I Got the CMA Mentor Award

May 6th, 2010

career_management_mentor_awardI’ve been trying to figure out how to write this and have it be a good read for you.  I hope I can pull it off, otherwise this is just a braggy post.

Last week I went to the Career Management Alliance conference in New Orleans.  They just started a new recognition program where they have four awards that they give to people in the career industry (whether you are a member of CMA or not).  I was surprised and honored to have earned the award called the Mentor Award.

According to the Career Management Alliance website, the Mentor Award “honors those individuals who have guided, and inspired, their colleagues in tradecraft, entrepreneurship, and community building.”

I usually feel like a vendor… I’m not a career coach, resume writer, counselor or practitioner, so to get recognition like this for being a COLLEAGUE is a real honor.  I appreciate the nomination and any discussion about this from the CMA people… thank you!

Here are the other awards and winners:

What Color is Your Parachute Award – Deb Dib
In honor of the founder of modern career counseling and author of What Color is Your Parachute? — Dick Bolles — this award recognizes an individual who has made sustained, innovative contributions to the careers industry — someone who has stayed on the cutting edge and shared his or her knowledge on a wide scale…someone who has helped shape lives and inspired hope.

Bridge Award – Wendy Enelow and Elizabeth Craig
The Bridge Award recognizes one outstanding professional who has made a significant difference in the careers field by connecting professionals from a wide variety of sectors within the industry (e.g., government, academia, the corporate sector, nonprofits, and the entrepreneurial world).

Mentor Award – Diane Hudson Burns and me
The Mentor Award honors those individuals who have guided, and inspired, their colleagues in tradecraft, entrepreneurship, and community building.

Marketing Innovator of the Year – Jacqui Barrett Poindexter
The Marketing Innovator of the Year award is a great exaltation, recognizing a career management professional who has created and successfully implemented the most innovative practice for building business and enhancing their brand.

Congrats to all recipients and nominees, and thanks to CMA for the recognition :)

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Career Inspiration at Career Hub

December 14th, 2009

I was looking for something about Obama creating jobs and thought someone at Career Hub would have written about it.

Career Hub is perhaps the most fantastic career resource available to you.

I think I’m a pretty good job search and career blogger, but if a job seeker told me they wanted to know the number 1 blog for job search help today, it is, hands down, Career Hub.  Typically, as I remember, Cheezhead is cited as a #1 or #2 blog, but they are more for HR and careerists, and Joel hasn’t written since he got acquired by Jobing in September, and Penelope Trunk is another favorite of the “top job search blogs” lists, but I think that’s more for her rankings and popularity than for her career advice.

If you want solid career advice, Career Hub is unparalleled.  One reason is because the writers are full-on career coaches, resume writers, outplacement specialists, counselors, etc.  These are people who are certified, current, and in the trenches with their clients.  These are people who are passionate about job search issues, to the point where they come and pontificate for no compensation (on their “free time”) to share their ideas with job seekers.

This is not to say other career advice blogs are not good.  Many of them are – Barbara Safani, Dave Perry, Julie Walraven… there are plenty of amazing people giving lots of information.  But Career Hub is my #1 recommendation.  One reason why is because there are over a dozen of writers there… and all of them have their hearts in the career space.

Here are five awesome examples of what is typically there:

  1. 5 Steps To Dealing With A Toxic Relationship With Your Employer – not just job search advice, but overall career advice, like this.  Sital Ruparelia is a heavy blogger on Career Hub.
  2. Job Seekers: Come Monday, It’ll Be Alright - Billie Sucher is one of my favorite people in the career space – she exudes love and helpfulness.
  3. Enduring Truths for Careers and Job Search - Susan Guarneri is an absolute gem, and has a passion for personal branding that is hard to match.
  4. Unemployment Numbers Not Being TrackedNorine Dagliano always writes SOLID stuff.
  5. A Career Lesson From Leonardo Da Vinci – Another post by Sital, but I had to put it in here because I’m becoming a Leonardo fan (since I’m starting a hobby/project: a screenplay for a movie about Leonardo in a way that hasn’t ever been done before :) ).

Louise Fletcher is the person behind this fantastic resource.  If you decide to not come back here again,  I understand… but I just had to say it like it is!  Go check out Career Hub!

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Job Search Depression :: Depression Clouds Everything

July 31st, 2009

One of my favorite posts is Depression Clouds Everything, which currently has 377 comments.  The followup to that post is Dealing with Job Search Depression, which has 9 ideas from me and 34 comments.

Sadly, this is much needed information.  Recently, on Depression Clouds Everything someone left a terrific comment.  Thanks to “Struggling To Stay Positive” for this comment:

Dear Friends:

Here’s a list of resources that have helped me, and maybe they might be useful to you and some other people reading this message thread –

Books (mostly available on http://www.amazon.com as paperbacks for pennies if you buy a used copy. If you can’t afford to buy one, even for pennies, ask a friend or family member to purchase it for you):

1. “Getting Up When You’re Feeling Down,” by Dr. Harriet Braiker — a wise book, written for women dealing with a depression, but men can benefit from it as well.

2. “Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy,” by Dr. David Burns — a collection of useful techniques for dealing with depressing moods and shifting into a more positive outlook.

3. “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living: Time-Tested Methods for Conquering Worry,” by Dale Carnegie — an “oldie but goodie” written during the Great Depression and WWII, full of basic techniques for diminishing worry thoughts and focusing on solving problems.

4. “Happy for No Reason,” by Marci Shimoff — summary of her interviews with “100″ people, many of them now “New Age” teachers, who had various techniques for being happy even in really, really bad situations.

5. “The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want,” by Sonja Lyubomirsky — summarizes basic optimistic thought techniques that have been tested by rigorous scientific research — the author is a research psychologist — the techiques are very simple and almost ridiculously easy.

The author summarizes research that shows that positive thinking, even in very negative situations, improves your life. Brain research indicates that as you shift to positive thoughts, new neural pathways are created in your brain, gradually making negative pathways less powerful.

6. “Learned Optimism: How To Change Your Mind and Your Life” by Dr. Martin Seligman. One of the first books of the new scientific “positive psychology” movement, discussing how to shift a person’s pervasive pessimistic thinking to optimistic thinking.

7. “The Miracle of Mind Dynamics,” by Rev. Dr. Joseph Murphy — for Christians and other people inclined to spirituality, an “oldie but goodie” connecting prayer and meditation with ways to increase positive thinking.

8. “Building Your Self-Image and the Self-Image of Others,” by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin — for Jews and other people inclined to spirituality, a very good mix of practical instruction on maintaining positive thought patterns in a spiritual context, even in really bad situations.


1. The Good News Network — good news not covered by the mainstream media –


2. Positive Thinking Radio — really good free podcasts to listen to when times are tough –


3. Positive Psychology News — free daily email newsletters on positive thinking techniques from the new scientific positive psychology movement


4. American Happiness Association — provides free resources, such as teleconferences, for people who are having a tough time –


Finally, for everyone who may be feeling so depressed that suicide is looking good or someone you care about may be reaching that point:

1. “Suicide: Read This First” — a no-nonsense website that speaks directly and respectfully to peoples’ pain


2. “Lifeline Gallery: Stories of Hope and Recovery” — a website containing podcasts from people who either attempted or survived suicide attempts; also contacts podcasts from family and friends dealing with the aftermath of suicide attempts and completed suicides of friends and family members.

Website is sponsored by Dr. Phil, the podcasts are free to listen to, and other resources are provided on the website.

3. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline — practical, common sense website filled with free resources for people dealing with a suicidal crisis, including a free 1(800) line to call.


4. Suicide.org — a very kindly, warm website jammed with resources for people feeling suicidal and people trying to help suicidal family members


Discouraged [referring to someone else who left a comment on the original thread], I hope that you and anyone else reading this resources list may find some of them helpful. I wanted to “give back” as this message thread as been so helpful to me.

Many blessings to everyone on this message thread.

Hopefully this continued discussion helps someone – a job seeker, a spouse, a parent, a child, a neighbor, who faces this today.

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Job Search Tip: Get A Coach (someone who will hold you accountable)

February 11th, 2009

I got this tweet a couple of weeks ago from Craig Murden:

I have blogged about this before in the following posts:

A job search coach would have significantly changed my job search… here are two reason why:

  1. I was doing the wrong stuff in my job search, but I didn’t know it.  I spun my wheels, and got frustrated, but didn’t know I should do something else.
  2. I had no accountability to anyone.  Everyone treated me with kid gloves since they didn’t know how to ask if I was still unemployed.  It’s a touchy subject that many don’t ask about.

Now, you can PAY for a coach, or you can find a “buddy,” as Craig suggests.  Either are okay options, in my opinion.  During my job search I didn’t think I could afford a coach, and I’m not sure if I was ready to be a good client of a coach.

I have seen, however, many job seekers find someone they can be accountable to from job search clubs – essentially their job search peers.  Some of those relationships lasted beyond the job search, which I think is pretty cool.  I think there are two keys to a coaching relationship:

  1. Principle-based methodology. If someone is your job search coach and they tell you to do bad stuff (like spend all your time on job boards, or apply to newspaper ads 100% of the time), you have the wrong coach. This is where a professional job search coach comes in – not only are they principle-based, they have a lot of experience with their other clients that will help you keep your job search as short as possible.
  2. Accountability. You must be accountable to someone for your weekly (daily?) goals and targets.  This CANNOT be your spouse, as your spouse is TOO close to the emotional outcome of the job search.  I know career coaches who won’t coach their spouses :)

Do you have a coach?  If not, go get one.  In the link above, the first point in the Job Search Creed is to get a coach.

JibberJobber partners with coaches and resume writers.  If you are looking for a professional coach or resume writer, let us know and we can send your info to our Partners.  Most of my Partners specialize (by industry, profession, level, etc.) so you might be a fit for some and a misfit for others.
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Managing A Career With Adult ADD (and ADHD)

November 7th, 2007

Frustrated - career management with ADD or ADHDTomorrow is the huge international Personal Branding Summit. See the post from yesterday to see the schedule of speakers. There is no cost to you, just go register and then figure out what sessions you want to call into!

I’m no expert in this, but I thought I would present this e-mail I got from a friend of a friend and see what you think:

In September, I walked away from dissatisfying career in order to venture out on my own as a freelance web designer. Currently I have a full time contract with a company, but it ends in a few weeks and at that point I’ll have to find my own clients. I may get rehired in the spring, but that’s never a sure thing.

Six months ago, I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Since then I have been taking medication and recently started seeing a therapist. She said a coach might be able to help me learn to cope with ADD in my life and in my career. I can see that many of the problems I’ve had in my career may have been caused or at least worsened by my ADD. Throughout my life, I have had trouble with time management and motivation. I get distracted easily and end up wasting a major part of my workday on meaningless things. In addition, I’ve always been a terrible procrastinator and a perfectionist, which ends up being an impossible combination. Estimating how long a task should take is also a huge stressor for me, but it’s a required skill for bidding on projects and billing. It’s imperative that I deal with these issues right away. Otherwise, I don’t stand a chance.

If you have any ideas on coaching and coping with ADD in the workplace or know of anyone that I might talk to, it would be much appreciated.

Do you know anything about Adult Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)? Are you successfully managing a career (or your own business) with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)? (yes, I know there is a difference between ADD and ADHD) What advice can you offer this person?

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Meet My Newest Partners

October 4th, 2007

NRWA logoLast week I flew to Savannah, Georgia, to attend the National Resume Writers’ Association conference. It was the second conference that I’ve been to in the career professional space and I absolutely loved it. My last industry was building maintenance/management, and conferences there were filled with people that didn’t want to be there, and wondering where the next golf course or restaurant was. However, people attending these conferences are usually paying their own way to be there, so they don’t really want to miss a thing. In addition, the conferences are small (around 100 people), so during the three days you can meet just about everyone.

Resume writers are special people. I couldn’t do it – I know my personality and what drives me, and the level of attention and creativity needed to write a strong resume in a challenging situation is something that I doubt I would be able to make a career out of. I remember last year when I did The Resume Experiment, Pete Johnson left a comment saying that he believes everyone should write their own resume. I definitely agree, going through the process is important, and we should all do it. But there are times when calling in a professional is necessary, or wise (or both)!

Sitting through the sessions at this conference gave me a new appreciation for professional resume writers. There is art, mixed with science, and these professionals are at the top of their game (and working to improve). Some have chosen to partner with JibberJobber to add value to the client relationship, as well as make their operations and marketing more effective and efficient. I’m pleased to present to you my seven newest partners (in the order that they signed up):

  1. Kathy Warwick, Confident Careers
  2. Linsey Levine, Career Counsel
  3. Bonnie Kurka, Executive Career Suite
  4. Susan Whitcomb, Career Coach Academy
  5. Eleanore Farmer, Be Ready Resumes
  6. Claudine Vainrub, EduPlan
  7. Marcia Baker, Mark of Success

Many of you know where I’ve come from since last January. I was the guy who couldn’t get an interview (because my resume had problems). I was the guy who went from “60 to zero” pretty quick. It was demoralizing. Now, I have something cool that industry leaders are jumping on, and it is very, very flattering. I’m honored to be associated with these new partners, and thrilled to add them to my existing partners list!

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The Smart Start Coach – Linda Lopeke

September 4th, 2007

Smart Start Coach - Linda LopekeA couple of months ago I had a chat with Linda Lopeke, who teaches at a university in Canada. Linda has had a career outside of the university but designed an MBA-level course called Fortune 500 Intelligence. From what I can tell this has been an excellent testing ground for her to refine her Smart Start program, as she works with hopefuls and wannabe’s (I was an MBA student so I can say that :p).

Linda has a program for “the rest of us” (meaning, not her students) where she makes some very strong claims. I don’t think the claims are far-fetched. A lot of what is being taught is not necessarily new stuff – although professional coaches are going to not only base their coaching on principles, but know the trends, fads and current career management stuff a lot better than someone who isn’t immersed in it all day long.

You can get a taste of her program here, with the free stuff.

You can get an idea of what she teaches here, with the Cash for College challenge questions.

Listen to her on the radio or read a press release here, to get to know her and her program better.

Her home page is really long but has a lot more info, if you are interested. The pricing seems nominal for someone that wants to get started on the career fast track… you can read all about it here.

Linda has a system, with newsletters and communication catered to those that are trying to figure out how to get ahead. She has teleseminar classes that you can dial into, and I think peer communication opportunities to get to know other people that are in the program. This isn’t a replacement for one-on-one career coaching but if you have been hesitant to jump into something like this, I think for the price, it’s a great alternative.

Do you have a coach yet? Do you have a mentor? Has it been beneficial?

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On Resume Writers and Career Coaches

October 25th, 2006

CM Russell on TV - it must be true!I’ve been getting backlogged on my blogging and this morning decided to tie in a few different posts into one summarized version. Note that I really don’t care for posts that say “go read this” and “go check that out” as I am too opinionated to just leave it at that. But there is a series of posts that my friend and author CM Russell has put up from a conference that he just attended, and I want to point you to the ones I’ve found most useful… and of course put my 2 cents in there!

Note that CM is a veteran observer of this industry. He has written the book on the job search, he owns and operates a number of job boards, he has a number of blogs that he operates for you, the job seeker (passive or active), recruiters, etc. His perspective is very broad which makes him one of the foremost experts in this arena. I’m very pleased to see that he went to this conference (I wish I could have gone) and explored this quirky world a little. So here is my 2 cents (note, there are 4 links IN BOLD that I’m highly recommending… go to the rest if you want but definitely check out the bolded links):

First, here is a recording of career coach Barbara Safani’s (here’s her blog) presentation where she picks apart various social networking sites. It is a very interesting presentation and I like at the end how she says something like “and if all of this is very confusing you can use JibberJobber to help keep track of it all.” I was wondering how she was going to tie JibberJobber into her social networking analysis but this made me smile with pride :) [note: she has another podcast interview here, I haven't listened to it yet but plan on listening to it today - I really like Barbara and have been following her blog posts]

Second, here is a post from a newspaper about the black hole when you apply to posted positions. I found this very useful and it rang true… I had applied to about 75 different places and only got 2 real replies. What is up with corporate HR and recruiters when they can’t even send an e-mail saying “we got it, thanks, we’ll let you know.” I’m not talking about the lame automated reply but something with a human touch. It is very discouraging… and if you, the executive, are used to people jumping when you say jump, you better get ready for this humility shock! Anyway, the article talks about the power of networking and other things… it is a good read for sure.

Third, here is another one of my favorite people, resume writer Louise Kursmark, talking about things that resume writers talk about :p I found this interview to be very informational and it answered a lot of questions for me about resumes (including “what can someone expect to pay for this service“), etc. I highly recommend you take the time to listen to this one, no matter what stage you are in.

Fourth, CM wraps it up (I think – we’ll see if there is more tomorrow) with his assessment of resume writers. I love how he describes many of them, and has an absolute endorsement for their profession: “if you are thinking about writing your own resume, forget it.” I echo that, money permitting – but understand that some hidden mistakes on MY resume kept me out of lots of interviews, and I didn’t realize it until I had applied to over 100 jobs!

So I have to mention these other two interviews… just for fun. One is from a rep from a paper company how he is talking (pleading?) about how the paper resume isn’t going away (it made me think of asking Santa Claus if Christmas is going away). I don’t buy into his statistics and internal studies which makes it sound like having his cotton, heavy weight paper will have a major impact on you geting you the job… you’ll have to hear it for yourself (6 mins). The other one was with a salary negotion expert (here’s Jack Chapman’s website)- it didn’t capture my attention much because I think that 6 mins just wasn’t enough time to get real meat in the interview (I’d like to see a series of podcasts on this issue). But you may want to check them out – they are short.

So there you go, I hope that these links (in bold) provide value to you as an active or passive job seeker! I feel its worth the time to sharpen your saw on this stuff, that’s the only reason I’m writing on it. Have a productive day!

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Exciting Feature Added…

July 24th, 2006

I’ve been anticipating this new upgrade for a quite some time, and I know there are others that have been anticipating it more than I have! I’m really excited about this new functionality.

The newest release news, released last night at about 3am is all about an interface for your COACH. Whether you have a formal paid coach, a mentor, or a career counselor, it is a great help to have another set of eyeballs checking out what you are doing.

This update gives YOU, the Job Seeker, the ability to set up and manage your Coach(es). Here’s a scenario (names may be real – does that spice it up a little? :) )

John is a seasoned executive who is aggressively looking for a job right now. John has immersed himself in best-practices in a job search and has been quite effective. He is also increasing his professional network by leaps and bounds as he spends a significant amount of time in targeted networking.

John arranged to have a professional career counselor, Ron, as his Coach. Ron has weekly accountability calls with John to go over the last week (did you meet your goals, have the meetings been effective, etc.) and talk about the next week (do you need to adjust the goals, what specifically are you going to do to ensure that you can meet the goals?) Having a Coach gives John a persective that really hold him accountable – without the negative emotions that can weigh us job seekers down.

With this new feature John can say “add Ron as my Coach“. Ron will then have a dashboard-like view and see WHAT John has been up to. There are various reports that Ron can pull with regard to companies and network contacts. He can see the log entries that John puts in in real-time. And of course he’ll be able to see general stuff like profile info as well as search on all of this data.

Note that Ron is a Coach for other people, and he will also be able to view their data (if they let him!) – so Ron will have one screen to help him see what’s going on with all of his people. He can narrow down the view to just one person. He can set up a weekly report for John’s search but perhaps he is coaching someone that he wants to review closer – so he can set up a daily report for them.

The implications of this are very cool and powerful. I know that Ron isn’t going to micromanage John’s job search, but just having the ability to see this data whenever he wants is so powerful. He can send an “attaboy” anytime he wants based on the data that he reviews (even if it is on a day when he isn’t scheduled to communicate with John. This is powerful because the job search can be hard and depressing, and getting an e-mail from Ron saying “hey, I just say that you …. Great Job!” can be just the boost that John needs.

In addition, Ron can go and pull the reports right before the meeting with John – so John doesn’t have to spend time preparing the reports, and Ron can go into the acountability session more prepared!
Note that you can be a job seeker with a Coach AND coach someone at the same time! This is a realistic scenerio where you need someone else’s help at the same time that you help others. You know accountants have their own accountants, right?

If you want to get a coach (you have to know who that person is) just go to TOOLS, and you’ll see the coach link in the drop-down. If you want to be a coach just go to My Account, and in the Coach tab you’ll see the checkbox to make yourself a coach. Your landing page will then be in that TOOLS drop-down. If you don’t know have any idea on how to get a coach, consider a professional – I’ll have some listed on my website, or you can go to the Library and look in the articles or links for coaches.
This is just the beginning of the coach interface – I’m sure that I’ll get some great feedback over the next few weeks and design enhancements to this interface.

If you are in a serious job search, find someone that can be your coach and then set them up in JibberJobber as your coach. The ability to share this information is powerful and helpful in your job search.

Aside from this update there are, as usual, some polishing touches that went in in the last two weeks. Just more stuff to make your experience richer…

The next update is going to be big also, I promise – you’ll love it. It might be a couple of weeks out but it will be worth the wait ;)

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what is a “coach”?

July 13th, 2006

I’ve had a few conversations with “coaches” over the last few months as I’ve talked with them about JibberJobber.  I’ve never really talked with one before, and only had assumptions about what they do.  And I thought that needing a coach would be some sign of weakness :)   No offense to coaches, or the clients, I doubt I’m the only one to have this thought.

Anyway, as I’ve talked to them I realize that not all coaches are the same.  And most of them will even tell you that.  But I have learned some stuff about coaching that I get to share here because… well, this is my blog!

And, I’ll refer to a coach as “he/his” with the understanding that many coaches that are talked with are women.

Each coaches has his own “flavor” based on his background, experiences and passions.  Most coaches have some kind of training or accreditation, and subscribe to some kind of proven methodology.  But the coaching service will come from a human being, and with that you will definitely get a feel for who they are.  It may be just what you need, or not at all what you need.

Coaches have a way to see through the crap.  When I talk with them about JibberJobber, and how they would use it with their clients, each of them shares their feelings about meeting with a client and getting fed a line of BS – and they coach knows it!  So if you get a coach, be honest with them – otherwise you will be wasting a lot of money and fooling no one.

Not all coaches are about quantifiable accountability (I had to write something that sounded sophisticated).  This surprised me but I’ve had some coaches say that the type of data in JibberJobber isn’t what they care about – that is more along the lines of what a career counselor would care about.  The coach deals with higher-level issues.  That is what two or three coach told me… but many others do want the data because…….

Coaches should hold your feet to the fire. That is my personal opinion – but I realize that some people take advantage of a coach to help them re-evaluate their lives – and this is a lot more on the soft side than then data side.  But if you know a direction, one of the huge roles a coach might play is something like an “accountability cop”.

Coaches have specialties.  Many coaches have done life planning but not career coaching.  You need to know what your coach specializes in, and what experience they have in what you think you need.

I strongly believe that a coach will help you through a job transition better than doing it on your own.  Most people need someone that they are accountable to, especially when you are unemployed and no one really expects anything out of you.  Coaches can help you think through issues, in a way that close family or friends might not be able to.  They can help make sure that you are on the right track, and stay on the right track.  They provide a consistency that you won’t get through a “friend” who will be distracted from their own personal issues and not always ready to spend some intense time with you.

So the question is, how do you find the coach?  What happens if the coach you choose isn’t what you thought, expected, or need?  more on that later :)

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