Comment

Organize Your Job Search: How to Log Networking Calls and Follow Up

January 22nd, 2021

I got this email question from a new user:

How do I log networking calls and follow up? Ideally, I want to have reminders set for follow up action items? I would like too jump start transitioning my paper notes as I am having multiple calls a day.

Thank you for this question! There is actually a lot to talk about here…

Organize Your Job Search With JibberJobber: Transition from Paper Job Organizing System

I want to start with this because it is critical. If you are starting to use JibberJobber (or any job search CRM or electronic job search tracking system) after you have already been using a paper-based system for days, weeks, or months, DO NOT TRY TO GET EVERYTHING YOU HAVE RECORDED INTO JIBBERJOBBER.

This could take a lot of time, and is generally a frustrating process. Of course, you have collected great information, so I’m not saying get rid of it, but I personally wouldn’t sit down and try to copy everything over to JibberJobber.

I would, however, start to move stuff over as it is relevant. Here’s how:

I would go through my old notes, looking for follow-up opportunities. Let’s say I contacted Joe and Sally two months ago and really should follow up with them. I would use the Email2Log feature, which I might argue will be your favorite feature moving forward, to (a) send them an email with my follow-up message, and (b) get them, and a new Log Entry, into JibberJobber.

This is easier than reading that last sentence. Simply put your special Email2Log address in the BCC field of the email you write to Joe or Sally, and we do all the work for you.

Here’s my big tip: In your follow-up email, include any information you want from your old notes, so that information becomes part of the Log Entry (meaning, you’ll transfer your old notes into JibberJobber). The more details you put in your email, the better. For example:

Sally, thanks again for the conversation we had a couple of months ago. I learned a lot, and have already reached out to Jim, John, and Tiffany, the three people you introduced me to. I’ve had great conversations with them and have found them to be valuable additions to my network.

When we talked you mentioned you were seeing some pretty significant changes to the industry. You mentioned how that might impact Competitor One and Competitor Two, and I’ve seen your predictions play out. That has become significant to me because it has opened up some new opportunities, which I’ve been investigating.

I’d love to have a follow-up conversation, and share what I’ve learned. Can we schedule a call early next week?

In this example you’ll see a lot of details that might have been in my notes from a couple of months ago… and now they’ll be in JibberJobber!

Just by sending an email this way, with Email2Log, you’ll be creating:

  1. A new contact record with first and last name
  2. The right email address under that contact record, important for future use of Email2Log
  3. A Log Entry with relevant information

Pretty soon you’ll find you have all of the important and relevant notes and contacts from your paper system into JibberJobber. As a bonus, you are getting one more touchpoint in with each person… something you should be doing anyway.

For more, check out this blog post I wrote a few years ago: JibberJobber Competition: JibberJobber vs. the Excel Spreadsheet.

How to Log Network Calls in Your Job Search

Okay, back to your first question. I wish we could log calls based on your actual call, tapping into your phone system, etc. But that is just too hairy. We are not a multi-billion dollar organization… so we don’t even have that on our roadmap.

However, the way to do this is as important and easy as what I described earlier: Use Email2Log after every call. Same as before, this ensures you get another touchpoint (follow-up is critical!!) and easily get the right information into JibberJobber.

And, same as before, make sure you write a detailed email including the main points of your conversation. Instead of, “Hey Jason, thanks for your time today! It was awesome!”, I recommend you write something like this:

Jason, thanks for your time today. I feel like we covered a lot of ideas, some of which I’m including in this email. I have more notes than this but wanted to include the highlights.

[put your notes here… maybe bullet points… something that will make sense to you in a year or so when you revisit them]

Also, I’ll make sure to follow-up on the introductions you’ll make to Jose and Pam. And, I already ordered the book you recommended (Shoe Dog, the Phil Knight memoir) and am excited to dig into it!

Thanks again, I’ll be in touch!

In a month or two, when I am set to follow up, I’ll be able to read this Log Entry and see what we talked about, who I was supposed to follow up with, and the book I need to talk about. Much better than “hey, thanks!”, right?

I know this adds a step to each call but IT IS WORTH IT. As you network more, and have more activity in your job search, you will be forever grateful for taking this extra step, and adding detail, to your notes. And, that immediate follow up with that level of detail. But that’s not the only follow up with this person, right? Afterall, we are looking to build our professional network, and these calls shouldn’t be a one-and-done thing. That brings us to the next question…

How to Create Follow Ups in the Job Search

Well, now we are getting to the fun stuff. What I’ve talked about above is the basics of Email2Log. The advanced stuff isn’t hard, but it is very, very cool.

I’m not going to share everything you *could* do, but I’ll tell you how to do this one thing (create a follow up (aka Action Item, aka Reminder)) with your Email2Log. To learn more, watch this short video (Getting Started: Email2Log: Special/Reserved Lines (4.3))

Simple put this line anywhere in the email (I recommend below your signature, and change the font to white if you want it hidden (although if the recipient prints your email, it will likely show on a printout):

startdate:1 week

What you put after startdate: could be absolute (like, a specific date) or relative (like, +1 week, +3 months, etc.).

What happens when you do this? Well, this is just Email2Log with one enhancement… so:

  1. You will create a new contact (unless the contact is already in, in which case it will match the email, and not create a duplicate)
  2. You will create a new Log Entry (like the examples above)
  3. You will create an Action Item date on that Log Entry. This will show up on your JibberJobber calendar, and on the Reminders list.

Easy… super easy. Once you get used to adding that you’ll love it.

And that’s about it. I don’t want to write a novel here, and sorry for how long it already is. But that’s how you move forward from where you are at.

 

 

Leave a Comment »

Comment

When the Job Search Is Like a Puzzle

January 21st, 2021

About a month ago my wife and our youngest kid decided we were a puzzle family. So they bought three puzzles, cleared off the dining room table, and started the first puzzle.

It went well. As it should have. We are (relatively) smart, and we had time. It was fun to spend time on a project as a family. The puzzle finished pretty quickly and I was left wondering “what is this huge hype around the world about doing puzzles? It’s too easy!”

Then, we started the second puzzle. It was way harder. Significantly harder. That’s okay though… we were puzzle rookies, and maybe we just happened to buy the hardest puzzle on the market. Somehow, with persistence, we muscled through it and finished the puzzle. Because, you know, we were smart.

Harry Potter Puzzle Job Search

So then… the third puzzle. We dumped it out on the table, flipped all the pieces right-side-up, and started finding all of the corners and edges. Immediately we realized that about 90% of the pieces all had the same coloring (black or almost black). This Harry Potter puzzle is (we still aren’t done) freaking hard. The pieces are way more varied than the other puzzles we have done. The colors are not helpful. And the way the pieces fit together are different than the other puzzles. We have definitely stepped into a new level of puzzling here. And we have, many times, questioned whether we are indeed a puzzle family or not.

Of course, me being me, I’ve thought about the parallels between our puzzling experiences and the job search. Here’s what I’ve come up with:

The System that Worked Before Won’t Work Every Time

The way I did the first puzzle was WAY different than how I am approaching this puzzle. The first puzzle had so much variety in coloring and patterns of the image that I only looked at the picture. And it worked just fine. But with this puzzle there are probably 50 or 100 pieces that are just plain black. No color patterns or differentiation.

When I started my Big Failed Job Search in 2006 I had to learn completely new tactics than what I thought I would be doing. Gone were the days of buying a newspaper and sitting at the kitchen table circling job ads in the wanted section. No, no, no.

When you start your job search today you’ll learn there are new ways to do things, and that some of the old ways just won’t work anymore.

Learn Job Search Tactics From Others

While working on the last puzzle our neighbor kids were over… a seven and a ten year old girl. I was sitting at the bench and they were on either side of me, standing. They kept saying “oh! I found a swoosh!” with glee. It was exciting for them. I kept looking at the picture of what I was creating and wondering “where in the heck is the swoosh??” After about the tenth time of their excitement I asked: “What is a swoosh?” Like it’s some little girl secret that I wasn’t privy to.

I was honestly shocked when they showed me the swoosh was a certain shape on some puzzle pieces. I realized they didn’t care about the colors of the pieces, or the pattern we were looking for… they ignored both of those. They were looking at the shapes of individual pieces. These girls could have put the puzzle together upside-down because they were looking at how pieces fit together!

And, while I was staring at what was in front of me, making no progress, these girls had put in like 10 pieces. This was the perfect example of learning from others, no matter who they were. In fact, learning from these children opened my eyes in new ways. I invite you to learn from others in your job search. Learn from people outside of your industry. Learn from insiders, old-timers, and as they say in India, “freshers.”

Just learn. Be open to new ideas, methods, approaches, etc. This, by the way, is a life skill that applies to just about everything we do… not just a current job search.

Progress Is Progress

Sometimes we’ll go to bed having put in like 3 or four pieces. Or, none at all (as is the case with this Harry Potter puzzle). I’ve learned that even finding ONE piece can be a major victory. And, over time, with the help of others, one piece leads to two, which leads to three, which leads to a whole section done, and the next thing you know you are putting in that last piece.

In the job search it is easy to feel like we are not making progress at all. We go to bed and think “well, I’ve sent ten emails and left three voice mails and haven’t heard back from anyone.” Dejection. Depression. I know it well.

But, ten emails and three voice mails today, and then again tomorrow, and then again the next day, add up. Eventually you’ll talk to someone. And then you’ll get closer to, as I say, “having the right conversation with the right people.” That is, eventually talking to a hiring manager about an opportunity you are hot on. Which, by the way, what my six week job search program is all about.

I know slow progress is frustrating. Not seeing forward movement is discouraging. Just realize that everything you are doing is moving you closer to your job. I know it doesn’t seem like you’ll ever get there, but you will.

Blaming Everything Becomes the Distraction

When we started one of our recent puzzles we were absolutely sure there were pieces missing. There were about 7 edge pieces missing… and we just couldn’t find them. So we counted puzzle pieces. Have you ever done that? It’s like counting goldfish in a bag (side note: I’ve done this plenty of times, since one of the snakes I owned only ate goldfish… counting goldfish is HARD. Harder than counting chickens :p).

We counted 504 pieces. Oops. Let’s try that again. 507 pieces. Um… we were supposed to get around 493 pieces, but we aren’t just short, we are over. Turns out, we are puzzle-counting-failures. After doing this a few times we just gave up counting. My wife looked up how to report missing pieces, and we finally just realized we should get as far as we could and then figure out what was missing. That seemed to take the romance (or, sense of accomplishment) out of the whole process… but what could we do. Probably never buy from that company again.

Frustration led to blaming the system and vendor and product.

Turns out, we had exactly 500 pieces, and they were all the right pieces. We just put one piece in the wrong place, which caused a chain reaction of bad placements. Once we figured that out we moved groups of edge pieces around and finally got it right. A few days later we had a completed puzzle. All of the time we spent trying to figure out what was broken, and taking the puzzle company’s name in vain, was time misspent. Wasted.

In the job search there are plenty of people to blame. Our last boss for letting us go. The executives for having made bad business decisions. The economy, the government, our “friends” who aren’t helping us get a job at their company, the resume writer we paid, LinkedIn for being dumb, etc. etc. etc. One of the worst targets to blame is OURSELF… for whatever. This leads to self-doubt and all kinds of destructive thinking that isn’t helpful to job seekers.

Blame takes time, and it is generally destructive. Don’t get me wrong: honesty, self-evaluation, and looking at reality are all good and healthy. But don’t make this central to what you need to work on. You need to get a job. You need to figure out what the right tactics are. You need to focus on working those right tactics. Focusing on blame, and letting that consume you, will waste time and make you angry at parties that really don’t deserve your time and energy.

Compartmentalize this for later… for now, focus on the task at hand.

Puzzles, Like the Job Search, Can Be Fun and Rewarding

After all of the frustration of working through a puzzle, putting that last piece in is so rewarding! The sense of accomplishment! The feelings of pushing through the impossible, making slow progress, and finding your groove! The rewards of finishing this trivial little project are hard to explain to people who weren’t involved. But the feelings are real.

This is going to sound weird to some of you, especially introverts, but I’m here to tell you: the job search, with a heavy networking focus, can be really fun! I hated networking until I realized that networking can easily mean deep one-on-one conversations, not going to a conference room with 500 people and being super superficial. I love learning about people, and their lives and history and what drives them and what they are looking for. I love helping people, once I understand how I can help.

The job search can be so lonely. I felt like I was the only one going through the struggle… all of my friends were gainfully employed. I was the ugly duckling. But finding my groove, working through things, and having mini-victories regularly was rewarding. Finishing my job search was rewarding. Small wins were sometimes my lifeline. And the final reward was ending the job search. Enjoy the journey… appreciate your growth and success. This is another life skill.

Vision Is Everything

Everyone who does a puzzle knows how important it is to keep the picture of what you are building in front of you. Usually this is the box the puzzle came in… which is always right next to your puzzle pieces. One of our puzzles had a big “poster” that we could reference. This picture helped us know where a puzzle piece might go. It also helped us keep the end goal in mind.

In the same way, you NEED to have a vision of what you want out of your job search. I recommend visualization tactics: what kind of company do you want to work for? What kind of boss, colleagues, projects, products, customers, schedule, commute, salary, benefits, etc.?

To get through the discouraging tedium of the job search, where you feel like you are making no progress day after day, hanging on to your vision of a brighter tomorrow, and a real reason for doing what you are doing, might be the only thing compelling you to send one more email, or make one more call. Experts and motivational speakers today talk about finding your WHY. Why are you doing things? What is it you are trying to get to, or create? You have to know your why, which will drive everything else you do.

Have a vision, believe in it, and work towards it. Your next job might not fulfill your vision, but could put you on the right path to getting there.

Puzzles and the Job Search

And so there you go. My kids have no idea that while I’m looking for that next black piece I’m really thinking about you, and your job search. My Big Failed Job Search was 15 years ago, but it has left an impression that won’t go away. It was life-changing. Yours might be, too. If nothing else, I hope you come out of this more empathetic towards others struggling in their careers, and with a resolve to be more helpful.

 

Leave a Comment »

Comment

Blogs for Branding: Length of a Post

January 18th, 2021

Blog posts can be as short as you want, and still be effective. Like this one.

Leave a Comment »

Comment

Becoming a Leader: Free Webinar

January 7th, 2021

Next week, on Thursday (1/14/2020) I will be part of a conversation Pluralsight is hosting along with Kevin Miller and Heather MacDonald.

Pluralsight From Individual Contributor to Technical Leader

Leave a Comment »

Comment

“I’ve been laid off 26 times!”

January 6th, 2021

Years ago, at the beginning of my JibberJobber journey, I was in Houston presenting at a few job clubs. I was invited to an outplacement networking group… which was a far cry from the churches I normally presented in.

This outplacement office was swanky. Seriously swanky. It was in a super nice building, on a top floor so it felt like an executive office. No expense was spared. It’s what they call a Class A facility, which means really expensive.

So I get there early and got to chat with a few of the job seekers. One guy said, with a weird mix of pride and conflicting feelings, “I’ve been laid off 26 times! What do you think I should do?”

JibberJobber Job Search Attitudes

“Write a book!” I told him. He was thinking how bad it was to be laid off 26 times… maybe he chose the wrong companies to go to, maybe economy happened, maybe Enron happened… but 26 times has to take a hit at your moral. When I said write a book I was looking at it from the other side: he had found a job 26 times! He was an expert in finding and landing jobs!

I often wondered what he would write in his book (which I’m sure he never wrote). Job search ideas, tactics, strategies, and attitudes that only someone like him, who lived through the emotional rollercoaster 26 times, could write.

This morning I was chatting with a friend and colleague about a pending job offer that was at a small, funded startup. She was concerned that working at a startup was risky… riskier than working at, say, a Fortune 500 company.

My advice came down to this: you have to understand your own risk tolerance. Then, figure out if the risk is worth it. Startups don’t inherently mean you’ll get laid off any more than Fortune 500 means you’ll have job security. I’d say the job security risk is about the same.

As we were chatting I remembered the 26 layoffs guy. I thought that perhaps the most important takeaway he could leave us is to be mentally prepared to always be looking for a job. Not necessarily applying, but you should always be networking. Always reinforcing and strengthening your personal brand. And eventually, when the time is right, get your multiple income streams up and running.

Really. I think more important that job search strategies (which will change with time) is the attitude that we have. Looking for job security? That’s probably the wrong thing to look for. Instead, figure out what you can do to be more hirable. How can you tap into the “hidden job market?” How can you have a presence in the right communities, EVEN IF you are an introvert? What skills can you work on to make yourself a more appealing hire?

Attitude over tactics. I’ve never thought about it that way before, but if you have the wrong attitude then tactics won’t matter that much… because you’ll just be back to “searching” sooner than you want.

Leave a Comment »

Comment

2021 Annual Theme: Accountability

January 1st, 2021

In 2006, during my Failed Job Search, I was at a job club networking meeting and they were talking about accountability. What I learned in that conversation went with me to my presentations around the world.

The facilitator said we MUST have someone to be accountable to. At the time, I was accountable to myself. TL;DR: It didn’t work. I needed to be accountable to someone else.

They made a strong plea to not have our accountability partner not be our spouse or significant other. That person is usually very emotionally invested in the outcomes, and will not be the same kind of accountability partner as someone who isn’t emotionally invested. I can’t emphasize the importance of this enough.

A few days ago I saw this tweet from my friend Caitlyn, and after pondering this year’s theme, I knew it should be accountability:

Accountability group.

Similar to a mastermind group.

Folks, this isn’t hokey stuff that weirdos do. These are strategic tactics that people who want to improve, change, and accomplish implement.

Finding someone you can report to is a strategic tactic.

I currently have people who for I’m an accountability partner. They report to me their status/progress, and sometimes if I don’t hear from them I ask for a status (although, generally, the person reporting should initiate the conversation instead of the accountability partner having to chase them).

Successful leaders have coaches, who many times are accountability partners.

This is a success principle. It is not a sign of weakness. It is not a sign of being incompetent. It is a sign of humility paired with the desire to improve.

We can all use the fruits of being accountable.

2021 seems like a great time to start.

If you don’t want to ask someone to be your accountability partner then GET A JOURNAL. And be accountable, in writing, to your journal. Don’t overthink this… here’s an example of what I did last year:

Considering my job is mostly sitting at my computer, I knew I needed to get more physical. So, in order to be more accountable, I send a text to someone every time I finish a ride on the exercise bike. I try to ride an hour and usually get somewhere around 20 miles in. I don’t think that is amazing, but for me it’s more important to be CONSISTENT. 20 miles, many times over the year, adds up.

So I send a text. I don’t care if I get a response. I don’t need an attaboy. But I send the text with the miles I do… like: 20.53. That’s it. BONUS: Since it is in my text history, I can look back and see how often I rode, and how my numbers were. I can see that coming off of a health issue I had to build up from 18 and 19 miles… and for a while there I was over 22 miles (that was a hustle for me!).

I am accountable to someone else, and I have a record for myself.

We are looking for the fruits, some of which come from being consistent with the process.

Whether you get a group, like Caitlyn did, or one person, or just your journal or a spreadsheet, become accountable.

Measure. Report. And then make decisions from there.

Here’s to an excellent 2021!

Leave a Comment »

Comment

Job Search Pain and Paper Cuts

December 10th, 2020

This morning I was feeling my index finger where I had a paper cut.

Ah… the infamous paper cut. We’ve all had them. I think my worst might have been a cardboard cut. Yuck.

Anyway, I was rubbing my index finger… you know when you get a paper cut that has healed over, but there’s still a flap of skin there?

Only, this morning, it wasn’t there. In fact, I haven’t had a paper cut for… maybe years. I was feeling for something that had hurt quite a bit (okay, I’m a wimp)… but it has since completely healed over. No pain, not even any indication that there had been harm.

And while I was realizing I was trying to feel for something that has long passed, I thought about YOU. I thought about the immense pain of a job search. The massive inconvenience. The embarrassment, and the humility required to do some of the things a job seeker has to do.

I would guess most people are out of their comfort zone when they are in a job search. Networking for fun, when you have a job, is one thing. Networking out of complete desperation and fear is quite another. Actually, almost everything you do out of desperation and fear is not fun.

Pain. Damage. Hurt.

I know my paper cut is a pretty weak example of pain. But even my emergency gall bladder surgery, or my broken ankle (which probably caused  the most pain I’ve ever been in)… all of those things sucked. And here I am, without pain in my gut, with a functioning ankle that doesn’t hurt nearly as much as it did before… healed. The pain has passed and I’m relatively whole.

I am here to tell you, from the other side of job loss, that your pain will one day be gone. The humiliation, the fear, it will be gone. It will not only be a memory, it will be a faint memory. And while you fret about it every minute of every day, in the future you’ll go days where you don’t even think about it.

You will be whole and healed.

You might not be able to see it from where you are sitting now, but trust me, it will happen.

Let me know how I can help.

Leave a Comment »

Comment

Anatomy of My LinkedIn Profile Header

December 9th, 2020

I’m diving into my Pluralsight Personal Branding course to redo it for early next year and thought it would be a good time to look at my LinkedIn profile. I like my header, and figured it is a good time to share what I like about it. As I go through this, think about what your header looks like. One of my main messages is to do your branding intentionally.

So here we go, with some elements of my intentional branding on my LinkedIn profile header.

Jason Alba LinkedIn Profile Header Anatomy

#1: The “Background photo”

Many profiles I see have the default background, which is FINE. Don’t stress about this. Some really cool background photos are extremely branded, with key words that communicate the brand. Those are custom-designed images (maybe you can make your own with a simple/free app like canva).

For a long, long time mine was just the default. When I talked a lot about multiple income streams, though, I finally realized I could (should?) put a background image that reinforced my interest in multiple streams.

I didn’t find an image I liked with MULTIPLE streams, but this was good. Plus, it reminds me of a really cool place I went to in Wyoming. It’s just peaceful. I doubt many people will get the subtle connection to multiple revenue streams but that’s okay with me. It looks nicer than the default image and it sparks joy.

Two sites to look for free images that might work for you (and your brand) are pexels and unsplash. Be careful you don’t do something crazy busy or weird. The point is to have something onbrand, not have people scratch their heads and wonder what the image has to do with your brand.

#2 YOUR picture (avatar)

This is really, really important. I talk about this in my course, and my LinkedIn profile course. Without going into detail, or the “why” of any of these, please make sure your image: is a closeup of your headshot; has a clean or uncluttered background; is approachable (SMILE!); doesn’t have weird or yucky or contrasting colors.

Bonus: Use the same image here as you do on other social sites. The consistency will ensure people know they are in the right place, as they go from profile to profile.

#3 Your name Part I

I encourage you to put the name people call you here, not your entire legal name. If your name has like 5 syllables but people call you “Tom” then put Tom! This should be consistent in all of your online marketing assets so people don’t have to wonder if they are looking at profiles for the same person.

#4 Your name Part II

In my “last name” I put: “, Product Manager”. This was very strategic because the name field is apparently higher weighted with searches, and at one time I wanted to show up higher in product manager searches. (I just gave you a really important tip to show up higher in search results)

# Your headline

I talk a lot about this in the LinkedIn course, and why and how to change this. This is a super important little snippet to update. By default, if you don’t update it, it will just pull in your title and company, like “Dishwasher at Big Company”.

I want you to be more strategic in what you communicate than your title and company. Mine looks like title(s) at company, but that is because I wanted to brand myself as a CEO and a product manager, while also increasing brand awareness of JibberJobber.

I might call this section the tagline, and LinkedIn used to call it the professional headline. I like “tagline” because you can (AND SHOULD) use whatever you come up with here anywhere else you use a tagline (even verbally).

#6 Your location

For many years I put something like “global” or “online”.  One day, though, I realized that it just didn’t matter anymore. I was trying to convey that JibberJobber was global, but then I realized people just wanted to know where in the world I was (not my services). So, put where you are.

IF you are mobile, open to moving to other locations, and are concerned hiring managers recruiters won’t want to relocate you, communicate that elsewhere (perhaps in your Summary). Something like:

I’m open to opportunities in Seattle and Miami,” or “I work with clients in Boston and Austin.” Either of those help me pull you out of just one geographic location and help me know you have interest or business in other locations.

So that’s it… a quick look at WHY I have my header the way I do. It’s all on purpose, just as yours should be. Check out the links I put in here for more information, especially the LinkedIn course.

 

Leave a Comment »

Comment

Of Shovels and Holes and Jobs

December 7th, 2020

You probably know I’m a fan of Dave Ramsey. Last month I wrote this tweet:

Dave is very principle-based, and his advice is meant for each of us, no matter where we are at. I love how instead of saying to start with six months of emergency fund he says to build up to just a month. One month is much more doable than six months, right? If you made $60k a year, you’d have to have $30k for a six month emergency fund (kind of… you could reduce that amount by what you pay in taxes, probably). Who can fathom building $30k into an emergency fund? I can stomach the idea of building $5k, but $30k just seems impossible.

And so he says to start with the one month, then build to three months, then build another three months. And then you are in a good place!

In my tweet I talk about the other part of emergencies… the part that hopefully gets you back into an income stream before your emergency fund runs out. When I ask how employable you are, I’m talking about things like:

  • What skills do you have, or can you learn? Pretty important to convince someone you can actually do the job, right?
  • Who do you know? Or, as they say, it’s not who you know, but WHO KNOW’S YOU! If this sounds like networking, it is.
  • What do people know about you? Or, in jargon: What is your personal brand?

My final thought on the tweet is to BUILD your employability… or any of those three things. Please, please become more employable. I don’t want you to spend months, even years, figuring out how to replace lost income. I want you to enjoy your career, which isn’t done when you are fretting to figure out how to provide for the basics (like a roof over your head).

JibberJobber Ramsey Shovel Hole

One of the analogies Dave uses that I love is that of the hole and the shovel. For example, he’ll have someone call in who is $100,000 in debt but only makes $20,000 a year. They have a very big hole (their debt) and a very small shovel (their income). Contrast that to someone who calls in and has $500,000 in debt (“WOW!!”)… but has $400,000 of income. They have a very big hole, but a massive shovel.

For most people, your shovel is your job. But when you create multiple income streams, or your partner has a job, you grow your shovel from just your job income to all the income. Creating a bigger shovel with more than one income stream is an immensely powerful concept. Businesses do it all the time. Remember the old, original Amazon, which sold books? They have since diversified into streaming video and hosting websites and a slew of other things. When we diversify our income we create opportunities to grow our shovel. The diversification can also create a buffer to protect us from unforeseen threats, such as a job loss or a pandemic.

Of course, filling in the hole, reducing expansion of the hole, or stopping more holes, is also critical. Can you imagine only needing a little bit of money to pay immediate bills, without worrying about loans and mortgages and other typical debt? I hear being completely debt free is so liberating. Even if you lose your job you won’t have your debtors breathing down your neck for past due payments.

In summary:

  • Build your emergency funds.
  • Build up your shovel.
  • Reduce the hole you have to fill.

These are three core elements to having financial peace, which can lead to financial freedom, setting you up for financial wealth.

P.S. Here’s an example of Dave talking about the shovel/hole (at minute 3:20):

Leave a Comment »

Comment

Weekly Summary of To Dos and Already Completed

December 2nd, 2020

I got a question yesterday from Cecilia, asking:

“Is there a feature or method to create a weekly to-do. and ‘have done’ list?”

There are two ways to see something like that. Hands down, my favorite is on the homepage, right when you login. What you see on the screen are called “widgets,” which are like “tiles.” Note that these widgets can be repositioned by dragging them.

You should see a widget called Reminders, which will show you all of your action items you’ve set up, right on your homepage. I have this widget at the very top because I want to see what I have coming up this week more than anything else:

JibberJobber Reminders homepage

The other widget you want is the Log Entries widget. This shows all of the things you have done (or, logged). It’s a nice way to see how busy you were. More importantly, it’s an important widget to regularly review to see if you should follow up with anyone. Make a habit of looking at this maybe at the beginning and end of each week to see of there are follow-up opportunities that you didn’t explicitly make into action items.

JibberJobber Log Entries Widget Homepage

Another place that you might find interesting, because it’s not bound by the week, is the Reminder’s Dashboard. You can get there by clicking on the Reminders main menu link. This shows all open action items you have in the system… pretty convenient to look through, unless it is overwhelming. In which case I applaud you for making good use of the reminders system (aka, action items), but give you full permission to IGNORE this report. I don’t want you to be overwhelmed to the point of not doing what you need to do. Here’s the top of that page:

JibberJobber Reminders Dashboard

Hope that helps!

 

Leave a Comment »

« Previous Entries