeting virtually in a few weeks. Perfect! I registered and had the opportunity to chat with a few women in the group. I noted some names and connected with them on LinkedIn after the meeting.

One of these women was involved with SVPM. She told me how the program offered a means to practice the Scrum framework, so I could gain real experience after possessing a certificate. This is something I needed to look into right away!

Letting It Grow

After signing up, I joined my first sprint in January 2022, a sort of Scrum New Years’ resolution. Right away, I knew this program was special. The leaders were supportive, genuine, and intent that its participants possessed basic knowledge of Scrum, including Scrum ceremonies, estimating efforts, and working with others. They wanted volunteers to be in a position to share their knowledge, skills, and experience with future or current employers.

At SVPM, you get to work with people from a variety of backgrounds and use the latest tools, such as Slack, Trello, Google Suite, WordPress, and more. Being able to familiarize yourself with these tools puts you at an advantage when searching for a new role. It shows you are familiar with these tools and also shows your capacity to learn.

Overall SVPM is a great professional opportunity. While certifications and professional development courses provide a necessary foundation, employers also want to see experience. SVPM helps solve the Catch-22 by giving volunteers a way to truly practice their skills and apply their learning in a safe and supportive environment. I can’t wait to see what will happen next!

How did SVPM help you in your career? Do you have any other advice for showing employers you understand the agile framework?

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