Job Seekers: Believe In Yourself!

January 24th, 2015

This last week I had some interesting experiences with people who communicated in a poor way.

In both situations, they had communicated “this is me,” and the way they did it did not justice to who they really were.

We have been trained in our culture and out society to play ourselves down.  We joke about our selves, we diminish who we are, because we don’t want to come across as bragging, or self-degrading.  Sometimes we do that because we are “humble,” which is a virtue, or course.  Sometimes we do it because going back too far in history, to something awesome we did, is too far away.  Sometimes we down-play our strengths because it’s just what we’ve heard other people do, or we don’t want to get into the whole story, or nobody will really care or understand… or a host of other reasons.

This is a poor exercise.  We shouldn’t do this.  We don’t help others understand who we are, and how they can help us, and that if they do help us they won’t be embarrassed because we really are that good.

If you are that good, OWN IT!  Believe in yourself!

In a job search we get beat up. We start off badly (wondering what we did wrong, or could have done better, to have kept our last job), and then we have a fair amount of rejection to wade through… this might be our first time experiencing this… and we don’t know how to take it.

I got so low that, at one point, I didn’t think I was qualified to work at our local fast food restaurants.  That, with my degree in Computer Information Systems and an MBA, bilingual, great experience and great titles… but the rejection had wore me down to a point where I had lost any confidence in my value or capabilities.

I have one tip to help you fix this: brainstorm your past accomplishments.  Carve out 2/4/8 hours, go somewhere with NO distractions, and write down any accomplishment you have ever had in your entire life.  Go through this process and remind yourself that you have greatness… that you are great, that you have value to offer.  This single exercise would have changed many things in my job search.

Are you brave enough to take this time and do this exercise?

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job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

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JibberJobber a Best Job Search Site for 2015

January 22nd, 2015

hannah_morgan_careersherpa_headshotHannah Morgan is a career professional I met at at least one conference.  She’s pretty cool and well-liked by her colleagues.

She wrote a post titled Best Job Search Websites in 2015.  JibberJobber was one of those (under the Tools section).  I appreciate any recognition that anyone gives JibberJobber… I have to tell you that we are especially grateful to be included in this list because Hannah is a career professional and listed her top 40… this is not based on votes, and it’s not some silly list of ALL career sites (like a bunch of other lists are).  The 40 sites there are there for a reason.

Thanks Hannah, for including JibberJobber as a Top 40 Best Job Search Site!

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“I’m part of a mass layoff. What rights do I have?”

January 21st, 2015

I saw this Q&A on The Globe and Mail and thought I’d respond here.  Original article: I’m part of a mass layoff. What rights do I have?

What rights do you have?

You have the right to move on. I give you permission to move on.  Unless you are in a unique situation, a lawsuit is probably not going to get you anywhere, except a few thousands of dollars poorer, and hundreds of hours down the drain. I have no experience in this, it’s just what I’ve gathered over the years.

You have the right to move on. Don’t stew over how unjust it was that YOU got laid off.  Whether you were the rainmaker who made millions of dollars for the company in sales, or the brilliant R&D person who designed the product that made billions of dollars for the company, it’s over.  Your “agreement,” if you will, was that you would go to work, do stuff, and get paid to do it.  Unless you had ownership in the company, that’s really the extent of it.  Join the club of the many thousands (millions?) of people who made someone else rich and didn’t get more than a thank you printed on a pink piece of paper.

You have the right to move on.  Yes, your severance sucks (if you even have one). This is probably justified by how the company structures their finances/bankrupcy… if there is a mass layoff, it’s because there are problems.  Sometimes, even though they still have cash, they can structure things in such a way that lets them start over… but part of starting over is cutting things and people and contracts and vendors and debtors.  You just happen to be one of the things they don’t want around when they start over.  Looking for a piece of the action?  There is no action. Know of the fraud and deceit, and want to expose it?  Get a blog and write what you know.   But as far as getting a cash payout… it’s probably better to just move on.

You have the right to move on.  It’s time to take care of Numero Uno (which is YOU and your family/dependents).  For years you spent your time taking care of your company, your customers, your products, your domain/jurisdiction, and neglecting YOURSELF.  That’s what I did… and when I was out on my own I found I was a decrepit, neglected soul.  Actually, I was quite rich in relationships and life, but as far as my career health, I was chronically ill and ill-prepared.  It would take years of healing.  Start that healing now, and don’t ever neglect your career health again.

You have the right to move on. If you are a little older, you probably grew up thinking a “career” was this thing where you had maybe two or three jobs over a thirty or forty year span, and then retired at a fairly comfortable level, probably travelling a bit, enjoying the finer things of life, etc.  I need you to move on from this mentality.  Maybe those days will come back (some argue that the economic cycle will put us back at a point where companies do indeed value long-term employees), but for now we need to MOVE ON.  Think more about how you add value to any given industry, or a group of companies.  Think about what you can do so companies will say “I need you to solve this problem!”  And then realize that you solving a problem doesn’t constitute marrying the company… it is simply an engagement to solve the problem.  And then you will very likely be allowed (invited, asked, forced) to move on to the next problem at some other company.  What used to be Job Security, where the company had all the power, has shifted to what I call “income security,” where YOU have more control over what you do, how you prepare, where you go, how you bring income into your household, etc.  Shifting power to yourself vs. allowing others to have all power over your job/career/income is so freeing!

You have the right to move on.  Let me say that you can and maybe should whine and mope around for a little while… but not too long. Don’t let it get to toxic.  Put a limit on how long and how deep you go, and then allow yourself to move on.  That means that, for the most part, you stop the pity party and get to work.  Allow yourself to be human, but don’t wallow in destructive thinking or behavior.  You don’t have time to wallow.  You need to start working on YOU, your relationships, your branding, etc.

I’m no lawyer.  I’m no expert in what you are entitled to.  But having gone through this, and watching/helping people go through this over the last 9 years, I know a thing or two about what rights you have.

You have the right… to move on!  And not even look in the rear view mirror!

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job title, keywords or company
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JibberJobber is a powerful tool that lets you manage your career, from job search to relationship management to target company management (and much more). Free for life with an optional upgrade.

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Focus Friday is Back: 10 Minutes of Awesome

January 20th, 2015

Last year I did a 10 minute focus webinar on one single topic every Friday morning.  I am now back in the saddle with this… and it’s a great way to end the week.  On my Focus Friday webinars we go over the one thing, and I try to keep it just at 10 minutes. I stay on for any questions… sometimes that’s another 10 – 15 minutes, other times there aren’t any.  The questions can be about anything.

You sign up once, then you get an email each week reminding you to come, and with the link to join.  If you can’t come, don’t worry… just don’t come.  You don’t have to email me to let me know.  Here’s the link to sign up:

JibberJobber Focus Friday: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5707327729143447042

I try to put the recordings up that same day… you can see the past Focus Friday webinars here.

This is different than the User Orientation, which will run between 60 and 90 minutes… usually on Wednesdays. You can see all of my webinars here.

 

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job title, keywords or company
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LinkedIn Connections Are Not The End Goal

January 19th, 2015

I have gotten thousands of invitations to connect over the years.  Mainly this is because I have a pretty public persona, from starting JibberJobber, and then writing the book on LinkedIn. I have spoken across the US and have done many webinars to global audiences.  So people send me invitations… which I don’t have a problem with.

What I do have a problem with is the idea that getting a connection on LinkedIn seems to be the end goal.

In my LinkedIn trainings I’ve suggested that once you start a relationship with someone, you DO NOT ask them to connect with you on LinkedIn – yet.  Why?  Because connecting on LinkedIn, many times, means “we’re done communicating.”  It’s the end.  I have reached my goal, I have won.

Think about it – how many times have you connected with someone on LinkedIn, and then you never hear from them again?  How many times have you had a good conversation with someone, then invited them to LinkedIn, and then stopped communicating with them?

I’ve seen this too many times.  So my suggestion is to build the relationship more, and eventually connect… but make it clear that you are interested in the relationship a lot more than a somewhat meaningless connection on social media.

Go back to Friday’s post, about getting beyond superficial.  If you have a superficial relationship, and you connect, you haven’t really moved beyond superficial…. too many times, this end goal is a dead end.

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Getting Beyond Superficial: A Noble Goal of Every Job Seeker

January 16th, 2015

Yesterday I wrote about not following up, which might be the worst networking mistake of all time.

Towards the end I wrote “amazing things happen when you follow-up.”  I also wrote “see what happens” when you follow-up, to your networking, attitude, morale, and job search efforts.

I share this from personal experience of a horrible networker.  Playing Monday Morning Quarterback, I now realize that I was focusing on my own image, and I was focusing on numbers (how many new people I meet), but I most definitely was not focusing on real relationships.

I somehow thought that “networking” meant you meet more of the right people… but I didn’t realize that I should have been developing a relationship with them.  The relationship you have when you first meet someone is what I would consider “superficial.”  That is, you don’t really know them, they don’t really know you… and if you leave it that way, you are left in a position of not really being able to help one another.

I realized later that a main goal of my networking efforts should have been to go beyond superficial, and really start to get to know the other person.  As that happened, they would start to get to know me.  As we nurtured our relationship, we would be in a position where we could, and wanted to, really help one another.  We could trust the other person with our introductions, and they would trust us.  Our professional relationship would go beyond this job search… because this was not a relationship just because I was in need, looking for a job.

This is done with what I call multiple “touch points.”  That is, all of the different times that you communicate with, or are in front of, that person.  Send an email?  That’s a touch point.  Text, call, meet for lunch, see at a networking event and say hi?  Those are all touch points.  When you go out of your way to say hi, or when you send an email that is obviously personalized, that is an effective touch point.  Contrast that to forwarding junk or chain letters (NEVER DO THAT!!), or sending too many impersonal emails without ever sending something personalized…

A big part of our career management (which has taken the place of the 1900′s term: job security) is nurturing individual relationships.  Don’t make the same mistake I made and think that just adding more people to your list, meeting more people at a conference, constitutes “networking.”

 

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The Worst Networking Mistake of All Time… :(

January 15th, 2015

I saw a link to an article titled The Terrible Networking Mistake That Almost Everyone Makes.  Somehow, I read it as “the worst,” which usually baits me into reading the article because I usually disagree with what some author said is “the worst.”

I think there are more than one  ”worst” networking mistakes… and somehow, I figured out how to do most of them when in my job search.

But if I had to choose ONE WORST networking mistake that probably everyone makes, it is simply this:

Not following up.

Yes, it’s a not a good idea to give an introduction without asking for permission from the person you are introducing to… perhaps that is terrible (it can be more terrible with certain contacts than with other contacts).

And there are other terrible networking mistakes we all make… but the I think the worst thing we do while “networking” is simply not following up.

Follow-up is hard.  How do we keep track of all the people we meet, when we should follow-up, and what we follow-up about?  JibberJobber comes in, but even with a great system, it can be hard to keep track of everything (especially if you didn’t put their name in in the first place!).

Follow-up can be embarrassing.  If you are shy (aka, introverted), you might feel embarrassed.  What if you say the wrong thing?  What if you don’t remember what you were supposed to follow-up with?  How embarrassing it could be to say “um, we talked a couple of weeks ago, and I know we were supposed to talk again, but I can’t remember what we talked about… “

Follow-up can be inconvenient.  If I have a gazillion other things to do on my list, and all of them are way easier than following-up with someone, guess what I’m going to do first…

Follow-up is risky.  What if they say no, spit in your face, print your email and read it out loud to all their friends while laughing at you, or reach through the phone and punch you in the face?  Oh wait, most of those are highly unlikely to happen… but still, someone might say no.  My advice?  Be ready for a yes, be ready for a no, be gracious and don’t burn any bridges.  As sales professionals say, no means “not yet.”  Definitely don’t let them define you, or affect your morale.  Just move on.

Keith Ferrazzi wrote that 95% of people don’t follow-up… many times, I’ve been a part of that 95% number.  Other times I’ve gotten over the excuses,  humbled myself to the point of being able to hear “no,” or saying “can you remind me why we’re talking?”, or chosen to do the follow-up instead of the 20 easier things on my list (like writing a blog post :p), and I’ve followed-up.

Amazing things happen when you follow-up.

My challenge to you, this week, is to follow-up with someone.  Be one of the 5 percenters who actually do it.  And do it again, and again, and again, and see what happens to your networking.  See what happens to your attitude, and your morale, and your job search efforts.

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job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

JibberJobber is a powerful tool that lets you manage your career, from job search to relationship management to target company management (and much more). Free for life with an optional upgrade.

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Don’t Hire Hotmail Users… what? #JobSearch

January 14th, 2015

Ruslan Kogan has a LinkedIn Post (article) titled Don’t hire Hotmail users & other tips to save your company culture.  He says that his company created a “good company culture” by doing a number of things, #1 is: DON’T HIRE SOMEONE WITH A HOTMAIL ACCOUNT.

Ouch, says all the hotmail users out there.

He says that they look at the email accounts and use them to “filter the applicants … in a way that ensures someone is the right fit for our organization.”    He says “if you have a @hotmail.com account then you’re out.”

Double OUCH.

Note that the comments are not very positive or supporting… here’s the point.  Whatever you think about hotmail doesn’t matter.  What matters is discrimination and judgement, based on certain variables… and obviously, what tools you use can categorize you as competent or not.

I wrote about this in 2006 here: jason@DontHireMe.com – does it matter?

I also wrote about this last year here: Your Email Address Might Be The Reason You Aren’t Getting Interviews

And here: Email Addresses: The Unintended Personal Branding Message

What email address are YOU using? Is it an email address that is screening you out of your next opportunity?

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city, state or zip jobs by job search

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Happy Layoff-versary!

January 13th, 2015

It was exactly nine years ago, on Friday the 13th, that I drove away from my last job for the last time.

This is not a story of a guy ready to conquer the world, voluntarily leaving his job to get rich online… this is a story of a normal guy who felt betrayed by the company he had worked so hard for… a story of a guy who was scared out of his mind, wondering how he was going to make ends meet… a story of not knowing what the next few days, weeks or months had in store.

Here we are, nine years later, and I’m starting a certification program for career professionals to become certified on the system that I conceptualized, and helped build, and helped fund, and have run…

It’s a beautiful day, no matter what weather.com says!

Happy layoff-versary!

what where
job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

JibberJobber is a powerful tool that lets you manage your career, from job search to relationship management to target company management (and much more). Free for life with an optional upgrade.

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Organize Your Job Search (what does that mean?)

January 12th, 2015

Today I had an interesting chat with Liz, who many of you know.  She was hired to do quality assurance, and has morphed into the role of project manager, business analyst, right hand to me, etc.  Our chat actually is a result of a question that I sent to her last week. I proposed:

Liz, does JibberJobber really help a job seeker organize their job search?

I asked this question because:

(a) I think it is healthy to evaluate and re-evaluate your offering (that is true for job seekers, too!  What is your offering? Is it relevant?).

(b) I think it’s important that my entire team asks questions like this about our products, and I wanted her to think about it.

(c) I have been thinking lately that we are missing the mark on certain value offerings. In other words, I think the answer to the question is: perhaps we are doing an okay job, but we are not doing an excellent job.

When we chatted about this last week she asked for a few days to gather her thoughts.  Today at noon we met and I was blown away (elated) with her ideas.  She had five proposals that would greatly enhance the value and experience for job seekers.  Doing any of the five will bring JibberJobber to the next level.  Doing all of the five will help us be the leader in this space.

We are going to do all of the five. I’m not going to post them here because my competitors like to read my blog, and I’d rather strengthen JibberJobber before I give them my development plan, but I wanted to let you know that we are very much interested in improving the system, and staying ahead of the curve, and offering significant value, and we are investing in all of those things.

If you want to send us suggestions, while we are going to the drawing board for certain process redesigns, let us know with the Contact Us form.

And thanks for joining us on this journey!

what where
job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

JibberJobber is a powerful tool that lets you manage your career, from job search to relationship management to target company management (and much more). Free for life with an optional upgrade.

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