How to Use Your Time Wisely During Career Transition

We are happy to present the 2nd part of the interview with Anthony Dondarski taken by Natalie Lihacova; part 1 was published on February 13, 2020.

Here, Anthony is sharing his advice on the importance of setting goals, of working to improve your skills, finding your passions, and on how you can learn all this, and beyond, in PSGCNJ!

Find Your Passion

NL: Anthony, I met you in PSGCNJ where most people are between their past and their future. How do you define your professional goals for the next year and in the longer term?

AD: I’m actively looking for my next opportunity in corporate America. I feel that’s where my passion is; I love coaching people and leading organizations. I love working in large organizations where there are a lot of things going on and you can make an impact and make things better for them. Innovation can sometimes bring chaos, and here is what I mean: you want people to be creative, but that can lead to having five people doing five different things and running in five different directions. Someone needs to pull them together and maybe take pieces of each so that it is optimized and benefits the entire organization. So, I’m looking for that next opportunity for a senior leadership position, Vice President, CIO or similar.

Update Your Skill Set and Credentials

NL: What steps are you taking to move towards your goals?

AD: I am trying to fill some skill gaps and taking some online classes e.g. Udemy, SCRUMstudy, to name a few. In my last job at ADP, I led our organization in our Agile movement but did not have any Agile certification except working with McKinsey and our ADP Agile Center of Excellence to help learn agile and train our organization.

I took this time while in transition to take classes to become a Certified Scrum Master, Scrum Fundamentals Certified, and currently working on Scrum Product Owner Certification.  I have put a lot of process improvements in place but never followed Lean.  I have now completed my Lean Six Sigma White Belt Certification.

For many years I have led the Project Management Office for our organization and I kept up-to-date with Project Management Institute where I had 3 project managers who worked hard and obtained their PMP. They would attend seminars and training and we would discuss what they learned and instill those learnings into our organization. I have a Project Management Certificate that I obtained many years ago. I have joined PMI recently and will possibly look at getting PMP certified.

How PSGCNJ Can Help

NL: In what ways does PSGCNJ help you move towards your goals?

AD: PSGCNJ has helped me to network and the training provided in our Accelerated Career Training (ACT), as well as our Advanced Classes, has been a great learning experience for me as I did not have any outplacement service since I retired. I love this organization for what it offers to people from different industries.

NL: When you became a PSGCNJ member, you could join any of the committees including the Technology Committee, but you chose Training. Why?

AD: I decided to join the Training Committee because I knew they needed help; they were short-staffed. I felt with Training I can make the most impact, quickly. I love doing presentations; I love standing up in front of people. Once I learn the material, presenting is an easy thing for me.

Dream Big!

NL: If you had to choose your career over again, or you could learn new skills, what would those be?

AD: I had a great career at ADP, rose up all the way from the file clerk to the executive role at such a big organization. I loved my career there! But if I had to choose something different, it would be coaching. I love to coach, whether children, students, athletes, or technology professionals.

I’m a passionate coach. So maybe sometime, when I retire, I will become a Career Coach, to help people in that regard.

Stay Positive

NL: I see on LinkedIn you often post motivational quotes. What motivates you personally?

AD: I used to enjoy listening to Ed Foreman; his messages are always positive. I am a fan of keeping things positive, in every situation. Most of the time we work hard to provide for our families, so let’s have fun while we are doing it! Positivity inspires people to do a better job. We control our destiny for the most part; our mindset has a great impact on our lives. If you’re going to be negative about things, negative things are going to happen. Be positive, look at the positive side of things, and positive things are going to happen to you.

About the author: Natalie Lihacova is a COO of PSGCNJ; she is also a co-founder and CEO of Teammate.Exec and Mr. Simon. Natalie has over two decades of experience leading people and running businesses; before switching her career to Information Technology and Business Management, she used to be a musician – a singer and a choir director. She is passionate about helping people discover their true potential as professionals.