November 9th in #Berlin and week info sharing #IPM2014 #EURES


First, a “service announce”: earlier this week I was informed by Amazon that “Kindle Unlimited” is available also in Italy and Spain- therefore, the #BerlinDiaries book that I published right after my visit to Berlin in November 2012 is available for free- and I plan to add a further book (in Italian) later this year.

Nonetheless, I will keep making that book available for free on Kindle every few months.

The only “fly in the ointment”? If you add a book to the programme, the e-book version can be delivered only via Kindle, and therefore I will add on Slideshare, as I did with #BerlinDiaries, just selected chapters; for any other book, I will keep adding on Slideshare the full content- but readable online (i.e. no download).

I know that you would expect a post on the Berlin Wall anniversary- but I will just share few links, let you have a look at them, and move on with my purpose- to share the information collected this week 🙂

Links about the Wall:
The Wall through pictures
Few stories
The immediate impacts around the World
A street artist landing in Kreutzberg remembers
A movie

As for the information sharing element.. I posted on November 5th:

collected interesting information- sharing this week-end

actually: the comparative information (and links) about working in ‪#‎France‬ ‪#‎Germany‬ ‪#‎Netherlands‬ ‪#‎Sweden‬ will be coupled with a (short) summary of the International Project Management Day

if you cannot wait or are interested about details (you can view it also at a later date):

this year hosted by ‪#‎Boeing‬: “Boeing Corporation is teaming with the Metropolitan St. Louis Chapter of the Project Management Institute in hosting the 6th Annual International Project Management (IPM) Day at Boeing’s Headquarters on Thursday, November 6, 2014, from 5:30 – 8:30 PM.

news review and CV shuttling done, time now to swap books and prepare for a couple more activities today- including a long list of “get-an-update-on-bureaucracy-for-relocation” in other countries

as I still have in my personal library books from the “work in…” for various countries, but from the 1990s, and I last updated them in 2008, while attempting to resettle in Belgium

so, time to refresh, at least on ‪#‎France‬ ‪#‎Germany‬ ‪#‎Netherlands‬ ‪#‎Sweden‬ (worked in the first, currently improving my skills in the language of the second, passed years ago an exam on the language of the third, and studied a summer at the University in the fourth :D)

promise: I will share a summary+mindmap this week-end!

Well, I have to consider time and resources availability, and therefore… the “business side” of the information will go online next week via, with a MindMap on

On the “working in…” information, I would like to just share a small comment that I posted right after attending all those information sessions (held by representatives of foreign EURES offices)

in Italiano per un pubblico italiano (o chi comunque è in grado di leggerlo): oggi da una presentazione ho capito quanto poco seria sia considerata l’Italia… che mi ha ricordato un video del passato

provate ad andare ad un convegno in Germania a fare una presentazione in tedesco a tratti comprensibile solo se si conosce l’Italiano, ed aspettate i commenti sui giornali il giorno dopo

invece che l’apprezzamento dello sforzo, leggeremmo della conferma della nostra superficialità (stile Rutelli e “visit Italy”)


Frankly, as I said later on, I considered some of the “performances” a sign of how less-than-serious Italy is considered; specifically, an EURES coordinator, instead of just using English (or German), made the quixotic choice of delivering a presentation in Italian- sort of.

Basically, whoever wrote the translation probably went through a Dutch or French or English presentation, and plugged in Italian phrases (“vacature” or “vacancy” is not translated with “vacanze” in Italian)- and that was bad enough, but was at least understandable.

Instead, the coordinator who decided to deliver the presentation in Italian had really minimal language skills- so much that had trouble in reading the slides, and most of what was said that wasn’t written… was understandable only if you considered that was German delivered with Italian-sounding words 😀

How would I rate those language skills, using the European framework? A1/A2 , with occasional (reading) peaks of A2/B1…

Try doing that in Germany (or elsewhere) on an official presentation in an international conference, and do not expect any positive feed-back.

In Italy, I was puzzled whenever I was involved in a negotiation or presentation involving foreign suppliers, as Italians (the buyers) made an effort to make their foreign suppliers at ease, including by using English… Whenever I delivered presentations abroad, also on behalf of non-Italian companies, I was the one that had to adapt to the local language needs, not the customer…

In my smaller world, to test my German skills and “celebrate” the fall of the wall, yesterday I rewatched in German (occasionally having a look at the Italian subtitles, as I was doing something else) “Das Leben der Anderen”- funny how much your skills can improve by just reading each day articles from newspapers (FAZ, in my case), with and without the help of Google Translate.

Actually, if I were in Berlin, I would probably go and stick around Checkpoint Charlie (the Starbucks around the corner was crowded but nice).

Anyway, at the EURES event in Turin I went then to visit the booths of those presenting, to complement my assessment- as I usually do whenever attending an industry event.

The “service case study”? Ask a copy of the links that they provided in their presentations.

It was chilling to hear a ranting about Italian information technology at the French EURES booth as they were unable to print a document, and then being called an “information technology expert” just because… I was asked how could the list of links that I was asking be printed and was able to do it.

What did I have to do? Well… click on the Office logo, click on print, see that the printer was connected via USB but switched off, push the switch on button, push the print option within Microsoft Office…

If that qualifies you as an information technology expert, I think that probably IT recruitment doesn’t get through EURES, at least in France 😀

I skipped the German one- I couldn’t stand another attempt at turning the Italian language into a farce worth of “The Name of the Rose”.

Quite cooperative were instead the Dutch and Swedish representatives- both of them, actually, provided useful information should you need to relocate there.

Another element that I was interested in was to look at how the crowd attending (job-seekers) and crowd waiting for them (agents) were interacting: and I saw that actually in both cases the focus was on entry level, healthcare, hotels&restaurant, and few other jobs.

The target age range? 18-30, and therefore I was attending, as I wrote before, to collect info and look around at the real job market.

I am still puzzled by those definitely above 30 who attended a conference that was really focused on 18-30 (except the EURES presentations): a sign that there are no other venues worth attending, but in few cases a sign that they did not even read the fine print within the announces for the event.

Anyway, it takes two to tango: and I am quite skeptical about the “fluent language skills” of some of those attending…

Despite what some think after looking at my CV, I “toned down” activities, instead of boasting, but I still find way too many fellow Italians who enjoy “padding their skills” on their CV.

You just need to have a look at most job agencies around Turin to see how far their real demand is vs. what they post online, e.g. on Monster.

My own interest? As since April 2013, finding contracts to raise funds for the next phases of my own activity.

Anyway, it will be again abroad: if you cannot get hired even on a temporary PMO contract with the excuse that with your CV they would keep it for permanent positions, or you keep being asked to work for free, better to raise funds to move, and then give it a try in a different cultural environment; at worst, you will have tried it, it did not work, and will have to restart from scratch elsewhere- I can still share unneeded experience and skills by writing few more books.

As for the “turn down as I would prefer to use it for something permanent” (yes, I got that message- in writing), there are three main options: 1) a polite “no” to keep in touch just in case; 2) a preference to avoid wasting a CV on something short-term while they look for something that can generate a larger commission (most agencies are really franchising whose employees work on a commission-based approach); 3) a fake announce (as it is one that returns every few weeks).

The “fake announce” approach is something that I saw when I first started in Brussels to look for opportunities, while I was trying to settle there: actually, some agencies in Northern Europe were known by customers to do the trick way too often, to “position themselves” for potential customers.

At the time, sites such as Monster in Italy were focused on jobs that are low on salary, long on training, e.g. specialized mechanical workers or entry-level software developers- those who need one need one, but are unwilling to invest the money needed to train younger people just out of school, also because the trainee would immediately find a better paying job, with a company that doesn’t have to recover the investment, and therefore can afford to pay a marginally higher salary: that was the rationale that I was explained in Italy in the early 1990s for not hiring younger people, and kept hearing often.

In Northern Europe searches (and interviews, i.e. real-or-close-to-real positions, as also customers sometimes go on a “idea fishing” expedition, as I observed since the 1990s around Europe) were also for clerical and management roles.

Over the last year, I saw more than once announces for senior contract positions in Italy that were repeated once a month: it might be a case of bad recruitment (meaning: either the agent did not understand the candidate or customer, or the customer had unusual or unclear expectations, and “burned” a candidate a month), but in some cases it happens so often, and with no changes whatsoever within the job description, that you start wondering if the “fake announces” trick is in play.

So, I will keep looking for contracts in Italy (and permanent positions abroad that sound interesting- as a Russian friend shared on Facebook, if you aren’t a tree, you can move), while keeping some key skills alive through my own projects and attending any virtual events that provided value in the past (and keep providing it).

Of course, I would like to keep attending annual conferences in Brussels, Paris, London (on security, new media and marketing, or related activities): but in most cases that would make sense only after you set up a business, while if you are in a “knowledge update and trend-spotting mode” it is a paid vacation for companies’ employees.

Therefore, more virtual conferences, libraries, and book or online essay writing.

Moving to the next bit of information that I wanted to share, the “International Project Management Day”, you can still register online to view the recorded presentations and speeches over the next couple of weeks, as well as download slides and papers, but if you have limited time, maybe few presentations and conferences can sort you out in 4-5 hours, instead of having to spend a couple of days.

Yes, it was a 1-day event, but the recorded video presentations can take 2-3 days: I too have still to get half of them, and I decided to postpone that to tomorrow 🙂

Incidentally: if you have a project management certification, watching those videos can actually help you (for free) to get your annual dose of PDUs (basically- confirmations that you keep up-to-date)- remind to check that option while registering.

Let’s start with something that I posted on the same day of the “live” event:
“as I keep having to explain what I mean with “‪#‎PMO‬”, “‪#‎PPPM‬”, “‪#‎CMM‬”, etc., and why there is a difference between a junior, medior, and senior PMO, etc…

better to share this 20min video on a journey from nihil to Enterprise PMO and PPPM- start from 1439 (‪#‎critical‬ ‪#‎success‬ ‪#‎factors‬ and how it was applied at ‪#‎Mayo‬), and the again from the start

then, if you want, we can discuss- on a shared lingo

from International Project Management Day 2014, 2014-11-06
Teresa Knudson, Director EPMO Mayo Clinic
“‪#‎Establishing‬ an ‪#‎Enterprise‬ #PMO”

Another interesting presentation was again a recorded video, on “Strategic Competence”

The general theme of this year was “sustainability”, and one of the most unusual but worth watching conferences? A speech from New York, built around the concepts available on

I know that some of my online friends are interested in “emergence”, and there was a recorded video on that too, and I myself had experience in programme management mainly on emerging programmes, i.e. those that sometimes are identified as programmes, but have to “conquer” their credibility (and budget) along the way (yes, it is again a Go/Weiqi approach, as what you conquer has to be maintained, and can be challenged by third parties).

For my more technically oriented friends, today I read an interesting article:
“not just ‪#‎Watson‬ – ‪#‎information‬ ‪#‎technology‬ too has to reach the XXI century…/rethinking-databases-for-an-aval… ‪#‎databases‬

While thinking about XXI century innovations on how we process, store, distribute data (and, of course, I have few ideas: being there for 25+ years :D), it is worth sharing something that for me is a second nature (I leave a “standard” password only on devices that I do not care if they are “read” by others), but also if you are not in business is worth remembering and considering:
“#‎default‬ ‪#‎password‬ s are a common ‪#‎security‬ ‪#‎flaw‬ : with ‪#‎BYOD‬ ‪#‎IoT‬ ‪#‎Wi‬-‪#‎Fi‬, a ‪#‎terminal‬ (‪#‎device‬) ‪#‎sin‬…/a-creepy-website-is-streaming-from-… ‪#‎privacy‬

Ok, now time to get back to my Sunday afternoon, by reading a book on… the fall of the Berlin Wall (actually, a collection of witness reports on the month leading to November 9th).

Have a nice Sunday!


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