Timing, Listening and Talking Over #LessonsFromASpeaker

May 11th, 2016

michael_webb_headshotMany years ago I was speaking at a job club in East Bay (east of San Francisco) and had a delightful time. A new friend (Michael Webb) in the audience gave me invaluable feedback afterwards, which was something like this:

“Jason, you are very funny… and you know you are funny.  Let me give you a tip that I learned while doing improv, to improve my own speaking…”

He went on to tell me that instead of letting the audience laugh at the funny things, I continued to talk, essentially talking over the audience. Instead of letting the energy build, I essentially diffused the potential energy and took away from my ability to impact lives.

His tip? Give the audience time to react.

Recently my wife directed a Shakespeare play with 12 and 13 year old kids. It was fantastic, of course… but one thing I noticed was that these young actors didn’t quite understand how to let the audience relish in the humor. They would say or do something funny, and then as soon as the audience erupted into laughter (or applause), they would say their next line.

The laughter (or applause) brings energy to the whole room, energizing the actors to be better and the audience to be more involved… and they were “crushing it” (not in a good way).

I recently heard about a salesperson who… okay, get ready to cringe… wouldn’t let the prospect talk.  The salesperson always brought the conversation back to himself… his issues, his thoughts, his experiences… YUCK. That tactic is not in any sales training, book, manual, etc.

how does this apply to you?

When you network, you have an “audience.”  When you interview you have an “audience.”  When you are on the phone you have an “audience.”

Are you talking over yourself, or the other person?  Are you allowing time, during the discussion, to make a point?

This powerful tip learned from an improv session, and passed to me by Michael Webb, is a life and communication skill that I’ll continue to work on, and share whenever it’s appropriate.

 

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Work, Vision, and Lots of Stage Time #LessonsFromASpeaker

May 10th, 2016

jason_hewlett_headshotI saw an ad on Facebook from a guy that I am probably destined to know: the speaker/entertainer Jason Hewlett. I say I’m probably destined to know him because (a) we have a mutual friend who talks about him a lot, and (b) I hear he has been active at SLC National Speakers Association chapter meetings, which I used to go to every month (and someday might go back to).

Here’s the first part of his Facebook ad (here’s his video that explains what the ad is about):

“In the past week I have received 5 urgent messages from speakers and entertainers asking how I’ve had such success in this business. The questions are all the same and people are shocked when I reply that it takes work, vision, and lots of stage time.”

This struck me because I’ve been writing about job search for almost 10 years now, and the questions seem to be about the same, and the answers seem to be about the same. I even got to the point, a few years ago, where I wrote “well, there’s nothing else to write about this stuff… it’s all been written.”

Jason’s reply has three parts, and they absolutely applicable to you:

Work: There really is no way around this… work has to be done. Sure, you could get lucky… but what you want (more money, a better job, owning your own gig, selling your own creation, that next promotion, etc.) will most likely require a lot of work. it could be manual labor, it could be deep thinking, it could be working through bureaucracy (aka, playing the game), it could be working on yourself (which is really hard work!) or helping others work on themselves… instead of having “work” be a scary “four letter word,” let’s embrace work, and appreciate the opportunity we have to work. Let’s make the fact that we have to work something that is okay!

Vision: If we don’t have a vision, then what are we working for?  “I want to be a….”, “I want to have….”, “I want to help…” are all statements that will help us know WHY we do what we do. Having a vision is especially helpful when we are faced with a hard task, or troubling times.  Vision strongly correlates with hope… and if we do not have hope, then why in the world do the hard things?  Do not let your vision (or hope) die… you’ll come to rely on it many, many times.

Lots of stage time: So you are a hard worker… and you have a great vision. You are doing great!  Whether you want to be on stage as a professional speaker or not, you need to be in front of your audience. For introverted software developers that might mean participation in online forums… for marketing professionals that might mean a blog on marketing from your perspective, for wannabe executives, that might mean hobnobbing with executives. Whatever “stage time” means to you, let me share two important points: First, Jason says to get LOTS of it. This doesn’t just happen… you have to (a) actively seek it out, and (b) when opportunities come your way, you say YES.  You want LOTS of stage time. Second, YOU WILL FAIL. I have presented hundreds of times, and some of you might know I’ve failed more than once. Once I failed so bad I seriously considered just not speaking anymore.  It was an embarrassing failure. I did take a few weeks off, but I knew that I needed to get back on the (speaking) horse. I did… and later on, I failed again, and again, and … then I found myself failing less frequently. I got BETTER. I learned from my mistakes. But I wouldn’t have learned from my mistakes if I hasn’t made them. Get LOTS of stage time so you can learn to be better.

Thanks for these three suggestions, Jason! This is a great path for an aspiring speaker, and it’s definitely a great path for you and your career!

 

 

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The Power of Job Clubs and Job Ministries

May 6th, 2016

This week I shared this with my two LinkedIn Groups (Job Search Career Network and the JibberJobber Career Management Group):

When I go back to the church where I went to my weekly job club (aka career ministry), ten years ago, my knees still get weak. I get nervous about sharing my 30 second pitch, and “networking.” You see, I’m an introvert, and walking into a room full of job seekers is not my idea of a “good time.”

But this job club was perhaps one of the most important things I had done as a job seeker. I went from doing this job search thing alone, in my house, to talking to others and really figuring out what I could do better, and as important, realizing that I wasn’t alone in this seemingly horrible journey. I got support and training, and I’ve been an advocate of job clubs ever since.

Humbling myself, going regularly, and even participating, defined the pivotal point in my job search. Even though I chose to start JibberJobber, instead of pursue a job, the time I spent with others, serving and getting served, brought me out of my depression and hopelessness.

My question to you is this: what job clubs are in your area that you go to, or would recommend? Let’s get a list of these resources, participate where we can, and encourage others to go. Leave a comment or email me and let me know about job clubs local to you.

Here’s a blog post I wrote about this back in 2008:http://www.jibberjobber.com/blog/2008/07/09/get-value-out-of-job-ministries-even-when-you-arent-religous/ Check out the comments, which as usual, are more valuable than the post.

In those posts, the groups people talked about include:

  • Sacrament, CA: Bayside’s Career Coaching
  • D.C. area: McLean Bible Church (I’ve spoken there multiple times)
  • San Diego area: NC3 Career Transitions
  • Madison, AL: St. Joseph the Worker Job Networking Club
  • Hoffman Estates, IL: St. Hubert Catholic Church

What are job clubs or ministries that you recommend, or know about?

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The Writing On The Wall: When You Are About To Lose Your Job

May 4th, 2016

When I was on the phone, on a board conference call, I knew that I was going to get laid off.  The principal who was in the room with me (there were two people in my room, me and the other guy, and three people in another city) had already told me before our call that I was going to get let go.

How kind of him to prepare me.

Of course, I had already seen plenty of “writing on the wall” regarding the inevitable elimination of me, as the general manager.  I ignored the writing on the wall.  I downplayed and minimized what it meant. I delayed thinking about it.  If only I could get more results, or clean up certain things, or fix other things… if only I could do the job I was hired to do, and have an intense focus, maybe those things that were written on the wall would simply disappear.

The gut says “this is real” but the brain tries the logic and rationalization tricks to say “um, maybe not *that* real… we got more time….”

We got more time.  Famous last words.

Let me share two truths with you about the writing on the wall:

  1. Ignoring it won’t make it, the message, or the reality of what’s to come go away.
  2. There is writing on the wall for all of us. If you want a discouraging (or perhaps a full-of-opportunity) read, research the gig economy.

The bottom line is what I’ve been preaching for 10 years: YOU MUST own, control, and manage your own career management.

Here are some symptoms that you might get let go (I’m not sharing these so you can be paranoid, rather so you can be prepared):

  • Layoffs are announced, or you hear people talking about them. No owner or boss wants this rumor to get started… so if you are hearing about it from someone reliable, especially a manager, then it’s time to open your eyes and prepare.
  • You learn that the company/organization is having financial problems.  Yes, sometimes financial problems are solved by creative measures, like dumping inventory, or moving out of an expensive building, or simply increasing sales. Just realize that sometimes the creative measure might be decreasing head count.
  • You aren’t performing and your boss regularly makes comments about it. I had a sales guy who was opening a new area… but wasn’t making any progress. I was hearing about it from my colleagues (at my level), but the reality is this sales guy knew how things were going, and had no progress to report. There is a fine line between being optimistic that something great will happen, and being realistic about nothing at all happening. Make sure that you are communicating as much as you should during this time, though, especially if you are building something out of nothing… the metrics will look different at an early stage, and sometimes you might have to walk your boss through this (multiple times).
  • You aren’t getting phone calls and emails replied to. It’s weird to go from people responding quickly (or at all) to getting NOTHING. There was a time I was doing business (with JibberJobber) with another company, talking about a very cool relationship.  Then, all of the sudden, my contact wouldn’t communicate with me at all for two or three months.  Later I learned that her company was acquired, and she wasn’t sure what her role would be (if there was one).  We went from very serious to on hold, without her telling me we were on hold.  It’s confusing for sure, but it’s a big sign that there is an issue, either with your career, their career, or the company.
  • People get real (or unusually) serious when talking to you, or won’t look you in the eye. Have you had a relationship with someone at work where you could always access them and have a friendly conversation… but now you sense something in the relationship has changed?  That is what I’d call “writing on the wall.”  Or, maybe they have indigestion, or their own problems… it’s not always writing on the wall. But if it’s long-term, and from more than one person, I’d look into it.
  • You ask if your job is in jeopardy, and you don’t get a straight answer.  Let me give you a straight answer: YES. Your job is always in jeopardy. You should always be ready to give someone an updated resume, and you should always have warm networking relationships (instead of ignoring your “network” until you need something from them).

I could go on and on… here’s a google search with lists and lists of signs.

I don’t want to discourage you, or to make you more paranoid than you should be. I want to give you permission to think differently about your career, and your role at ta company.

I give you permission to network, even while you are employed.

I give you permission to have an updated resume, even though you are happy at your job.

I give you permission to interview at other companies, even though you aren’t necessarily looking.

I give you permission to take control of your career back from those you gave it to (professors, mentors, your boss, HR, the company owner), and watch out for Numero Uno (translated: YOU).

I give you permission to actually enjoy this a little bit. I know it’s frustrating to think about changing jobs, and dealing with strife at work, and disruption a-la-who-moved-my-cheese.

For now, this is the new normal… and if that’s the case, I challenge you (because you are smart, and you can figure out challenges) to figure this out.  What can you do right now, next week, this year, next year, to have more control over your own career.  I’m not asking you to look for job security (that is so nineteen hundreds!!), I’m asking you to do things to manage your career.

One of them is to stop ignoring the writing on the wall, and preparing yourself for when that writing becomes reality.

 

 

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What’s Up With LinkedIn?

April 28th, 2016

Since I wrote the book on LinkedIn (in it’s 4th edition, which is now outdated), I have been keeping an eye on LinkedIn.  Not so much the company or product, but the utility. When I speak at job clubs across the U.S., I listen to users. I want to know what value they get, and search for success stories.

The story from users has changed over the last few years.  How about for you?  Is LinkedIn doing the job for you?

Here is some food for thought:

LinkedIn’s new digs: the SF skyscraper.  This article has some beautiful photos of the office, which are amazing.  This is what a company valued at around $30B (last I checked) gets to buy.  Very nice.

If you want a feel-good story, then DO NOT read the comments on that post.  Otherwise, you’ll find that all but one or two are really, really down on LinkedIn.

Speaking of being down on LinkedIn, check out this interesting post by Patrick Moore, LinkedIn employee #32 (from 2004 to 2005): LinkedIn has lost its Vision (posted March 26, 2016). Patrick proposes a fascinating idea behind why LinkedIn has lost its value: “the members and their willingness to keep their profile up to date.” His post gives a very interesting insight from a former insider on the value proposition of LinkedIn, and a bit on the landscape and competitors.

Does LinkedIn still add value?  Yes, it does for me. But I continue to hear one theme from people: LinkedIn has disrespected their users.  Not once, not in one year… over time. It’s a pattern, and when I hear someone say (like I did yesterday) “I don’t do anything on LinkedIn anymore…,” there’s nothing I can do, but listen.

For now, we continue to get the value we can out of it, and wonder what will be next.

 

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“Outsourcing the job search may feel calm…” #jobsearch

April 27th, 2016

jacqui-barrett-poindexterJacqui Barrett-Poindexter is a friend and career professional. She wrote How to Keep Your Eye on Your Career Destination Prize (blog post).  Here’s a great quote that she put on Facebook, from her blog post:

“Outsourcing the job of job search may feel calm, as you are head-down, performing the assigned tasks. However, this method of career management can derail you–and your career–if not kept in check. You must commandeer your own job search. Strategically enlist people, tools and processes to help arrive at your personally prescribed destination …”

Yes, you can outsource it. But don’t do it blindly.  Don’t stay hands-off.

And when she says “strategically enlist tools,” let me recommend JibberJobber as THE tool to help you organize and manage your job search. :)

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Blog Recommendation: Ask a Manager

April 26th, 2016

If you are looking for an excellent career blog to read, check out Ask a Manager, by Alison Green.  She doesn’t know I’m writing this and probably has no idea who I am.

jibberjobber_ask_a_manager

I love candid, tell-it-like-it-is advice, and this is exactly what you’ll find on Ask a Manager. Lots of scenarios and questions that you will likely relate to.

Here are her favorite posts, and her most favorite post is this: An ode to the bad managers of my past

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Aetna Jobs In Florida, California, and Montana

April 22nd, 2016

I have a dream and a vision to revolutionize career management. I’ve been living that dream for ten years.  Executing on the dream means identifying areas for improvement and new thinking, and executing what’s identified.

I know it is crazy to think this way, but why let the big guys define how we should do things?

With that, we’re working on a new kind of job board experience.  We’ll roll it out in phases this year and next year.  The very first phase is just getting job postings up and running on JibberJobber.  And today I want to share three that were just posted:

Medical Field Case Manager, for Aetna, in Billings, Montana.

Medical Field Case Manager for Aetna, in the Los Angeles, California area.

Disability Nurse Case Manager for Aetna, in Plantation, Florida.

What’s so revolutionary about those job postings on JibberJobber.  Not much. They are job postings that you could likely find elsewhere.

But this is our first step. If you want to see awesome, just wait. And if you can’t wait, let’s get on a call and we’ll chat about it.  Just email me (Jason@JibberJobber.com).

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Ten Ways To Feel Less Poor #jobsearch

April 21st, 2016

“You are getting laid off.”

One of the first thoughts that comes to mind is: “Um, I live paycheck-to-paycheck! I only have enough money for the next 10 days!”

I’ve been happily employed, unhappily employed, unemployed, and an entrepreneur.  At various times, in all of those different phases, I have felt poor.  I’ve been thinking about this post for months, and I have finally resolved to just write this post, even though I’m going to miss something. So that’s what the comments section is for!

Here are ten things I’ve done to feel less poor.  If you have anything to add, please leave a comment.

  1. I buy razors from Costco. I get a package of 52 for around $35.  Maybe $45, I can’t remember. They aren’t cool, robotic, electric, swivel-headed, but they do have 3 blades on each disposable razor. I used to have the cool ones, with replacement cartridges, but those were more expensive than this find. I shave maybe twice a week, which isn’t much, so this box lasts me forever.  I get the right tool for the job, without feeling like I’m spending luxury prices.
  2. Buy a new (shirt, jeans, socks, etc.). It’s amazing how high quality, great fit clothing can make you feel “like a million bucks.” I’m not saying to swap out your entire wardrobe, but if you feel poor, and then dress in either really cheap clothes that don’t last long, or your old clothes that used to look good but are now faded, sagging, etc., you’ll only extend how you feel by how you look.  For me, just getting nice, new socks, make a difference on how I feel. Instead of “I’m not worth it,” switch that around, and move on from feeling like all you deserve is stuff you really don’t want to be seen in public in.
  3. Fix that dumb thing that has been bugging you. Sometimes there’s a thing that is bugging us 24×7… perhaps it’s a chipped faceplate for a light switch (the fix is less than a dollar), or a wall that just needs to be repainted (for less than $30), or maybe even just washed!  Instead of mentally moping about how you’ll do it when you can afford it, do it now, and treat yourself with respect.
  4. Re-evaluate expenses. I love walking in a store past the satellite TV company sales reps. They say “what do you do for TV?” When I respond that we don’t have TV, they don’t know what to say. Speechless.  Don’t get me wrong, we watch plenty of shows, but we don’t subscribe to a monthly, other than our internet connection. Look at all of your monthly committments, and question which ones you really need. You might be surprised that you are spending $20/monthly here, or $80/monthly there, and not getting any value out of it.  That can add up to hundreds and hundreds of dollars of money that could go towards your needs.
  5. Buy (and eat) healthier food. When I eat unhealthy, I feel it. Maybe it’s because I’m in my 40’s. Maybe it’s because my body is malnourished. Contrast that to days I eat really healthy. Feel great, more energy, etc.  Instead of sitting around like a slug, feeling full and bloated and low-energy, I am anxious to get up and get out and work and/or enjoy. Sitting around gives you more time to think about all the stuff you don’t have, where getting out helps you slow down and enjoy the here and now. Is healthier more expensive?  Kind of.  But if you feel like it’s too expensive, than start a garden… even if it’s just in your living room.
  6. Change your idea of “fun” from expense-based to free (hiking, people watching, bird watching, etc.). What is your perfect idea of having fun?  It probably includes spending money on a trip, a ticket, a meal. Those have been rewards… what if we change our idea of fun to be more of an experience that we can have without spending money? When I took my family on a trip last summer, the most amazing, fun places we stayed were campgrounds, not hotels with pools. The campgrounds allowed us to connect with nature and the community we were in. We socialized with others, and there’s one family we still have a relationship with.
  7. Stop pouring over the news and social media. This is a great place to compare your life and abilities with others… and many times it’s harmful. I love seeing what others are doing, and celebrating their accomplishments, but it’s easy to compare your seemingly dull everyday life with what they post, which is usually the highlights of their life. Why not go make your own highlights, away from the great comparison machine?
  8. Focus on paying down your debt and punching interest in the nose. Feel poor? Maybe you are. But you don’t have to be that way forever. I love listening to the success stories of people who call into Dave Ramsey’s show. They are laser focused on addressing the problem head-on, and determined to change their life.  Stop ignoring your financial issues. Learn about them, figure out a plan, and work your plan.
  9. Pick up a revenue stream that empowers your earning potential. When I was writing 51 Alternatives to a New Job I decided to try something I had never done before.  Long story short, I went out with my kids and we made about $40/hour painting house numbers on curbs. I had no idea that you could make that much money doing that. There are easily dozens and dozens of things like that you could do. Pick up dog poop in a neighbor’s yard…. not anything to brag about, for sure, but it could give you an extra $20. You don’t make that money sitting around watching shows.
  10. Be genuinely happy for others’ financial success, vacations, new purchases, upgrades, etc. I think it’s human nature to look at someone else’s fortunes and only be jealous because of the state of our misfortunes. Whether they earned it, inherited it, or even deserve it is not our concern. It’s not within our control. But how we react is. Can you celebrate their new house, or upgrade, or new shoes, or new job, or great haircut?  If you can’t celebrate theirs, what makes you think you are going to enjoy yours, when it comes? Practice appreciation by appreciating, and when you get gain, you will appreciate your own stuff more.

Probably everyone on my blog feels financially poor to some degree or another. This list is my attempt to share some ideas and tactics on how to minimize those feelings.  What are YOUR suggestions?

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Onboarding New JibberJobber User On Your Team

April 20th, 2016

There are a few organizations that have multiple people using JibberJobber as a CRM.  We weren’t designed to be multi-user, but if you are okay with a handful of people sharing one account in a company, then we’re a pretty okay solution.  Here’s a (modified) question from Jane Roqueplot, who’s career (resumes, coaching, assessments) company uses JibberJobber as their CRM:

We have a new assistant on staff. I want her to learn JibberJobber, but I don’t want her to learn with our existing records. I want her to self-study and watch your videos, etc. I’m thinking she could access a temporary JibberJobber account so she can learn it. What do you think?

Very smart to have her get familiar with JibberJobber without going into your live data. Here was my edited response to her, which might help you if you are in a multi-user environment:

I just brought on a new developer and the first thing I had her do was the most important: watch the orientation (90ish minutes), and then the getting started videos (120ish minutes).  She needed to watch the orientation to get an idea of what I was excited about, and watch both sets of videos to understand the breadth and depth of JibberJobber.

If I were to hire an admin, I would have them watch one or the other, and maybe both, and definitely let them know about both. For training, have her get her own account, which she then would have forever. Give her a list of tags to use [Note: Jane’s setup is optimized to get value out of tags].  She could enter kids, nephews, cousins, neighbors, etc. Going through that process, and maybe a few exercises you create that your team does (like getting certain reports), would do a lot to bring her up to speed.

In a nutshell:

  1. Watch training videos – these are broken down to 10 minutes (more or less) so you don’t have to carve out 2+ hours just to watch them all.
  2. Start up your own account.
  3. Put information in about people you know, including personal contacts…. and just play around.

The learning + doing model should help you get up to speed on using, and getting value out of, JibberJobber.

Good luck!

what where
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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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