recently an email from a senior leader was sent to several of the staff and in it i was referred to as “project management support” for a white colleague who brazenly stated that he is “not a project manager.” Support. Me. The one with the certification. The one with 15 years of experience in the profession. I am his support.
as i’m sure you can imagine i was HEATED. i called a friend that evening and vomited hot lava into her ear about this latest insult. after hours of counsel I asked myself, how do I pimp this situation? How do I add an “I” to my PMP and PIMP the hell out of this? And it came to me. As the only certified PMP on the team I need to attend leadership conferences to assist the newly appointed PMs with managing their projects. A “PIMP conference” where I will learn tricks of the trade and treat them to brown bag sessions filled with seminar halloween candy. I’ll need to travel at least once a quarter for many of these seminars. First I’ll head to the West coast (seattle or portland) and extend my trip like my colleague does so he can gamble. i’ll look for another in the DC area, make plans to stay the weekend and visit the African American Museum. the PMI global conference is in chicago this fall. perhaps i’ll submit a paper and lead a session and afterward make my way down Michigan Avenue to the Purple Pig, Garrett’s Popcorn, or hop a taxi to Hot Chocolate.
consider this another entry for the SBF playbook: pimp or be pimped. you have a set of skills that are valued beyond the company at which you work. hone them and work that to your advantage. as an SBF you must learn to protect your interests, and those of the women who will follow you. You must pay it forward and backward. You must never let on that you recognize how shitty you’ve been treated. you must smile in the face of adversity and plan your next several moves. do not get distracted but focus on the task at hand: navigate the political landmines that litter corporate America, translate your experience into revenue (blog! write! publish!) and use them for material.