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Mr. Obama: How to create jobs the stereotypical republican way

January 29th, 2010

I usually don’t write two posts in one day but I figured I better close the loop on my last post, which was a suggestion to Obama on how to create jobs the democrat way.

Here’s my other-perspective letter:

Mr Obama,

You say we need to create jobs this year (2010).  Big priority.

Well, here’s what you do: GET OUT OF THE WAY.

Let companies do their thing.

Let entrepreneurs do their thing.

There are companies and people who are dying to fill the holes the federal government is trying to fill.

Stop using stimulus money to buy shares in Detroit companies. Instead, use that money to really stimulate the economy (not just to stimulate auto sales).

Keep the interest rates low (I personally don’t know what the implications are of this, but it seems like a really good idea).

Encourage creativity and foster an environment where entrepreneurs can take risks.  What if there were some way to distribute the money to entrepreneurs, instead of companies that are just too big to steer back into a good path that will be self-sustaining, create jobs, etc?

Tesla Motors is an example of an entrepreneur putting his money into redesigning the auto industry.

Please read Inc. Magazine.  Make your staff read it.  Put it on Air Force One, and in any other vehicles. Have it in government buildings.  The paradigm must shift from the bubble inside the DC beltway to what we experience outside of the beltway.

Also, read this short piece by former Secretary of Agriculture Ezra T. Benson titled The Proper Role of Government.  There are some scary things in there about what government should AND SHOULD NOT do.  It talks about the citizen’s role in all of this.  It is a terrific read and I’d love to know how much you agree or disagree with this. I think all of Congress should read and study this document (NOT assign it to their staff for a briefing).

I think that if you can just get out of the way we’ll get this righted.  There are thousands of stories about people filling a need, creating a business, and hiring employees (ie, creating jobs).  Here are two examples:

Jayson Edwards did the unthinkable: he opened a hot dog stand in a relatively small town in Utah.  He’s become a local legend and quite successful. He had to make sacrifices, but he found and need and fills it. I’m sure this sounds crazy to you if you are in a big city (D.C. or NYC), but it was unheard of in Provo.

Cloud Star Products is a company that apparently employees 100 people.  This company started when a couple’s dog was just not doing well – they eventually came up with a line of food that helps dogs with allergies (who’da thunk!).  I read about them in the Costco Magazine (article here).

You know what?  It is OKAY that these people don’t work for the government, and that they don’t work for a big company.  There is more to this country than that.  They are chasing their American Dream, and that has to be okay.

What can you do to help us pursue our American Dreams?  Remember, many of the big companies today are here because some guy or gal was alone and broke, but had a dream and a passion and the will to chase it.

Don’t trip the chaser.

This was harder to write than the first letter…. thoughts?

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Mr. Obama: How to create jobs the stereotypical democrat way

January 29th, 2010

Yup, I jumped the shark and got political.  Don’t worry, I’ll balance it out with another post about how to create jobs the stereotypical republican way.

I need to clarify something, though. I think the average American who is very passionate about their political party really doesn’t know what it means to “be democrat,” or “be republican.”  If they knew and understood all the issues of both parties they might find they thought they were democrat when they were actually republican, or they thought they were republican but they favor democrat ideals.

Americans are just “funny” that way.

Another clarification: I am not very political, and not smart enough to be an economist, and I’ve never been in a think tank.  I did manage to get an A in Calculus, but I know I don’t know A LOT.  So this post might not make sense.

Here we go…

Mr Obama,

Want to fix the economy and create jobs?  I think this is the easiest solution, considering you are Democrat and you favor a big government.

I know you’ve dumped a lot of money into stimulus programs, which I don’t think is a good idea.  Some of that has gone into bonuses of people who got them because they have the right title, not because they have performed (that’s the way I understand it, anyway).

How about, instead of dishing out money that the U.S. doesn’t really have, you impose more government programs and regulation?

Let me give an old example.  Tax season is drawing near.  Imagine how cool and easy it would be if we had a flat tax (or, some other very simple tax system).  People could do their own taxes with a sheet of paper and a pencil – it would be uber-simple to understand.

In the U.S., however, we have an extremely sophisticated tax system.  I have an accountant do my personal and small business taxes because I don’t want to overpay, I don’t want to underpay, and I don’t want to get into any trouble by the feds (that would be you).

The problem, if we switch to a simple flat tax, is that many hundreds of thousands of accounting professionals would be out of work. The system and simplified regulation would make their roles obsolete.

We can’t have the government make something simplified to the point where it essentially lays off that many people.  Imagine the millions of people impacted (kids, dependent parents, etc.).

Let’s reverse engineer that example and figure out how to “create jobs.”

I have an idea that will really have an impact: Get your fingers into healthcare. It’s already a mess. I think it’s a mess because of the health insurance industry (not necessarily because of the medical services provided).

Remember, the goal here is not to clean up the mess, it is to create jobs.  So what I propose is that you nationalize healthcare, and impose all of the regulatory oversight that you can think of in this space.  Imagine how many tens of thousands of new jobs you’ll create!

I’m not talking about changing any of the medical service providers, rather adding all the employees we’ll need to make this a national solution.

Adding more government control in this area will provide new industries, probably, and increase the viability of regulatory professionals.  Just like the accountants who make a lot of money because of the IRS codes, you can create massive need for these other types of professionals.

Don’t forget the oversight arm, like the IRS for accounting and OSHA for safety, that will be responsible for taking care of violators.  This oversight arm could be really powerful and grow large (like the Border Patrol) and provide a lot more jobs.

That, I think, is the best way for the government to create more jobs – create more government programs that will require more governement employees (more jobs!) and create cottage industries to support it!

I’m sure your staff can come up with other areas where you can add more government intervention to create a ton of jobs.

What do you think? I’ll write a republican perspective later today.

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JibberJobber Testimonial

January 26th, 2010
Buy my LinkedIn DVD at 50% off (while supplies last).

Some people just don’t get JibberJobber. I know we need to do a better job communicating what it is and how to use it, and then we’d have more testimonials like this:

I wanted to let you know that I’m only backing away from the premium subscription for a little while.  I start a new job tomorrow, one that I was able to land in no small part because of your JibberJobber career management software.  I was able to track several submissions I’d made to this particular employer, giving me a valuable history of my interactions with them.  That history allowed me to connect a few dots and that gave me an advantage I needed during the interview process.

This is the response he gave me when he downgraded from Premium to Regular.  I love it – last week I’ve had three JibberJobber users change their status from unemployed to I FOUND MY DREAM JOB!

That really thrills me.

JC ended his message to me with this:

[JibberJobber is] a great tool that I’d be proud to help plug for.

Thanks for sharing JC, and best wishes at your new gig!

Not on JibberJobber yet?  Sign up here.  Get on our next user webinar tomorrow morning (register here).

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Giveaway: Indispensable by Monday

January 25th, 2010
Buy my LinkedIn DVD at 50% off (while supplies last).

indispensible_by_mondayIt is Giveaway Monday again! I love the idea of this book, even though I haven’t seen it yet.

The idea is how every employee can make a difference on the bottom line and become indispensable.  As a business owner I’ve become hyper-sensitive to what we make and what we spend.  Here’s an example of the kind of thinking I think you’ll find in the book:

A legal assistant noted that the company’s beautiful color signature at the bottom of every email meant that every email she printed and filed (and in the legal department, that’s pretty much all of them) required at least two pages and a fair amount of expensive full color ink. For email strings between executives, the logo illustration could actually appear 2, 3 or even 10 times in the finished document she would need to print out and file. By simply eliminating the logo for intra-company email the hotel could save several thousand dollars in paper and color ink every year. But even more impressive, when employees used the PPG (Profit Proposal Generator) to calculate the equivalent level of sales it would take to equal the profit their savings produced, they were astounded. A savings of $25,000 a year in ink, paper, and unnecessary office supplies is pure profit—and in a company with a 5 percent profit margin, it would take $500,000 in sales to produce that same profit!

Reminds me of a time when I was driving across Idaho with a coworker who said “Do you know how many toilets had to be cleaned for us to go to this conference?” We worked at a building maintenance company, with lots of janitors, and she was referring to the cost of our activity compared with the revenue brought in.

I expect to get my copy soon – here’s how you can get yours:

  1. Answer a question (see below) in the comments on this blog post (not on Facebook),
  2. Someone judges the questions – in this case, the author Larry Myler  is going to be the judge!  He’ll announce a winner before we do the next giveaway next Monday.
  3. Larry will send his book to the winner.

If you aren’t the lucky one to win the book you can get Indispensable by Monday here.

Here’s the question (ANSWER IN THE BLOG POST):

Give an example of something extraordinary (not amazing, but out of the ordinary and perhaps even creative) you have done to make a significant impact on the top or bottom line at any company you have worked at.

OR

Give an example of something extraordinary that you have seen someone else do (same question but you can use a coworker).

BONUS: In addition to the answer you’ll already give, tell us something extraordinary a government worker could do to make a financial impact.

Go for it and good luck!

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Brand You : Personal Branding (Fantastic Slideshow)

January 22nd, 2010
Buy my LinkedIn DVD at 50% off (while supplies last).

I love this slideshare presentation – you don’t have to push “play,” just push the “next” button to move forward.

Thanks to Kristian Andersen for putting this together :)

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What is Your 5 Second Elevator Pitch?

January 21st, 2010
Buy my LinkedIn DVD at 50% off (while supplies last).

I think it was Liz Ryan who called this a “bumper sticker” (great concept).

In LinkedIn they call it a Professional Headline.

Some call it a tag line.

It is the bite-sized value proposition… I might get bored listening to your poorly-crafted 30 second elevator pitch, but I can’t help but digest your 5 Second Elevator Pitch.

One of my favorites is from Carol Fletez, who is an IT professional in the D.C. area.  Look at how fantastic her 5 second pitch is:

5_second_elevator_pitch_carol_fletez

This might not mean anything to you but I used to work in a mainframe environment.  Mainframes are cool and powerful, but many times you feel like you are in the bedrock era.  Carol’s very simple phrase…

Helping Companies Migrate from Mainfraimes to the Future!

… is just clever! It brought a grin to my face, and immediately I assumed she has an expertise in legacy systems and new stuff, and marrying the two. Anyone who has been around mainframes will know what this means.

Guess what?  She also has this sentence on her email signature – she is getting that branding in multiple places (as she should).

What is YOUR 5 Second pitch?

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Upgrades to JibberJobber from Last Week

January 20th, 2010
Buy my LinkedIn DVD at 50% off (while supplies last).

We recently got feedback from our survey of user requests, and then met as a team to discuss, prioritize and assign work orders.  We were all jazzed to plan out the first part of 2010 and make JibberJobber more intuitive and more powerful.  There is a lot of great stuff coming down the pipeline, and no suggestions where ignored.

Here are some updates we released last week (did you notice any of them?):

  • icalendar: you can now export your entire list of log entries and action items to a iCalendar format, which you’d then import to Google Calendar, Outlook, your Mac, or whatever you are using. You can also export things one at a time.
  • Merge option for companies: we had this for contacts for a while, and somehow overlooked doing it for companies — oops!
  • Title change on List Panel pages: I talk about “List Panels” but nowhere on the site could you see “list panel” in a page. So we made this very simple name change, and now when you are on a List Panel page you’ll know it. A little design consistency to help make the training more intuitive.
  • “Referred by” column now on Contact List Panel: Referred By is one of the most powerful things in JibberJobber… and now you can see the column on your Network Contacts List Panel.
  • Events 2.0: still needs some work (I sent 1.5 pages of changes to the developer), but this is awesome – allows you to add your own local network opportunities so all JibberJobber users can see them. I’ll talk about this more after more development is done, but you can go add your own events now (or look at what other users have added).
  • New fields on contact form: preffix, suffix: I debated taking this out but after we released it I got an email from a user who works in an industry where this is critical… the email was a huge YIPPEE – so we leave it in :)
  • Ability to print the Log Entries and Action Items Report: this is a busy report, and now it’s printer friendly.
  • Ability to delete a Networking Relationship Goal: This is a cool feature, even though I hardly talk about it. Anyway, if you use it, you can now DELETE these goals :)

There were also some minor bug fixes, as well as some nomenclature (wording) changes around the site.

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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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LinkedIn DVD

January 19th, 2010

linkedin_for_job_seekers_orderUPDATED March, 2011.

Buy just the Second Edition LinkedIn DVD: $49.95 + S&H

LinkedIn for Job Seekers DVD

Buy the LinkedIn DVD and the LinkedIn book $79.90 + S&H

LinkedIn for Job Seekers DVDlinkedin_book_cover_125

Buy the DVD + 12 months JibberJobber Premium: $148.95 $99.90 + S&H

LinkedIn for Job Seekers DVDcareer_management_jibberjobber

OR, you can do any combination of those,

OR you can get the entire bundle, getting what you see below for $170 $119.00 (and we eat the S&H):

  • LinkedIn for Job Seekers (DVD), second edition
  • I’m on LinkedIn — Now What??? (BOOK) third edition (ships in May or June, 2011)
  • 12 months of Premium JibberJobber

what where
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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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Escape from Cubicle Nation Webinar with Pam Slim and Jill Konrath

January 19th, 2010

I know Pam and Jill… and strongly encourage you to sign up for this no-cost webinar tomorrow. From an email Jill just sent out:

Hi All,

In the past few weeks, we’ve seen numerous articles on how long it’s taking  to find a new position today. Plus, there’s been lots of talk on the need for job seekers to be entrepreneurial and the growing trend for people to have multiple jobs concurrently.

That’s why this upcoming webinar is so darn important for you to attend.
It’s about how to live, survive and even thrive in this changing economy of ours.

You need to attend, even if you desperately want to return to “cubicle nation.” Why? Because it’s really about taking back control of your life again.

UPCOMING F-R-E-E Webinar
Escape from Cubicle Nation

When: Wednesday, January 20
Time: 1pm ET, 12 noon CT, 11am MT, 10am PT
Busy at that time? Sign up now and listen later
Click to register: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/844810859

The collapse of our world economy in 2009 brought tremendous hardship, but also tremendous opportunity.

If no work configuration is secure, we are all self-employed. This gives us many ways to earn a living, if we just know the way to research opportunities and market ourselves as employee and entrepreneur.

Join Pamela Slim, business coach and author of Escape from Cubicle Nation as she guides you through a way to develop a career strategy that will translate regardless of your personal work situation.

In this session you’ll learn:

  • The starting place for any career path: a sound life plan
  • The critical steps to start a business
  • How to build a supportive tribe of supporters, peers and mentors to further your opportunities

Register now: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/844810859

Self-employment is SCARY, but so is long-term unemployment.

For that matter, so is working for a company and not ever knowing when you might get the ax.

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Giveaway: Killer Online Press Releases DVD

January 18th, 2010

Here is giveaway #2 for this year (see, I’m doing pretty good!). It is more business-related… not really for a job seeker, although I have plenty of PR professionals who read the blog and use JibberJobber in their job search. I also have plenty of business owners who read this blog… this would be perfect for YOU.

Like last week:

  1. Answer a question (see below) in the comments (not on Facebook),
  2. Someone judges it (in this case, Janet is going to be the judge!) after 72 hours, which gives some time for those who get the post the next day via email,
  3. Whoever wins gets this almost 3 hour DVD (with bonuses): Killer Online Press Releases ($249 value)

I’ve known Janet for a few years now.  I’m a fan of hers… she is one of my authors, and I worked with her to develop this DVD (I have an interest in this DVD).

If you aren’t the lucky one to win the DVD, you can get your own here.

The question (creative job seekers can answer too – that would be fun…):

“You want publicity about something – what do you want publicity about?  Describe it, and then give us a sample headline of a press release that you would write for that.”

Go for it – notice there are two parts to your answer.  Please respond in the comments OF THIS BLOG POST (not Facebook, or Twitter, etc.).

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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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