How to Get a Scrum Master Job Without Experience

You fell in love with Scrum / Agile for a reason. Clearly. Identify. That. Then find opportunities in your life (work, hobbies, family, ...) to start practicing pieces of the Scrum framework, and to embody the Agile mindset.

There. That paragraph up there. That's the answer.

The paragraphs below share a hopefully relatable story - my story. I know... it's not your story, but that 'cause I don't know you. But you know you. And you know what nudged you towards getting that certification. You know the areas of your life that could benefit from a little Scrum love. Thus, you know your next steps. You know. So you can stop reading now. I mean, the rest of this article may help you connect the dots, and may resonate with your journey, and may show you that you are not alone, but if you want to stop reading now and start acting out that first paragraph above, then go get 'em. If you want a kick of inspiration, then keep reading.

When I got my Scrum Master certification (the CSM), I was manually testing medical devices. Can you imagine a German medical device company adopting Scrum? It's possible! (And in 2008, it was messy!) Barely two years out of grad school, yet inspired by all this newly-learned Agility, motivated by how this naturally aligns with a natural set of talents I felt I had, and activities I naturally gravitated towards, naturally, I then applied for an internal Scrum Master position. Naturally.

The hiring manager said that I could talk the talk, but I couldn't walk the walk, and she politely informed me: I need more experience.

Well then... where the heck would I get it?

Many interviews and matching rejections later, I'd look at the man in the mirror and wonder if he'd ever make that career change. And if he'd ever blog about himself in the third person. And write grammatically incorrect sentences. (Check. Check. And Check.)