It’s A Wrap! See You Next Year!

December 31st, 2007

I have dozens of ideas on how to wrap up this blog for 2007, but I just couldn’t figure out which one was the best.

Joe Miller is JDWiredSo, I’ll save some for next year, and I’ll end the year sharing one of the best posts I’ve seen recently. Joe Miller is a contract attorney in D.C. and a very sharp guy. A couple of days ago he had a brilliant post: How to Make 2008 Your Best Year Ever: 22 Tips for Keeping Your Edge While Doing Contract Work.

Check it out – whether you do contract work or not, this applies to you, and makes my “favorite posts of 2007” list!

Thanks for making 2007 an excellent year! Please be safe, and I hope to see you next year!

Comments Off on It’s A Wrap! See You Next Year!


Winner of the Month – Andy Shaindlin – You Get It!

December 28th, 2007

Personal branding award goes to Andy Shaindlin at Alumni Futures!Let’s wrap the year up with an excellent example of a professional who is a Subject Matter Expert (SME) and Thought Leader in his space.

Andy Shaindlin, Alumni FuturesAndy Shaindlin is the Executive Director of the Caltech Alumni Association at the California Institute of Technology, a role he’s had since 1999. He has been at Brown University, and the University of Michigan, and has been very active in the alumni space. Is he the smartest, most active alumni professional out there? Probably not (I only say that because there are a lot of very smart, very active alumni professionals). But his blog, Alumni Futures, sure makes him look like he is one of the smartest, most active.

Andy’s blog helps shape him as the SME. He’s clearly a thought leader.

It reminds me of something I heard Phil Windley say last year in a presentation about blogging (major paraphrase here):

I’m the same person as I was a few years ago, before I started blogging. Only now, I get paid to speak at events, present, keynote. I have the same ideas and opinions, but now I’m perceived as a SME.

See, that’s the thing. You may be a SME, but are you perceived as an SME in your industry? Check out Andy’s blog as an excellent example of how to develop that perception, that brand, even the personal brand! My comments about his blog:

Relevant Information – Andy is definitely not a “cheerios for breakfast” blogger – he brings relevant information to the alumni director’s attention. Alumni directors are extremely overworked (I used to sell software to them and was always amazed at how many hats they have to wear), so the last thing they have time to do is read a bunch of blogs. Andy keeps it short and relevant.

Job Postings – I almost put it with relevant information but decided to break it out – when he learns of a job posting he puts it on his blog. Why is this important? Because some (most?) alumni directors are on a contract, usually pretty short, and knowing who’s hiring is always a topic of interest.

Guest blogger(s) – okay, he’s only had one guest blogger, but it was an excellent post, and the fact that the guest was from Princeton adds credibility to the blog. I’d like to see more guest bloggers on Andy’s blog in the future, I think it adds great perspective and each blogger is like a vote of confidence in the overall blog.

The layout – it’s simple and nice… nothing special but it’s clean and not distracting from THE MESSAGE

Links out – Andy is the master of linking out (I recommend linking to more BLOGS and BLOG POSTS), which is great for page rank, but more important, it adds more value to readers

Additional information – Andy hit the mark with his Additional Information section, including information about himself (and his CV (resume)), consulting services, recent presentations (shows he is a thought leader in other places, aside from his blog), and upcoming presentations (means he’s still an active thought leader)

Other useful sites – bloggers can’t horde, they have to share. And we share information. Don’t like what I write? Here are alternatives! Andy does a great job putting important resources together (he doesn’t share hundreds, which is overwhelming, he shares his favorites)

Bottom line? This blog is doable … you can do it, you should do it, and Andy’s blog is the perfect model, and I know you can mimic some of this stuff!

Andy Shaindlin, congratulations! You join a special group of professionals and have earned a coveted link from my monthly winner’s blogroll area (on the left), six months of premium JibberJobber (you can transfer/award this to someone else :) ), and a cyber-high five! Feel free to post the You Get It award on your site!

Here are the past winners:



Company Year-end Letter (or, Here’s Your Pink Slip)

December 27th, 2007

Don't let the grinch steal your Christmas(updated 12/28/2007 – I couldn’t resist the P.S. in the letter :))

This time of year always baffles me – we have record-breaking signups starting around Christmas going through February. I wonder if it’s because people take time to think about their careers, how last year went (the promotion or raise they didn’t get), how they want next year to be, etc.

I know part of it is because companies are readjusting. Downsizing, rightsizing, all that stuff. I tend to think it comes down to poor management and leadership, overambitious hiring, missed sales targets, or excitement about cost savings by offshoring.

In the last three weeks I learned of five people who’s jobs have pretty much went away. Two were professionals at WAMU, two were professionals somewhere else, and on Christmas I learned my uncle finally got the Kodak ax. Over the years he has watched thousands of coworkers get laid off, and now it finally hit him. These are just my personal contacts, I know there are thousands and thousands of professionals who got their own special pink slip this season. Humbug.

In light of that, I figured I’d issue you your own pink slip! Since I don’t have HR behind me to take all the personal caring out of it (er, I mean, to make sure we don’t say anything you could sue us over), I’ll do it in my own Jason Alba style. Rip open the envelope to find the following letter, just for you!

Dear Employee # 3352899238,

What a terrific year we’ve had at Acme Widget Company! The team has really pulled together and we expect it to be the best year yet! Here are some of our accomplishments:

  • We successfully installed our new accounting system – thanks to IT, Finance and Accounting, who worked extra overtime for six months to make this a seamless transition! You will each receive an extra turkey with your customary Christmas ham.
  • We finally updated our Policy and Procedure manual – this significant overhaul brings us up to date and current with industry standards, and compliant with federal regulations. Not the most exciting accomplishment of the year, but we recognize the thousands of hours that went into this project, and we wish to express a hearty thank-you to all of our administrative team who greatly contributed (sorry, no extra turkey for you since this did not have an impact on our profit).
  • We closed deals with four new customers, which guarantees 2008 revenue and profit growth to exceed 60% of our targets – thank you to our sales team who went above and beyond (and sorry to Joe, who lost his family due to the strenuous work conditions)
  • We maintained 94% customer retention, inspite of that Great Product Glitch last spring – our customer service team really saved our hides after we realized problems with some vendors. Their quick thinking and excellent response to customer issues kept us out of legal hot water and helped us keep almost all of our contracts intact – we’ll have an end-of-year party in the cafeteria just for you next Thursday (it’s potluck).
  • We finally established our offshore office, and will begin operations on January 1 – this will result in saving millions of dollars, again, contributing to a very strong 2008!

We want to express our heartfelt gratitude to you as we realize you made a significant impact during 2007.

Unfortunately, due to circumstances that we cannot control, and our new strategy to move professional positions to lower-wage countries, we are terminating your position. This is not a reflection on your performance and we hope that in the future you would consider re-employment with Acme.

Happy new year!


Your management team, where “open door” is our #1 policy!

P.S. We will be unavailable through January 7th, as we will be in Hawaii for our Executive Retreat (luckily we get to take our families with us this year!). Happy New Year!

I’m not against off-shoring. I’m not against companies adjusting their resources so they can operate in a healthy state. I’m almost not against really stupid management and leadership (unless I have to work for a really stupid manager or leader). I realize that this stuff happens, and whining and complaining about “the system” isn’t going to fix it, as the world gets flatter, and competition is so stiff!

I’ll tell you what I am against. And it’s new since I got laid off last year.

I’m against thinking my company is going to care about my career, and take care of me like they took care of my dad and father-in-law. I’m against thinking HR has MY best interest at heart, and even has the power to make my career what it could be. I’m against the idea that we can be passive about our careers.

There’s no better time to think about Me, Inc. Sit down, strategize, pull your board together (close family, mentors, etc.), and figure out what you are going to do in 2008 to make sure Me, Inc. is successful for 2008 and beyond!



Get Your LinkedIn Game On!

December 26th, 2007

LinkedIn bookIt’s time, isn’t it? LinkedIn has been growing, and it’s an excellent career resource. What have you done with your account?

Let me share a very cool e-mail I got from Tom Kenny, an East Coast friend (and a living example of perfect networking), after he read I’m on LinkedIn — Now What???:

I feel there is a lot of useful information in the book that people can act upon to improve things, a lot of food for thought and you even give over 30 references to other material. The book may be brief but you’ve given me a lot of home work to do! I hope everybody realizes that you are not providing solutions but helping to steer them in the direction that is right for them! In my book that is the best type of teacher!

Here’s what’s cool about this e-mail: Tom wrote a very good LinkedIn user guide for members of a professional networking group in New Jersey… he has already put a lot of thought into getting the most out of LinkedIn!

I find it interesting that he talks about the 30+ references included in the book (I haven’t counted them, and didn’t realize there were that many, but hey :)). I wonder if it’s because I’m a blogger, and we regularly link out to other people, so pointing my book readers to other places is no big deal. I’m going to pay more attention to what other authors do in their books, and how many resources they point to.

Anyway, if you are looking for another new year’s resolution, and “eating less donuts,” “lose 30 pounds,” or “get a promotion” just doesn’t excite you, how about:

  1. Get my LinkedIn game on,
  2. Get business out of relationships found from LinkedIn,
  3. Do all of the bare necessities with my LinkedIn account and profile,
  4. Derive more value out of my online social networking (Facebook, anyone?), or simply,
  5. Just understand what the heck I should be doing!

Go ahead, check out my book. Or go to Scott Allen’s blog. While you are in this mode, check out Alison Doyle’s list of Top Job Search Sites for 2007 – I definitely agree with the third site she lists!



When Social Networking Gets Very, Very Personal (in a good way)

December 21st, 2007

Frozen Pea Friday, battling Breast CancerSocial networking. It’s a funny thing. How much is too much, what about digital dirt, and what about all of the private people out there? I don’t have any answers, but I do have opinions. Today we’ll take a detour from the normal issues so I can share something that has been unfolding over the last few weeks, and exemplifies how social, and personal, social networking can be.

You may have heard of a blogger named Susan Reynolds. She was diagnosed with breast cancer this month and is having surgery today. She started a blog called Boobs on Ice, and talks about how she used a bag of frozen peas to, well, here it is in her own words:

To keep bleeding down & relieve pain I’d need to keep things cool. Traditional ice packs are hard and heavy. As much as I try to be a good sport I’m not into having a brick sitting on my chest.

Enter a bag of frozen peas.

I tucked it in my bra, took a picture, and was ready to tell the story later that night. That bag of peas added a touch of lightness to what could have been a sad and serious tale.

I found out about it on Twitter. You should see what’s going on today in Twitter… everyone has peas as their avatar. I don’t have the grapics skillz so I just “borrowed” one (I hope it wasn’t from Lane Hartwell ;)).

Jason Alba pea avatar

It really has been amazing to watch all of the people rally around Susan…. what an amazing show of support. Twitter is green. TechCrunch wrote about it (that is a feat). Bloggers all over are writing about it. Dozens of people are giving up billable hours to support this cause, give moral support to Susan, and even donate to the Frozen Pea Fund.

Going back to social networking, this is really what it should be about. People. And people helping people. Thank you to all who have proven that we are indeed not alone, there are many good people in this world, and the internet can be used for good!

You can do a quick blog search in Google to see what comes up for Susan Reynolds, but here are some posts that really stood out in my mind (the titles are immensely powerful, and show what can really happen with social media):

Peas Help

WhyMommy & give Peas a chance

web friends can be real friends.

The Power of Community

Peas in a pod?

Social Media – Changing the World

Community vs. Cancer

I’m excited to be a part of a new community movement online

Social Network? It’s Like Two Peas in a Pod

It’s Frozen Pea Friday (Breast Cancer Awareness)

Peas help!

Frozen Pea Fund Friday

I hate peas.

Susan Reynolds & the Peas of Twitter

Twittering Peas and Flickr

Frozen Pea Fund

Photo of the Day PEAS!

For Those Who Pea on Social Media

PEAple supporting PEAple..

Live Less Anonymously

And, to learn more about Susan – Jim Long chats up Susan Reynolds – Peas and social networks

God bless you Susan, and thank you to all of the superstars who have stepped up to the plate and used social media this way!



Secrets of the Job Hunt’s Top 10 job hunting stories of 2007

December 20th, 2007

Secrets of the Job Hunt, CM RussellI’ve respected Chris Russell since I met him, and love how he is one of the top watchdogs and pundits in the career space. Chris has a broad perspective and easily moves between the recruiter, job board, resume and coach spaces. He recently posted his last podcast of the year, seven minutes of his top 10 job hunting stories. This is an excellent wrap-up, and I agree with his points. Check out the podcast here.

It’s interesting to note that JibberJobber doesn’t fit anywhere in his commentary or list. I should note that Chris has written plenty about JibberJobber, and I’m grateful for that, but one of these years perhaps we’ll make his top 10 job hunting stories of a year. I should also note that … I just wrote about four more paragraphs but decided to delete them (chuckle chuckle – some things are better left unwritten!)!

Comments Off on Secrets of the Job Hunt’s Top 10 job hunting stories of 2007


JibberJobber Videos: Understanding the Breadth and Depth of JibberJobber

December 19th, 2007

JibberJobber videos!In a comment from yesterday’s post about the video on merging duplicate entries, Tom Kenny asks if there are any other training videos. Of course, I’m not Director Tom, but my answer is:


Over the last few months I’ve put together 18 videos that pin down various things within JibberJobber. These are short, mostly around two minutes, and are very unscripted :) But they are helpful to get you started, and ensure that you know about some of the elusive features. I want to share my favorites but it is hard to choose… so here is a list of all of them:

Quick Start

Add a new contact (2 minutes, 41 seconds)
Add a log entry (1 minute, 33 seconds)
Create a CSV file to import new companies (1 minute, 54 seconds)
Importing Companies from a CSV file (1 minute, 46 seconds)


The List Panel defined (2 minutes, 27 seconds)
Action Items Explained (2 minute, 33 seconds)


Get Contact List (2 minutes, 53 seconds)
Tags Explained (1 minute, 22 seconds)
Tags to E-mails? (2 minute, 03 seconds)
Drag and drop from outlook (54 seconds)
Network Relationship Goals (2 minutes, 33 seconds)
How to export your contacts from LinkedIn (2 minutes, 26 seconds)
Merge Duplicate Records (3 minutes, 45 seconds)


How to track a job posting and edit its status (2 minutes, 49 seconds)
How to Add a Job Feed (1 minute, 31 seconds)
Job Feeds Creating a New Job Record (1 minute, 37 seconds)


How to use the Maps (2 minutes, 29 seconds)
Expense Tracker (1 minute, 45 seconds)

If you have ideas for other videos, let me know!

Comments Off on JibberJobber Videos: Understanding the Breadth and Depth of JibberJobber


Video: Merging Duplicate Contacts

December 18th, 2007

As a software designer and CEO, I have to make decisions about what projects to work on and what projects to postpone. This is one project that I’ve wanted for over a year, but there were other things more important, pushing this down the list :(.

But we finally did it!

You can now merge any number of contacts into one, allowing you to get rid of duplicate contacts. The cool thing is that this keeps all log entries from all contacts merged, so you aren’t going to lose information… anyway, check out how it works in this 3:45 minute video:

Merge duplicate records in JibberJobber

You can see all videos here!



Surviving Layoffs – When You Aren’t Laid-Off

December 17th, 2007

I was supposed to write a book review of Word of Mouth Marketing, by Andy Sernovitz, but time is getting away from me. For those that are coming this afternoon at 4pm, you might want to check out this page to see how to get to the Miller center, and where to park and go when you get there. If you want to come today, more info is here.

Scot Herrick - Cube RulesScot Herrick is one of my favorite people. In fact, he’s one of my heroes. I’ll write more about that later, but let me share with you a very, very powerful bit of advice from Scot to those at his old company, the one that just laid off him and his wife (and thousands of others):

The more difficult task at hand is for those still at [the company] having to put humpty dumpty back together again. There is the stress of doing that and wondering if the layoffs are finally over; knowing they are not. My advice is to continue to perform. As someone on this list once told me, job skills plus performance on the job equals opportunities. Others will always look at your skills and your performance, so keep on performing and adding to your skills even in the face of adversity. It will pay off in the long run.

Scot is right on. No wonder, though, Scot is the creator of Cube Rules, one of the best career management blogs around. He’s been thinking, pondering and writing about this stuff long enough that when it was his time to get tagged (laid off), he was ready. I’m sure there are still emotions involved, for him and his wife, but I know they will land on their feet.



Word of Mouth Goodness in Salt Lake on Monday (Dec 17)!

December 14th, 2007

Andy Sernovitz - word of mouth marketing guruCome join me as I attend the Word of Mouth presentation by Andy Sernovitz, flying in from Chicago. As I mentioned before, Andy is awesome, and one of my favorite speakers of the year.

You can RSVP for free at (payment is $10 at the door, and Barnes and Noble will have his book there to purchase).

Let me share some thoughts about Andy, and his book, and his message.

Word of Mouth Marketing, by Andy SernovitzI saw first met Andy on May 12, 2007, in Chicago. We were at the Successful and Outstanding bloggers conference, and he was one of the amazing speakers that Liz Strauss lined up (thank you Liz!). I remember a couple of key things from his presentation, but mostly I remember a growing excitement as I listened to his stories, lists, ideas, and examples, and thought about what I could do to create more word of mouth buzz for JibberJobber.

In fact, he was so inspiring that I knew I needed to get off my duff and finish my LinkedIn book! Why? I’ll paraphrase, but he said something to this effect:

If you can’t figure out what to do to get more word of mouth buzz around your brand, find a brand or company that is getting a lot of word of mouth and figure out a way to attach yourself to that.

LinkedIn was getting a lot of buzz, and has gotten a lot of buzz since May 12th. I had one of the first books on LinkedIn, and the first one with the message “I know you are busy, and you don’t want to try and figure this out on your own, and you aren’t an early adopter… read this book and I’ll cut through all the noise and crap and tell you what is important and what you can disregard.

Up to that point I had a contract with a publisher, I had a table of contents, and I had some pages written. But I didn’t have a sense of urgency. I didn’t have a compelling reason to get the book to print, as I was being pulled in so many directions (while asking myself how I could generate more buzz around and towards JibberJobber).

Andy gave me that sense of urgency. You know what has happened since then? I have been interviewed by places that I never would have imagined. In fact, in January’s Money magazine I’m quoted as a LinkedIn expert. This is because LinkedIn is buzzworthy and I attached myself to the buzz (Money has yet to do an article on JibberJobber ;)). Undoubtedly this will create buzz for JibberJobber, which was a primary goal with the book.

RSVP here!It works. And I’ll be thankful to Andy forever.

In addition to the emotion, feeling, and energy from his presentation, I just found the notes I took and was surprised at how much content he packed into his presentation. It was rich and full of real, useful stuff. I swear, Monday will be a day you won’t want to miss.

I want to also talk about his book, with a foreword by Seth Godin and an afterword by Guy Kawasaki, but I’ll save that for Monday.

If you are in Salt Lake on Monday, come join us! It’s going to be awesome – details and RSVP here!

This event is sponsored by Mountain America Credit Union, the Miller Business Resource Center, JibberJobber, Utah First Fridays and Buzz Boosters!

See Comments / Leave a Comment »

« Previous Entries