Insider Information: Kristi Broom (Hiring Manager) #AWESOME

February 21st, 2017

I’ve watched this interview twice now, and will soon watch it again. It was chock-full of amazing insight and information. As you watch the interview you’ll be impressed at how strategic and purposeful Kristi is.

My experience with hiring managers was that they were ill-prepared, and seemed to have gotten a list of interview questions off of Google about 4 minutes before they walked into the room. This is NOT the case with Kristi Broom.  Kristi’s hiring and evaluations process is very methodical.

What can you learn from her?  How to manage your job search when you want to work for an awesome boss.  How to present yourself, and what matters.  The purpose of certain interview questions, and more.

If you want hope, direction, encouragement, and help understanding where to focus your job search, Kristi’s interview is a must watch.  I’ll warn you now: get paper and pencil ready, you’ll want to take lots of notes!

kristi_broom_insider_information_jibberjobber

New to the Insider Interview series?  This is part of the new JibberJobber video library, and includes interviews with hiring managers, recruiters, business owners, etc.  We want to learn how they hire, and what they think of you (the job seeker), during the hiring process.  This is new, so we only have three interviews up right now, but more are in the editing phase, and more are scheduled for interviews.  You can get access to the entire library for:

  • $9.95 for a month, or
  • $99 for a year, or
  • 50% off the full price: $60/year when you bundle one year premium with JibberJobber (which is also $60).

In addition to the Insider Information Interviews, where we interview people on the other side of the interviewing table, we have videos on using LinkedIn, informational interviews, social media, and more.  Ready to get access?  Go here, to the Video Library.

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The European Tour: Belgium, England, France, Italy, Spain

February 20th, 2017

The travel plans are 99% nailed down, and they look like this:

Europe_trip_2017_small

The last time I was in Europe I made some mistakes.  I flew in, went to my hotel and slept, spoke for eight hours the next day, went to dinner (a couple of hours away – not a good idea after speaking for a full day), then went back to my hotel, slept, and then went to the airport to fly home.  I got to see a little bit of Istanbul, but I really should have planned that better.

This time, I’m planning it better!  I’m taking a couple of my kids, arriving near the city I’m speaking almost a week early, and staying in Europe for a month.  Take that, jet lag!!

While there, I want to “do it all.”  I am creating lists of things to do in each country we’ll be in, and want to soak up the sights/sites, the food, the language, and the culture. I’ll spend about 5 days in each city I’ll be in, and hope that will give me enough time to experience a bit of that culture. I’m super excited.

From what I hear, there aren’t traditional job clubs or job ministries, but I will be contacting a few schools to see if I can speak to their business and MBA students. If you know of any places I could speak, and can make introductions, I’d appreciate it.

I’ve learned there is balance for trips like this.  I have to balance work with downtime. I typically have that very out-of-balance (like the time I was in Minneapolis and spoke 14 times in 3 days… or was it 13 times in 4 days?  Either way, it was really intense).  This time, though, I’ll have my kids, and I want to make sure that we make memories together.  So, I’ll guard my time carefully and not over do it.

This trip will be mid-May to mid-June.  Have any advice, tips, pointers, or contacts?  Would love to hear them and get intros!

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Going Through The Motions vs. Focusing On The Outcome

February 14th, 2017

In yesterday’s blog post about being lazy and sloppy, I wrote:

“Because sometimes, in your job search, you just go through the motions.  You don’t have your heart in it, and you make mistakes that seem to be no big deal.”

Ah, going through the motions.

You may relate to having a kid clean the bathroom mirror, only to check on it and seeing streaks all over the mirror. Or, sweep the kitchen floor, only to see dust and crumbs all over the floor.

When I (the parent) ask them (the kids) to do a job, I want the job done.  I want the mirror clean, and the floor clean.  Somehow, sometimes, what they understand is “spray the mirror and then wipe a paper towel over it a bunch of times,” or “walk around the kitchen and swing a broom back and forth.”

I’m asking for a result, they are focusing on the action.

In your job search, are you working for a result, or are you just going through the motions?

Be honest with yourself.  Many times, I was just going through the motions.

The problem with motions is that, just like the mirror or the floor, the results are not good. They aren’t even unacceptable. The work has to be redone. It was a waste of time (unless you learn from it).

Don’t do stuff in your job search that gets no results, and that you’ll just have to do over later.

Oh wait, some things can’t be done over (like, make a first impression, do great in a first interview, follow-up appropriately with a networking introduction, etc.).

Put your focus on the results, not the motions.

 

 

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Lazy and Sloppy Do Not Make a Good Job Search

February 13th, 2017

For the last six weeks I’ve used a walker to get around.  It’s much more of a pain than normal walking, but I like the walker a lot better than crutches.

Six weeks is a long time to have a walker. I have at least one more week of “no weight bearing,” which might mean I’ll be done with this walker for in a week or two.  That will be an amazing day.

Thursday night, last week, I goofed up. I was tired, and tired of the walker, and got a bit lazy.  Sloppy. The front of my walker bumped into four things, and the back of my walker snagged the bathroom mat and folded it up. Each of these could have resulted in me getting off-balance and falling.

That is not a fun prospect. I want to be done with this slow-down period of my life, not hurt myself more.

Why did this happen Thursday night?  Because I was sloppy.  I went through the motions, but was lazy enough to make mistakes… mistakes that could have had dire consequences.

Not as dire as breaking your wrist, or snapping the screws that a surgeon put in your ankle, I see consequences that are dire for job seekers.

Why?

Because sometimes, in your job search, you just go through the motions.  You don’t have your heart in it, and you make mistakes that seem to be no big deal.

Mistakes in your communication, as you talk about your previous boss (the jerk!).  Or how you don’t brand yourself the way you should, or how you spend too much time doing things you know you shouldn’t (like applying to jobs on job boards… it’s like the guilty pleasure for job seekers).

I’m not talking about doing everything wrong, I’m talking about not concentrating enough and making small mistakes.

Above, I wrote “mistakes that could have dire consequences.”

The size of your mistake isn’t always equal to the size of the consequence.

I know the job search is hard.  Monotonous (like using a walker).  Tedious. Boring.  Not what you excel at.

But I want you to think about the time you devote to your job search activities: don’t be lazy during that time!  If it’s only for the next 30 minutes, be at the top of your game for that 30 minutes!

When I get on stage to speak, my self talk includes “leave it all on the field!”  For a one hour presentation, I might have a full day of travel, then driving to the venue, then a full day of travel to get home (many times, after 11pm).  It’s a LOT of time put into the one hour. But if I’m not on my game when I’m on the stage, it’s all for naught. No amount of planning for the trip, hotel, plane, car rental, food, etc. is worth it if I get lazy and sloppy on stage.  It’s all about that one hour.

That’s the way it should be for you. Whether it’s that critical 2 line email that takes you a half hour to get just right, or the phone call that turns out to be 40 seconds long, make sure you are on your game, and leave it all on the field.  Now is not the time to be sloppy.

 

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New Insider Information Videos: What Cheryl Snapp Conner Thinks of Hiring and Job Search

February 10th, 2017

Cheryl Snapp Conner was the PR Director at Novell, and then went on to start her own very successful PR firm.  I met her years ago, when I was just starting JibberJobber, and have always admired what she has done in her business, as well as how involved she is in the community.

cheryl_snapp_conner_linkedin_profile

I spent almost 40 minutes with Cheryl talking about her experience building her team, and we talked about entrepreneurship (specifically, the idea of a professional choosing to stop a job search and start their own business, like she did), as well as blogging (as a job seeker), personal branding, and more.

This interview is part of the Insider Information videos… the second one released (the first was with Ash Buckles).

To get access to this, and future insider videos, simply go to the videos page (Tools, JibberJobber Videos) and click on the “more…” link in the yellow box.  This goes to the payment page, where you can get one month access for $9.95, or a monthly subscription, or get 20% off (you pay $99) if you purchase a year of access (If you get it now, the year will expire July 1 of 2018, just because we got more videos to put in… nice bonus, huh?).

Want 50% off? Upgrade to JibberJobber for a year (which is 50% off of full price) and one year of the Insider Information videos…  you’ll get 50% off of JibberJobber and all of the videos.  One year of JibberJobber and one year of Insider Information videos will save you $120.

Any questions? Email me: Jason at JibberJobber.com

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PSA: Don’t “hit on” people on LinkedIn #CareerAdvice

February 9th, 2017

On Facebook one of my female friends posted a short note about getting hit on from people on LinkedIn.

I’d like to reiterate what many of us (guys and gals) already know: DON’T DO IT.

That’s it.  Just don’t do it.

If you are married, especially don’t do it.  You might have marriage problems (which is none of our business), but all the other person knows is that you are a creep.

If you are longing for a relationship, be aware that when you approach someone on LinkedIn (which many people regard as a professional network, not a social or friends/family network), that they might be there for business, not for advances.

I have a lot of female friends who talk about this to their friends and family.  Many of them post about the creepiness factor on Facebook.  What that means is that your brand might be some version of “creep” to not just the person you made advances at, but to all of his/her friends and family.  That’s a yucky brand.

Look, I know I’m not the morality police, and I really can’t tell you when and where to put on your hot moves.  Maybe it works for you.  But if you are interested in career management, and your personal brand, let me encourage you to be very careful how you approach (or, hit on) anyone, anywhere.  You can’t be regarded as professional from 9 to 5, but then after that be the creepy guy (or gal).  That creepy brand will find it’s way into your day job.

For anyone who has been a victim of online creepy advances, on LinkedIn or elsewhere, what am I missing? How should other victims respond?

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Planned Surgery Without Obamacare

February 1st, 2017

If you’ve followed my blog, you know I broke my ankle on the 2nd of January. I thought it was sprained so I put off having it checked for two full weeks.  My bad.

I didn’t want to go to an urgent care only to spend a couple hundred bucks to tell me it was sprained, and to just R.I.C.E.  So I just did R.I.C.E. at home, for free.

But then, after two weeks, it was time. It wasn’t getting better at all.  The pain and symptoms were too much, so I may have conceded to defeat, shed a tear or two, and got packed into the van to go to an urgent care.

I’m not here to give you any medical advice, but I want to share things I’ve learned in this latest medical “crisis.”  I have found information very difficult to find, and I believe that no matter what your insurance is, it’s powerful to be informed.

One of my biggest fears/annoyances is paying for a doctor only to have them refer you to someone else.  And that’s exactly what happened. I went to the urgent care where they took xrays. The nurse who took care of me 80% of the time (the other 20% was a P.A.) said “do you want to see the xrays?”  Of course we (my wife was with me) did.  “See that?  That’s obviously a break.”  Ugh… it didn’t look very small :(  “Let’s go talk to the P.A.”

The P.A. basically said “you have to talk to an orthopedic doctor.  We have one in our network…”

That cost $119.

45 minutes later we were checking into another urgent care to meet with the ortho.  He basically said “You have to have surgery.  If it were 2 millimeters separated I like to avoid surgery, but you are almost 10 millimeters.”  I asked “how much do you think this will set me back?” He responded “I don’t know, but I’m guessing between $7,000 and $12,000.”  He gave us a few surgeon referrals to call.

My goodness.

Because we didn’t have the first urgent care put a splint on (because they said we would just have to do xrays at the next place, and I thought they’d just do it there), they charged us an extra $80 to make a splint.  That was a bad choice on our part.

That cost $119 for the ortho to get surgery and $80 to make a splint (that would have been included in the first urgent care trip).

I spent a couple of days calling surgeon offices… that was not fun at all.  But one office stood out, night and day, from the others.  The office staff sold me on using their surgeon, not because they were in sales mode, but because they were very nice (even after knowing I was self-pay, or “pay in cash, before the service”). Learn more about those phone calls, and what I learned for job seekers, here.

On that Tuesday I had made an appointment for the following Monday (which was the earliest they could get me in), and possibly surgery that afternoon, but then I got a call asking if I could come in on Thursday. I was elated to get in earlier.

With the 20% self-pay discount, that appointment cost $200.

The purpose of this post isn’t to be a surgery-log… I want to give you an idea of how I got to a surgeon I liked, and how much it cost.  So far we are up to about $520… just to get referred to the right person, and for him to say “okay, I’ll cut you.” Aside from a splint, so far there’s be no medical care (but hey, the xray and diagnostics is worth something).

$520.

In my experience, a surgery will generate at least three bills: the surgeon, the hospital (or surgery center), and the anesthesiologist.  What do you figure each of those cost?

Four years ago I had emergency gall bladder surgery.  I went into the emergency room at 2:30 am and had surgery a few hours later.  No shopping around.  I was pretty much doped up from 3am until I came out of my anesthetics, with some big nurse over me telling me to “BREATHE!!”

I wrote about the costs here… can you believe that the surgeon, after his 50% off cash pay discount, cost only about $800?  The guy in charge, the guy calling the shots, the guy doing the cutting and repairing… $800.  That seems awfully low to me, especially when the total cost of surgery and ER was over $20,000.  The surgeon’s got less than 5% of the total payments.

Well, here’s how ankle repair surgery came out, for me.  Mind you, this was a “pretty simple” surgery, with two screws and no plates.

Surgery center: $1,305 (after a 75% discount!!)

Surgeon’s office: about $1,400 (I can’t find the exact number, but it was after a 40% discount)

Anesthesiologist: $600 (apparently this was only a discount of $40. I’ve never gotten a good discount from the anesthesiologist)

90 days followup visits with the surgeon are included, although I’ll have to pay for xrays and extras. And I’ll have to have physical therapy, which I’m hoping isn’t more than $500.  Altogether, this misplaced kick-resulting-in-broken-ankle is costing a little less than $3,000.

Not fun, but definitely better than the guess of $7,000 to $12,000.

How might you get an expensive medical procedure for such a low (or “reasonable,” or “affordable”) cost?

  1. You shop around. Let them know you are self-pay and ask if they have a discount.  Don’t argue, just ask. You aren’t negotiating, you are simply gathering information.
  2. Don’t go to a hospital for a planned surgery (if you can help it).  Check out “surgery centers” in your area. This is a MUST READ regarding surgery centers.

Now here’s the interesting thing: After the first frustrating day of calling surgeons the doctor recommended, I called the surgery center and asked them who they work with, or recommend.  That was my short list for calling the second day.

I’m not saying that not having insurance is awesome.  Not at all.  But for those of you who can’t get insurance, you need to know that not all hope is lost.

Oh yeah, for those of you wanting to do the math… assuming I paid $1,000 a month in insurance, with a $10,000 deductible, I still would have had to pay for this entire surgery out of pocket.  Just saying.

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We’re Hosted On Amazon… Notice Anything Off?

January 30th, 2017

Hey, last night my team worked on transitioning JibberJobber from our physical server to the Amazon Cloud.  This was a huge transition, and with so many things that could have happened, we might have missed some things.

We spent hours before and after the transition testing, but if you find anything that isn’t working the way it should, please email myself (Jason@JibberJobber.com) and Liz (Lizbeth@JibberJobber.com) immediately so we can get right on it.

Thank you!

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Reminder: Scheduled downtime Sunday at midnight

January 27th, 2017

In case you didn’t see, JibberJobber will be offline for at least an hour, starting Sunday night at midnight EST.  More here.

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Sunday Night: JibberJobber Transitions to Amazon Servers

January 26th, 2017

Almost eleven years ago this year I got laid off… just a few months later JibberJobber launched. At first we hosted on GoDaddy’s servers, but the site was just too slow and kept going down.  It was a mess that only lasted a few days.  I then arranged to host JibberJobber with a friend, who was a brilliant server admin from my last company.  That worked fine until he had a change in his career and wasn’t doing hosting anymore.  That’s when we switched to another friend I met while networking… and we’ve been in their server farm for years.

Sunday night, though, we move to Amazon’s hosting services.  Why didn’t we do this eleven years ago?  Because I didn’t think Amazon was ready to host JibberJobber.  Too often there were articles about how Amazon’s cloud went down, and tens of thousands of websites went down with it.  I figured hosting in-house, with our own physical server, would give us more of the control that we needed.  We had already proven with GoDaddy’s package that JibberJobber was too complex for a general hosting solution.

Obviously Amazon has matured a lot in the last eleven years. Big, huge websites host there, and I haven’t read about downtime for years. That’s not to say I’m confident there won’t be problems, but I think the problems that Amazon might have are a better risk than the issues that we currently have. Not necessarily with the company we are hosting with now, but just with owning our own server, and managing all that goes along with that.

All this is to say that Sunday night JibberJobber will be down for about an hour (if all goes well), after which JibberJobber should look the same, but will be housed in a different place.  What does that mean for you?

It should mean better security. For the last couple of years we have been hammered by bad guys who have been trying to take JibberJobber down. Sometimes they have been successful, and it’s been super frustrating to deal with. Attacking in the middle of the night, or on a three day weekend, was especially not fun, as it made us be more vigilant and reactive all the time.  There’s a special place in h e double hockey sticks for the people who do this.  We implemented the automated security we could, but there are still ways to get around that. My understanding is that Amazon hosting services provides some extra security that will help this fight.

It should mean a faster JibberJobber experience. Or server isn’t too shabby, but Amazon has some options that allow us to ramp up the hardware when things seem slow. Combine that with some some technical changes we are making with how we have things organized, at the server level, and we hope to see much less latency in the user experience.

It will mean that our developers have more time for YOUR experience. Whether it’s improving a particular workflow (or process), or working on a particular slow or cumbersome experience, moving to this solution and bringing on a dedicated server admin will mean my development team doesn’t have to spend time on server stuff, and can focus on development.

More reliability, faster user experience, and better development… all are good things.  In the back of my mind I keep hoping that this is the right solution.  Time will tell.

More of the back story: this switch has been talked about for years… and the last few months have been nonstop work to make it happen.  The amount of work, and the level of detail, to move from one hosting environment to another is crazy.  Lot’s of moving parts, lots of planning and coordinating and testing, and really, many points of failure.  Here’s to a problem free transition!

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