Yesterday I wrote a post on JibberJobber as a job search tracking tool. That’s where the idea came from, and for the first few weeks we were branded as a job search tool. However, I realized early on that I wanted JibberJobber to be a long-term career management tool.
What does this mean? And why is our tagline “Career Management 2.0?”
The cradle-to-grave job mentality is gone. There is no employer who will employ you from the beginning of your career until the end (some 40-odd years). You will likely have more than 10 job changes in your career. Penelope Trunk says in her book, Brazen Careerist, that Gen Y will have 10 job changes before they turn 30! WOW!
Whether you work for one company for a long time or not, relationships are key. Sorry, but corporate politics are not going away. You need to manage relationships at work, while employed. Managing customer relationships, vendor relationships, peer relationships, boss relationships…. all of this is critical. Perhaps it will help you get a promotion. Perhaps it will help you just keep your job. Ignore relationships (and corporate politics) at the risk of your future income.
You need to live networking’s Giver’s Gain. You should not “eat alone.” You should help people. You should proactively nurture relationships. It’s hard to proactively nurture relationships, especially when you are dealing with lots of contacts, and a growing number of contacts.
As an employed, or self-employed, professional, you need to be able to answer the question “tell me about yourself.” This is something job seekers are told to do, commonly referred to as a “me in 30 seconds” statement, or a commercial. When you are employed people still ask you the question, and you should know how to answer it. You might have different answers based on who’s asking it. JibberJobber has a place where you can put in as many 30 second commercials as you want, for different situations.
You should keep track of important career documents. You better have an updated resume (or multiple versions of resumes), as well as collect reference letters. Go ahead and put them on your PC… and hope it doesn’t crash, or you don’t switch computers (I think I had switched computers four times between my last resume update and when I really needed my resume). In JibberJobber you can store it all in one place, and have it whenever you need.
You should, have to, need to, track your professional accomplishments. One of the purposes of the post “Depression Clouds Everything” was to say “when you most need a clear mind, it will be clouded by emotions (including depression), and you won’t remember all the great things you’ve ever accomplished!” I know my career had a lot of professional accomplishments, but I don’t have all of them logged. JibberJobber allows you to track all of these things… as an employed professional, you can log all of your accomplishments into the Job Journal (premium feature).
… there’s more, of course.
Whether you are unemployed, happily employed, unhappily employed, see the writing-on-the-wall, or own your own business, you NEED to have a relationship management tool. JibberJobber is a great place to start!
Organize your job search - photo props to Lifehack.org
Managing a job search seems kind of silly… for about three days into your job search. Then, you have so much information you are collecting, and acting on, you realize you need some kind of job search tracking system. I created a job search spreadsheet, and used it in my failed job search. I outgrew the job search spreadsheet, and knew professionals who were used to having technology in a job were getting the short end of the stick by not having any job search technology to manage the job search.
And so JibberJobber was born. Here are 7 tips to manage and organize your job search with JibberJobber. Pay attention to point #7!
Track your target companies. I had a list of companies that I was interested in. Whether I applied to each of them or not, I put them on the list. Of course, it grew quickly, and soon I had over 100 target companies. I learned I should have 3 -7 “target companies” to really focus on. Use JibberJobber to keep track of ALL companies, and then categorize or rank each company so you can keep track of which ones are the target companies you will focus on.
Track your network contacts. As you start networking you’ll meet people that become a part of your professional network. It isn’t enough to just collect business cards, LinkedIn contacts, etc. You NEED to have a management tool to understand who each person in, where you are at in the relationship, what you need to do to followup and nurture the relationship, etc. I don’t think this is possible without a real relationship management tool. JibberJobber is like a salesperson’s customer relationship management tool, but designed for YOU to manage your professional network. Want to use LinkedIn instead? It doesn’t do relationship management. JibberJobber, by the way, was designed to complement LinkedIn.
Track jobs you apply to. Imagine getting a phone call from a recruiter, HR or hiring manager, regarding a job you applied to. Four months ago. Between now and then, you’ve applied to DOZENS of jobs. You can’t remember a darn thing about this job… OOPS! Using JibberJobber you can keep track of the jobs you apply to, when you apply, when you do anything for that posting, keep the job posting information (which can disappear from a job board), and more.
Track where you send your resume. A job seeker told me they wanted to drop in on a company where they sent their resume, but instead went home. They couldn’t remember which version of their resume they sent! Was it for a product manager role? Was it for a project manager, or business analyst role? Couldn’t remember. Sound silly? It is. Until you have so many resumes out it all gets mushy in your brain. Let JibberJobber manage this information, taking the administrative stuff out of the job search, work on the important stuff, not trying to keep track of a bunch of little details.
Network your way into a company. Have you heard you should network your way into a company? As your network grows, how do you keep track of it? A spreadsheet doesn’t do this very well, and using Outlook as a relationship management system gets clunky. Only a relationship management tool will allow you to associate multiple people to one company … which is a very real scenario as you increase your network, and work on those target companies! I should mention, this is a key benefit to a real job search system… not just a file like what Excel might give you, but creating all of these logical relationships.
Create action items so you don’t forget to do something. I’ll never forget when I forgot to call an HR person about a job. I saw it on my job search spreadsheet the next day, and the opportunity was LOST. What a shame. I tried to create an action item tracking system with my spreadsheet, which kind of worked fine… until I had A LOT OF DATA. JibberJobber is a web-based system that reminds you of your action items. If you upgrade for a nominal $9.95/month, you’ll get action items e-mailed to you. I NEEDED THAT. You can create action items for your contacts, companies, and/or job postings.
Do all this stuff. Find Job. Repeat. If you do all of this stuff in your job search, and then stop networking after you lost your job, you learned nothing. JibberJobber is not just a job search tool… it’s a career management tool. You should ALWAYS have target companies, always grow and nurture your relationship, always have “me in 30 second” statements, always… get the point? I love the term I heard this year: “I’m between transitions.” That means, I have a job now, but preparing for my next transition. Trust me, doing all of this personal career management will pay off significantly down the road. Ignore it and I bet you’ll have prolonged job searches.
Go ahead and try this with a spreadsheet (I even offered you my job search spreadsheet). If you aren’t serious about your job search, or career management, you’ll do great with the spreadsheet! If you are serious about career management, and want to have shorter transitions, JibberJobber will be your essential tool.
When I get on the road my best trips are the best because of people I meet. I meet a lot of people, and love it while I’m out, but there are some people who go extra miles when I’m in town. Not just the extra mile, but extra miles.
A few weeks ago in San Diego I was fortunate enough to meet two friends I’d met online, and had corresponded with, for probably over a year. Meeting them in person was priceless.
Martha Sue Yeary is the creator of the B.I.O.N.I.C Golf Pro System, which you can learn about at Bionic Golf Pro. This was a rare trip where I didn’t get a rental car (and didn’t need THE LADY), and Martha offered to pick me up from the airport. Getting picked up by a real golf pro? That was a first. Almost made me feel like Guy Kawasaki
I had lunch with her and learned about her business. She is very, very passionate about teaching people to golf… people like me, who really have no business with golf. Beyond that, she is passionate about helping people with disabilities learn and love golf. She took me to the golf course where she teaches now, and showed me her awesome plans to expand what she’s doing. If you want to talk to someone who is 1000% passionate about her mission in life, you need to talk to Martha.
Later, we had an informal LinkedIn get-together, and I was able to meet Anita Cohen-Williams. Anita is an SEO professional who has a background in library sciences. She is referred to as a cybrarian (librarian meets the cyber world), and has helped me a number of times as I look for things online. Anita combines SEO skillz with her cybrarian training and a passion for social media and social marketing to help businesses get more value out of their online strategies. It was great to chat with her, and get to know her better. It’s amazing how well we can get to know one another online, but there’s something magical about getting to know someone in person.
Thank you, Anita and Martha, for making my San Diego trip special!
Last week I got a chat from David Dalka who sent me a link to a Washington company with a very sad story. You can read it here, but before you do, you’ll either want to clutch your resume, or grab a box of Kleenex.
Can you imagine working at a startup with a few dozen other professionals, getting excited about funding and company progress, and then finding out the bosses are going to prison?
I swear to you, if you think your job is safe, IT ISN’T. Hold on for a second while I go up on my roof and shout “YOUR JOB IS NOT SAFE!!”
The economy could tank.
Your CEO could be doing illegal stuff.
Someone could be jockying for your job, right now, as you are reading this email.
Your biggest customer could end the contract (this happened to my last company, and they lost almost 1/2 of their revenue overnight).
Your spouse or loved-one could have an out-of-state emergency and you’ll have to move and start over.
(Fill in the blank: __________________________________________)
There are SO MANY reasons that you could get terminated. Pick one. About my title, never getting laid off if you work for the right company, I am not sure that right company exists.
I hope you are doing something as CEO of Me, Inc. You are, aren’t you? For starters you should sign up for the JibberJobber One Thing email. It’s free… and it’s something to do for your career right now.
Here’s a funny story. Yesterday I was doing some research for a project I’m doing for MarketingProfs.com (one of my favorite online sources of information). I somehow went to Southwest’s blog, Nuts about Southwest, and was interested to see they have a bunch of participation in social networks.
I was especially interested in the LinkedIn Profile, since you aren’t supposed to have a Profile for a company, rather an individual. I clicked over and found it was the CEO’s Profile… and had an idea. Since LinkedIn reviewed Guy Kawasaki’s profile, and that’s been a huge hit (gets great search results, and is usually at the bottom of some pages within LinkedIn), what if I reviewed Gary Kelly’s Profile?
Tuesday my One Thing was this (click here to get One Thing sent to your email for free, each workday):
Today! Figure out how much money you have (bank accounts, under
mattresses, etc.), and how long it will last you (what are your expenses).
When I got laid off I sat down with my wife and someone else and wrote
out our budget, and figured out how many months we could survive. We
were fortunate to get help from our church and our families, and I
know this is is the exception not the rule. How long can you last, if
your income stops today?
… and I got the following question from R.B.:
Great advice. I have yet to see, however, advice about what to do after you’ve already done this planning, and you have gone through all of your savings, etc., yet still do not have money coming in. What then? That’s where I am right now.
Before I give my ideas, let me just say, it’s really, really, really easy for this to happen to YOU. Think you won’t be in a job search long? Think you have enough savings to last, or your employer will give you a cushy severance? THINK AGAIN. I see this happening all around me, even in my safe little town with pretty houses and smiling people.
I wish I had all the right answers for you, R.B., but I’m just going to share what I know, and hope my readers can chime in with their own experiences and solutions. The order is important:
First, eliminate. After we made our budget, the “someone else” was looking at each line item to see what we could trim or eliminate. We were already living pretty lean, so there wasn’t anything we figured to trim. HOWEVER, we definitely could have trimmed our grocery expenses (going to the beans/rice diet). Trent Hamm is an expert at trimming personal expenses, and blogs at The Simple Dollar. Go read his blog and see how he trims corners everywhere. It’s become a challenging game to him, and reading his ideas is almost invigorating. If you have cable, satellite, other other non-essential things, figure out how to get rid of them.
Second, family. It is very hard, embarrassing and humbling to go to family for help, and some of you just can’t. But when you are in a serious hardship, a family can pull together… immediate and extended. Sometimes all you need is an extra $50, or $200, or more for a few months. You may be surprised at how willingly your family, including aunts and uncles and cousins and beyond, will jump in and help you. I hear about this all the time… and you’ll have your turn to help them (or their kids). I’m always surprised when I hear about families helping, simply because I used to be selfish and tight with my money, and judged the person in need.
Third, government. Call up the state welfare office and make an appointment to see what help they can offer. Examples of financial help can include unemployment insurance payments ($1k/month is not much, but if it’s the only $1k/month you get, it can be a lifesaver!), food stamps, utility help, etc. Another thing, and this helps give you peace of mind, is getting the appropriate health insurance for you and/or any dependents. I hated collecting unemployment, and felt like the state employees were very scrutinizing and judgmental, and thought we were scamming them, but hey, I had kids to feed.
Third-and-a-half, your 401k. My wife and I didn’t qualify for medical coverage because we had over $5k in assets, which includes our 401k. Only politicians could come up with some lame idea like that. On the one hand we’re supposed to build a 401k so we don’t depend on the government in our old age… on the other hand, if we have over $5k then we don’t get any emergency medical coverage. Scary stuff. Hopefully you have been putting money into a 401k. I was cautioned to NOT draw from the 401k, because of the 10% penalty (if you take out $1,000, you HAVE TO pay $100 in taxes, no matter what). But if that’s all you got, you got to do it.
Fourth, your church. Obviously this doesn’t apply to everyone, as some don’t go to or have a church. But if you have a church, or can bring yourself to walk in the church doors and talk to a leader, you might get some help. I’ve blogged about religion’s role in a job search before. Aside from any help you might get from church leadership (which might be help with food, or paying bills, etc.), you might find congregation members rally around you to help you in this time of need.
Fifth, friends. Just letting certain friends know your situation can help. We had friends who started giving us food, inviting us to eat with them, etc. Your friends should care about you, and want to help you. You don’t want to mooch, and they don’t want to be taken advantage of. Be gracious, but be honest with yourself and with them.
That’s all I got… any other ideas on how to survive with zero income?
Tomorrow morning at 10MST (noon EST) I’ll host my first 45 minute BlogTalkRadio show. You can listen live (through your speakers), call in with questions, or download and listen to the podcast later. All the information you need should be on the BlogTalkRadio JibberJobber page (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/JibberJobber).
I was laid off during a job seekers market. I wasn’t supposed to have a long job search, but I did. Being in a job seeker’s market meant nothing to me at the time, except perhaps that I was a loser because I couldn’t land quickly. Only a loser has a long job search in a job seeker’s market, right?
Things have changed, and the market is flooded with professionals in a job search. If you are in a job search right now, you have seen your “competition,” other job seekers, flood this space in the lsat few months. If you are a finance professional, I’m guessing you are looking at a change in profession or industry. All those finance classes for nothing!
Can jobs be found during a recession? Sure! Of course! I don’t know how to find a job in a recession – I couldn’t even find a job in a boom-economy! But I’m guessing there are some components to having a successful job search in this economy.
Get introduced. Sounds better than writing “network!” Wouldn’t it be better if an insider could bring you in, and introduce you to a hiring manager? There’s only one way to get to that insider, and that’s through networking. That insider may be 3 degrees away from you… so you better start growing your network, and asking “who do you know that…” Go ahead and use a job search tracking spreadsheet. I’ll use something more long-term. Read Thom Singer’s How to Recession Proof Your Company for some similar thoughts.
Be creative. Get a copy of Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters and read it. Perhaps some of the ideas in there don’t work for you, but figure out what will work for you – even if it’s not in the book. I try and think of creative things EVERY DAY to move my company forward, to get JibberJobber in front of more people. You need to think of (and do) creative things EVERY DAY to stick out, and be more memorable than your competition.
Volunteer. A lot. Volunteer at more than one place. Take on real duties… get on committees, and make a name for yourself. You’ll feel better about contributing to the world, you’ll keep your skills sharp (and maybe learn additional skills), you’ll meet knew people and develop new relationships, and you’ll showcase your capabilities. Oh yeah, and you’ll help people who need it.
Be patient. If I was supposed to be in a six month job search during a boom economy, how long is your job search supposed to be? You can get anxious and stressed about it, or you can strategize how you’ll spend the time. Yes, it’s stressful, perhaps the most stressful thing you’ll ever do (long term unemployment). But stressing isn’t going to solve anything. Figure out how you are going to mentally deal with this temporary phase.
Help others in their job search. Again, helping others will help you feel some self-worth. Once you’ve done this stuff for a month or two you are a seasoned veteran, and you can help those deer-in-the-headlights job seekers more than you think. Take them under your wing, take them out to lunch, take them to network meetings, and share ideas with them that you had to learn the hard way. Some won’t be ready to hear it, but some will look at you as a guru. And when they get up-to-speed on their networking, you’ll have someone who is networking for you, which is very powerful.
Be thankful. Go buy thank you cards and stamps, and send out hand-written thank you cards. This is a lost art, and those who do it become memorable. It sounds so easy, even cliche, but if you send out hand-written thank you cards you will stand out.
Consider changing your profession or industry. Just because you have years (and years and years) of school behind you doesn’t mean you have to stay in the career path you started with. There’s a huge world of opportunity out there, but it might be on a path you never considered. Think about a change.
Take a step job. A step job is the job you take while you are still working towards your next career job. It might pay less, or have a smaller title, or even be embarrassing (delivering pizza to your neighbors?), but it puts food on the table and gets you out of the house.
If you are looking for a short job search, and you just want to get it over with, go find a fast food joint and change your lifestyle. I don’t recommend that, but you’ll start getting a paycheck in a few weeks. If you are like me, and that’s not the career path I’m looking for, then get serious about being CEO of Me, Inc.
What ideas do YOU have to find a job in a recession?
Every once in a while I write a post that people say they love. As a blogger, my ego is fed, even when I think “but I’ve written better!” Well, I was pretty proud of my Chef Ramsay post, titled Chef Gordon Ramsay, of Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nighmares, and YOUR Career, but I did think I’d alienate a bunch of people who didn’t care about Hells Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, or potty-mouthed Ramsay.
I got a bunch of kudos for that post (THANK YOU!). I was reviewing it today and realized I left out one very critical point, and one that is a hard pill to swallow. This is a problem I suffer with, and I see it alot. I see it everywhere … in my neighborhood, in families, in church, in school, and in people’s careers.
In a few episodes, Chef Ramsay would determine there was a team member not pulling his weight. It was obvious to see the slacker on TV, as I think the production crew would focus on that. Everyone in the restaurant knew about it, because they all had to pay the price by carrying the load of the one who didn’t do his job.
This problem can be called complacency. Or perhaps being lazy. Or perhaps being casual.
In one episode, a manager (I think the general manager) was in a meeting with Chef Ramsay and the restaurant team members, and the GM was laying on the bench, eyes closed, getting his hair stroked by a server. DURING THE MEETING! What the heck???
That clip was replayed at least once later in the show. By the end of the show, that manager was gone.
He had gotten to casual about his duties, and his role. The GM (1) laying, with his (2) eyes closed, and getting (3) caressed???? That’s three strikes in my book. Definitely not appropriate meeting behavior, whether you are the GM or the trash-taker-outer.
Sometimes we are just too casual about our role in our jobs. We might get comfortable, and slack off. Or we might get bored and start performing less than our potential. If that happens to you, you have two choices:
Get the heck out! It’s time to move on. You are not happy, and you are probably making others around you miserable. Give yourself a pink slip, get into JibberJobber, and find a profession, industry or company where you can get serious about your job again. If you need help getting out, check out Pamela Slim’s blog, Escape from Cubicle Nation.
Change! There was one episode where the manager was a slob. Gordon laid right into him from the beginning and didn’t lay off throughout the show. I think Gordon wanted him gone. But the owner, who was patient and forgiving, said the store and menu had a chance to change, and the manager should get the chance too. I didn’t think it would last, but he did change, and it did last. And guess who became happy because of the change? EVERYONE!
The opposite of this problem is to take your job seriously. Take your career seriously. If Ramsay sat down with you today and you had to tell him about your career management, are you going to hear a lot of swearing? Is he going to lay into you?
Or are you doing it all on purpose, with a purpose, and the right way?
Heaven help us who aren’t doing it on purpose enough!
Workshop 1:LinkedIn in Action, Monday October 6, 12:00 to 1:30 pm
Workshop 2:Facebook in Action, Monday October 20, 12:00 to 1:30 pm
They are made available for a nominal registration fee of $35.00 (this includes both workshops). This is a special one time offer and seats are limited. You can order up to 10 seats.
PS: Please note that People-OnTheGo offers a number of public and corporate workshops. Feel free to e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions, or if you would like to discuss bringing the workshops to your team.
We look forward to your participation!
If I were a good salesperson, I’d have upsell and back-of-the-room stuff to sell during this webinar. I don’t have that, just my two books… so don’t worry about getting pressured into anything on these webinars.
This is going to be awesome, and if you’ve ever sat on the fence about listening to me speak or present, now’s the time to do it. The first webinar is on Monday, so book it now.