New: Certified JibberJobber Coach

November 24th, 2014

Here’s what I just sent to my LinkedIn Group:

If your coach does not use JibberJobber, what CRM are they using? You should be using JibberJobber, and your coach should know the basics of relationship management software (that is, JibberJobber). Huge bonus if they actually use it for their own stuff, whether personal relationships, prospects, current and past clients, etc.If you are looking for a coach or service provider who uses JibberJobber, or has been to our trainings enough times to “get it,” let me know. I’ll put you in touch with coaches and resume writers and outplacement firms who “get it.”If you are a career professional, and are interested in becoming a Certified JibberJobber Coach, email me: Jason@JibberJobber.com. Classes will start in January.

Jason Alba
CEO
www.JibberJobber.com

I’ve been thinking about doing a certification like this for many years. It’s time to finally buckle down and put it together.

I’ll start the first course the week of January 12th. It will be four to eight weeks long, depending on the curriculum that I put together.  While I don’t have that ironed out, if you’ve been on my webinars, you know I fret about over-delivering, and this is no exception.

Every career professional knows the world doesn’t need another certification to take (or pay for), but no one is doing a certification on JibberJobber, or on using this type of technology to organize and track and manage a job search. I used to do the LinkedIn Certification for The Academies… why not do a JibberJobber certification?

The list price of $397 is discounted to $97 for students of the first group of students.  You can pay here. This will include the live and recorded video courses and the assessments (to test your proficiency of material covered). It will include a verification process so that job seekers can verify that you are really, truly certified by JibberJobber. The class will be live webinar with recordings, so if you can’t make the webinar, listen to the recordings at your own pace.

Fun factoid: certified, defined, is:

“Officially recognize someone as possessing certain qualifications or meeting certain standards.

On the same page, it is also defined as:

“Officially declare insane.”

The purpose of this certification is to bring career professionals up to speed on the processes and systems of organizing and tracking a job search. We will recognize those who go through the course successfully as professionals who “possess certain qualifications,” and who “meet certain standards.”  We will not officially declare anyone insane… :)

Questions? Suggestions? Let me know.

what where
job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

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.

Sign Up Now! »

How To: Email2Log and the “Log End Line” (to help organize your job search)

October 30th, 2014

This post is to document the power and importance of the “Log End Line” when using the Email2Log.  You don’t *have to* use the Log End Line, but a few scenarios came up recently where I really understood how (1) powerful it is and how (2) important it is.

This blog post is kind of long, but it’s a lot of pictures, and it’s meant to be comprehensive coverage of the Log End Line.

Note that the Log End Line is optional (you don’t have to use it), but I hope that after you go through this post you’ll know why you should use it (at least sometimes).

What is the Log End Line and Where do I set it up?

The Log End Line is one of the three fields you fill out in order to activate the Email2Log feature (remember, this is a premium feature).  Mouse over Logs, then click on Email2Log:

jibberjobber_email2log_log_end_line

Then, you’ll see the form, where the third field is for the Log End Line:

jibberjobber_email2log_log_end_line_setup

You can put anything you want as the Log End Line.  I do not recommend putting anything that any normal human being might put in an email, like —————–, ____________________, ==================, *****************, or other such characters.  Those might be normal separators that anyone could type in, and it would effectively mess up what you are trying to do with the Email2Log.

Our example (see the red dotted line in the image above) is a series of characters that most people aren’t ever going to type… it’s kind of hard to type that string.  That’s what I’ve been using for years. You can simply copy and paste that into the Log End Line textbox, if you want.

How and when do I use the Log End Line?

I include my Log End Line in every email that I send.  My email signature looks like this:

 jibberjobber_jason-alba-email-signature_log_end_line

Every email client I know of allows you to create an email signature.  This way you don’t have to retype it every time you send an email. (As a side-note, I’m really big on signatures and think they are powerful personal branding tools!)

I never delete this, as it simply looks like a natural line separator between the body (which goes above) and the rest of the email signature.  So it doesn’t detract or distract.

The main idea behind, and most common use of, the Log End Line is that anything after the Log End Line IS NOT included in a Log Entry created when you use Email2Log.  To say it in a more technical way, the Log Entry created will be truncated after the Log End Line.  More on that in the next section.

Tip: some advanced users will put the Log End Line under their email signature, and then change the font to white, so it isn’t seen by email recipients. I don’t do that, but I think it’s kind of clever :)

What does the Log End Line do? (Part 1: Power)

The power of the Log End Line is that it truncates your email so you aren’t creating long Log Entries with a bunch of unwanted text.  Use the Log End Line to smartly cut the Log Entry so that you only have what you want, and not all the superfluous stuff.  For example, in this image you can see I have NOT edited my Log End Line, which means that ONLY my reply will be in the Log Entry created by Email2Log.

jibberjobber-email2log-logendline_1

However, the original message is really something I want to include in my Log Entry (it gives my reply context, and it includes a phone number and location for this contact – that’s good stuff).  Therefore, with this email I would actually delete two characters (I do two simply because it keeps the Log End Line symmetric… I could delete just one and it would have the same effect).  Here’s what the new one looks like, less two characters.. note that this ENTIRE email is going to go into the Log Entry:

jibberjobber-email2log-logendline_2

Is it hard to see the difference between the two?  That subtlety is exactly what I want … I don’t want you to think “oh, something is different… WHY?”

Tip: If I want to include some stuff below my email signature, but not EVERYTHING below my email signature, I will copy the entire Log End Line and paste it where I want to truncate (for example, after your name or your email signature, in the case that there is stuff your email signature (like a disclosure, or more of the email thread), and then I will go to my original Log End Line, above my signature, and then delete two characters.

This ability to truncate your Log Entry, simply by putting a string of characters (aka, the Log End Line) in your email, is POWERFUL!

What does the Log End Line do? (Part 2: Importance)

Did you know you could put some special lines into your email and multiple the power of your Email2Log Log Entry?  For example, with a few lines in the email I could make the Log Entry an Action Item, and I could associate it to other Contacts, Companies and Jobs.  This is really cool.  My email might include these special lines:

jibberjobber-email2log-logendline_more-variables

Some important information about each of these lines (which are all optional):

startdate:

This creates an Action Item.  You can put in a date, like 12/12/2014 or you can put in something like + 1 week or + 3 months, etc.  Sometimes you’ll know the date for the Action Items, sometimes the date doesn’t matter (“ah, remind me in a few months”).

contacts: (or, contact:)

You need to have at least one email address.  You can have more, separated by commas.  If you put in either of the examples below, it will (a) associate this Log Entry to an existing Contact with the same email address, or if it can’t find that email address on any of your Contacts, it will create a new Contact record. The key is that it is looking for and matching based on an email address, not on a name.  Examples of what this line might look like:

contacts:email@address.com  <– no FirstName or LastName required – I’m assuming this is an existing Contact in my system, and it’s only going to associate the Log Entry, not create a new Contact record.  If it doesn’t find the record, though, it will create a new Contact record and the FirstName will be the email address (so put the name!)

contacts:”Jason Alba” <email@address.com> <– this is FirstName LastName (no comma)

contacts:”Alba, Jason” <email@address.com>  <– this is LastName, First Name (the comma makes all the difference!)

contacts:”Jason Alba” <email@address.com>, john@doe.com  <– this has more than one contact, separated by comma (note, whether I put in one or multiple contacts, I always use contacts instead of contact… just my habit)

companies: (or, company)

Separate Companies by commas (which means, if you have any commas in your Company records, you should remove them, or this feature gets mixed up).  Like Contacts, JibberJobber will try to find an existing Company record and associate the Log Entry to that record, but if it can’t, it will create a new Company record. (yes, this is new, this week!  Before this week it would not create a new Company record.)

jobs: (or, job)

Like Contacts and Companies, JibberJobber will try to find an existing Job record and associate the Log Entry to that record. If it can’t find a match, it will create a new Job record. This is also new, as of this week!  Before this week it would not create a new Job record.)

Commas are powerful!  Just like companies:, you can add multiple jobs on this line (you rarely will, but you might), and separate them with commas.  If you have commas in your Job records, remove them or this feature gets mixed up).

NOTE: if you have 10 jobs with the same name, the Log Entry will be associated with all of them.  This is a nut we need to crack, but for now I would recommend that you have different names for each job, if you want to use this feature.  You might do this: Project Manager 1, Project Manager 2, etc. or this: Project Manager – ebay 1, Project Manager – ebay 2, etc.  Sorry about this, and hopefully we’ll figure out a more elegant solution.

That is advanced Email2Log stuff… what does it have to do with the Log End Line?

If you put those special lines (to create an Action Item, or associate the Log Entry to Contacts, Companies or Jobs), you HAVE TO put it after the Log End Line.

So, this isn’t going to work, because there is no Log End Line:

jibberjobber-email2log-logendline_more-variables-no-Log_end_line

This will work, because there is a Log End Line:

jibberjobber-email2log-logendline_more-variables-Log_end_line

So, the Log End Line becomes important because it allows you to insert these other special commands in your email.  Essentially, when JibberJobber gets the email, it says everything before the Log End Line can become the Log Entry, and everything after the Log End Line (1) won’t, but if there are any special lines (like you see in yellow, above), it WILL create an Action Item date, and associate the Log Entry to other Contacts, Companies and Jobs.

When would you do this?

Scenario 1: If I have a panel interview at my target company, I’m going to send a follow-up email to the people on the panel, and use the Email2Log feature to log it.  I’m not going to include my recruiter in the To or CC, but I might want to associate the Log Entry to her record… so I’ll put the contacts:____ with her email address.  I’ll also put the Companies and Jobs lines in so that the Log Entry will also be associated to the target company, and the job I just interviewed at.

Scenario 2: If I send an email to you, but then I forget to do the Email2Log, I can forward the sent email to JibberJobber, and put contacts:______ in the body, below the Log End Line.  For example, this will create a Log Entry, but it isn’t going to be associated to anything (because the contacts line is NOT below a Log End Line):

jibberjobber-email2log-logendline_notworking

This one, however, WILL create the Log Entry and associate it to the right Contact because the contacts: line is after the Log End Line:

jibberjobber-email2log-logendline_working

Whew… I know this is a long blog post, but I wanted to get this all documented in one place.

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Feel free to leave them in the Comments below, or use the Contact Us form or email us directly :)

what where
job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

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.

Sign Up Now! »

JibberJobber in the News (TheMuse.com, Time Magazine, Philly.com): Organize Your Job Search

October 22nd, 2014

I don’t share this as often as I should, but I’ll share it today. JibberJobber is regularly recommended by career professionals as a great tool to organize and track your job search.  You already know about TheMuse.com article (I blogged about it here), where we were #2 on the list of 10 Job Search Tricks That Will Change Everything You’ve Been Doing.

Yesterday Time Magazine reprinted the article, written by Anna Runyan.  We’ve been in US News and World Report and a few other magazines, but I think this is the first time we’ve been mentioned in Time (and a nice mention it is!).

time_magazine_jibberjobber

Not too long ago in Philly.com, Rita Friedman recommended JibberJobber as the tracking system you should use. The article is What’s in your job search toolkit?  I should note that in her article she talks about elevator pitches, your credentials, your interview stories, and references… all of which you can track and store in JibberJobber.  She says “with these tools you’ll be ready to dive into a serious job search.

I guess it’s worth mentioning that someone at Business Insider took one of my LinkedIn articles and used that to create an article on Business Insider.  At least they gave it attribution :)  The comments there are the kind that destroy faith in humanity… but I’ll blog about that tomorrow :)

Updated 10/27:

I forgot to mention we were also recommended in this article in the Huffington Post: 3 Ways to Energize Your Job Search and Get Hired Now! (thank you Mary Eileen Williams)

Thanks to the career professionals who recommend JibberJobber, and welcome to the new users who have found us through those recommendations!

what where
job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

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.

Sign Up Now! »

What’s New in JibberJobber!

October 20th, 2014

Last week we did a release that fixed a few bugs here, cleaned up a few bugs there.  I shared this on Friday with my JibberJobber LinkedIn Group (click here to join).

Here are three new features that you should know about:

The List Panels have been optimized to be faster.

Instead of taking a few seconds to load my Contacts List Panel (I have a lot of contacts, so it sometimes took six or seven seconds to load), it’s now taking about one second.  I’m guessing you won’t notice this if you have less than a thousand records in any List Panel, but if you have more than that you should notice it’s just generally faster.

Faster = a great enhancement!

The Log Entry window now allows you to put in “rich text.”

This means you can make part of your Log Entry highlighted, bold, italicized, hyperlinked, etc. You can also link to images, so if you find an image you like somewhere online, you can show it in the Log Entry.

jibberjobber_rich_text_log_entry

Tracking your Action Items is smarter with the Action Item Notifier (this was not mentioned in my LinkedIn Group Announcement).

 This is what you’ve seen since we introduced this feature – a count of all of the open Action Items coming up in one week, on almost every page of JibberJobber:

jibberjobber_action_item_notifier_new1

When you went to a Contact, Company or Job Detail Page, it would change to the number of open Action Items for that particular record… so you might see 4 most of the time, then go to a Contact’s page and see 0.  Confusing, huh?  We changed that so that if you are on a Contact, Company or Job Detail Page, you’ll see the number of open Action Items for that record, and the number of total open Action Items, like this:

jibberjobber_action_item_notifier_new2

This shows that I have 4 open Action Items, and one of them is tied to this particular Contact, Company or Job.

There were a number of other miscellaneous enhancements and fixes. If you requested a fix or had a problem, Liz should have already emailed you about the fix.

Waiting for something cool to be in JibberJobber? Contact us!

 

what where
job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

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.

Sign Up Now! »

New JibberJobber User Orientation Videos Are Up

October 2nd, 2014

I just updated the JibberJobber User Orientation Videos in the Video Library - click here to watch them.

Remember, to make the videos full-screen, scroll to the bottom and right of the box the video is in and then click the full-screen icon (the middle arrow is pointing to it):

jj_videos_full_size

If you want to catch a live orientation, or get on the Focus Friday’s calls, sign up from this page.

what where
job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

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.

Sign Up Now! »

JibberJobber Enhancements: Last Night’s Release and Updates

August 22nd, 2014

Last night my team did a release, which means they updated JibberJobber with new and improved “stuff.”  I’ve been talking about this release for a long time, but it got stuck in the QA process as my QA team has been intent on releases without bugs.

Just minutes after the release an outplacement firm in Australia emailed me and said “Nice work – looks great!”  This is just minutes after the release… it was pretty cool that someone noticed that quick! I asked him what he noticed, and it is exactly what I want to blog about today.  Below this list of enhancements that will impact you is a list from my QA team, reporting what has been fixed/released.

Thing One: Action Item Notifier (on top-left of every screen)

This is an enhancement that really enriches your experience with JibberJobber.  Now, on every page, you’ll be able to see how many Action Items you have pending in the next two weeks.  This makes JibberJobber more of a follow-up tool.  I talk about “follow-up” and “nurturing relationships” a lot… and we’ve provided tools and reports for you to see what you have coming up, but this is the most blatant, in-your-face enhancement to show you exactly what you have so things don’t slip through the cracks.  You’ve probably already noticed this, when you login, on the top-left:

jibberjobber_action_item_notifier

The “6″ means that I have six Action Items coming up in the next two weeks.  Click on that little icon and you will see those six Action Items in this view:

jibberjobber_action_item_notifier_2

Here are some things to help you get more value out of this widget:

#1 – this allows you to click and drag to resize this view.

#2 – this closes (or, hides) the widget.

#3 – notices each Action Item is listed with a checkbox to the left… that way you can close multiple Action Items at once, or you can print one report with all that you have checked. (NOTE: You can close or edit each one… when you mouse over an Action Item, icons will appear on the right to close or edit)

#4 – these are the actions you can take for each of the checked Action Items. For example, click on three of them, then click the close icon (the clock), and those three will be closed.  Easy.

This enhancement should make your JibberJobber experience much richer!

Thing Two: The Log Entry and Action Item screen is cleaned up. 

We removed some of the superfluous wording and white space, and made it more compact.  This should make it easier to add a Log Entry.  This was a small, marginal change, but I think the impact will be big, and make it easier for you to create Log Entries and Action Items.

Notice we moved much of the “stuff” (create an Action Item, associate this to other Contacts, Companies and Jobs, etc.) to the bottom.  It works pretty much the same, but it’s just cleaner.

jibberjobber_log_entry_action_item_window

To create a Log Entry, simply put in a date, the title, and the details/comments.  To create an Action Item, or associate Contacts, Companies and/or Jobs, simply click on the icons on the bottom.  Cleaner, more intuitive, easier.

Thing Three: more use of the width of your monitor

This is the first of a few changes to use more of your monitor.  A while back we did a UI “enhancement” which left, for some wide monitors, a few inches of white space on each side.  I hated that… JibberJobber needs space!  So we opened up the List Panels and then extend from one end to another, without inches of wasted white space.  There is still more to do here, and we’re working on it.  This was just the first step.

Other Things: This is the list from my QA team. It might not make sense to you, but it’s all important stuff.

  • Import contacts (bug with companies): there was an issue when you imported Contacts, with Companies, but the Companies didn’t import and associate right.  This should be fixed.
  • Bug of custom fields on Jobs (reported by Chris R)
  • Bug on IE uploading images: apparently Internet Explorer was having issues with the super cool way we bring in images on a Contact or Company.
  • Bug on email2log (when was adding the secret email as other contact): Sometimes when you used the Email2Log feature, JibberJobber would create a new record for your own ultra-secretive email address… which was not supposed to happen.  This is now resolved.
  • Bug on email2log (about formatting): In a prior release we kind of goofed up… some of your Log Entries created by the Email2Log feature stripped spaces between paragraphs.  This made the Log Entry look all bunched up.  This is now fixed.
  • Change of wording to Coach Dashboard: We are going to change a lot of the functionality here, but for now we needed to change this from My Coach Landing Page to Coach Dashboard.  Very small change but will make it more intuitive. This is for anyone who coaches others, or is an accountability partner.
  • “Log Entries and Action Items Report” To remember the session variables: when you customize the Log Entries and Action Item report, we didn’t save your preferences… we are now.
  • Allow edit on Log Entry view in the shadow box: when you opened a Log Entry to “view,” there wasn’t much more you could do than view or print.  Now you can easily edit it from right there.
  • Pre-populate fields correctly when I add a Contact after a search: on my weekly webinars I noticed that if I did a search for a Contact that doesn’t exist, like searching for “Fiiiiiirst Naaaaame,” I would click “add Contact” and then it would enter it in all lower-case.  This was a pain because I’d have to change the first letter to upper-chase each time.  Bleh.  This is now fixed.  Another really small enhancement, but you can see the level of detail we’re going for.
  • New interface on import contacts from file: We spent a lot of time cleaning this up and making it more intuitive.  It’s still not the most intuitive thing in the world, but it’s getting closer.  
  • Bug with payments of one year with Paypal: we had a problem with people who upgraded for one year on Paypal… the system wasn’t recognizing the upgrade and they sometimes emailed us (before we could manually upgrade them) asking “WHAT THE HECK?”  This was an issue of trust… if you pay us money, and you don’t get upgraded, what else won’t work??  Fixing this non-high-profile bug allows you to trust us more.
  • Minor wordings and change of tool tips throughout the system: when you mouse over things, we cleaned up the little messages you see.
This release represents “about 25-30 work orders,” and I’m sure we came up with another 50 things to fix, clean, or change since we started this last project :)

Have things you would like to see?  Let us know!

 

what where
job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

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.

Sign Up Now! »

Do You Have Pass Along Cards?

June 12th, 2014

I’m not talking about business cards… I’m talking about a card that people want to give to others, on your behalf, or for your benefit.
Of course, this could be your business card, but if you have a traditional, boring business card, it’s likely people will just file or lose your card.

What could you do to help people become your evangelist?  What is exciting about you, or a program you offer?

WAIT… did I just say “a program you offer”… ???

YES, you, a non-business owner, can have a “program.”  You can have a weekly or monthly radio show (free on blogtalkradio.com).  You can do a one-time webinar to share “Ten Things People In Our Industry Need To Know For 2015″ (or “learn from our mistakes from 2013,” etc.).  YOU are an expert in something, aren’t you?  Why not do one of these things, which are NO COST to you?

It gives people something to talk about, and keep you top-of-mind, like I blogged about a couple of days ago.

My first attempt at this was my Pink Slip (I just re-ordered 5,000 of these):

pink_slip_smaller

For my new video game class (which is a lot more about personal empowerment and less about becoming a video game nerd), I had these designed (and just ordered 5,000 of these):

video_game_design_class_passalong_cards

I prefer to have something like this that people can say “wow, that is cool, can I have more of those to pass out to my friends,” rather than a boring business card that will get lost in the pile of other boring business cards.

Are you making it easy for your contacts to talk about you?

what where
job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

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.

Sign Up Now! »

Happy Birthday JibberJobber: Eight!

May 15th, 2014

It was eight years ago that we launched…. it’s been a crazy ride, and we’ve been lucky to be involved in helping many thousands of people own their own career management!

Thanks for being a part of the journey :)

what where
job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

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.

Sign Up Now! »

JibberJobber Updates: A New Landing Page, Multi-Associations, and more… !

April 7th, 2014

Last night we rolled out some enhancements to JibberJobber.  This affects all users – free and premium.  I’m explaining the main things here, and at the bottom you can see a 6 minute video on what we did.

The first thing you’ll notice is the new landing page.  After almost eight years, we finally did something I’ve wanted to do, well, eight years ago!  You can now customize your landing page to what you want.  In this image you see my new screenshot, with only three things: the calendar up upcoming things, the job search on Indeed, and a quick-add box so I can add Contacts, Companies, etc. from that box (this is a really cool widget):

jibberjobber_update_landing_page_april_2014

#1 shows you how to add widgets you have taken off, and reorder them…

#2 shows you how to reorder widgets… simply click on this blue icon and drag it to where you want the widget to be…

#3 shows you how to remove a widget from the homepage.  If you remove it, and want it back later, simply click Manage Widgets and you can add it back.

The next major enhancement is what we call “multi-associate.”  This gives me the ability to have multipler:

  • Contacts and Companies on a Job
  • Contacts and Jobs on a Company
  • Jobs and Companies on a Contact

In other words, let’s say your friend is working at two companies, and worked at another company that is your target company.  Before, you could only associate ONE Company to the Contact.  NOW, you can associate as many Companies as you want with one Contact… this is really cool.  As per the bullets above, we extended this multi-associate functionality to Jobs, Companies and Contacts.

jibberjobber_updates_multi-associate_april_2014

In the screenshot above you can see I’ve double-clicked the gray box to edit the field (for both the Companies and the Jobs), and I can simply type in Companies or Jobs and have them show in a dropdown… I hit enter and it adds the the company to the list.  Notice the funky up/down arrow… this allows me to change the order (or, priority) of an associated record.  For example, if someone is currently at Ebay, but used to work at American Express, I’ll have Ebay in the first position… but if they work at American Express now, I’ll reorder that and have Ebay in the second position.  The red-x icon will remove the associated record… it’s pretty cool, and more real-world.

The third enhancement I wanted to introduce is the ability for you to leave a testimonial.  I know people love JibberJobber, and we’ve done a bad job letting you share what you really think.  We have give you the ability to tell others through a testimonial form… I know, it sounds boring, but some guy acused us of making up fake testimonials… now we allow you to write testimonials, and optionally include your picture and URL (like, a LinkedIn URL)… we’re hoping you’ll take a moment to share what you think about JibberJobber with others.

Check out the video below for a short walk-through of these three things:

what where
job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

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.

Sign Up Now! »

Yeah, so… I’m not laid off. April Fools! (the backstory)

April 3rd, 2014
jason_alba_april_fools_2014_3

Read the post to see why maple syrup :)

Tuesday was April Fools. An announcement on the blog said Jason Alba was laid off.

That, my friends, was an April Fools joke.

I mistakenly scheduled the blog post for the day after about a week ago, without realizing that 4/2 should have been THIS post.  So here’s some of the before and after of JibberJobber’s April Fools for 2014:

In 2011 I wrote a really fun April Fools saying we would lay off the boss who laid you off.  It was really quite funny, and had a bunch of JibberJobber users, people who were in-between jobs, who said SIGN ME UP!!  Even after knowing it was a prank, they still would have loved to have their bosses laid off.

I skipped the next two years because I was too uncreative to figure something out, but around last April I had the idea of me, the guy who talks about layoffs all the time, the guy who owns his own company, and talks about income security, so “no one can take away 100% of your income,” and all of that stuff, to actually be laid off… from his own company!

About a week ago I wrote the draft and passed it by two people: the owner of a PR firm, and a resume writer.  Both of these people are very precise and know the power and impact of a post like this.

Oh, I also printed off a copy and had my 13 year old son run it upstairs to my wife.  He read the headline and got very, very somber, and I think he almost got teary-eyed.  He just came to the realization that something very grave happened… I didn’t mean to make him feel like that, but I couldn’t let him in on it until my wife read it.  She said it shocked her, too, for a bit, then realized it must be for April Fools.  I said our son “was almost in tears…” and she said “I was almost in tears, too!”

“Great,” I thought, “this is going to work :)

As I slept on it for the next few nights, I wondered what impact this would have, and if I should soften up the message.  The private equity guy was an idiot, and the way I portrayed private equity and VCs was not favorable at all. I also bashed on job boards, and their lack of value for job seekers. I even included the company that paid $1B for Indeed.com… that’s a company I don’t necessarily want to make mad.

Would this have a negative impact on my business?

Would announcing my layoff to users who really don’t know me, or my sense of humor, have a negative impact on them, and give them a reason to have doubt about JibberJobber?

Could I take these risks, just for a bit of fun on April 1?

Obviously, I decided to.  And I think it is okay…. so far.  Hopefully I haven’t done or said anything wrong that is irreparable.

A big part of the prank, in addition to the blog post, was to change my LinkedIn job dates to end in April, and create a new Job:

jason_alba_april_fools_2014

Notice all of my current stuff is under Previous, and there is no Current… and, when I changed my current title, LinkedIn replaced my cool Professional Headline with that title (I wish they wouldn’t replace it without asking).  I even had a cute :( in my new title.  In the actual job I put the link to the URL of the blog post, which if you read, you’d probably figure out it was fake:

jason_alba_april_fools_2014_2

So what was the result?  As of right now, over 20 comments on the blog post, which is more than normal.  11 tweets, 39 LinkedIn shares, and 32 Facebook likes/shares, also more than normal.

The comments are pretty funny… someone said my mom’s comment was the best (“Do you need to move back in with us???”)… I’m not sure if Alex new it was a prank, Fred Coon’s comments made me laugh because of his wit, Deb and others tip-toed around this just in case it wasn’t a joke, Rabbi (and others) jumped right in offering help and emotional support, and Niall declared a ban on maple syrup exports from Canada until the “injustice is righted”!

You guys are awesome… !

On LinkedIn I got dozens and dozens of messages… I got a lot of LIKES on my new title, and a number of “CONGRATULATIONS!”  Someone wrote and said that LinkedIn should be smarter about this – when someone loses their job and changes it to an obvious downgrade in title/status, LinkedIn shouldn’t off a LIKE option.

That makes sense… who would really LIKE or CONGRATULATE someone if they lost their job and are clearly not happy about it.  I had a frowny face…. why like or congratulate?

The last time I changed my job, a few months ago (just to update my profile), I had dozens of people who congratulated me… even though these were minor tweaks and were essentially the same titles as before.

I got a lot more responses on LinkedIn, because of the title change, than comments on my blog… again, people having very supportive and kind comments.  At one point I almost felt bad for leading people to believe I was in a hurting place.

Oh, let me address one last thing: “who would really LIKE or CONGRATULATE someone if they lost their job and are clearly not happy about it?”

I WOULD! 

I do it all the time.  Not every time, but there are times when someone tells me they lost their job and the only thing I can think of is CONGRATULATIONS!  You and I both know it wasn’t the right job or company for you, and you hated it, and there was no more opportunity… I know how much it sucks to get let go.  You take it personal, you second-guess yourself, you go through a range of emotions, doubt and depression can set in.

BUT, for many people, including myself, getting laid off was only the nudge I needed to leave a bad situation, which was a choice I wasn’t ready to make on my own.  Getting laid off was the beginning of a journey to much better things for me, and I’m convinced that it can be a journey to much better things for many people.

So, while I offer my empathy, I also offer encouragement that in fact this can be a time to say CONGRATULATIONS!

 

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