By Dave Cornelius, MBA, PMP, PMI-ACP
PMI-OC Vice President of Communications, Marketing, and Outreach
Randy Miller is an award-winning chief information officer who has delivered results for companies such as Rockwell International and Toshiba, and currently works at Golden State Water. He is a Six Sigma Champion with a master’s degree in business administration, and has 30 years of broad-based business knowledge and IT management experience. Randy is a co-founder of the popular non-profit professional organization Laguna Niguel Connectors (www.lagunaniguelconnectors.com). He devotes a significant portion of his spare time assisting job seekers.
One Saturday morning, I drove to meet Randy at a Laguna Niguel Starbucks for advice about career strategy. Tammy Hawkins of SMCI, a shared colleague, referred Randy because she believed that I would benefit from talking with a seasoned IT leader. At the meeting, Randy focused on lead generation, time to market, strategy, social networking, and many more marketing and sales-related terms. I learned the importance of:
- Building a deep network of professional relationships
- Establishing a trusted set of advisors
- Hiring a career coach
- Compiling a list of targeted companies.
Randy shares his advice with members of PMI-OC in my exclusive Q&A.
As a CIO, you have chosen to help others find their career path. What prompted you to begin this activity?
When I found myself out of work in 2008, I realized that finding a job was completely different than it was 12 years earlier. I learned so much in my search and began sharing it with others, individually and with groups. This was rewarding and helped offset the low points associated with my job search. I decided that after I landed a position, I would continue to meet with anyone and everyone who asked for help with their job search.
How has helping others changed your perspective on leading?
After reviewing hundreds of resumes and seeing a common theme—a lack of quantifiable accomplishments—I try to make sure I do a good job of communicating the business impact of projects to my team.
Can you share some insights about Laguna Niguel Connectors, and what is your role in this organization?
The Laguna Niguel Connectors (LNC) mission is to help business professionals in the local community get connected and stay connected by providing a local and convenient venue. With a focus on “community building” and helping others first, we have evolved from establishing connections to establishing relationships that help like-minded professionals derive greater value.
The group was founded in August 2008 and currently has 3,600 members. We have a Website, LinkedIn group, and a Yahoo! job-sharing group (these two groups can be joined from links on the Website). We do not charge membership or attendance fees. We are open to any business professional employed or not, and you don’t have to live in Laguna Niguel. I am one of the volunteers and a co-founder.
How has Laguna Niguel Connectors changed the game for job seekers?
The concept of networking intimidates a lot of people. LNC provides a warm and friendly atmosphere for people to learn and connect. Our greeters are trained volunteers who take time to explain how we operate to first timers. We have extremely talented volunteers who create the value proposition for LNC. It is an honor to work with such a talented and giving group of people. Countless members have attributed their job to the connections and support received from fellow LNC members.
What do you see on the horizon for mature and experienced knowledge workers looking to re-launch careers?
The first priority is to create a job search strategy, which includes a sales and marketing plan (target companies and elevator pitch) and how to get doors opened. Anyone in the workforce, young or mature, needs to embrace social media such as LinkedIn, and leverage connections and relationships to get their resume seen by decision makers.