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Redefining knowledge management roles with Jim Lee at KMWorld 2022

When no one will hire you as a knowledge manager, rewrite the definition of it, said Jim Lee, site administrator, PA CareerLink. 

Lee made his case for “Redefining The Knowledge Manager,” during his KMWorld 2022 session. The session takeaway focused on how to reframe the definition of what a knowledge manager is.

He started his presentation by polling the audience and their expectations regarding the future of the role of knowledge manager. He then explained the trajectory of his career in the space. After getting laid off in 2019 he did contracted work. That job ended when COVID hit so he began searching for a new job—spending hours looking for opportunities on the internet, refining cover letters, tracking leads in a spreadsheet, and more. After not finding anything in his wheelhouse, he considered his knowledge manager career over.

The secret sauce to breaking into the space or continuing on this path is all about transferable skills such as process management, project management, and knowledge management.

“Knowledge management is a term that’s like a dog whistle, only we can hear it,” Lee said, citing Paige Kane, a fellow knowledge manager.

Now Lee is an executive director or project management at Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, he said.

“I can do knowledge management under the radar like KM undercover,” Lee said. “I can use all my connections to make things better at the school, but it’s not all KM.”

One attendee said if they were in the same situation, they would redirect their job search so it’s not an all or nothing process. Another said they changed the question completely to reflect that they were looking for a job opportunity but made the scope much broader.

KMWorld returned in-person to the J.W. Marriott in Washington D.C. on November 7-10, with pre-conference workshops held on November 7.

KMWorld 2022 is a part of a unique program of five co-located conferences, which also includes Enterprise Search & Discovery, Office 365 Symposium, Taxonomy Boot Camp, and Text Analytics Forum.

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