Last week in Utah there was a crazy wind storm… it caused all kinds of accidents, and blew people’s stuff around their backyards. And, of course, it caused a few Globe Willows to fall down. Globe Willows are called “garbage trees” because of the amount of branches that fall from them… they grow very, very fast, but are also susceptible to having big branches fall in a storm. Last week a friend posted a picture on Facebook of his tree that had fallen towards his house.
I had only had one occasion to use a chainsaw before, and it was pretty fun, so I jumped on the chance to do it again. On Facebook he said he would chop it up best he could… he said he didn’t have a chainsaw, but he had an ax. I’m sure he was joking about using an ax… have you ever used an ax? It’s very hard work, especially on a job like this.
A chainsaw is the tool that can make this a job to do in less than an hour. Using an ax would be a full day of frustrating and tiring work. It is NOT the right tool for this job.
I took my kids over and we had a fun time with two chainsaws. My 14 year old did a lot of the work, and two of my girls got a chance to use the chainsaw… their first experience. We are all more experienced now… and on the way home we got some ice cream cones, and unloaded a van full of firewood.
If we used an ax, we would not have finished even half of the tree, it would have been a lot messier, and I would have been completely worn out. None of that was the case… because we had the right tool.
In your job search, JibberJobber is the chainsaw. Your spreadsheet is the ax.
Yes, the spreadsheet can do the job. But it will require more time, and be more tedious, and take more mental energy, leaving you drained.
Put your effort into networking, not into forcing your tools to work.
The night before we did this job, we went to a friend’s house to borrow his chainsaw. He said “most people want to push down on the branch they are cutting. Don’t do that… let the chainsaw do the work.”
If you are muscling through a spreadsheet, you will have to “push down” and do a lot of work. You’ll get tired, and wear yourself out. Or, more realistically in a job search, you’ll become less organized, and spend too much time making the tool work.
It’s your choice. You can even use a steak knife or garden shears to do this job…. but in a job search you don’t have to go for the wrong tool. Simply get an account on JibberJobber. It’s like a free chainsaw.
I’m excited to finally get this project to a point where I can announce it – I’ve been thinking about it for way too long, and this week I finally made it a priority! This should help a lot of people “get started” on JibberJobber. If you recommend JibberJobber to friends, family, job clubs, etc., point them here! You get here by clicking on Videos, and then it’s right up at the top.
Since October of last year the Focus Friday calls have been structured so that they were in order for someone new to get off on the right foot. I’ve taken those videos and removed the Q&A, and reduced the time to considerably less than what is in the Focus Friday series… and put them in the right order.
When you come to the Getting Startedpage you’ll see them numbered so it’s easy to keep track of where you left off. You can also see which videos you have seen.
Confused about what to do next in JibberJobber? Start watching the short videos, in order.
Want help on specific functionality in JibberJobber? Scroll through the list of topics and pick the one that will help you get unstuck.
As of right now, the videos are (each week we should add another topic):
Getting Started: Introduction (1)
Getting Started: Overwhelmed? Watch this! (1.5)
Getting Started: Homepage & Widgets (2)
Getting Started: Setting Up Tags (3)
Getting Started: Log Entries and Action Items (6)
Getting Started: Verifying Action Items and Log Entries Got In (7)
Getting Started: Log Entries and Action Item List Panel (8)
Getting Started: Optimizing the List Panel (9)
Getting Started: Managing Duplicates (10)
Getting Started: Exporting from LinkedIn (11)
Getting Started: Importing from a CSV File (12)
Getting Started: Recurring Action Items (13)
Getting Started: Calendar Views (14)
Getting Started: Interview Prep (15)
Getting Started: Job Description Analysis (16)
Getting Started: Events on Jobs (17)
Getting Started: The Job Journal (18)
The “viewed” shows whether you have watched it or not:
Do you have requests for other topics? Let me know!
Because I’ve heard that JibberJobber is too confusing, and there are too many things you can do. I’ve tried to figure out how to create a visualization of the what and why, and a few nights ago I finally figured it out. Without further ado, check it out:
My response to that article is one single, easy hack:
If using JibberJobber is too hard, then you can do what they suggest, creating your own organizational system with a bunch of tools put together. Here are some of their points, from the link above, to help you know what your organizational system should do:
Keep track of companies (Check! You can do this in JibberJobber)
Keep track of applications (Check! You can do this in JibberJobber)
Track company name (Check! You can do this in JibberJobber)
Track application status (Check! You can do this in JibberJobber)
Track job titles (Check! You can do this in JibberJobber)
Track application deadline (Check! You can do this in JibberJobber)
Track application submitted date (Check! You can do this in JibberJobber)
Track contact at company, with name, title and email (Check! You can do this in JibberJobber)
Track when you did an informational interview (Check! You can do this in JibberJobber)
Track when you last contacted the company so you can send a follow-up email (Check! You can do this in JibberJobber)
Track all of this in “one place” even though you have a lot of it in your email inbox (Check! You can do this in JibberJobber)
Document all meeting notes (Check! You can do this in JibberJobber)
Track everyone you spoke with, or want to speak with (Check! You can do this in JibberJobber)
Follow-up (which is the “critical factor for success”) (Check! You can do this in JibberJobber)
Schedule email follow-up reminders (Check! You can do this in JibberJobber)
Keep your important docs, like cover letters, resumes, etc. in one place that’s easy to find/access (Check! You can do this in JibberJobber)
There’s plenty more that you could do… in JibberJobber. One reason we designed JibberJobber is so that you don’t have to monkey around with all kinds of folders and other apps… just do it all in one place. Kind of has an appeal to it, doesn’t it?
Been there, done that. Some of these might seem like great things to do as a job seeker, but I can tell you, you can waste a considerable amount of time doing each of these things. Not really in any particular order:
LinkedIn. Not so duh… but if you are poking around, reading articles, reading influencers, sifting through Group Discussions, with no purpose, just to veg or take a break, you are probably wasting time. Looking people up? Then what do you do with them? If you are just making lists that you aren’t going to reach out to, then STOP.
Sudoko. I know, you deserve it. It’s just one game. It’s just 15 minutes. It’s to clear your mind. Two hours later….
Breakfasts and lunches with friends. Unless you are purposeful and strategic, and watch your time, you are just chilling, chewing the fat, and resting. A friend of mine once had 5 lunch meetings… in one day. Each one was purposeful and strategic.
Twitter. Unless you are using tactics to quickly find your next contact, or info about that contact so you can have a meaningful conversation, it’s probably better to stay away.
Huffington Post, Blaze, your local news site, etc. Yeah, sure you are just getting caught up on today’s news that might impact what you will talk about, or you are just taking a few minutes to rest from the job search. This will rarely result in anything important or helpful, and will more often lead you to waste a few more minutes, which will add up.
TMZ, People, etc. Stop taking a break to see what the privileged people get to wear, do, eat, drive, etc.
Tweaking your resume. Yes, make necessary changes. But if you are spending hours each day/week/month making changes, you are probably hiding behind the comfort of your screen rather than send that email or make that phone call.
Tweaking your job search spreadsheet. Same as tweaking your resume. What’s more important, having a good conversation or adding a new column to track some random thing? Stop hiding! And yeah, this is one reason we made JibberJobber.
Driving. Sure you have to go here and there, and there and here. But if you spend too much time behind the windshield, just to make these face-t0-face connections that don’t go anywhere, don’t you think you might spend your time better from your home-base?
Phone calls, when unprepared. Do you know what you are calling for? What constitutes a successful call (or voicemail)? If you don’t know, then pause, figure out your objectives, and then figure out what successful calls look like. THEN DO THAT.
Information Interviews, almost all the time. Unless you know what you are doing, you are probably going in with a resume, as a needy job seeker, and putting yourself in an awkward and unfortunate situation. It’s a waste of time for you and them, and you won’t get what you need. You can watch my course on Informational Interviews once you login to JibberJobber, then click the Pluralsight link in the white box. Free.
Pouting. I know, it sucks. You were wronged. I was wronged. I worked too hard in my career, and in school, to be unemployed. But guess what? This is your story! You get to create and live your own hero story. That means things are hard, but in the end you win. Don’t spend too much time feeling sorry for yourself… it’s time to get to work.
Cleaning your “office.” Whatever your office is… mine was a wobbly card table and La-Z-Boy, with a laptop, in a corner of my bedroom. I could spend a few minutes here and a few minutes there cleaning, tidying, dejunking… and realize that an hour later I was indeed avoiding my job search because throwing away papers is a lot easier than calling someone who might reject me.
Knocking one more thing off the Honey Do List. Yes, things still need to get done. But there is a time to do it, just like when you had a job. It’s not time to repaint your bedroom, or put in a garden. Do this after hours, like you would have done if you had a job.
Job boards. Stop the madness. I spent way too much time on job boards, looking, hoping… I should have been working my network, and finding jobs that weren’t advertised yet. The “hidden job market,” they call it.
Reading books relevant to your job search or job/career. Maybe 10 or 15 minutes a day during prime time, if you need a break, otherwise save this self-study for later. Right now you need to send that email, or pick up the phone.
Ready, fire, aim! In other words, doing without knowing what you are doing. When I started my job search I assumed that I knew how to do a job search, I just needed to muscle my way through it. I spent the next 8 weeks living on job boards, sure that the next job posted would be right for me. I wish I would have paused, listened to the experts, and re-calibrated my strategy.
Multi-tasking. Turn off netflix, the TV, or any other distractions that are causing you to not be 100% mentally present. A couple of weeks ago I was sick and needed to sleep, so I put on a nature show to fall asleep to. The problem was it was so interesting that I couldn’t let myself fall asleep… I had to turn it off and put on something I had seen a few times… something boring.
Doing it alone. Get an accountability partner who will help you be accountable for what you should do and where you spend your time. I didn’t have an accountability partner to help me get my MBA, why would I need one for the job search? Because for many of us, this is uncharted territory and we’ll make mistakes in tactics, and we’ll waste time on things from this list. Just knowing that someone is looking over our shoulder, or will ask you questions once a week, should help you stay on track and do the right things.
Avoiding weekly job search clubs. I was chicken. I still get nervous when I go to these things. I get that. But this is where I learned that (a) I was okay, and normal, and I didn’t need to internalize the blame for being unemployed, and (b) I was doing all the wrong things in the job search, and how to do the right things, and (c) I was not alone, and there were many others in my boat who would help me (or who needed my help). I swear by job clubs… just realize, sometimes you go to GET, and sometimes you go to GIVE. Don’t just go to get.
A few thoughts:
There is time to do any of all of this stuff… but it’s not during the prime time of your job search.
Being busy does not equal being effective. Re-evaluate where you spend your time, and face your fears (which is usually the phone).
You can learn about a principle-based job search, and specific strategies and tactics, from my premium job search and career videos on Pluralsight – no cost to you. Here’s the step-by-step of how you do it (and get 7 days of JibberJobber premium for each course you watch!).
I don’t think this is just a millennial thing…. people texting someone while you are talking to them, or spending too much time on Facebook while neglecting family and friends… this is our new normal. The disrespect we have for others because we got beeped or buzzed, and heaven forbid we ignore a call or text or facebook message or whatever… even while we blatantly ignore the person we are spending time with, is unfortunate.
It goes further than disregard for others. In the article they talk about how we’ve become bad at inter-personal relationships because we spend so much time on technology that we aren’t skilled at interacting with real people, face-to-face.
So, I’ll let you read the article if you really want to get into that, and I have an invitation for you. It is not to go on a media fast, or a social media fast, or to turn your phone off at a certain time, or stop checking emails after hours, or any of those things. Instead of those things that you already know to do, and expect someone like me to challenge you to do, here’s my invitation:
Go to an in-person networking meeting once a week this year.
It could be the same group of people, or it could be different meetings… but each week dress up, get out of the house, leave your phone in your pocket, and MEET and TALK WITH other people! Look in their eyes! Shake hands, laugh, and have real conversations!
Magic can happen when you get away from your technology… I challenge you to do this. Imagine how much better you’ll be at in-person interviews if you haven’t spent the last 500 hours behind technology, barely LOL-ing in real life, with other people!
One week ago we announced the awesome access you now have to my career, job search and soft skill video courses on Pluralsight. Today we’re announcing the Pluralsight Video Tracker, which is an internal tool on JibberJobber that allows you to keep track of which Jason Alba courses you have watched and get seven days of JibberJobber premium for each Jason Alba course you finish.
Here are step-by-step instructions on how to take advantage of this very generous access (thank you Pluralsight!) to my videos:
First: login to JibberJobber and click the link right under the menu. NOTE: if you close this box, you can still get access to the right page by clicking Videos, directly under the search box.
Second: Once you click on that link, you’ll come to a page with an explanation of what all of this is about. Note the blue box on the right, where you click to get your personal, unique code. Click that link and you’re on your way!
Third: The blue box will expand and give you (1) your personal code… just copy that and then click the (2) signup button to go to the next page (which will open a new tab). NOTE: Step 3 says to come back to this page to turn on the tracker… we’ll get to that in a minute!
Fourth: See how small that form is? That is IT! No credit card number, no commitment, no strings. This is awesome. Just paste your code in the top box, fill out the form, and then click the button. If you don’t work for a company, don’t worry. Pluralsight wants you to know who they are, and when you land your next job, you can introduce your new team, your boss, etc. to Pluralsight. You now have your Pluralsight account, and the clock starts to tick on 30 days of unlimited access (which means, all of my courses, and the rest of the 4,000+ courses in the library).
Fifth: Notice Step 3 turned into this link. This takes you to the Pluralsight Video Tracker, where you can see what courses get you another 7 days upgrade, and how to easily report each course you watched…. so, click this link.
Sixth: Click the button to start the tracker… this starts the 30 day counter. If you sign up for Pluralsight one day, and click this blue button a different day, your days will be off. No big deal, just do the math in your head, or let us know and we’ll try to adjust it. This counter is internal to JibberJobber, and not coming from Pluralsight.
Seventh: Now that you have clicked that button, you see the tracker… below this image I will explain the 6 highlights.
This shows how many days you have left, according to when you clicked the Turn on Tracker button. This is NOT tied directly to Pluralsight, so if you didn’t click it the same day you got your Pluralsight account, it might be off.
This green progress bar shows you how many Jason Alba courses you have watched. It does not show how many times you have watched one single course. Right now I have fifteen courses in the Pluralsight library. If you watch all fifteen, you’ll be at 100%. If you watch only one course, fifteen times you will only be at 1/15. I wouldn’t worry too much about getting to 100%, unless you are keen on watching all of my courses at least once
This line shows you how many upgraded days you have received because of courses you have reported, and when you premium expires. If the math appears to be off, let us know!
The left column shows the Jason Alba courses… you can click on the title or the link to get to that course. The order is a kind-of-logical-suggestion, but you can watch in whatever order you want.
The eye button is what you click to report that you have completed a course. Every time you watch a course, click the eye button…
Note the counter, which shows how many times I’ve watched a particular course. You can see I’ve watched the Killer Job Search Strategy course 3 times, the Informational Interviews course 25 times, and the Killer Personal Brand course once. Each time you click the button the number increments, and you get another 7 days of premium.
Of course, we reserve the right to audit any self-reporting. If you click 30 times today, we’re guessing you haven’t watched 30 courses in one day… we’ll have a conversation about that. If you did watch 30 courses, and report them all one on day… great. We simply ask that you be honest. Also, once you click 52 times, your submissions go into a queue that Liz will monitor. If you really watched the courses, you’ll still get your seven day upgrades… of course.
Here are two questions I’ve received:
A Pluralsight user asked what happens after the 30 days. Every time you watch a Jason Alba course on Pluralsight, you get another seven days of JibberJobber premium. Whether you came to Pluralsight through JibberJobber, or whether your company pays for your account, or whether you have had your own account for years… you get seven more days on JibberJobber for every Jason Alba course you watch.
Can I leave discussions on the courses on Pluralsight? I’ve been told that yes, you can leave discussions and rankings, even if you are on the 30 day trial. Feel free to leave anything you want as long as it is honest I like to answer questions to courses on those discussion boards, as opposed to individual emails.
Now, carve out some time… even if it’s 30 minutes each day, and get watching! 30 days will come quickly (but the upgrade on Pluralsight is very reasonable, if you need more time!)
I saw this video on facebook where a guy said that believing in himself is what he needs to accomplish things. I can’t figure out if this really happened, or if it was staged. Either way it is funny:
The proposed formula from the video is (1) make a plan, (2) follow-through with it, and (3) believe in yourself. But what if your plan is bad? What is you can’t follow-through with it? What if you believe in yourself unrealistically?
Many years ago I was trying to figure out what the components of a job seeker’s success strategy included. I do believe self-confidence, attitude, and related things are critical. Back then I only listed three things:
Principle-based strategy/tactics: I spun my wheels for weeks and weeks because I was doing things the way I assumed I should have done them, but they were simply wrong. It’s easy to find bad advice in a job search. If you landed a job today, wouldn’t you take days or weeks, and sometimes months, to study everything about your new job? The same should be true with job search… you should study what the job search is, what networking means, how to implement personal branding, etc. There are a lot of bad assumptions out there, many positioned by people who are either outdated or don’t know, and really are not responsible for you paying your bills. But they’ll preach like it’s gospel, all the while leading you down a path that is fruitless and frustrating. If you want to see my training videos for job search and career management, at no cost, check out this page: free job search videos through Pluralsight
Accountability: I did not get a coach, or hire a resume writer, because I “didn’t have the money.” What I didn’t realize was that I was missing out on a significant part of the overall picture: someone to be accountable to, regularly. Someone who would, at least weekly, say “what are you doing, why are you doing it, do you need to change anything?” The accountability partner can be a paid professional (who should be expert in this role, and understand the current job market intimately), it can be a volunteer at a job club (many faith-based job clubs have staff that would love to help you, at little or no cost to you), or even a friend. If it’s a friend, they must understand their role is not to coddle you, but to regularly hold you accountable for your time and tactics. Your accountability partner should not be your spouse (who is too close to the emotions of the situation and the emotions of the outcome) and it should not be some lug-head who assumes you get a job today the same way you did back in 1980. They must be current on principle-based strategies and tactics.
Real tools: Of course I’m biased here, but think back to 2006. There weren’t many tools for job seekers. Spiral notebooks, Franklin planners and Excel spreadsheets was about as heavy duty as it got. Now, in 2015, professionals are more demanding of software tools, apps, etc. to help them get the job done. JibberJobber has been a pioneer in the job search tool space, and will continue to offer job seekers what we call “industry level” tools. That is, just because you are unemployed, or don’t want to pay, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get awesome tools at your fingertips to help you do your job (of finding a job). I wish I could list a whole lot of other tools, but there just aren’t that many.
So we could go on, and add that attitude and outlook, have an important role, as do perhaps faith and self-confidence… what else could we add to this list?
A couple of days ago a tire kicker (that is, someone who came to JibberJobber and checked it out for a few minutes and then left) sent us this message (the two points are in bold):
>> First thing I see is that I’m gonna have to deal with upselling.
My first reaction was “no, not really. We are really light on upselling. In fact, I’d say we are really bad at it. There’s not much to buy. You *could* “have to deal with” choosing to go premium, which is $9.95 a month, or $5/month if you do the $60 yearly price… but that’s a simple choice that we all make in life. Walk into the mall, and we could choose to buy something.
What I don’t want people to think is that they ever have to upgrade. I don’t want you to think that you are forced into an upgrade, or that there is any bait-and-switch. I remember calling a job board company in Virginia and the voicemail that greets you says, first thing, “If you want to cancel your subscription, press 1.” I couldn’t believe that the first impression of the company was “we trick so many people into subscribing that most of our phone calls are to cancel a subscription… and so we put that in front of anything else in our voice mail.” YUCK. DOUBLE YUCK.
I didn’t want to ever be “that company.”
So, what happens when you finally choose whether you are going to upgrade or not? Well, first and foremost, you don’t ever lose any of the data you put into the system. If you put in 400,000 Contacts (seriously, I have no idea where someone gets that many contacts), and you go to the free (“Regular”) level, which has a limit of 500, you still get full access to your 400,000 Contacts. You don’t have to choose the first 500, or the last 500… you get to see and use all 400,000. That is pretty cool. You don’t ever have to upgrade just because you are worried you won’t see or have access to your data.
Aside from that, you lose only three features: (1) Email2Log, (2) bulk importing, and (3) push notifications on Action Items. That is it. Everything else is in the free version of JibberJobber.
We designed it so that you can upgrade when you want those three features (and the ability to get more Contacts/Companies in, if you hit the 500/500 limit), and you can downgrade whenever you want.
>> Second thing I see is that I’ll need to spend time learning a software that I will lose the benefits of when I don’t sign up for the paid version – my time is too valuable for that.
I get that you don’t have time for training. But let me make it clear, again, that when you are not a Premium user, you really have access to almost all of JibberJobber. A couple of years ago we changed our upgrade model (lowered the price by 40%, took out a middle tier option, and moved almost all of the Premium features to the Regular account) and made the free side way, way more powerful. If you never upgrade, you still have 99% of the value of JibberJobber. That extra $5/month will get you some automation (which admittedly can save a lot of time, each day, especially with the email2log), but most of JibberJobber’s value is on the free side.
If your time is too valuable for that, I understand, and I sincerely wish you well in this period of your career. If you find that your spreadsheet or other system is just getting to messy, come on back… we’ll still be here.
So there you go. We’re not out to strong-arm anyone. We just want to provide significant value, and help you out now and during future transitions.