When Is The “Right Time” To Network?

March 6th, 2015

A few weeks ago I asked my daughter to take the car she drives all over town to get the tires rotated.  This is a simple procedure, and helpful to lengthen the life of tires… and I’m now bought into the idea that we need to do this.  I’m also bought into the idea that she should do it, and learn about vehicle maintenance by doing it.

So, she comes back to me and says that the tire tech said the two front tires needed to be changed, and that they they were running thin… I was kind of ticked (not at her) because these are less than a year old.  Even though they have a warranty that should cover them for years, I’m sure the tire people would say “well, sorry, but the alignment is off, and you haven’t rotated them lately… so it’s really all on you.”

I was not excited about spending a couple hundred dollars to get new tires. I was not excited about the time it would take to do this (I didn’t trust the salespeople with my daughter, who has never bought tires before). And frankly, I just wasn’t finding the time to get this task done.  The car doesn’t spend much time in the garage, and I have been very busy lately.

Last week my wife called me from school, where she was mentoring a class, and my daughter had come for a class… she said that the front tire was leaking air pretty bad.  I knew the time had finally come, and I had to table what I was doing and get the front tires replaced.

The thing is, this was admittedly stupid.

I should have taken care of this before… my daughter drives on the highway every evening to go to stuff, and if she had problems on the highway, it would have likely been a blow-out.  My mechanic told me that too many accidents are a result of bald tires that blow-out.  And the anguish and cost could be much worse than $200.

Long story short, I left work, took care of the tires while they were in school, and we’re all good.

Driving home I was thinking about how I didn’t make the time to fix the tires… there really was just not a good time to do it for me.  Just like when we have a job, and we put of career management stuff because we are too busy working, or resting from our work.  We neglect it.  The timing just doesn’t seem good enough.

And then, if you are like me, you are told that there is no more job, and all you have is time.  And then you wish that you would have addressed it earlier… but you were “too busy.”

Let me invite you to rethink what job security is.  It might have been a degree and a work ethic back in the 1990′s, but today it is the strength of your network (which is not how big your LinkedIn network is), and what people understand about you.

You can work on that, right now.  Today.  And tomorrow.  And the next day.  A little bit every day, whether you are in transition or not.

We were lucky to have avoided a blow-out on the highway.  Work on your network and brand, and you might avoid a blow-out in your career.

 

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

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How To: Introducing the New Calendar

March 4th, 2015

We’ve had a calendar in JibberJobber for a number of years, but it recently underwent some significant changes.

The best way to get a feel for it is to go look at it.  You can get there from going to Tools/My Calendar… or, you can add it to your homepage as a new widget!  Go check it out and play around with it.  Find something missing?   Let us know by clicking on Contact at the bottom-right of any page.

Here’s how to get there… click Tools, then My Calendar:

jibberjobber_calendar_menu

Or, from the home page, click on Manage Widgets, and then add the Calendar (it’s at the bottom of the list):

jibberjobber_calendar_manage_widgets

Then you’ll see the super-fast, cooler looking calendar, which has a lot of options (day/week/month views, show/hide different kinds of things, etc.):

jibberjobber_calendar_options

This is a great enhancement for two reason: speed and aesthetics!  Enjoy!

 

 

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

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Ask The Experts: David Safeer

March 2nd, 2015

david_safeer_headshot_mediumDavid Safeer is not a career coach or career professional. He is a professional who started using JibberJobber a few years ago.  I’ve emailed him a number of times over the years and always found him to be really nice, and from his LinkedIn Profile, I can tell he is quite accomplished.

In this hour+ conversation, we talked about a bunch of things, and there were some big AHA! moments for me.  Here are some of my notes with times… enjoy!

0:00 — introduction

3:00 – who is David Safeer… his background and professional career
6:00 topic of branding, and rebranding… at a corporate and a personal level
8:20 personal rebranding: “it’s one of the mot difficult things that I have had to do…”
9:45 on getting laid off and shifting directions
10:30 on becoming a freelancer or business owner
12:20 the reality of entrepreneurship – it is freaking scary, and it is really hard!
13:20 pausing and figuring out what you really want to do (instead of panicking in the job search)
14:10 “I didn’t have the confidence in myself”… what should I charge, etc.
16:00 on starting his own business – a lot of work, thought, etc.
18:20 what happened to his company when the recession hit :(
19:45 during this process, he learned about JibberJobber (through a network contact)
20:30 on closing a business right, or wrong… and learning from it
22:00 the emotions of closing a business, starting a job search…. where was David at? “The toughest couple of years of my life, emotionally.”
24:10 – how to get through very difficult emotional times in the job search (value of a coach — this is awesome!)
25:00 is it worth it to hire a coach?  Especially when money is so tight?
25:30 BNI – networking groups… great advice
26:20 – “anyone who doesn’t know how to network, should learn how to!”
26:35 “Capital N Networker”
27:30 “I dont’ remember his name, but I’m going to get on JibberJobber and find him!”
27:50 Tree View “Absolutely amazing”
29:40 “networking forced me out of the house….”
29:45 what do you do at a one-to-one meeting?  Lunch…?  But then what?!
30:45 could you be a Capital N Networker?
31:40 having connections on LinkedIn vs having relationships with people and where he is at on the Quantity vs. Quality debate…
32:00 going to network meetings… are we being effective, or is this superficial??
33:30 network meetings – are they fun, or are they stressful?
35:30 his trick when entering a network meeting….
36:00 how I feel about networking at conferences… (you guys aren’t alone!)
36:30 when networking gets fun and rewarding
38:10 what is a third degree contact… and how is it different in JibberJobber than a social network?  And how and why this impacts the tree view.
39:50 figuring out who to thank for your clients, leads, etc.
40:30 how to thank people who introduced you to contacts
41:00 put BNI in as a contact, so he could track everyone he met through an organization (I would recommend using Tags for that instead of associating to a Company)
42:00 FASCINATING discussion of how to rank people based on (a) do you know people, and (b)  will you make those introductions— not for measuring personal relationships, or if they are a good person.  This is something he did about 18 months ago… “it was emotionally difficult to me to move someone down from a five star to a three).
43:40 “I had to network UP and ACROSS” – very cool and insightful “that’s when I started making real progress”
44:35 “you need to figure out who are the right people to network with”
45:20 he defines what a five star is (this is BRILLIANT!)
46:45 would you ever have lunch with a 2 star contact? Yes, absolutely… (find out why)
48:00 this new ranking system has “made a huge shift in my productivity”
48:15 using a “cookbook methodology” (or a system)
50:00 “having the RIGHT conversations with the RIGHT people.”
52:00 “it’s really tough to put a friend in a 1 or a 2″ but he’s using ranking not as “how strong is my relationship with that person”
57:00 are you using Email2Log?  Surprisingly, no.l  Why?  Listen here …
59:20 if your audience doesn’t “get it,” is it their fault or your fault?  Chastisement from my business coach
62:00ish final thoughts and advice
65:00 Functional Resume WOW!  Everyone says to stay away from functional resumes… but he says they are valuable!  This is really insightful!
66:20ish – is Functional Resume for everybody? Perhaps not… !
67:35 on finding target companies, and why that didn’t work for him (at an executive level)
68:15 “networking is by far the most effective way to do this”

 

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.

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Want to write on my blog?

February 20th, 2015

Guess what? Yesterday I opened up my inbox and had no less than four new requests to guest post on my blog.

And I had two invitations to get better at LinkedIn… you know, in case I was frustrated not knowing how to use LinkedIn. In case I haven’t been writing about LinkedIn for years… and even authoring the book (now in the fourth edition) I’m on LinkedIn – Now What???

I’m not bragging… but I want to re-emphasize my post from Wednesday, titled Competition in the Job Search. From that post you should have walked away with the thought that you need to be more purposeful, intentional and strategic in your job search.  Sit around and be one of the crowd, and your job search will probably go on longer than you wish.

But do things differently, think about what you are doing, bring in the right help, etc. and you can stand above your peers.

Let’s build on that idea.

The people who are asking to write on my blog as guest bloggers, and the people who are pitching me for LinkedIn training, do not understand who they are pitching to.  Their messages look like spam (because they are).

Do the people you send messages to think that your messages look like unsolicited, untargeted, irrelevant spam?

I regularly get emails from job seekers with a resume attached that says “hey, I want to work for your company.”   The last email I got was about a page long… of copy and paste.  There was nothing personal about it.  It was boiler-plate. And I’m not even talking about the resume!  This was throwing mud on the wall to see what sticks.

I’m sorry to say that what I’m suggesting is that instead of blasting out emails, you take time to understand who you are approaching, and how you can become relevant to them.

There is a lot of noise in our inboxes.  If you don’t customize, or don’t even understand who you are pitching to, you could be doing more harm than good.

Oh yeah, to answer your question “do you want to write on my blog”… if you look through my posts, you’ll see very few guest posts. I write most of my own stuff.  There are some exceptions, but not many.  Usually the answer is no.  Unless you have something really compelling (starting at around $500).

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! »

Competition in the Job Search

February 18th, 2015

Today I was on Lisa Rangel’s webinar about how to write executive resumes that get interviews. You can probably find her next webinar here.

Lisa is one of a few hundred resume writers that I know.  Resume writers are good people.  They are nice, service oriented, and are thrilled when you get an interview, or better, a job.

Resume writers are usually masters of their craft, which includes manipulating a Word document, converting to pdf (and still having it look good), and producing a marketing document in a way that many people can’t do very well.

Resume writers are also creative, and because of their expertise (or how many good/bad resumes they’ve seen), they can be blunt, telling you exactly what you need to hear.  This isn’t always what you want to hear…

I was thinking about how different Lisa is from her peers (and the strengths and weaknesses of some of her peers), and it made me think of … YOU (the job seeker). I was wondering, if you were in a room of your peers and colleagues, all unemployed, how would you compete.

I use compete loosely because it’s not all about competition. I like “coopetition,” and working together, and win-win, etc.

But at the end of the day, some people are going to pick one.  And then the “top 10″ will be picked, and eventually the bottom 50% will be left there.  Still very talented, and competent… perhaps more than the first 10 that were picked… so why weren’t they picked?

Lisa is very purposeful and strategic about her marketing.  She has a right-hand-man (Frank… hi Frank!) who helps her, and has contracted with other resume writers and ex-recruiters to help her deliver services.  She uses current tools (webinars) and reaches out to channel partners to help her get in front of her prospects.

From where I’m sitting, she appears to be crushing it.  And I’m happy for her.  There is plenty of room for others in this space, and I like to see people succeed… there’s really nothing stopping her competitors.

Let’s switch back to YOU.  How purposeful are you? How strategic are you?  Are you incorporating current tools, techniques and strategies in your own personal career management, or job search?  Or are you kind of sitting back, watching others, and waiting?

My suggestion is that you are more purposeful and more strategic.  My suggestion is that you figure out who your partners are, and who your Frank is.  My suggestion is that you don’t let your boss, or HR, or your professors tell you everything is okay, and you’ll be just fine.  I remember asking my boss “should I be getting my resume ready right now?”  The answer was “well, no, of course not!”  Within weeks I was getting my resume ready.

And that began my journey to becoming much more intentional and purposeful about my own career management.

Great things can happen to people who patiently sit and wait for them.  But there are plenty of great things just waiting for you to get up and move towards them.  Just read up on Lewis Howes if you need some inspiration on literally going from the couch to grabbing opportunities.

You are not out to crush your competition, but you don’t have to wait for their lead on how purposeful and strategic you should be.

GO FOR IT!

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! »

The Job Search Silver Bullet (Informational Interviews)

February 12th, 2015

Sunday night I did a presentation to a group of people interested in what they could do to manage their own careers.  I talked about a lot of cool ideas, like a mindset that I wish I would have had to network more effectively when I was in my job search.

One thing i didn’t talk about was the silver bullet of the job search.  I’ve written about the silver bullet for job seekers before… I really don’t believe there is one.  I mean, there is not one single thing that you can do right now, and then land your dream job (or, any job).  The job search takes work, and there are many parts of this complex beast to finally land a job.

But if anything comes close, it is the informational interview.  I remember talking to a career professional who said that if her clients did informational interviews all day long, they would likely land within 30 days.

Informational interviews should be fun.  Doing them should be exhilarating, even if you are an introvert.  You should get leads from most interviews you go to.  You should strengthen the relationship with each person you talk to… sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. You should get great practice in saying who you are (the 30 second commercial), to the point where it sounds natural, and you sound confident.

Informational interviews get you away from your computer and in front of real people.  They make you dress up nicer than pajamas.  They put you in professional settings.  They prepare you for real job interviews.  They help you learn more about industries, positions, players in your area, opportunities.  They put you in a position of knowing more about those things than most people.

There are no silver bullets, but if you can implement a good informational interview strategy, your job search might do a 180, and you might find you have a number of solid opportunities that you are chasing (or, that are chasing you!).

What are you waiting for?

Here are some other posts about informational interviews.

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.

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How To Organize a Job Search (JibberJobber Competitor)

February 6th, 2015

Andy called me this week.  It’s been at least a couple of years since we chatted last.  He was asking about programs we have for coaches and job clubs… and noted that one of my competitors has since gone away.

My reply was that I have, over the years, seen a few JibberJobber competitors go away.

I’ve always felt that being in this business is kind of like playing leapfrog.  We have something cooler than you today, tomorrow you have something cooler than us, and we hop around the competitive landscape with a “I’m better than you (for the next 24 hours)!” attitude…

I almost cared in the beginning, but knew that if I always tried to one-up my competition, I would drive myself, and my team, nuts.  And we would focus on the wrong things.

I admit that some of our competitors have had way cooler things than we have had over the years.  Some of them today have cooler things (including the interface) than what we have.

But what I know is this: we’ve been around for (almost) nine years.  And we’ll be around for at least another 9 years.  I don’t know how many competitors are left, but I’m guessing that of the 20 or so that popped up after we pioneered this space, 1/2 are gone.  Cool features, cool interface and all.  GONE.  That means your data is gone.  When you need their tools in your next job search, you won’t be able to use them.

Why?

Sometimes they had investors that got cold feet.  Sometimes they were a one-man operation (nothing wrong with that), and when they got a job, they took their job search organizer off the back burner and put it in the freezer.  Sometimes they thought they were going to be rich and famous, and when they didn’t make any money, and couldn’t figure out monetization models, they did the oh-so-popular “pivot,” which means they were too smart to stay in a very hard business.

I don’t know why they pulled the plug.  But they have.  Even if the site is still up, if they haven’t blogged for months (or years), I would take that as a bad sign.  If they can’t take 10 minutes to blog, are they working on their system?  Would you trust your data to a system that has been neglected for years?

Over the last nine years JibberJobber has been accused of looking old.  Even the day after one layout update, someone emailed and said we looked like a site from the 1990′s.  You just can’t win them all.

But here’s what we do have: a dedicated team of programmers and QA, and myself, who have been working on JibberJobber non-stop for nine years.  We have grown, improved, added more features, enhanced and improved for nine years.  We don’t have an investor breathing down our necks telling us what features to add or remove, or what numbers we need to hit, or we’ll have to pull the plug.  It’s been a tough road, but we are in a position where we are here now, and we will be here for your next job search, and the next one…

I love getting emails from people saying this is their third or fourth job search, over the last nine years, that they are using JibberJobber for.  That is freaking cool.  Not that they are in job search three times, but hey, it’s the world we live in. I love that we are there for you.

If you don’t like our colors, or our boxes, or our reports… you can go check the other systems out.  It will make their day if you say you are sick of JibberJobber and you like them better.  Go for it.  But when they go belly up, or stop development of new features, or don’t fix bugs for months and months, or one day they just disappear… you can always come back.

We’re focusing on four words this year:

  • Easy
  • Fast
  • Reliable
  • Intuitive

I’m not saying we are awesome at those four things, but those are our focus for 2015, as far as development goes.  Each time we create a new work order, we are tagging it as something that will make JibberJobber easier to use, faster, more reliable, or more intuitive.  Do we have a lot of work to do?  Tons.  But we’re dedicated to doing this smart, so that we can be around for many more years.

Want to check out our competition?  Go for it.

Want to help us be there for you, for the rest of our career?  Join us.  Help us.  Give us suggestions.  Tell us what we fail miserably at… and how we can improve.  We are in this for the long haul.

And honestly, good luck to our competitors.  It’s not heartening to see so many companies pivot too early.  At the end of the day, we are all in this business to serve 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.

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20 Things To Do In A Job Search (or, I just lost my job!)

February 2nd, 2015

alison_doyle_headshotMy friend and sometimes neighbor Alison Doyle wrote a great post titled TOP 20 THINGS TO DO IF YOU LOSE YOUR JOB

As I was readying through Alison’s post I thought “this is like a mini book!”

Her list is a little different than my list (What I Should Have Done In The First 30 Days), but if I were to advise you on your new job search, I would have you print out her list and work on (or check off) every single thing she includes.

Click here to see her post, then print it off, and work on every single one of them!

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! »

Kicking Off The New Year with Your Career (Video)

January 30th, 2015

A couple of years ago I was my own guest on my Ask The Expert call.  All of these are free.  You can watch this January 2013 recording below.  To see this full screen, simply click the little icon by the volume which will make it full screen.

AskTheExpert Jason Alba Jan2013 Vimeo from Jason Alba on Vimeo.

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 Certification Course 1/2 done!

January 29th, 2015

This week we finished our third course for the JibberJobber certification program for career professionals.

If you are a career professional, you can still sign up.. all courses are being recorded, and you can listen/watch at your own pace.

The schedule is here.

The “why” is here.

It is my hope that career professionals who earn this certification can bring more value to their client relationships…!

If you are ready to move forward, you can pay here… in the description box, let me know it is for the career pro certification program.

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! »

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