Escape from cubicle life: Career seminar for PMI-LA on April 5, 2014

Escape from cubicle life: Career seminar for PMI-LA on April 5, 2014

I’m excited to be facilitating a career seminar and workshop on what I feel is one of the most important topics of our times, which is the need for many of us at some point in our careers to become a self-employed, independent professional.  Here are the details of the event:


Topic: Transitioning Out of a Job: The path to becoming an independent project-based professional

Facilitator: Don Kim, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM

Date:  April 5, 2014 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM

Credits: 4 PDUs


The “new normal” of today’s workplace that project managers find themselves in, are that they are in a constant state of career transition.  Whether we are in or out of work, there seems to be a constant and perpetual worry that we will be out of work and/or feel very stuck in the position we are in and want to transition out of it.  This is due to many factors, but the most prevalent are pay that is not keeping up with the rising cost of living expenses, being stuck in a rut with our current job title or area of expertise, working with demoralized and unmotivated teams due to the constant layoffs, reorganizations and rampant career dissatisfaction, etc.  One remedy out of this situation is to transition out of a “job” completely, and become an independent project-based professional.  We may not have a choice anyway as even a PMI study indicates that over half of us will be independent employees whether we want to or not!

If you manage projects well through, you should be able to deliver it anywhere and within any industry.  Achieve this and you will have a truly portable, cross-industry and project based career platform that will never get obsoleted.  But this is only the first step in the path to becoming an independent professional: You have to go from being a tactical resource facilitator to strategic trusted partner, acquire a deep generalist knowledge base and interdisciplinary mindset, sell yourself through offline networks and online social media platforms and harness the power of “tertiary” networks, and most importantly, manage your projects like a business, lead like an entrepreneur and create and craft your career like an artist.

This is not easy and it will most likely make your uncomfortable, but as the great economic and political theorist Joseph Schumpeter outlines, it is only through the ashes of a “creative distruction” process that one can grow anew.

Seminar Topics:

  • How to break free from compartmentalised thinking and adopt a “deep generalist”  and interdisciplinary mindset that’s needed to thrive as an idependent professional… you never know what your client will request you to do or ask your advice on and you need to be ready at all times!
  • How to sell yourself without “selling out” yourself through online and offline social networks (in the broadest sense)
  • Inspiration is not enough: The real dirt on the trails and tribulation of being independent and how to keep you sanity as well as your finances in order
  • What it really means to “manage your projects like a business, lead like an entrepreneur and create and craft your career like an artist” in the short and long term

About the Speaker/Facilitator: 

What credibility do I have in talking about this topic?  Nothing really except that I’ve always had a problem making up my mind about what I should do for a living.  Fortunately, I found a way to make a living off this indecisiveness and ironically it works quite well these days.  Here’s my story:

I was a one-time aspiring PhD student in philosophy who became disillusioned with the whole tenure process and decided to do something else.  I somehow became an owner of several franchise businesses (which included an Arco AM/PM gas station, mail and shipping center, etc.) while also teaching myself to program software during my free time and selling it on the side.  I found a way to leverage these skills to transition back into the workforce initially as a software developer.  This included a short stint in a start-up cutting code for an artificial intelligence call center system, to working for a boutique consulting company developing web applications for Fortune 100 companies.

A major shift in my career occurred, when I discovered the field of project management that seemed to integrate and reconcile technical knowledge, emotional intelligence and business management skills into a perfect marriage.  I have never looked back.  In about the last decade, I have been involved in the field of project management initially as corporate employee and now as an independent consultant, trainer, coach, educator and writer which includes being an instructor at four universities and colleges, writer for several industry publications and event speaker.  I am the founder and owner of one of the world’s most popular PM portal website at

My core competencies are to consult, train and educate your organization, department or teams to better manage people and projects, act as a catalyst for change, and to push new boundaries.  In addition, my entrepreneurial pursuits have never left me, which provides me a position uniquely suited to driving and delivering business value to my clients and customers.

I will help you manage your projects like a business so that your “project solutions are realized”.I will help you manage your projects like a business so that your “project solutions are realized”.


Courtyard by Marriott
6333 Bristol Parkway
Culver City, CA 90230

Cost :

Early Bird: Before March 26, 2014 – $55 for PMI-LA members $65 for Non members

From March 26, 2014 to April 4, 2014 – $65 for PMI-LA members and $75 for Non members

Registration closes April 4 at 8:00 PM


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