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Favorite Friday: Are you in a job search, or are you managing your career?

September 19th, 2014

One is short-term, one is long-term.

For one you need a band-aid, because it is temporary problem, and for the other you need smart diet and exercise, for long-term strength and results.

I wrote about this first in March of 2007, when JibberJobber wasn’t even a year old.  Then I shared it again in 2009.  It’s time to share it again.

Job Search vs. Career Management

What are you doing?  Are you acting like a job seeker, or are you investing in your long-term career? I know it can get tricky to do long-term stuff when you really just need to get your paycheck back, but I challenge you to think of everything you do in today’s job search as a part of your long-term career management strategy.

Don’t make the rookie mistake of throwing everything away once you land your job.  You’ll need it all – contacts, strategies, etc. – in all future job searches.

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

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Massive Microsoft Layoffs Today?

September 18th, 2014

Supposedly Microsoft is supposed to layoff another group of the 18,000 layoffs announced this summer.  A whole lot of smart and talented people are about to become your competition.

Update: looks like 2,100 got the ax today.

What does this mean for you?

Get serious about JibberJobber.

JibberJobber is follow-up.

JibberJobber is informational interviews.

JibberJobber is effective job search.

They’ll probably spin their wheels for a few months doing what new job seekers normally do: lick their wounds, cry a bit, get their resumes “ready,” apply to jobs on job boards.

During this time you can move forward, doing the effective things in a job search.  Stay focused, keep networking purposefully, increase your quantity and quality of informational interviews, and get closer to the hiring managers who can get you in.  You can own the hidden job market, if you play it right.

Oh yeah, I would also look at Microsoft’s job boards… they’ll lay off through one door but hire new talent through another door…. maybe you’ll be one of the newbies there?

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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Obamacare, Uninsurance Benefits, and other Government Subsidies: What It’s Like

September 17th, 2014

Two days ago the HuffingtonPost had an article titled 360,000 Obamacare Enrollees At Risk Of Losing Subsidies

I think this is an interesting and historic part of U.S. history, and am interested in seeing Obamacare play out.  I was wondering why so many enrollees would get what would feel like a bait-and-switch on their government sponsored health insurance… was it a mistake in the (almost) billion dollar software failure?  Was it really a bait-and-switch?  Was it so unsustainable that it couldn’t even work for a year?

Apparently, none of those.  Jeffrey Young, the HuffPo blogger, reported on something I am way too familiar with, because of the time I collected Unemployment Insurance.  Back in 2006, after I had lost my job, I managed to swallow my pride (which was much harder than I thought it would be) and crawl humbly into the government building where I would file an uninsurance claim.

So much work to get a few hundred bucks a week.  But it was my safety net.  It would ease some of the scariness of having no other income from any other source.  It could help me make it a few more weeks as I was on a serious hunt for the job that could sustain my family and pay my bills.  I didn’t want it, but I thought I needed it.

When you first walk into the building, you are ashamed, embarrassed, and think “I don’t belong here.”  Other people belonged there, but I didn’t.  I had worked too hard in school, and in my jobs, to be in the unemployment line.

It wasn’t like in the movies: big lines, no one speaks English, hustle-and-bustle and the workers don’t care about you.  There was hardly anyone around. I remember going into a room, filling out paperwork, and having a chat with one of the employees.  I was embarrassed (did I mention that already) and I felt they were probing and condescending.  I don’t mean that I demand respect from everyone, but they way they treated me, well, I felt like a zero and they, with their governemt job and pension, and trying to sniff out the welfare abusers, were accusing me of sucking.

Maybe it was just me.

Over the next few weeks I got accustomed to calling into the automatic system to declare I was diligently doing a job search.  I think all I had to claim, by pressing 1 or 2 or 3 on the keypad, was that I had made contact with “two new employers” in that last week.  Maybe there was more I was supposed to do as a job seeker, but it wasn’t rigorous at all.  It was actually quite wimpy. I easily met the requirements, all the while wondering why they didn’t make the requirements a bit harder.  The concept was that we were supposed to work for this money, but just “making contact” with two new companies each week was not much work.  The “contact” didn’t even have to be substantial. I could walk into a company, say hi to the front desk person, ask for a job application, and walk out.  That’s a “contact,” as far as I was told.

Around this time, I started working on JibberJobber.  There was a potential for income… during my job search.  This meant that my income would change, and then I would have to report it, weekly, to the Unemployment people.  This is where it really started to feel weird.  If I made $10 from an upgrade one month, how would that affect my check?  As I was becoming “self-employed” it seemed their demeanor changed.  Even though I was making zero dollars, I was self-employed… this meant that I shouldn’t get unemployment…

There was a dark cloud hanging over this entrepreneurial endeavor the entire time.

In Young’s article he says:

“Federal authorities will begin contacting 279,000 households, representing 363,000 individuals, on Monday to urge them to provide additional information about how much money they make because the figures submitted in their Obamacare subsidies applications don’t match federal tax records…”

I’m all for finding the crooks and the frauds… but I’m not convinced that almost 300k households are defrauding the government.  But I have a feeling that those conversations aren’t going to go very pleasantly.  They “federal authorities” are more likely to go in like the Gestapo, with intimidation and a lot of disbelief.  They were, after all, going to listen to a bunch of liars, and they better be ready to cut them off at the knees.

Here’s where it gets a little scary, for the honest people who either made honest mistakes (with our tax code, it’s easy to make mistakes, even for accountants who specialize in taxes):

“Consumers who do not contact health insurance exchange authorities to verify the accuracy of their income or to offer up-to-date information risk seeing their tax credits reduced beginning next month…”

Here’s were it gets VERY scary:

“These people may also have to repay the government if they received more subsidies than their income should have allowed.”

So there is a chance you might lose this great promise of health insurance, but worse, that you’ll have to pay the subsidy back?

This was the same threat at the unemployment office. I’m not saying that we should all get a sympathy pass.  But the threat of the government coming back to me weeks, months, maybe years later, and saying “we think you lied about something – here’s an invoice you have to pay,” was really scary.

Combine that with the attitude of the workers in the office, which was one of always accusing you of lying or defrauding the good old US of A, or having compassion or customer service of  negative ten on a scale of one to ten, and we decided it was simply time to opt out.

No, we don’t want to give you more information about us than we need.  I’m slightly distrustful about what information you collected in the first place.

No, you no longer need to know every step I’m making, especially when it has nothing to do with a real and effective job search.

No, the few hundred bucks I get is not that important to me anymore.

Living under a Hitler-like, accusatory, Gestapo-at-the-door, was just not worth it.  It became scary.  There was absolutely no peace of mind, or sense of help from the government.  The sense was “we will find you doing something wrong, and we OWN YOU!”

I know the programs are in place for a reason (especially Obamacare, which is trying to fix a very messed up insurance industry), and I’m thankful they are there, but the way they are implemented is enough to drive people out.

Maybe that is the whole point.

 

 

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Substantiate Yourself (again)

September 16th, 2014

william_arruda_headshotOne of the most powerful concepts I’ve learned since I lost my job is that it’s more powerful to substantiate yourself (and your claims) than to just say what your claims are.

Show, not tell.

I wrote about this here: Substantiate Yourself

My first real job offer was after I started JibberJobber.  No interview, no application, just an OFFER.

Check out William Arruda’s blog post: Don’t Tell People Who You Are, Show Them What You Are About

I love this line:

“As you can imagine, I am now her biggest supporter.  She sits at the top of my list of coaches I recommend to my clients.”

This is so powerful.

What are you doing to back up your claims (said differently, how are you substantiating yourself)?

 

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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Interview Follow-up Checklist (Mary Elizabeth Bradford)

September 15th, 2014
career coach, resume expert

career coach, resume expert

Here’s an article on the Careerealism site by my friend Mary Elizabeth Bradford: The Best Interview Follow Up Checklist

Her points (read the article because she has more details):

  1. Find Out The Next Step
  2. Don’t Think The Worst
  3. Use Your Common Sense
  4. Leave A Great Follow Up Voicemail
  5. Send A Thank You Letter
  6. Include A ‘P.S.’ In Your Follow Up Letter
  7. Send A Follow Up List Of Short Testimonials

Note three opportunities to FOLLOW-UP! As you follow-up, focus on potential long-term relationships, not just on a yes/no answer. Of course you want a yes/no answer, but if you change your mentality from “it’s a numbers game,” you’ll leave less casualties on your job search journey and strengthen your network size and depth (of relationships).

Attitude is so powerful, isn’t it?  Just going through the motions without the right attitude will be detrimental (trust me, I did that).

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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Why Veterans Aren’t Getting Hired

September 12th, 2014

sultan_camp_headshotI saw this blog post somewhere… I thought it was going to be a junky, unqualified article written by an entry level writer or someone who was writing nine points for SEO… but then I noticed it was written by Sultan Camp. Sultan works with veterans and helps them land their next gig. He’s a military recruiter.  He’s definitely qualified to make these observations, and I know that he shares them in the spirit of helping you NOT make the mistakes he lists.

Congratulations on Your Military Service… Now Here Are 9 Reasons Why I Won’t Hire You

Below are his 9 points – read the article here so you can get all the details.

  1. You Can’t (or Won’t) Accept That You’re Starting Over
  2. You Believe You’re Unique (Just Like Every Other Transitioning Person That Day)
  3. Your Resume Is Longer Than the CEO of Our Company’s (or Shorter Than a Recent College Graduate’s)
  4. You Didn’t Proofread Your Resume
  5. You Don’t Have a LinkedIn Profile (Or, Even Worse, It’s Not Complete)
  6. You Think Social Media Is For Kids or Sharing War Stories
  7. You Didn’t Prepare For The Interview
  8. You Wrote a Thank You Note (But Only to Say Thank You)
  9. You Don’t Know What You Want to Do

What do you think? Don’t comment based on this list – you have to read his post to see what he’s talking about. And then leave a comment on his post, which already has over 100 comments.

NOTE: JibberJobber gives one year of free premium to veterans.  Just get an account and then use the Contact link to let us know you are a veteran!

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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How To: See What I’ve Done This Week (New Homepage Widget)

September 9th, 2014

On a webinar recently someone asked for an easy way to see what I’ve done.  There is the awesome Log Entry and Action Item Report, which allows you to get a bunch of different reports, including “what I’ve done during this period of time.”

But I was thinking of something more simple… actually, something that we have already pretty much done.  Well, we’ve done probably 90% of the work.  This suggestion from the webinar was a nudge to help us understand we needed something else… please welcome a new Homepage Widget called “Log Entries.”  This is basically a report to show me what I’ve done this week.

First, notice that my Homepage has no widgets except one: the Action Item widget:

jibberjobber_widgets

I click on the Manage Widgets link (see arrow, above), and I can see this new widget in the list:

jibberjobber_widgets_log_entries

I click on the checkbox, then click on save, and I am now showing this widget, which shows me what I have put in, this week, as a Log Entry, on the homepage!

jibberjobber_widgets_log_entries_homepage

Remember, I can drag those widgets around and reorder them, either on the homepage or on that manage widgets box.  For me, these are the two widgets I’ll have up all the time.

Pretty cool, huh?

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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I Judge Based On Your Appearance

September 8th, 2014

jason_alba_beardYesterday I shaved.  It wasn’t a normal shave, it was an EPIC shave.

You see, for the first time in my life, I grew a beard.  It was a five or six month beard.  I’ve never gone longer than two weeks before.

But this time I did it for a youth educational simulation where I played a role, back in early June.  And then, what the heck, I might as well save it for the youth simulation in early September, right?

I’m not really a beard guy. I won’t lie and say I “enjoyed it,” but it was for a good cause, and I could handle it for a few months.

Yesterday morning, less than 12 hours after we got home from our Saturday event where I played “wicked King Jason” with about 230 boys and over 200 adult volunteers, in a two-day training program, I shaved the whole thing.  I shaved in stages, first with lamb chops and various styles of goatees, all the way down to a tiny ridiculous-looking mustache.  My wife, a cosmetologist, helped me, and took pictures until she couldn’t hold the camera anymore (she was laughing/crying too hard to take a good picture by the end), made a very interesting comment:

“Stereotypes are really powerful!”

She said this around the time I had lamb chops and mustache that kind of dripped down my chin (imagine a goatee without the middle part).  This has never been my style.  My wife’s unspoken message was that I looked [ridiculous, scary, stupid, uneducated]… you fill in the blank here.

She knows me, and my heart.  But that facial hair stuff gets in the way T the stereotypes that comes along with that style gets in the way of 20+ years of knowing one another.

There are things we choose to do that stereotype us – from our dress to our language to how we move our body.  We don’t think it’s fair that people look at our ‘stache, and judge us for living how we want to live.  Why don’t they just judge us by our hearts, intentions, and who we really are?

Are people really that shallow?

Yes.  They are.  We are.  We all are.

We have all judged people by an outward appearance.  It might be something that person chose, like their color coordination, or something they didn’t choose, like their skin color or accent.

But we judge.  It isn’t right.

I wonder if it’s our fault for how we choose to express ourselves, or is it our fault for how we care so much about how others are, really, not like us?

Either way, discrimination is bad, wrong and ugly.

So where do we go from here?

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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Glassdoor: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

September 3rd, 2014

Nick_corcodilosNick Corcodilos (Ask The Headhunter) wrote this post: Can I trust Glassdoor reviews?  It has been travelling around the internet quite a bit since he posted it yesterday.  Nick’s answer is awesome, so I’ll let you spend most of your time reading his answer (and the comments there).  The comments I’ve seen from recruiters is that they aren’t buying the value of advertising on Glassdoor (although I’m sure plenty of companies/recruiters are).  They are talking about the difference between a user-generated feedback and review site, which can be valuable, and the old-fashioned, cliche job board model… and the disconnect between the two.

So here’s my good, bad and ugly:

The Good: 

I think it’s awesome that people can come and leave reviews on companies that I’m interested in.  The information you can learn from the reviews can go broad and deep.

The Bad: 

People will lie.  We see it on all of the review sites.  Giving someone the ability to leave something anonymously, without accountability, will empower the honest people to write the truth… but not everyone has honest and integrity. Some people will be vindictive, or exaggerate (for better or worse).

The Ugly: 

Apparently, some company employees are misrepresenting their companies with too much positive, to try and squash a negative.  Blatant lying that companies do, just to have a more positive company or a better rating in Glassdoor is not just bad, it’s ugly.  It’s gaming the system, and I’m sure Glassdoor programmers have thought long and hard about how to give freedom but control the lies.

So that’s it from me.  Check out what Nick and his commentors have to say: Can I trust Glassdoor reviews?

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

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Thea Kelley on Informational Interviews

September 2nd, 2014

thea_kelleyI love informational interviews.

Maybe you didn’t get that:

I LOVE INFORMATIONAL INTERVIEWS!

If there is any shortcut in a job search, it is doing informational interviews well.  If you are looking for a “silver bullet,” look no further.  This is it.

Thea Kelley is a savvy career services professional and friend.  She recently wrote this post: Informational Interviews: 10 Tips for Success.  Her model for an informational interview is more formal than mine is, and I say never, ever do number 3 on her list… but everything else is pretty solid.

Come up with your own system, and your own rules, but DO these!  It’s fun, it can be immensely productive, and it can really help you get closer to someone who will have a big impact in your job search.

One thing she is missing, and it’s one of the most important parts of the interview, is asking for introductions to others.  ”Do you know anyone else in this company (or, this industry) that I should talk to?”  Or, “Can you introduce me to any (insert job title here) here (at this company)?”  Or, ask for introductions within the industry….

You go to build trust, which is her #1, and with that trust you should get to a point where they feel comfortable saying “sure, I’ll introduce you to one of my coworkers,” or someone they met at the association luncheon, or someone they know online, or someone at one of your target companies.

And then do it again, with that person.

Have real conversations… it’s not all about getting introductions, but that’s a big reason you are there.

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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