Six Things To Do Before You Leave Your Job

April 29th, 2014

I’m doing some research on how to onboard yourself once you land your next job. I found this great (important) article on TheMuse titled 6 Things to Do Before Leaving Your Job.

leslie_moser_muse

I hadn’t thought about it much because I focus so much on forward-facing stuff, not what to do to tie up loose ends from a job you have left.  But Leslie Moser is absolutely right.  Her six things are (read her post to get more):

  1. Write a transition plan
  2. Archive, archive, archive (don’t archive information that is not yours, though)
  3. Figure out your health insurance (COBRA is a joke… it is SO expensive)
  4. Have an exit interview (be careful not to burn bridges in this interview, though!)
  5. Keep in touch! (I know this can feel very awkward)
  6. Plan a vacation (take some time, but NOT TOO MUCH TIME!)

A book I’ll recommend is Scot Herrick’s I’ve Landed My Dream Job – Now What???  This book helps you plan your first 30 days on the job, and includes thoughts on wrapping up well from your last job.

In the amazon review I love the person points out that Scot’s book helped her put together a 30/60/90 day plan… FOR AN INTERVIEW!  So maybe this book is a great interview prep book… ?

ive-landed-my-dream-job-now-what-scot-herrick

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LinkedIn for Job Seekers Videos: Fourth Edition!

February 11th, 2014

Well, I finally did it – I finished the recordings for the fourth edition of LinkedIn for Job Seekers.  This edition will be streaming only, which will cut the cost down on producing DVDs as well as make it easier for me to do updates.

You can check it out here.

The most apparent change in this series is the layout change.  The third edition is, I think, almost two years old, and there have been a lot of changes to LinkedIn’s layout.  The most notable would be the header/menu, which has significantly been pared down (some of the favorite things are missing :( ), and the huge, massive overhaul to the LinkedIn Profile.

Functionally, the biggest change would be the absence of LinkedIn Answers, which for many years had been my #1 favorite feature.  Most of the functionality that you found in Answers can be done in Groups, but not as easily, and perhaps not as effectively.  We go into that.

There were other functional changes… most of which had to do with stuff either disappearing completely or moving from a free to a premium feature.  I have a free account and focus on helping you get more value from the free account.

In this video series, which is appropriate for job seekers as well as business owners (who probably feel like job seekers every morning!), I want you to learn out to OPTIMIZE.

Optimize your chance to be found when someone is searching for you – this has to do with your Profile, and somewhat what Groups you (a) are in and (b) participate in.

Optimize how you share your brand – what message are you sharing, where, how often, etc.

Optimize your Profile, and the messaging you give there.  I was finally inspired to update my Profile (which is a fluid, changing project) and made some really important enhancements.

Optimize your results – we’re on LinkedIn for a reason, right?  Make sure you understand that reason and work towards that reason, instead of just being there because everyone else is.  I’m not about herd mentality… I want you to purposefully seek, and get, value.

The cost of this training is $50.  You have access to it as long as you wish. I ask that you do not share access with others, and you don’t show it in “public settings,” like at a university.  However, if you want to show a video or two at a job club, feel free to do that.

Finally, did you know we’ve been working hard on enhancing JibberJobber and making it more value-add to you?  Not only have we added new functionality, and cleaned up some stuff, we dropped the price of the optional premium level by 40%… to $60. If you are interested in the awesome premium features (including the oh-so-useful Email2Log feature), you can get both the 12 month upgrade and the LinkedIn video series for only $99.

Let me know if you have any questions, and if you want me to add any other trainings into the LinkedIn series.

Whew!  Glad to finally get this updated!

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Scot Herrick Links and Blog (and book)

December 17th, 2013

Scott Herrick wrote I’ve Landed My Dream Job – Now What??? (part of my Now What series)

I got a ping from my blog when he linked to one of my favorite posts, and checked out the context.  I really like Scott’s thinking – he  is very purposeful, and very experienced.  I would pretty much listen to anything he said/wrote.  Check him out at Cube Rules.  Here’s his book on Amazon: I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???

ive-landed-my-dream-job-now-what-scot-herrick

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Four more weeks until Jan 2. What are you doing to prepare?

December 2nd, 2013

I’ve run JibberJobber since 2006 and have found that January through March or April is the time when most people are (finally!) really serious about their own career management.

December feels like a month when you can’t really do anything… people complain that it’s a horrible month for the job search.  Employees are out of the office, on vacation, and hiring decisions are left until the new year… so why try?

When I was in my job search I didn’t care what holiday it might have been, or whether it was a weekend or 3 am.  I had anxiety, and I felt a great sense of urgency to do something to end my unemployment!  I wasn’t doing the right things, but I certainly wasn’t going to celebrate anything (like a national holiday) simply because everyone else was.  It’s hard to feel festive when you feel like an incompetent.

What’s more, many job search coaches say the holidays are definitely a time to do job search stuff, even if you employ different tactics.  But let’s say you doing believe any of that stuff… what COULD/SHOULD you do between now and January 2nd?

Whether in a job search or not, smart, astute, “self-driven” professionals are going do something.  It might be as baby-step simple as listing 10 – 20 people they need to talk to, or 10 – 20 companies they want to network into come January.

It might be something as in-depth and time-consuming as writing a book (even if it is a small ebook) with the purpose of establishing and enhancing their personal brand.

That “something might be seriously considering, or starting, a side business, to create an alternative/multiple revenue stream and maybe even start down the path of 100% self-employment.

Depending on what your year (or last quarter) looked like, you might simply take this month off to do “nothing” – like read some books or articles you’ve been meaning to catch up on, take a real vacation and mentally, spiritually and physically recharge, to be ready for the next year.

Whatever you do, please don’t give up on December.  Whether it is a strategic and very tactical job search to hopefully get some interviews or offers lined up in January, or a more long-term career management strategy, take the time to do something on purpose to finish out this year.

I can’t tell you what it should be – so you tell me… what will it be?

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Promote Yourself: Personal branding and career book, and the Tim Ferriss effect

September 5th, 2013

Dan Schawbel finally got his next book out: Promote Yourself.   I don’t have a copy but there is a lot of info you can find in blog posts online (like this one from LinkedIn global spokeswoman Lindsey Pollak).

Dan will be on October’s Ask The Expert call on Oct 1.  Join us here, and send me any questions you have for the call.

Dan has done a masterful job promoting himself.  I’ve watched his career/business blossom over the years. I even shared the stage with him in North Carolina (Charlotte).  It was the one and only time we’ve met in person.

Tim Ferriss tweeted a link to a post Dan wrote:

tim_ferriss_promote_yourselfApparently it took Dan’s website down.  That is a big deal.  I used to crave mentions like hot superstars like that, tweeting and blogging about my stuff… Dan has worked very hard to get the attention he is getting.

I’m guessing this is a personal branding + career smarts + generational stuff (Dan is a big Gen Y advocate) book… if that sounds like your cup of tea, check it out here.

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51 Alternatives to a Real Job on the Kindle (link below)

July 25th, 2013

I finally got 51 Alternatives to a Real Job on the kindle.  Click here to purchase it.

Still, one of my favorite quotes in the reviews, by Mike Hudson:

 51 Alternatives is not an answer book, it is a question book, and that question is “Why not?”

This is definitely a why not book.  I think some of the ideas in here are “too far out there” for many people.  But if you get tired of having layoffs hanging over your head, or if you wonder why you are only making $x/hour and barely scraping by, or if you just want to feel more empowered personally, then WHY NOT?

I’ll never forget an email I got from a friend who makes a bunch of money in a job that takes him away from his family 5 or 6 days a week, for the last many years.  He commented that he didn’t have the guts to do what I was doing… here is his question with my reply (which I blogged, of course):

I got an e-mail today from a buddy in Texas:

I am glad to hear your business is doing well. I wish I had your skills to go out and start my own business, but I am too big of a chicken.

So here is my formula for “going out and starting your own business:

  1. Focus 150% on your career, give your life and time and thoughts to “the company.”
  2. Get laid off because of any lame reason.
  3. Work 60 hours a week looking for a job.
  4. Have a great looking resume that has some ghost problem (something that is a problem but you can’t find).
  5. Have an aha moment that is “wow, this would be really cool!!”
  6. Continue to not be able to get a job (much less a couple of interviews)
  7. Figure that going forward on your own business is going to be more fruitful than spinning the job search window (this was months into the job search)
  8. Being okay with giving up all of the corporate perks (steady paycheck, bonus, holidays, sick leave, “cheap” health insurance, etc.)

There you go. There’s my guts. Where are yours?
frog dissection where are your guts?

Do you have the guts to ask WHY NOT?  Check out the WHY NOT book, 51 Alternatives to a Real Job.  Now on your kindle browser :)

51-alternatives-to-a-real-job-kindle

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How to Switch To A Completely Different Industry (Management to Video Production)

June 3rd, 2013

I got a great email from someone… their email is in bold and my response is in not-bold:

I’ve been in ________ Management for several years and that’s what’s on my resume, but it would be nice to turn my hobby and first love of video production, editing, and graphic arts into a source of income. 

Cool… big transition!  It’s good to know what you want to do and pursue it, if it can support your lifestyle.

Problem is, NOBODY will simply hire me to do this without a competitive resume with years of experience. 

I think the video production, editing and graphics arts are specialized enough that I might hire three different people to do each of those.  I’m not sure a “resume” is going to get you the gig, because you have to get into the right interview first.  Regarding “years of experience,” above you say this is your passion and first love, so I wonder what other projects you’ve done.  Maybe no commercial projects but if you have done projects that might be all I need to take a gamble on you…

I wonder if you focus on one or two of the three things you list, instead of all three.  For example, bring a graphics artist in to complement you.  If you network enough and well with those specialists, maybe they will bring YOU in on video projects…?

Replacing your last job is hard enough, but changing careers requiring a whole set of skills (which you may have sans the experience part) is nearly impossible.  

We talked about this on my Dick Bolles Ask The Expert call.  It is definitely not easy but you can do it.  How do you position yourself?  Generally, my simple thoughts are to figure out and talk about your “transferable skills.”  You’ll probably have to pull from your off-time for graphics and video products you’ve done.  BUT, what if you pull together some contractors you can tap into and then focus on the product/project management of the project, as well as sales and marketing?  Get some great commercial projects under your belt and that should lead to more.

Again, watch Dick’s interview. I don’t remember when we talked about this but his response blew me away.

The ONLY option that I can foresee is to go independent and adopt a very aggressive marketing and networking campaign to drum up business.  

The “very aggressive marketing and networking campaign” you would do to drum up business is virtually the same you should do in a job search.

In my job search, seven years ago, I had to make a decision.  Do I spend time working towards “a job,” which someone might take away again, or do I spend time working towards long-term financial independence, which do I do?  I chose to shift gears, work as hard as I was on my job search, and took a gamble.

For you, what I would recommend is to build up a portfolio of projects.  Make some up for yourself, or beg and convince friends at businesses to do things for them.  As your portfolio grows it will be easier to have people know and think about and choose you for their projects.

My personal proof was here, in this post from 2006: Substantiate Yourself

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30 Second Elevator Pitch vs 30 WORD Elevator Pitch

April 1st, 2013
TOMORROW! Ask The Expert free webinar/call with Nick Corcodilos, of Ask The Headhunter. Sign up here.

I was reading Ditch! Dare! Do! (a great book on personal branding by two friends and saw an interesting line.

The story was about someone who was communicating their brand using what has been historically been called an elevator pitch.

You know, the one that you should spend no more or no less than 30 seconds on?  (Story: I was at a networking meeting where they had you do your 30 second pitch and if you went over 30 seconds they would annoyingly ring a gong.  It was horrible!)

In the book they gave a great example of someone answering the question “what do you do” with a 28 word response.

28 words… intriguing!

Maybe instead of shooting for 30 seconds, which for some people can sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher blabbing on, let’s talk about getting it down to something shorter… 28 or 30 words!

This is hard stuff, but if you can brand yourself well CONCISELY you can have more power in the conversation.

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Network Better: Have Something To Talk About

March 28th, 2013

I regularly consult with small business owners (aka solopreneurs) about how to network and market.

Those two are almost one-in-the-same, aren’t they?

On a recent call I was talking to a solopreneur about doing webinars or teleseminars.

You can get a lot accomplished with a teleseminar, but what if no one comes?

Same question with a book… what if you write a book and no one buys it?

My answer: IT IS OKAY.

Perhaps the purpose of the teleseminar, webinar or book is NOT to get it in front of people, have people buy it, or even come (to the webinar or teleseminar) or read it (the book).

Let me give you an example: When I go somewhere to speak I might speak in front of 100 people.

That isn’t very many people!  I don’t want to get on a plane, take about a week from my schedule (a trip can take a week… 2 travel days, the day of the presentation, the prep before and the catchup after) to get in front of 100 people – especially if I do that for FREE! (I usually waive my fee to job clubs)

No money (or, the opportunity to make a sale, but I’m usually not even going to break even), all that time, for only 100 people?

That’s not entirely why I do it.

Would I do it if it were 10 people?  I did that before (even though I was told there would be 100 people there).

Where is the value?

Here’s the value… and this is important for you as a solopreneur to know, and it is important for you as a job seeker to know:

The value is in the pre- and post- marketing.

The group who has 100 people coming… they might have an email list of about 4,000 – 10,000 people.

I want (them) to TALK ABOUT me, my message, and my trip.  I want them to email their group twice before I come, and twice after I’ve left.

In each email message I want a link to JibberJobber (the best and most important career management and job search organizer out there) and my LinkedIn book (linking to Amazon and/or my LinkedIn blog).

I know have given this job club organizer something to say, about me, to his/her audience.

And in addition to the 100 people who actually come, I’ll get four touch-points to the 4,000 people on the list.  That will result in:

  • book sales,
  • JibberJobber signups,
  • more evangelists talking about me,
  • curiosity and branding.

Is THAT worth it?

Shooting an email out to 4,000 people randomly is not a big deal. It would likely have a negative impact.

But for the TRUSTED organizer to shoot the email out, and have them say something like “ JibberJobber is the best and most important career management and job search organizer out there,” is really, really, really valuable.

My point is, I’ve given them something to talk about.

What can YOU give your network to talk about?

What I’ve learned is it can’t be one single thing or event.

Think of something you can do monthly, or every other month, that they can say “oh, that sounds cool.  And I’ll tell my friends about it…”

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Help: How can this job seeker get results from his phone calls and emails?

March 22nd, 2013

I recently got an email from Wayne, who is doing a lot of right things, but perplexed that his outbound communication attempts aren’t getting the results he wants.

What would you recommend?  Leave your advice in the comments below.  I’ll answer with my ideas on Monday’s blog post:

I have a question about not getting a return phone call from a potential  networking contact after 5 or 6 tries. The following is my approach:

1.  I make a call during off hours (to ensure voicemail) letting the individual know about my purpose (evaluating some career options) and I wish to expand my network with other experienced professionals through a brief meeting. I also mention that they should expect a follow-up letter in the mail.

2.  The letter (see below) goes out 2 days before the call via normal mail, with the intent that it arrive not more than 2 days after my initial voicemail call.

3.  I then begin following up the letter and initial call with other calls (almost always getting voicemails) asking them if they have received the letter and would it be possible to spend a few minutes with them. If it is a VM, I leave my name and number and ask them to call back.

4.  A couple of times when I have received a call back, people pay no attention to the networking aspect and probe me on what I am looking for re employment

5.  After 5 or 6 tries using this method, I switch to something else (e-mail if possible)

I can only assume that something is either wrong in this process or I am missing something because activity (meetings) have been painfully slow to come my way.

Here’s the letter he sends (see #2, above).  This is with a nice letterhead with all the contact info:

Dear

My name is Wayne ———- and I left you a telephone message recently with respect to connecting with you on a professional level. I am an executive in the ————— business, formerly with —————-, and I am evaluating career opportunities.

I am seeking to expand my network and I would like an opportunity to meet with you in order for you to get to know me.

I am not expecting you to know of a job available for me although that would be nice. Rather, it is to ask you, professional to professional, if you would be willing to look over a list of target companies when we meet and perhaps share some of your knowledge base on a few of them.

My tactic is to connect with professionals in the industry with the goal of becoming “top of mind”, partly in the event you may require industry information from me , but also to seek out the right ————- professionals to network with. As a result of these, and other initiatives, should a career opportunity open up in the future within our industry, my expectation is that I will be thought of first.

I would very much prefer to meet with you in person for 20 or 30 minutes within the next few weeks. May I suggest the following dates and times for a face to face meeting but please suggest alternate dates if they are not suitable to your schedule: ….. ( dates and times)

Sincerely,

Alright smart people, what do you think?  What would you tell Wayne?

And Wayne, thank you for letting me share this with the world. I hope the answers in the comments will be helpful to you and many others!

what where
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