For 10 years, I thought that my credentials, skills and experience would assure I’d never be jobless. Losing my job three months ago has demonstrated that I could not have been more wrong. I learned a valuable lesson: cultivating good relationships is far more important than knowledge and credentials. Had I taken this to heart earlier, I am certain that my position would not have been eliminated. I immediately purchased the MT Interviewing series and resume review.
After 3 months without success, I am hoping that others here might have some suggestions.
I thought my credentials were marketable:
• 5 years @ Big 5 firm
• CPA (< 2 yrs public accounting exp ’95-‘96)
• Certified Information Systems Auditor (NO exp auditing; 4 yrs as auditee)
1. Company A (Big 5 CPA firm): Programmer (2 yrs) -> Senior Technology Consultant (3 yrs)
2. Company B (Start-up): Business Analyst (9 months)
3. Company C (Medium Sized): Business Analyst (9 months) - > IT Governance Supervisor (1 yr) - > IT Governance Manager (3 yrs)
After 9 months at Company C, my manager admitted he didn’t know how he could use utilize me because I lacked highly specialized technical skills. A few days later, I’m called into the VP’s office. Expecting to be terminated, I am promoted into a new IT Governance position. My primary responsibility was to identify and fix weak internal controls within the IT department processes and systems. I also served as liaison for all IT auditors who rendered IT control assessments and recommendations.
I was promoted to manager after a year (another pleasant surprise). My responsibilities expanded and I now reported to a newly hired Executive VP. My role was to coordinate the design and implementation of policies and procedures to achieve the EVP’s directives. Because of the long-established culture of informality, this proved to be far more challenging that I would have ever imagined. My objectives were commonly viewed as unnecessary bureaucracy and it was difficult to get management buy-in because of divisiveness among the EVPs’ direct reports. Consequently, the results were usually superficial. When I would point this out to the EVP, he told me to take the issue up with his directs. I had little influence because over these people who had rank over me. For three years, I struggled to achieve my directives and the results rarely met my expectations. Despite this, I continually received good performance reviews. After a small reorg, my position was eliminated. In the final analysis, I now see that I should have moved on a couple years earlier, despite the great pay, generous benefits and convenient location.
After three months, I can’t seem to overcome these obstacles:
• I have few significant accomplishments to point to.
• My experience is in IT Governance, a small niche that few people understand and value
• The certification I recently attained to make me more marketable doesn’t; employers have told me they need someone with hands-on experience conducting IT audits. Furthermore, some Big 4 firms have recently laid off a bunch of IT auditors due to a lack of work.
• I live in a small market and moving and significant travel are not viable options.
I would really appreciate others’ suggestions for overcoming these obstacles, especially the issue with my lack of significant accomplishments. For the few that I have, there are no metrics I can include. Thanks in advance :D