Many years ago I came into contact with Sree Sreenivasan. Back then Sree was a professor at Columbia (and a dean there, as well as the Chief Digital Officer), and a tech reporter for WNBC, where he actually featured JibberJobber twice, in NYC. About three years ago he announced he was leaving Columbia to be the Chief Digital Officer of The Met (aka, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC)… what he said was his dream job.
Last month Sree announced that he was leaving The Met. I saw this two minute video of him, talking about what he did. I hope the video embeds well.. if not, go here and watch it. My commentary below this video (scroll down).
I have to say, I was surprised to see that Sree is moving on from The Met. Sree has always seemed to have the perfect career… he had a lot of power and authority, influence and impact, opportunity, and he was in an extraordinary position to meet lots of new people and have real, deep relationships. To jump from over 20 years at Columbia to a new employer was a leap of faith… and here we are, three years later, moving on.
Let’s dig into his video… first I’ll comment on some of his important points, and then I’ll end with an observation that he didn’t talk about:
“I was angry for a little bit” I too was angry (for a long time). He said he had to channel his anger… as did I. I know you will feel a lot of emotions, even anger at whoever did this to you (and maybe at yourself). Channel that energy into something useful, and don’t nurture resentment and bitterness.
“I put it on Facebook” Seems kind of obvious but too many people don’t do this simple thing: REACH OUT. Maybe not on Facebook, but to your network. Reach out and let people know that you need help, and that you will accept help, and how they can help you. Don’t do the job search thing alone!
“I made a google form” (asking what he should do) This was brilliant… it served a few purposes: (1) it made people think about Sree and what his next move could be, which surely would (2) make them think about how they could help him achieve that (hopefully with introductions and leads). It also (3) invited people to share positive thoughts and ideas with Sree. As you know, at any point in a job search it’s easy to get into a pity party and think negatively about yourself. I found that after weeks of rejection and non-response, I started to actually believe that I had nothing to offer, and my prospects for the future were getting darker by the day.
“This could happen to you” This has been my message for over ten years. I don’t care how happy you are, how much of a producer you are, how great your company is… so many variables are at play here, that you have no control over, that no one is safe. Feel safe? You better STILL be preparing for a change in career.
“What is your Plan B, C, D” Quick… if you had to change jobs right now, what is it to? What is your Plan B? Let’s go a little further and think about your Plan C and D and maybe even more. You might be insanely loyal, but you are only doing yourself a disservice if you don’t have a Plan B (and C and D, etc.) AND aren’t preparing for those plans. I had no Plan B, and learned that making it up on the fly was hard and painful.
“Save money” I know that most of us are living paycheck to paycheck, but we need to save for a rainy day. I had $1,000 in savings by the time I got laid off, and within one week spent it all on car repairs. Whoops!
“What are you offering the world today?” You need to think bigger than “I do a good job, and my boss knows it.” What are you doing today that would make other companies and hiring managers say “wow, we want that!”
“People want to help you… “ When I was speaking in SoCal a few years back and made this point, a lady on the front row said “no one wants to help me, least of all my family.” It was really sad to hear her talk about how she had zero support. I would argue that in most cases, we all have people who want to help us… even if we don’t think so. Our family, friends, neigbors, colleagues, etc. don’t want to see us suffer like this. Here’s a big eye-opener, though: the people you might be sure will help you might not be able to… too busy, not know how, or not realize that you look to them for that much help. But please, believe that people want to help you.
“You have to be willing to accept the help” which is “very difficult” to do Yes, very, very difficult to do. We are generally good at giving help, and just unaccustomed to receiving help. It takes heaps of humility to accept help graciously. Get good at this.
What does Sree not talk about? He doesn’t talk about how he has spent years being nice, working on great things, and nurturing real relationships. His Twitter account has over 7o,000 followers (granted, not all of those are real people) because he is a giver, and a networker. Sree has a contagiously charming personality, and people like him. He has helped many people, and when you meet him in person you instantly like him.
I know that has a lot to do with the results he had with his Google form… he had a network, with real relationships, and actually tapped into that network. You could too. I’m not saying you can’t be an introvert, but I am convinced that we all need to get much better at real relationships with people: family, friends, colleagues, etc.
Okay, that title is pretty cool. I work in a home office (with a distributed team, of course) and sometimes it’s easy to feel alone and not remember some of the things I’ve accomplished. Just seeing those three major accomplishments is pretty cool. For job seekers: when you feel lonely, alone, or unaccomplished, start listing (aka brainstorming) ANY accomplishment you’ve ever had. EVER. Big, small, everything. This could be a running list that will grow. You might be surprised at all the cool things you’ve ever done, but have forgotten. Need a pickmeup? That is it!
“I am very impressed with Jason’s presenting style. He is engaging, entertaining and honest. His courses are great.” Here’s a bit of the backstory: When I sat down to do my first Pluralsight course I was quite lost. I was just finishing a run of speaking for a few years in person. Probably hundreds of presentations on a stage, and I don’t know how many dozens of webinars. From a stage I feed off of the audience’s energy. The first laugh I get is all I need to keep going. In a webinar, I get way less feedback, but I do monitor the chat window, and sometimes there are others who are talking. I had trained my presentations skills to be optimized for a live audience. But doing a recording course? WAY different. In my live course I like to have very few words on a slide. In a record course, I don’t have eye contact, I can’t gauge engagement, and one word slides, I think, weren’t going to work. Anyway, this is too long to say: it took me a while to find and hone my style. And I’m really grateful that it’s appreciated. For job seekers: sometimes (many times?) we just have to get out of our comfort zone, whether we want to or not.
“He teaches on a wide range of skills and competencies that will help you grow, but not just in your abilities at work these skills can transfer to all areas of your life.” Yes…. my hope is that your soft/people skills will improve and you will have richer relationships, at work, and outside of work. Imagine improving ourselves so we are better in all of our relationships, not just the ones at work. For job seekers: you can tell an employer the obvious (that you are good at your job) but can you illustrate the benefits they will get from your job well-done?
“I will warn you once you start learning with Jason or Pluralsight you won’t want to stop you might become hooked…” That is pretty nice to say For job seekers: What are you doing, or what can you do, to have employers and network contacts “hooked” on you?
I recently submitted the proposal for my 30th Pluralsight course. 30 is a lot… I don’t know how many authors have that many courses. I’m glad to offer a 30 day pass to JibberJobber users, where they can watch all of my courses (or any of the almost 5,000 courses) at no cost. After 30 days, a monthly subscription is a low $29. Bonus: Each Jason Alba course you watch, report back and we’ll upgrade you on JibberJobber for another 7 days. There is no limit to this bonus. Learn how here.
For the last few years, I have been creating video courses on Pluralsight.com. Pluralsight has a vast library of online courses designed to help programmers be better programmers. The instructors (aka, authors) are the best of the best. They asked me to create a course on using LinkedIn, and I’ve since finished over two dozen courses for them. My courses are all under the “soft skills” umbrella, which includes job search, how to work with others, and how to excel in your job (aka, professional development).
In March of 2015 I announced (here) that you can now get access to all of my video courses on Pluralsight… this provides a great savings to you! You can easily get an account on Pluralsight with a code you get from JibberJobber. There’s an old video I put together to show you how to do this – just scroll down to the bottom of this post. Or, check out the easy, step-by-step instructions, below.
Each time you watch a Jason Alba course on Pluralsight, return to the JibberJobber Tracker and report it, and we’ll give you a 7 day upgrade on JibberJobber!
How to get access to the courses, and get free upgrades on JibberJobber:
Step 1: Login to JibberJobber
Getting a JibberJobber account gives you multiple benefits. First and foremost, it is your personal relationship management tracker, which helps you keep track of your contacts, target companies, jobs you apply to, freelancing gigs, etc. It’s your long-term career management tool. You get a free account for life and have the option to upgrade and downgrade easily. You can pay for an upgrade, or you can watch Pluralsight videos and get free upgrades.
Step 2: Click on the link in the orange box
Directly under the main menu, once you are logged in, is this orange box. If you don’t see it, go to Tools, then Pluralsight Videos, and you can proceed from there. Simply click the link in the yellow highlight to get started (and go to step 3). See the triangle icon on the top right? That will minimize this box to your main menu… which you can pull down when you want.
Step 3: Get your code
On this page, click the link on the right to get your 30 day pass code:
When you click the link, you’ll see your code… just copy that code and you’ll paste it on the next page…
Once you’ve copied the code, click the Signup on Pluralsight button.
Step 4: Signup on the special Pluralsight page
You only have 5 required fields… and they don’t ask for a credit card! This is simple, fast, and no commitment! You get here by clicking the blue Signup on Pluralsight button from step 3.
Step 5: Back in JibberJobber, turn on the Tracker
When you go back to your JibberJobber window or tab, you’ll see the blue box, step 3, has changed. Click the link, which will take you to a page to verify that you have signed up on Pluralsight (see below).
Simply click the Turn on Tracker button, and you’ll see the tracker.
Step 6: Indulge! Binge! Watch all the courses you want!
You have an unlimited pass for 30 days to watch whatever you want. Whether you watch beginner technology courses, or all of the Jason Alba courses, take advantage of the 30 days pass. Here’s a simple “hack” to help you watch courses faster: How to Lifehack Pluralsight Videos.
You get a 7 day upgrade for every Jason Alba course you watch, but browse around and check out the great entry level, intermediate, and in-depth courses that meets your needs. From programming to graphics design, user design, photography, graphics, animation, and of course professional development, there are plenty of courses to help you with your furthering education goals.
Step 7: Back in JibberJobber, go to the Tracker Page and click the eyeball icon (aka, “self report”)
Once you have turned on the tracker, you should see a page like this, with a list of courses. The icons to the right, which the three arrows are pointing at, are what you click on to say “I have watched this course,” and then we’ll add another week of JibberJobber premium to your account. Please be honest with your clicks. Even after your 30 day pass expires, you can still watch courses (if you pay for a Pluralsight account), and click on these icons to get more JibberJobber upgrades.
You can see that if you watch the same course multiple times, you will multiple upgrades. So watch what you need, as many times as you need.
Step 8: Watch more courses… you have less than 30 days left!
Okay, we give you a 30 day pass. After the 30 days, the cost of a full membership is only $30 a month. It’s a very affordable upgrade. And if you buy that, and continue to watch my courses, you can get free JibberJobber premium… which means you don’t have to pay for JibberJobber.
How can we do this? We don’t get a referral fee when you sign up on Pluralsight, but we do get a little kickback when you watch my videos. This is explained on the Pluralsight blog here. The bottom line is that watching Pluralsight courses, even though you haven’t paid for a membership, makes up for not upgrading on JibberJobber, and so we pass the benefit along to you in the form of an upgrade. It’s a win for you (great content at no cost), a win for Pluralsight (they get exposure and branding, and maybe you’ll evangelize them to your next employer) and a win for JibberJobber (because each hour you watch adds to the total royalty we get from Pluralsight… which is not insignificant). So really, watch as many courses as you want, and don’t feel bad about not paying. And please let others know how valuable the courses and content is.
I’m sure you know someone who could use the courses (who couldn’t use the courses on LinkedIn, or informational interviewing, or becoming a better listener, etc.?) this, and it helps me when you spread the word to others!
I’ve introduced Pluralsight to a lot of people over the last couple of years. Online, in my presentations, etc. Many of you have taken advantage of the 30 day pass I’ve given you through JibberJobber. You should have watched my courses on job search, soft skills, and professional development (and each time you watch a Jason Alba course you qualify for another 7 day JibberJobber upgrade).
If you want to take advantage of Pluralsight for more than the 30 days, check out this killer 40% off sale on a one year subscription:
This is a discount from $299/year to $179.40, which comes out to about $15/month. You have until next Monday to think about it.
So get this… pay for the one year upgrade, then watch all of the Jason Alba videos you want over the next 12 months (even multiple times), and you will easily get months and months of free JibberJobber Premium. That is a sweet deal!
My courses on are job search and soft skills. There are tons of courses at all levels to learn programming, graphic arts, mobile development, UI/UX, and more. I don’t know when they’ll have another killer deal like this…. if you can, take advantage of it!
Last week I got this question from someone new to JibberJobber:
“Can you please explain the difference between the approx 20 Getting Started Videos and the 9 Orientation video series. Combined, it is over 5 hours of material – kind of daunting to learn a tool that should simplify my job search.”
The JibberJobber Orientation is a recording of one webinar, which was split into 9 clips that are around 10 minutes each. This is the “welcome to JibberJobber” introduction, including a history of JibberJobber, and my linear idea of what you would want to know/do to get started. I expect that after going through this orientation, you would have an excellent idea of what JibberJobber is, and how it could be a great tool for you.
The Getting Started videos are recordings from 10ish minute live webinars I used to do on Friday mornings, called Focus Fridays. I would pick one topic and try to completely explain in about 10 minutes. We wouldn’t go into any other topics. After I did a bunch of these, I decided to figure out what order to put these in so a new user would get the most value out of them, and then they could watch any of them they wanted. While the Orientation (above) is a 90 minute “welcome to JibberJobber!”, the Getting Started is a buffet of topics that you can pick and choose from. Want to go deeper on Topic X, but not ready for Topic Y? Just browse through the videos on the Getting Started page and watch the topic that is most relevant to where you are at right now.
If I were just getting started on JibberJobber today, here’s what I would do:
Start to watch the Orientation, go put JibberJobber into perspective, and get an understanding of what it can do. I find the questions I commonly answer about List Panels (how to filter search results, how to add, remove, or reorder columns) are covered in the Orientation videos.
I would then just cherry-pick topics from the Getting Started list, based on what I’m ready to do in JibberJobber.
I hope this helps explain the difference. I don’t intend for anyone to watch hours and hours of videos before they get started… most people get it enough to get started, and then come back to the Getting Started as a reference tool. Here are the topics in Getting Started… which interests you the most? (click here to find these videos)
Getting Started: Introduction (1)
Getting Started: Overwhelmed? Watch this! (1.5)
Getting Started: Homepage & Widgets (2)
Getting Started: Setting Up Tags (3)
Getting Started: Email2Log Setup (4)
Getting Started: Email2Log Advanced (5)
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) (entirely new design as of November 25, 2015)
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)
Getting Started: Account and Preferences (19)
You can ALWAYS just reach out to us and ask us for help on anything you are stuck on… don’t feel like you have to watch any of these videos (although, many times we’ll reference videos or blog posts when we reply)
I recently finished two courses on mentoring (HERE), one is for mentors, the other is for mentees (HERE). I hope that all of us can say that we have a mentor, even if it is an informal mentor. And don’t underestimate who you are: I’m sure others are looking at you thinking you are their mentor.
The problem is that we are not trained to be mentors or mentees. I have always heard “get a mentor” but I have never been in a class that talks about what to do to be a better mentee. And being a mentor? It’s like you are all on your own, left to figure out how to do it and what to do.
These two courses were designed to help you be much more strategic, purposeful, and effective in your mentoring. Finally, some training. There are three great options you have for getting access to these courses:
If you’ve already used your 30 day pass, let me encourage you to pay $30 for another month. $30 for this type of training, and the ability to watch as many courses as you want, is very inexpensive. You’ll have unlimited access to all of my courses (23 published right now), and any of the 4,000+ other courses… and you can pay $30 month-to-month.
You might work at a company that already has some licensed seats that would give you access to Pluralsight. If you don’t, talk to your boss and have them contact the Pluralsight sales team. There are discounts for companies that buy multiple seats, and you might be able to have this training at your fingertips because of your employer’s training budget! I can put you in touch with some Pluralsight sales people if you want an introduction.
So there you go… free, or $30 out of your pocket, or using your employer’s training budget. Any way you do it, it’s a great, great deal. Below is the video showing you how to get free access, and free JibberJobber upgrades:
I’ve written plenty on the so-called “hidden job market.” Check out this quote I found in a document describing how you can set up a job ministry (aka, job club):
“Over 80% of available jobs are never published in public media of any kind.”
I don’t know where that statistic comes from. I don’t know if it is true. But even if it is partly true, the message is that you will not find all of the opportunities out there on job boards, or wherever else you might be looking.
What does this mean?
Job coaches are quick to point out that whatever you can find online will be the low-hanging-fruit for the general population. In other words, EVERYONE and their dog will be applying to the easy-to-find opportunities. This means you become one of many. This means the people sifting through the applicants will have to sift through (a) a lot and (b) a lot of unqualified people. It is tedious, and that is why they bring in the Applicant Tracking System, which by it’s very nature will be flawed.
This is where you enter the discouraging “resume black hole.” You can spend hours and hours each day playing this game. Some call it a numbers came. I call it usually fruitless.
What about the other 80% of opportunities that are unposted? Where are they, and how do you tap into them?
Much of that 80% really comes down to this:
Who knows you, and
What they know about you.
That “simply” comes down to (a) networking and (b) personal branding.
The good news: you can do this!
The not-so-g0od news: it will take work, and can take time. And you need to learn some new skills, get out of your comfort zone, and apply tactics consistently.
Have I lost you yet?
It’s okay, you can go back to the 20% of opps out there, and keep applying all day long. Play that game. Some of you will win it.
For me, I’d rather figure out a solution to my career management that will be valuable both long-term and short-term.
IT IS TIME to take our career management into our own hands. This simply means that networking, and personal branding (or, reputation management), becomes the most important things we can do to help us in this job search, and every job search to ever come.
I’ve seen people who have done this, and I’ve seen the results of their activities. I’ve even seen introverts and old people (read: people who face yucky age discrimination) do this successfully.
I know YOU can do this.
Here’s THE tool to help you with your networking, specifically, managing, nurturing and improving the relationship: JibberJobber.com
There are free trainings you can get on Pluralsight on branding, networking, communication, etc. Pluralsight costs money, but I can get you a 30 day pass. As a bonus, if you watch any of my courses, I’ll upgrade you another seven days on JibberJobber’s Premium level. Watch the video below to see how to get access to the videos, and how to claim your week-long upgrades for watching my courses:
My newest Pluralsight course is live, and you can get access to it for free (if you watch it, you’ll get another week of JibberJobber premium added to your account – see the video at the bottom of this post to learn how to get free access).
How to Get Your Next Promotion is designed to help individuals be more proactive about their careers. As a hiring manager, and a manager of developers, I would love for my employees to take this course. Why? Because this course encourages them to be more serious about improving themselves so they are promotable. That self-improvement will only help my team be more successful.
Obviously, this course is totally applicable for job seekers as well as those who are currently employed.
Description and modules: This course is designed to help you whether you are interviewing for your next promotion this week, or you are planning on a promotion in the next year or two. The modules are:
Your Career: Where You Are and Where You Want to Go (31 mins)
The Plan: How to Get There (28 mins)
Soft Skills: How to Prepare for Your Next Role (28 mins)
Hard Skills: How to Prepare for Your Next Role (20 mins)
Where Do We Go from Here? (17 mins)
Want access to this, and my 20 other courses? Want to get a week of JibberJobber premium every time you watch any of my courses? Check this video out:
I sent this to the JibberJobber LinkedIn Group yesterday:
Hey all, this message clarifies some things about Pluralsight courses and JibberJobber upgrades.
JibberJobber is owned by me. Pluralsight is not. That shapes what we are able to offer to you Please share this with others – there are many people who could benefit from what I share below.
You have a free-for-life account on JibberJobber. There is an optional upgrade. Most people upgrade for the killer app: Email2Log. This integrates your email activities with your JibberJobber database. It’s super duper cool.
Pluralsight has given us access codes that we can give to each of you so you get 30 days of unlimited content viewing on Pluralsight.com. There are over 4,000 courses, most of them technical (programming, design, etc.).I have about 20 courses that are related to your career (informational interviews, LinkedIn, job search, career management, branding, etc.).
Each time you watch one of my courses on Pluralsight.com you can report it on JibberJobber and get an additional week of JibberJobber Premium. For example, you watch the Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile course, you can go into JibberJobber and say you watched it and get 7 more days. If you watch it again, get another 7 days. If you watch it 5 times, you get 35 days! There is not limit to this. You don’t pay for JibberJobber, but you get weeks and weeks and months and months of free upgrades. You don’t pay for Pluralsight, either… you don’t even put in a credit card number!
After 30 days, you will have the option to continue your Pluralsight account. If you are in a technical field (IT, programming, project management, product management, etc.) I think it makes a lot of sense. The price is $30/month. However, if you only went there for the Jason Alba videos, there’s no obligation to pay after 30 days. They don’t even send you a bunch of harassing emails to try to get you to upgrade.
I can’t extend your 30 days for you, on Pluralsight. I don’t have the authority or power to do that. If you get past your 30 days, you can pay $30 for another 30 days. That’s actually pretty inexpensive for what you get.
My advice is to take advantage of every minute you have during the 30 days. Watch all of my videos. Watch them 3 times each. Get your fill. Take notes. Watch them again. If you do that, you will have “sharpened your saw” (Covey’s 7th habit), and you will be ready to move forward. If you choose to pay for an account on your own, make learning a scheduled part of your day so you get the full benefit of your Pluralsight account.
Again, please share this with others, as there are many people who could use either the online courses and training, or the awesome JibberJobber organizational functionality. Or, both.
Finally, you should know that if you watch any of my videos on Pluralsight, I get a very small kickback (even if you never pay them). I get compensated because I have provided them content, and I have introduced you to their platform. It’s a win-win for all of us.
I hear this from career coaches and outplacement companies. It’s what their clients have told them. So the clients go back to their spreadsheets, plunking away at a temporary fix, hoping that they will be out of the dreaded class of unemployed people within months.
Yes, JibberJobber can be a bit overwhelming. We take full responsibility for that, and over the last two years have focused on identifying things in JibberJobber that we can make more simple and more intuitive. It’s a big job because, after over nine years of building, there are a lot of nooks and crannies to go into. This is our task, and we’re up to the challenge.
The hardest part of designing JibberJobber was figuring out how to balance the immense complexity that a job seeker needs to manage with the ability to look at a page and immediately intuit what to do. We, as developers, have the age-old problem of knowing what we mean, and assuming that the stuff we make will be obvious to you. But that’s a fallacy. In our meetings discussing features we’ve constantly battled the “this will be really cool, and solve so many problems” with “how do we make it simpler, so people can actually get and use it?”
I created a short video to help people wrap their brain around JibberJobber, which you can see at the bottom of this post.
In addition to the message in that video, which is to simply take baby steps and use the features you need, and the rest will come at the right time, here are some other things I wish the coaches and outplacement companies would know and share:
JibberJobber is a long-term tool. Your spreadsheet will likely not make sense in your next, or next next job search. But JibberJobber is designed so that you can step away from it for years (while you have a job, for example), and when you are in your next job search, login and all of your information will be there waiting for you. You don’t even need to worry about losing your spreadsheet in a computer crash, or when you upgrade your computer, since JibberJobber is web-based.
JibberJobber is easy to use, once you start using it. Adding new Contacts, new “Log Entries,” new reminders (aka, Action Items), tracking how an interview went, etc. is pretty easy. There are about nine different ways to add a new Contact, for example, which is all about convenience. The easiest, most powerful tool in JibberJobber, is the Email2Log tool, which allows you to send an email to someone, BCC the JibberJobber server, and have that email get parsed by the server and have things created. Things can include new Contacts, Log Entries, Action Items, and more.
JibberJobber is about your productivity, not your confusion. One of the ideas behind JibberJobber is to give you a system that works right now, instead of you spending hours and hours creating and tweaking a spreadsheet that does about 1/2 of what you really need. Yes, we know you do that. We did it too.
There is no “right time” to start using JibberJobber. Already have a spreadsheet? Been in a job search for six months? Neither of those matter. You can start using JibberJobber today. You can quit the spreadsheet cold turkey, or import it into JibberJobber, or use both for a month or so… we’ve seen it all. But don’t think that just because you have a few hundred lines in a spreadsheet somewhere that you are married to it. Switch over (we’ll even help you make the switch) and you should see immediate gains in productivity and time so that you can do what you need to, instead of tweaking technology.