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Understand Narcissists and other Personalities You Have to Work With (or, “I am being bullied”)

April 15th, 2014

I am being bullied.

I have been for about a year.

I’m not in elementary school anymore, I’m forty years old.  I own my own company.  But I have a bully.

Having a bully sucks.  I’ve been the minor victim of bad behavior over the years, but this is different.  This is constant, over time, in-your-face bullying.

My bully is probably a narcissist.  Unfortunately, I’ve got the opportunity to learn a lot more about narcissism (or, narcissistic personality disorder) than I ever wanted to know.

What I’ve learned is that narcissists are kind of complex, although they are apparently pretty easy to define.  They are the type of person who don’t care about anyone else, would hurt others without knowing or caring about it, don’t take any blame but are excellent at giving blame everywhere else… and they just simply wouldn’t believe that they are doing any of this. They definitely wouldn’t agree that they are a narcissist – that is too demented for them, and they are certainly not demented.

Check out this article in my local paper: ‘I AM A BULLY’ sign-holder calls sentence unfair.  This isn’t my bully, but something in the article struck me.  This article is about a man (62 years old) in Ohio who has apparently/allegedly done some horrible things to his neighbors.  From the article, here are some things this “man” has done:

  • after “being annoyed at the smell coming from Prugh’s dryer vent when she did laundry… [he] … hooked up kerosene to a fan, which blew the smell onto Pugh’s property,”
  • “called her an ethnic slur while she was holding her adopted black children,”
  • “spit on her several times,”
  • “regularly threw dog feces on her son’s car windshield,”
  • “and once smeared feces on a wheelchair ramp.”

What does this bully say?  He “denied bullying his neighbors,” and “I understand my actions could have caused harm but at that time I was not really thinking about it.” (that last gem was probably because the court ordered him to issue a written apology… nothing as sincere as an apology you are forced to make, right?)

Finally, he says: ”The judge destroyed me … This isn’t fair at all.”

That, my friends, is what I would call a narcissist.  Destroy, hurt, harm, insult, and then “oh, poor me, poor me. Why is this happening to me.” Utterances of denial.  And more denial.

Do you know anyone who is like this?  Go visit some battered women’s shelters and you’ll meet women who are on the other end of this much too common “personality disorder.”  There are countless others (men and women) who are dealing with relationships with narcissists in their own, quiet, way.

In my workplace I have been forced to work with people who have one disorder or another.  Working with someone who makes you confused just enough to make you think YOU are the problem.  People who are constantly surrounded by drama, misfortune or discipline, or people who leave the proverbial bodies in the wake behind them.

We enjoy movies and TV series about personality disorders in a workplace.   Dwight is funny, in The Office, from the comfort of our own home.  Michael Scott is hilarious because he is an extreme that most of us don’t have to face at work, but we can giggle when our boss pulls a Michael Scott.  Or the Dilbert boss, who is a complete incompetent.  George Clooney played a corporate hatchetman in Up in the Air.  Fun and exciting to watch, but do you wonder how someone who has to do that for a living can sleep well at night?  Does this person not have a soul, or a conscience?

Here’s what I’ve learned about working with people who have harmful personality disorders: they are all over the place.  This is just life.

We can be sympathetic, and we should be sympathetic.

But, WE DON’T HAVE TO BE AROUND IT, OR PUT UP WITH IT, OR CONTINUE AS A VICTIM.

Many years ago I was involved in a business venture.  When things went south, and the person I was talking to showed his true colors, I had an awesome, empowering realization: I didn’t have to be involved with this person anymore.

As someone who was self-employed, I could CHOOSE whether he was in my world or not.  I know that is different if you are married to the person.  But working with someone?  You have more choice than you might think. (if you are married to this person, you have to decide how much is too much… unfortunately this is impossibly hard to watch someone else do from the sidelines without wanting to scream LEAVE! LEAVE!  But the ones who do leave have a chance of having some peace in their life, and maybe even happiness.)

I know, getting the narcissist out of your life might mean leaving a job.  Trust me, in some cases it might be totally worth it.  I remember a stressful work situation I was in that eventually led me to the urgent care, wondering if I was going to have a heart attack.  It turned out to be a pre-ulcer instead.  Previously, nothing had stressed me out enough to give me an ulcer… not school, the MBA program, or a plethora of other things… but a colleague at work?  That gave me a pre-ulcer?  I was mad that his problems caused my physical grief.

That is not acceptable.

If your colleagues have issues, and they aren’t going away, maybe you need to treat yourself to some basic humanity, be kind to yourself, and LEAVE.

The peace you get in your life can easily outweigh the hardships that kind of relationship can bring into your brain and physical well-being.

I know. This is much easier to say (or write) than to actually do.

But I also know some of you have been, or are, bullied at work.

Maybe it’s time to take care of yourself, and find a work environment where you can have peace, and thrive, and love to go to work everyday.

The first thing I recommend is to try to understand the personality disorder that is affecting you.  Is it a pathological liar (compulsive lying disorder) you have to work with? Is it a narcissist (who will make you think that YOU are the problem, not them)?  Is it someone who simply lacks moral integrity?

Whatever the situation is that causes you stress, figure out the root cause, and then determine whether you are going to “live with it,” and all of the consequences that go along with that (like, what that means for your relationships outside of work), or if you are going to do something about it.

I invite you to indulge in YOURSELF.  Get out of the harmful, stressful situation, and take care of YOURSELF.  Being in a hostile work environment doesn’t mean the HR department has to sign off on it. HR is there to protect the company, NOT you. I knew that going to HR to complain about a hostile work environment would have only caused a lot more problems. Trust your gut, take care of yourself, and if you have to, LEAVE.

If nothing else, learn about the personality so that when you have to deal with it, you are not shocked and manipulated and destroyed.  Knowledge will give you strength and empowerment.

As for my bullying situation, I wish it was as easy as leaving a job, but it’s not.  Bullies are here to stay, and they don’t just exist in school.  I can only hope this situation ends well.

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Mark Hoven, Executive Leader in Melbourne, Australia, on JibberJobber and Empowerment

April 14th, 2014

Mark Hoven is a sharp senior level executive based in Australia.  Here’s part of an email he recently sent me:

mark_hoven_small“JibberJobber has been a very helpful organisational tool for me over the past 3 years I have been using it. Your tool is a great reference, forces a discipline to my search and documentation efforts, and provides a small sense of control over proceedings which can make a big difference in those ‘dark’ moments when you wonder if anyone values your professional skills any longer.”

I love how he says JibberJobber “forces a discipline” to his job search and documentation efforts. Many professionals who start a job search are frustrated by the lack of systems and accountability in their job search, wonder if they are doing the right things, and get lost in all of the freedom and choices they have to make.  JibberJobber helps alleviate this a bit with structure and tools to accommodate the job search system that works for you.  (this means that some people are extremely structured, some have aggressive metrics, others have less time and less data to manage – JibberJobber accommodates any job search system)

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE how he talks about the dark moments, which I’ve blogged about repeatedly, and especially this statement: JibberJobber “provides a small sense of control over…”

As a job seeker we feel like we have little-to-no control.  Many times we feel like we are spinning out of control.  Do this (network) but don’t do that (apply online).  Oh wait, someone just applied online and they got the job that we are more qualified for… ?  I don’t get it!  I’m confused!

Going from a JOB where you are in control of so many things (you might not realize this until you don’t have a job anymore), to unemployed and looking where you are at the mercy of so many things (people’s vacation schedules, the economy, weather, your ability to pay for help/services, etc.), you feel out of control.

When I started JibberJobber, eight years ago, I knew I wanted to EMPOWER job seekers and professionals.  I wanted to make this bigger than just a spreadsheet-like tool.  I wanted to make the features much richer than what you would get in your homemade spreadsheet.  I wanted to give you stuff you didn’t even think about, but stuff that first class citizens (that is, people who have jobs) would expect.

I want to take away your sense of being out of control and replace it with a sense of EMPOWERMENT.

If you dare to use JibberJobber, that’s just what you’ll get.  Empowerment.  Control.  A peace of mind.  No more “am I forgetting something???”

What a difference that would have made in my own job search!

Thanks for sharing, Mark!

mark_hoven_linkedin_profile

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Favorite Friday: LinkedIn Professional Headline: Yours probably sucks

April 11th, 2014

This is from July 2010, on my LinkedIn blog.  It is a really short post about that uber-important branding statement next to your picture on your LinkedIn Profile.

The post took a life of it’s own when people started asking for feedback on their headlines.  Fortunately, Peter Osborne jumped in to respond to people… I finally had to close the comments before it became a full-time job!

Here’s the post - click here to read the excellent comments:

So many times I see LinkedIn Professional Headlines that … well, suck.

Yours probably sucks (unless you got my LinkedIn book or my LinkedIn DVD, as I talk about this quite a bit in those).

Here’s a quick test:

(a) Does your LinkedIn Professional Headline have your TITLE?

(b) Does your LinkedIn Professional Headline have the name of your company?

If it has either of these you have a great chance of having a sucky professional headline.

Why do I say this?

  1. The title doesn’t tell me a whole lot. If it’s a big title in a small company I’m not impressed. If it’s a regular title in a company or industry I’m not familiar with, I might not really know WHAT YOU DO.
  2. Beyond that, though, your title doesn’t tell me WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?). I don’t care that you are a CEO, or analyst, or any of that other stuff. If I SHOULD care, I can find that in the rest of your LinkedIn Profile, right?
  3. Use your Professional headline as a change to educate me on why I should care about you. Title/company doesn’t do it.
  4. With regard to the company, most companies I see out there have cute names… that mean nothing to me. They are not branded enough to tell me anything. Thus, putting the name of a no-name company in your headline does not help me understand your value proposition… IT ONLY TAKES UP SPACE.

How’s your LinkedIn Professional Headline?

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Fred Coon: Ask The Expert, April 22

April 10th, 2014

On April 22, we’ll have Fred Coon as our Ask The Expert guest.  Fred owns Stewart, Cooper, Coon, an outplacement firm based out of Arizona, with clients world-wide.

Over the years I’ve chatted with Fred at conferences, over meals, on a bus, and on the phone.  Fred is a great thinker, very astute, and continually looking for strategies and tactics that work.  Just as important, he puts all of these things together to create plans for his job seeking clients and tracks their progress, and overall success, so he can further refine his systems and do more of what works and less of what doesn’t work.

In this Ask The Expert we’ll drill down into some of his systems, ideas, strategies, and experience, to learn from someone who not only has been doing this for a long time, but is always looking out on the horizon to make sure what he is doing is the best.

Register here: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/938296386

fred_coon_largeHeres’ a link to one of Fred’s books, Ready… Aim… Hired!

what where
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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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Finding Humor in Your Depressing Job Search (or the bad economy, or whatever)

April 9th, 2014

Here’s some fallout from my 2014 April Fools prank (where I laid myself off, even though I’m the sole owner of JibberJobber)…. on my LinkedIn Group I got this message:

Sorry– I do not see the humor; if the economy and employment levels were decent…well maybe. But not when so many people are in real pain and suffering after 7 years of this “great recession.”

My reply to her, and the group:

Karen, sorry. This was my story (kind of) 8 years ago, and it turned out to be a massive blessing. I talk to unemployed people (usually JibberJobber users) daily, and I know the pain and hurt and suffering… both because I lived it and because I hear it every day. I choose to use humor in my life to help me get through hard times…. nobody has to, but I’m not going to sit around and mope and be somber, essentially empowering the suffering.

No one has to educate me on the real pain and suffering of job seekers.  You see, I was there, but that was during an awesome economy.  During a crappy economy (like that of the last seven (give or take) years, if you can’t get a job you can at least blame the economy.  People might say “when the economy picks up…”  But when you are out of work during a great economy, and can’t hardly land an interview or an offer, there is seemingly nothing to blame but you.  That means a lot of self-finger-pointing, wondering how messed up you really are… which leads to unnecessary and unhelpful pain and suffering in abundance.

The bigger issue, for me, is coping with challenges and trials.  How do you do it?  I tend to gravitate towards humor.  Not always, of course… but I’ve been doing this long enough (8+ years, since I got laid off in January of 2006), to know that there will indeed be an end to unemployment.  That might be because you get a dream job, or you get a “step job” (that is a job that is a stepping stone as you continue to look for your dream job), or you start your own business, or you adjust your expenses and simply retire.  I’ve seen this happen many times over the last few years.

I’m convinced that dealing with our temporary situation in a healthy way is critical to getting out of our healthy situation.  Let me give you two examples:

Coping Strategy 1Let’s say that I cope with stress by eating crap.  So, I’m unemployed and stressed, and I eat at McDonald’s three times a day.  Sodas, fries, high-fructose-corn-everything.  I’m coping with my pain and suffering, and while I plop stuff in my mouth, I feel better, for a second or two.  Between meals I throw down some chips, and have a big cup of soda by me at all times.  I indulge, and it’s good to have no rules on my eating.  I think about going on a walk around the block, but my ankles and knees hurt too much… so I’ll do that “later.”What will that do to me?  From personal experience I know that I’ll physically feel like crap, I’ll probably be more moody, and my clothes will get tighter… this only makes me feel moodier and more depressed.  That’s okay, I’ll cope by eating more crap.

Guess how my next face-to-face networking event is going to go?

I will want to be invisible.  And I’ll probably be jaded enough that I’m not going to have the right conversations which could lead to introductions.  People will smell blood.

Coping Strategy 2

Contrast that with eating much healthier, and exercising. Let’s say I have healthy food around me, in abundance (this doesn’t mean I have to have money or a paycheck, I simply make better choices when buying food).  I eat at least one green smoothie a day (the way I make them, they look green but taste like a fruit smoothie), I drink lots of water, and eat things like soaked almonds, brown rice, etc.  Instead of feeling like I can “cheat” to “cope,” I am now addressing a physical/mental/emotional issue by feeding my cells (nutrition) instead of focusing on feeding my belly (satisfaction).

I feel great, physically.  I take time to exercise, whether it is walk around the block or walk a few miles, do yoga, squats, pushups (even against the wall or stairs), etc. My clothes fit better, I sleep better at night, I feel fit and I have more energy. I can think clearer and have more fun networking.  People want to be around me, they even gravitate towards me (or at least I don’t feel like they are trying to get away from me).

Coping Strategy 1: eating what my tongue wants me to eat, without boundaries, and my stomach feeling satisfied a lot.

Coping Strategy 2: eating to provide nutrition to my cells, as abundantly as I want, with the right foods.

The question: what are the fruits of either strategy?  Which strategy is better for the short-term, and which is better for the long-term?

So let’s go back to my humor thing.  For me, I gravitate towards humor.  Finding humor in things helps me put things in a different perspective that is, many times, easier to understand.  It helps people I work with find perspective, also.  When I’m in front of 100 job seekers, you better believe there is a lot of laughing.  Probably some tears, too, because I get very raw and real.  But there is humor throughout the presentation.  We don’t get enough laughing when we are in a job search, and no one wants to touch our delicate situation with a ten foot pole… but I do.  Because even after eight years, I still consider myself a job seeker.  I am you. I am with you.  And I know there is a time to let your frustrations out, and I’ll be a shoulder you can cry on, or an ear you can vent to, but I’m not going to go in front of my audience and start crying and venting for the entire time.

Laughing releases good brain chemicals (practically natural narcotics).  Why not let job seekers laugh?

Maybe my coping strategy (laughing and humor) is different than your coping strategy (medication, nutrition, hobbies, reading and movies (escapism), soduko, doing the dishes, lifting weights, running, etc.).  I’m not going to list them and say which are better than others, but I will say this: LOOK AT THE FRUIT.  What are the results of your coping strategy?

Does it put you in a worse place, or does it prepare you to do the hard things that you need to do in your job search?

 

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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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:

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Favorite Friday: Chicken List Is Out – Now Put Away The Honey-Do List!

April 4th, 2014

By March of 2007 I had gotten an idea of this so-called chicken list, which still scares me, and had been consumed by the idea of wasting time in a job search.  Here’s a post I wrote in March of 2007 about making sure your honey-do list doesn’t take time away from what you should be doing in a job search:

Where's Your Honey Do List?  I know you have one...Last week I encouraged you to get your Chicken List out and make “that” call – the call that has been scaring you.

That encouragement does not transfer over to your Honey-Do list.

A job search is more than a full-time job. You almost have to create the wheel, and reach deep inside yourself to do stuff you haven’t had to do for a long time (create a resume, create elevator pitches, etc.). Its hard to change your mindset from “sell my company’s product” to “sell myself.” And then on top of all of this, you are the one that has to execute the strategy! Its a HUGE job!

So why do you think that you can knock things off the honey-do list? I know, you are now “working from home.” And you “have time.” And you “need a break” from the job search.

I know you have a hole in the wall. I know your toilet needs some work. I know you should really paint, or weed, or change wallpaper, or shampoo the carpets so you can have a better work environment.

But none of those things are really going to get you closer to getting your next job. Or next client.

So put the Honey-Do list away until the weekend. Pretend that your new job (that is, the job of finding a job) has you tied up from early in the morning until dinner time – and stop fooling yourself that doing honey-do’s right now is a good use of your time.

It isn’t.

Disclaimer: I’m not trying to be sexist, or offensive. This post is not intended just for those in a job search. You know you have some kind of list that distracts you from doing important stuff. If you don’t have a “honey,” I bet you still have your own “to do” list. Same thing.

And finally, this is not a ticket to not do anything that needs to be done. I’m just saying that there are some things that are not as high a priority as working on your job search (or career management, or small business development, or your job – even if you are underemployed!).

Reading that post now makes me wince a little.  That is some harsh advice.  You can tell where my mind was at.  The message is important.  You can see Deb Dib’s insightful comment here.

Leave your own comment below….

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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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Defining Your Vision, Path, and What You Want

April 2nd, 2014

Laura de Jong wrote an awesome post titled It Starts with a Vision.  In this post she tells the story of a job seeker she was working with who had a vision of what kind of company she wanted to work for.  Laura listened to this vision and thought of a perfect company, but it was on the other side of the country.

A few days later, the job seeker described her vision to someone else, and said “you need to talk about to this company in Boston!”

A few days later the job seeker talked with an executive recruiter who was commissioned to fill the Chief Sales Officer role for that very company, and get this, the person could be based anywhere in the US!

She had a vision of the idea country, defined that vision (not as easy as it sounds), shared the vision with others… and through what might seem like a miracle, she eventually got a CxO role at the very company that matched her vision – even though they were three thousand miles away!

Having a vision, and communicating it, is much, much, much more effective than being open to anything.  Be focused and it’s easier for people to understand what you want and think of ways they can help you!

 

 

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Awesome, Awesome LinkedIn Profile Formatting (Håkan Thyr, Austin, TX)

March 31st, 2014

I came across Håkan’s LinkedIn Profile and I LOVE something he is doing with the formatting.  What he is doing gets around something that bugs a lot of people…. they want real bullet-point formatting!

Alas, for the last many years, and even today, LinkedIn doesn’t allow hardly any formatting in the long description areas.  But check out what Hakan has done:

LinkedIn_profile_HåkanThyr

In #1… how did he get that bullet?  In #2, how did he make the lines below the bullet indent, the way that bullets are supposed to?

Very, very simple.  I blogged about it on my LinkedIn blog here. Scroll down on my profile and you’ll see a bunch of bullet icons you can copy, and then paste to your own Profile.

Okay, so we got that, right?  How do you make the line below indent to the correct place?

You simple put enough spaces in. Really.  You “hard code” spaces in.  With your space bar.

If I mouse over and select the space from the left of the page to where the line starts, I can see there are individual spaces there.  There are 5 spaces before a bullet point and 8 spaces before each line under a bullet.

LinkedIn_profile_HåkanThyr2

It’s that simple… but the results really stand out, and are easier to read.

Cool, huh?

This entire profile also works because Håkan uses the underscore (_______) to make visual line separators throughout his profile, which makes it easier to read.

He’s put a lot of effort into his profile, from content to formatting, and it clearly shows.  Great job Håkan!  Click on the image below to see his entire profile:

LinkedIn_profile_HåkanThyr3

 

 

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