In our last article, we discussed different ways to enhance your education before starting your Scrum Master job search. In the final installment of our series, we’ll look at how to gain relevant Scrum Master experience by positioning yourself to get some hands-on experience to help you get hired. You may be wondering how to get experience when you have no experience. It’s that same old job search cycle, right? Getting the education and certification is easy, now comes the hard part. Here’s where you must dig deep and come out of your comfort zone. I might sound like a broken record, but persistence and patience are keys to finding any job with no experience.
Following are some ways to gain Scrum Master experience:
- Internal Professional Opportunities. If you are currently working, look around you. Are there dysfunctional or toxic teams in your organization? Chances are good that answer is yes. Use the knowledge and education you’ve gained and put together a proposal indicating your desire to implement Scrum to improve team dynamics. If your organization already uses Scrum, ask for an opportunity to shadow a current Scrum Master. In these situations, you may need to go above and beyond your regular job duties on your own time but it’s worth the investment to gain the experience.
- External Professional Opportunities. If you are not currently working, you may want to consider volunteering or interning to gain experience. One suggestion is to look at non-profits and education institutions. Due to limited budgets and funding, these organizations are often looking for volunteers to help them complete projects. A great resource is VounteerMatch.org. This website allows you to fill out an interest form based on your education, experience, and interests and then matches you to organizations that need help.
- Non-Traditional Opportunities. Remember that a Scrum Master is a coach. Do you have experience coaching? This may be an area that you already have experience that you can leverage in your job search. Or, a great way to gain coaching experience is to become a mentor. You may be able to mentor a new employee where you work. Also utilize local networking opportunities to connect with new or young professionals looking for a mentor. LinkedIn can also be useful to connect with professionals seeking mentors.
- Networking. Networking is so important at every stage of your career. Continuing to participate in conferences or networking events related to Agile and Scrum is such a great way to make connections with industry professionals. Scrum Alliance® and Meet Up are good starting points to locate Agile, Scrum, and Lean Coffee gatherings that are available near you.
Good luck with your new Scrum Master career! And remember, as you advance into other roles within Agile and Scrum, check out the wide availability of courses offered at the Scrum Training Institute. Courses are currently offered in the United States, Europe, and Asia.