I have been working on JibberJobber for almost four years.
There are tens of thousands of people who have signed up (not all are users – my thoughts on that here).
We continue to invest in the development, and have been told by outplacement firms and other companies that we’ve developed something that they have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and years trying to develop.
I want people to know about this fantastic tool. I want the government to know about it.
For that, I need your vote – let’s put this on the Department of Labor’s radar – recommend it here!
LinkedIn – in various places in the JibberJobber experience you can tap into your LinkedIn network. You can do a quick search on LinkedIn for companies or names, or you can see who is in your LinkedIn network by company. I want to do LOTS MORE with LinkedIn, but their terms of service is too restrictive (sorry, talk to them about it). Need LinkedIn help? Check out my LinkedIn DVD.
Twitter – I mentioned in that things I love post about how you can quickly add a contact by putting their Twitter handle in. There is MORE coming… super cool stuff!
Skype – I use Skype for my business phone… when I’m in JibberJobber I can easily click an icon and initiate a phone call through my headset. It’s one-click easy. I can also click an icon and initiate a chat message through skype.
Google – just like I can do a quick search on LinkedIn, I can also do a quick search on Google. I thought this was just a cute “we did it because we could” feature, but I have used it more than I thought I would recently!
Anagram – people continually thank me for this feature – you can copy-and-paste contact information into a box, click a button, and then the information (names, phone #’s, etc.) is parsed into the correct boxes on the form. It’s really quite brilliant (you can buy it for your PC, if you want, but you don’t have to have that to use the feature built into JibberJobber).
We would love to do more interfacing with other systems – send me a message and let me know what you’d like to see us interface with (and how the interface would work).
I write this from my heart, not to offend anyone. Read on…
When I lost my job I suffered a terrible loss, and had no idea I would be going through various stages of mourning. Neither did I know what my wife was going to go through.
We made it through. I can’t say we did a stellar job of it, but we had no idea what was going on, or what we should do. Since we are still together I can say we made it through okay. In this post I want to share some ideas of what a spouse’s (see PC footnote 1) role is in your job search.
I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot since we went to a new friend’s house for dinner last week. On the way to their house my wife asked “so… how much can I tell her? If she asks how much money we make now, what can I say?” My wife asked because she has a tendency to share… well, everything. I tend to be significantly more private. My response to her was “Honey, you can say whatever you want. Tonight, I trust you :)” (see PC footnote 2)
Even though it’s been 4 years since we lost our job, we’re still figuring out what happened to us and how we got through it, and framing it in such a way that we can help others through it. This dinner was something I wish we could do more often.
After dinner my wife was alone with my buddy’s wife and when I went up to make the “let’s go home” signs I noticed there had been tears. Lots of tears. It was a good reminder of how raw and in-the-moment this “I lost my job, am I am worthless” the feelings are.
This topic has been on my mind ever since. I wasn’t the spouse of the job loser (you feel like a loser, don’t you?), but I lived with one, and I’ve met many. So I’m kind of, almost qualified to write this list of suggestions. I hope it is helpful. I welcome any thoughts in the comments.
Be supportive. What I really needed was support. Most of how I defined myself professionally, which helped me define who I was as a human being (I hear this is a male characteristic), disappeared overnight. I went from Jason-the-somebody to Jason-the-loser. I really needed support, even though I turned into a loser overnight. Many of the points below are how to be supportive, but this was Number One in my list of needs.
Let him/her go and network. The job search is probably different than what you think it is. It was dramatically different than what I thought it was. I remember a guy who learned about the power of networking in a job search… he said his wife had a really hard time since he was out networking (lots of breakfasts and lunches), and not at home on the job boards, like JobTonic, and submitting resumes. Please, please know that the best use of time is not sitting at the computer all day… when your spouse goes out to network, be proud, and encouraging (and know that he/she is probably doing something out of his/her comfort zone… any extra encouragement will go a long way!)
Be intimate. Hm, how to approach this topic. From my perspective, the job search is filled with enough rejection… let me encourage you to continue to be intimate even during the very difficult, emotional job search. Aside from what you are probably thinking, know that a backrub, a snuggle or holding hands goes a long ways. Let him/her know you are still there, and not rejecting or judging. You can make it through this, and continuing the sweet somethings of a relationship can be quite reassuring.
Be clean around the house. You can’t let this go. There is a tendency to give honey-do lists, and have expectations that “since you are around more you can do more work around here.” I don’t totally disagree with that, but don’t take too much time away from a job search and want him/her to put it into the dishes, laundry or basement project. Both of you should continue to keep up the house and chores like you did before… and if something needs to change, communicate about it!
Can you make a few bucks here and there? The day I got let go is the day my wife got her first piano student. Within three weeks she had 20 students. She undercharged, in my opinion, but the few hundred dollars she brought in each month was so, so helpful. A few hundred dollars when you don’t need it is play money. A few hundred dollars when you are unemployed might cover all of the utility bills. What a relief it was to know that our utilities were covered.
Be positive. This one is hard – my wife once got advice to not share normal daily happenings with me if they were only going to make me worry. Build me up, be positive, help me maintain a positive attitude. That is just too fake for my wife, so she shares stuff that frustrates me… I’m not saying that you need to be fake, but you certainly don’t need to share all of the little things with your spouse. Perhaps instead of saying “be positive,” can I suggest you “be less negative?”
Cry. You have to. You want to. Do it. I don’t know if you do it with your spouse, or with your BFF, or with a tub of ice cream, but don’t suppress this.
Communicate. A few months into my job search, someone asked my wife “how’s Jason doing?” Her response was “I don’t know, we don’t talk anymore.” I heard about that about a year later and it really made me sad. We went for months and months not communicating? During a time when we both really needed it? Look, I know you both want to be positive and strong for one another, but you can also be honest and sincere… don’t let months and months go without communicating your wants, needs, desires, dreams, and feelings for one another.
Network. When I lost my job my world shrunk to my neighborhood, since I didn’t commute or travel anymore. Unfortunately, I didn’t really know any neighbors. My wife did, however, and she started talking to her friends about my job search, and what I was looking for. In fact, I leaned on her too much for networking, thinking she could spend her time networking while I spent time on the job board. Your spouse can’t do all the networking for you, but he/she certainly can tell their friends, who might help you network into your next role. This felt like one of the most helpful things that my wife did during that time.
Be honest. My wife and I didn’t communicate for months because we were trying to be strong for one another. We were really only going to share positive things with one another (we didn’t plan that, it’s just how it happened). Unfortunately, there wasn’t a whole lot of positive that we saw during that time… and very few words were exchanged. When we did talk it seemed like a fake hope. I wish we could have gone back to that raw time and communicated more, with a lot of sincerity and honesty.
Ask for help. It’s okay to ask friends and family for help. Let them know your real situation. Many times I’ve heard “if we only knew how bad it was, but they always said they were fine.” I wasn’t sure if I should approach her parents for financial help… if I remember right, she approached them, and then I talked with her dad about the details. After you assess your needs it’s good to figure out who can take what role in asking for help… both of you should participate in this.
Get professional help. Your spouse should get professional help in his/her job search, because most likely they are doing things wrong. Well, if you have depression, or anxiety, or any other feelings that you don’t want to have, talk to a doctor. There is nothing wrong with getting professional help, whether it’s counseling or medicine… at least you’ll have someone qualified to help you know if you are at the point where you do need the help. And if your doctor is not listening to you, then switch doctors. Some just don’t get it.
Get a coach for your spouse. You CANNOT be the coach. You CANNOT be the person who asks what they did in the job search, how their goals are going, etc. You are too emotionally attached to the outcome, and any relationship baggage you two might have puts you in a position that makes coaching just wrong. Also, you have other roles… and being the “ask all the hard questions, hold him/her accountable for daily and weekly actions” is not your role. Even job search coaches will hire OTHER coaches, their peers, when their spouse starts a job search. This coach can be a professional, paid coach, or someone who understands the job search enough to not lead them astray and to ask those hard accountability questions.
I don’t have all the answers, for my relationship or for yours. But I know how hard this time is. When I look back on my time I wish I could have taken advantage of the time and drawn closer to my wife, instead of each of us becoming more secluded.
PC Footnote 1: Spouse can be defined however you need – think significant other. I’m thinking of the person you are closest with, the person who sleeps in your bed, the person who has a strong interest in your ability to find a job. This is not your kid, or your BFF, this is someone who you have a more intimate relationship with. If “spouse” isn’t PC enough for you, plug in your own word.
PC Footnote 2: I am not a heavy-handed, do what I say husband. Simply because my wife wouldn’t put up with it. But she wanted some guidance on her boundaries… read my response with a loving, gentle, trusting tone and that might help you feel less offended
I just found a terrific post from Jeff Dickey-Chasins that explains some of the behind-the-scenes logic of fake job postings.
I HATE FAKE JOB POSTINGS.
I REALLY, REALLY HATE FAKE JOB POSTINGS.
But they are there, and apparently they are there for a reason.
Jeff writes his post from a job board perspective. He gives a logical reason why companies might do it (to harvest resumes, especially if they have to put up a certain amount of postings before a certain date).
He offers a BRILLIANT alternative (to label the job as “future hiring,” so you know it’s not a current, open job.
The comments offer great insight, also. Go check out his post and then let us know what you think.
For me, fake job postings are a slap in the face to job seekers. And job seekers don’t need one more slap in the face.
Update 1/8/09: thanks to the comment from Trevor Wilson, from Gradversity.com, we installed the patch/fix so that this is not important anymore. And it seems to have resolved at least one other thing that Marc reported… we’ll keep an eye on that!
Microsoft 8 came out a while back and they introduced a new feature bug… if you use IE 8 you’ll see something wrong on JibberJobber. Fortunately it’s easy to fix.
When you login the Action Item panel is messed up … it looks weird… check this out:
To fix this once, simply go to the browser menu (not the JibberJobber menu), click on Tools, and then click on Compatibility View (red arrow). To fix it FOREVER, click on Compatibility View Settings (green arrow) and make sure JibberJobber is in the list of websites.
Here’s a snippet where I put JibberJobber as a website that should always show in compatibility view:
After you have done that you’ll see the top of the Action Item panel the correct way, like this:
Thanks Microsoft, for introducing another important (cough cough) feature (cough cough)
This is like “voting” for JibberJobber, but it’s not for a web award, or to be listed on a blog… I’m guessing the implecations of this recommendation will be that JibberJobber will be recognized by the government and broadcast as a job seeker resource to many workforce service departments.
In short, I think this can be the think that legitimizes JibberJobber to the US Government, which will be a big win not only for us but for the people who need something like JibberJobber.
I’ve had many talks with government people, but the problem always comes back to one thing: since there is an OPTION to upgrade, they say they can’t recommend it. I think this is either a super-lame policy, or a misunderstanding of policy. Nonetheless, many government people I talk to say something like (I really heard this):
I LOVE this! I’m going to tell my daughter, who is just graduating from college, to get on and use JibberJobber. But I can’t mention it at my office because there is a fee (NO, there is an OPTIONAL fee). And we can’t endorse anything that is for-profit.
Oh. My. Gosh. Choke me now.
Guess what… LinkedIn has an optional upgrade. Monster has optional upgrades (or levels).
A major disappointment when I first started JibberJobber was seeing a great divide between the government trying to create their own stuff, and not promoting anything else, and private industry creating really strong, powerful tools.
Guess who lost? Anyone who went to a workforce services office who wasn’t told about what they really should have been using as a resource.
Okay, didn’t mean for this to be a rant… let me get back on track.
I think, I hope, that if JibberJobber gets enough recommendations then we’ll finally get that quasi-endorsement from the government that will help hundreds thousands millions know about this very useful tool.
Here’s a quote from a comment from yesterday’s post – I found this to be really powerful:
I just “stumbled” across JJ today. After 9 months in the job search, talking with “career coaches” and recruiters as well as other job seekers and this is the first I’ve heard of it. This should be the first place a job seeker is led to.
We have tens of thousands of signups, but with last year’s economy we should have had millions.
Please recommend JibberJobber to the DOL and hopefully we’ll get the respect we deserve, and job seekers won’t have to waffle around for almost a year before they “stumble upon” this very helpful resource.
I neglected getting this scheduled until just this morning… sorry to all the new users who had a few days of “um, the webinar doesn’t really exist :(.”
Anyway, here’s the deal – we get on at 9:00 am Mountain Time (you can should sign in early). NOTE THE TIME ZONE. I always have a few people who get on an hour early, or an hour late. If you miss the webinar, or if can’t wait for the next one, you can always see a recording here. We spend about an hour going over stuff – usually it’s beginner stuff, but sometimes there are questions that take us into more advanced features. I go with the audience.
When you sign up for a webinar you won’t get email reminders of any future webinars. If you want to sign up for others you have to do that one at at time. The schedule is as follows:
In my Google Alerts I found a link to a blog that mentioned JibberJobber (titled: What’s Wrong?). In fact, the blogger wrote “newfangled jibberjobber”… hm, now my curiousity is piqued!
The blog post is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time… the blogger talks about all of the widgets and gadgets and tools that are supposed to make our lives easier, but in fact, don’t. I think we all have at least one thing we’ve purchased that was supposed to make our lives easier, but just sat around unused?
The blog author talks about stuff from infomercials, kitchen utensils, phone accessories, etc.
And they threw JibberJobber into the conversation with this question:
“After all whats wrong with the OLD way of doing whatever the newfangled jibberjobber is supposed to replace?”
Let’s talk about that…
The OLD way of doing a job search is, well, old. It’s outdated. It doesn’t necessarily work.
Remember, the OLD way of doing a job search was in a different environment. Back in the olden days (a few years ago) you could use job boards, apply to jobs, and it was a numbers game (how many resumes could you send in? Someone was BOUND to hire you if you sent enough resumes).
The NEW way is, well, new. It’s not so much a numbers game. It might just be more about managing relationships. And managing relationships is HARD. Keeping track of relationships you manage is HARD, also, especially the more you network.
Try tracking hundreds of companies you are looking at. Hundreds of resumes that you use to apply to hundreds of jobs. And hundreds of people you network into (online and offline).
What OLD way would really help you manage that information? 3×5 cards not good enough? Well, buy 4×6 cards then :p Or wait, how about a spreadsheet? Been there, done that, didn’t do the job after a while because there was TOO MUCH data to manage.
There are only so many tools that will really, really cut an onion the right way. And usually my favorite cutting tool is the knife. I can’t image a tool that will replace my set of Cutco knives. They are the best tools in my kitchen.
In a job search, there never really was a knife (that super tool). There still isn’t … finding a job and managing your career is more complex than cutting an onion. So you might need multiple tools. But if your OLD tools were paper-based, or a spreadsheet, and you are getting ready for a new job search, I’d suggest you seriously check out some newfangled tools… like JibberJobber.com and LinkedIn. These are the closest knife-like tools you’ll find for your job search.