Comment

Does your Parachute have HOLES?

November 15th, 2006

What Color is Your Parachute?  What color are your 3x5 cards?So I get a call recently from an employment counselor who says “TURN TO PAGE 74 OF WHAT COLOR IS YOUR PARACHUTE!” He was pretty excited as this is the page that tells you how to keep track of your network, or job search or something like that. I have not read the book although I should… but I did e-mail the folks behind the book who basically wrote back and said “we know everything – don’t talk to us about JibberJobber until you have read our book and can at least communicate intelligently about our wisdom.” Okaaaaaaay. That’s still on my list of things to do.

Apparently on page 74 of this year’s version it talks about using some paper-based system to organize. This is one of the most frustrating things that I faced when I was putting my job search together! A paper-based system?

I met with the director of career services at a local university this spring. As I walked through the halls and saw EVERY student with a laptop and wireless internet connection it became obvious that 3×5 cards or a spiral notebook just wasn’t going to cut it! Funny thing was, in our meeting, he said two things that really surprised me. First, he hadn’t thought about the organization part of a job search or networking (I think he was too focused on other important things, like figuring out how to provide yet another job board to the alumni and students). Second, he would recommend 4×6 cards because they are bigger. Draw your own conclusions. Oh yeah, he didn’t like the name JibberJobber because it was too playful. I asked him what he thought about names like Google, Yahoo, DogPile… the list goes on :)

Well, at least Notre Dame has it figured out a little better. On their career center website you can find two spreadsheets that they have developed just for you to keep track of your job search and your networking. The Job Tracking spreadsheet has 6 columns. Trust me, my spreadsheet (pre-JibberJobber) was way more sophisticated and I outgrew it once I had applied to 100 jobs! The Networking spreadsheet has 6 columns also but is organized very poorly. I think it would be ok to list all my network contacts but to actually use it would quickly turn into a mess. At least Excel is better than 3×5 cards! BTW, I’ve e-mailed them twice and got no reply. Anyone have a contact there?

Why is this? Why are the foremost leaders in this field not able to pick up on new technology? Why are they adverse to talking to companies like JibberJobber, or at least fairly assessing what is out there? That is one reason why TechCrunch is so popular – because they are out there poking around, checking out stuff that is pushing the envelope. Here are some fun replies that I got when I was doing some marketing of JibberJobber:

Princeton University: “We absolutely love this. Can my fiance use it? But we won’t tell our students about it because they don’t listen to us anyways.”

The State of New York Labor Dept: “We absolutely love this. Can my daughter use it? We can’t recommend it because you are a private company.” I found this to be a popular answer from government agencies… which is amazing.

Here’s the deal – I don’t necessarily want another job board that I have to check. But I will if I feel it will give me more job leads that won’t be on Monster or CareerBuilder or any of the other 40,000 job boards. In my job search I was regularly monitoring 7 job boards – and that doesn’t count all the company boards (like Franklin Covey, eBay, etc.).

I know that I’m supposed to floss, brush my hair and wear dark socks to an interview. But please don’t make me read a bunch of articles on this – I’ve already read a bunch.

I don’t want to see how cool your library is, with hundreds of books and articles. I’m not getting my PhD – I want to get my next job! What are the books, or parts of books, that you HIGHLY recommend? What do you think that I need to read?

Why is nobody helping me understand the true nature of a recruiter relationship, and how to work with recruiters? And any chance you can introduce me to your 3 favorite recruiters that can help me now and forever?

How come we aren’t talking about career management skills, rather job search skills? I need to have a paradigm shift to understand that I’ll be here every 3 – 5 years, but no one seems to be communicating this stuff to me.

Ok – just so you know, I’m not in a bad mood today :) :) I actually had a great call this morning with a regional outplacement company that I’m really impressed with, and I’ve had a great week. But I’m continually disappointed when I see professionals that aren’t offering current, relevant information to the job seeker.

Rants over – tomorrow I’ll be nicer :)

8 Comments »

8 responses to “Does your Parachute have HOLES?”

  1. Maybe acceptance will be higher if you rebrand jibberjobber under a stale, stuffy corporate brand like \”boringjobsearchtool.com\” That will impress academia-types :)

    You asked:

    Why is this? Why are the foremost leaders in this field not able to pick up on new technology? Why are they adverse to talking to companies like JibberJobber, or at least fairly assessing what is out there?

    My opinion is either:

    1. They are not the industry-experts they claim to be, and they are simply copying what works in their opinion and makes enough general sense to sell books
    2. They are not just OK with the status-quo, they are promoting it… e.g. the C.Y.A. approach to job-security: Actively Prevent innovation so that nobody can say you\’re not valuable anymore.
    3. They feel like (for whatever reason) you\’re just \”selling\” them something, and they\’re not perceiving value for themselves in opening up to you.
  2. Ooh. Here’s some other new brand names:

    – KindaLikeLinkedIn.com
    – Electronic4x6cards.com
    – NetworkingForProfessionals.com
    – Stuffy-and-corporate-stuff.com
    – BlahblahNetworkingStuff.com
    – LikeAnExcelSpreadsheetForJobHunting.com

    You like? :)

  3. Mike Murray says:

    It’s because the “foremost leaders in this field” aren’t writing for the average person getting a job – they’re usually people like Ferrazzi who have a network of high-powered people. That doesn’t usually lend itself to being cutting edge (though KF is quite cutting edge himself… just not many of the others).

    I think that the real cutting edge on a lot of this stuff is to be found in the blogs and podcasts like this one (and my own, I hope ;).

    I’m all for the ranting, but as I see it, I think it’s our solemn duty to take the world by storm and mix things up out in that stuffy old world.

  4. “Why is nobody helping me understand the true nature of a recruiter relationship, and how to work with recruiters? And any chance you can introduce me to your 3 favorite recruiters that can help me now and forever?”

    Hey Jason, I’m doing my best. Check out my series 10 Ways to Make Recruiters Love You.

    It is sad that you meet resistance to change and innovation but it’s a fact of life. 3 X 5 cards indeed. 😛

  5. Jason says:

    Rob – BoringBlahBlah.com is also available 😉

    Mike – let’s continue to mix things up! It really has been quite fun!

    Carl – yes indeed, you are contributing to this, as is Rob Merrill… I guess I’m ranting more about the government folks, university counselors, and some authors :) :) etc.

    And I won’t be so ignorant as to suggest that I’m alone in this crusade, which started for very personal reasons (perhaps because I was jobless and had nothing else to do?) – there are some excellent bloggers and champions of helping people understand and become more secure!

  6. Scot Herrick says:

    And this experience tells all of us why a lot of on-the-ground thought leadership — on a bunch of different topics, not just this one — is happening in blogs.

    Too many “experts” forgot about the people actually doing the work…

    Nice rant, Jason. Seriously.

    Scot

  7. Jason says:

    Thanks Scot – it really is amazing what is happening in the blogosphere. For those that don’t know Scot, he recently got accepted as an author for B5Media. Congrats Scot!!

  8. […] Last November I kind of went off-brand for a post where I felt very ranty. It was titled Does your parachute have HOLES and I kind of slammed a team member from Richard Nelson Bolles’ What Color Is Your Parachute team. […]