June 08 Personal Branding Winner of the Month – Heather Gardner

June 30th, 2008

personal branding award After almost two years and 19 Personal Branding winners of the month, it’s time to shift the emphasis a little.

I started this personal branding award for two reasons.  First, it was to recognize those who are showing, or growing, their personal brand through current technologies.  Most of the recipients are (or were) bloggers.  A handful only had static websites.  A few of them extend beyond their own blog or website, and I recognize that in the post I wrote about them (see bottom of this post for the list).

The second reason I started this personal branding award was to show YOU that YOU can do this too!  It’s not just for the elite, or the early adopters of blogging or other technologies.  The strategy of developing and portraying your personal brand is a strategy that you should seriously consider.

June’s winner is one of my favorite people.  I “met” Heather Gardner on the My LinkedIn PowerForum a number of months ago.  I found her to be brash (in a good way), passionate, and anxious to help people.

Heather Gardner - Recruiter and Personal Branding award winnerSo how am I shifting emphasis?  I’m not going to talk about her blog.  And I don’t think she has a static website.  Even so, she is doing an excellent job sharing her brand all over the place.  I can sum it up in one word… Heather is:


Of course, she’s married with kids, but she is very engaged in discussions online.  She is active enough in various places that many people know who she is, what she does, and what value she brings. It’s not her full-time job, so she can’t do it 8 hours a day.  Nonetheless, she’s out there.  Here are some things she’s involved in:

My LinkedIn Power Forum – Heather is quick to share, ask, give advice, participate and encourage.  Many people have benefited from her involvement there, and I’m sure she has branded herself as a very helpful, knowledgeable and resourceful recruiter (and employment expert).

Recruiting Blogs Ning network for recruiters – Very active here, sharing with and learning from her peers.  When I created my I Just Got Fired slideshow done she asked if I was going to put it on, which is something I hadn’t thought of.  It showed me that it is on her mind, and she’s involved there, and guess what… there are over 9,000 recruiters on that little social network!  Powerful, and a great place to be involved.

Twitter – some think Twitter is bunk, and others like it when it isn’t down (which is too often).  Nonetheless, it’s an amazing place to develop relationships, learn about other people, and share “who you are” with your followers.  Of course, Heather is there, active, with hundreds of people following her.

LinkedIn – of course she’s on LinkedIn.  She’s not just there – she is engaged.  She has asked three questions and answered 12. How many have you asked or answered??

Blog – Yep, she has a blog, too.  I find her style and perspective to be quite insightful and engaging.  And with titles like Honey does this blog make my “BUT” look big? and “I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours” Promiscuous Web 2.0, how could you not be interested?

She’s elsewhere, like Facebook.  I’m sure she’ll be other places, too.  But the point of this post, and the reason I’m recognizing her, is because it’s the next natural step to what I’ve recognized over the last almost two years of this personal branding award: being engaged.

Heather is definitely engaged.  And the relationships she’s building will benefit her for many years to come.

Heather Gardner, 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! And, a new addition to the prize list is the two hour (!!) minute recording of Blog Marketing 201 – 501 (part of the CEO Training for Me, Inc. – listed at $49.95 (but much more valuable than that!).

Feel free to post the You Get It award on your site!

Here are the past winners:



Five Days of Blogging Secrets

June 27th, 2008

Last year for my one year anniversary I shared five posts of blogging secrets – stuff I’ve learned over a year of blogging.

I have since created a two-hour blog marketing webinar called Blog Marketing 201 – 501, which you can get for $49.95 from the CEO Training site.

Today, as I wrap up a week-long celebration of another year of blogging, I’d like to share those 5 posts with you (again).  Enjoy!

Day 1: My Blogging Secrets – it’s all about relationships, with your readers, other bloggers, etc.

Day 2: My Blogging Secrets – it’s all about your brand, building credibility, expressing your professional breadth and depth, etc.

Day 3: My Blogging Secrets – having an abundance mentality – what do you share, what do you hoard?  As a blogger you might see a paradigm shift.

Day 4: My Blogging Secrets – the importance and benefits of building a community.

Day 5: My Blogging Secrets – technology ain’t necessarily your best friend – keep it clean, avoid being slow (to load a page), while being slow (to adopt new technology/widgets).

Helpful? Anything to add?

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One Of The Most Compelling Reasons To Blog

June 26th, 2008

This is the second-to-last post celebrating my two years of blogging.

I’m big on blogging.  I started the Personal Branding You Get It award to recognize normal professionals who are using this technology to develop their personal brand, perhaps establish themselves as subject matter experts, and even thought leaders.

Maybe they didn’t start out that way, but it happens.

I love how blogging builds personal and professional credibility.  My very first industry-specific speaking gig was approved, in large part, because of my blog.  People could hear my voice, know what my breadth and depth was, and determine if I would be an appropriate speaker.  I think without the blog I would not have had much of a chance speaking at that conference.

But that is only one reason to have a professional blog.  There’s another reason… a reason no one told me about before I started.

Blogging is the most significant thing I’ve done with regard to networking.

Finding new network contacts (or, being found by them), and nurturing network relationships.

If you start a blog, and do it right, and get out there, and become known (within your industry or profession), I think you’ll be absolutely amazed at who you get to know.

I know I have been.



My Favorite Blog Posts From The Last Two Years

June 25th, 2008

I’ve been thinking about my blog, what it means to me, what it is, and where it can go.  As I think about my blog, there are a few blog posts that jump out as personal favorites – here are six of my favorites:

Substantiate Yourself – I loved this post – it talks about how to show others what you can do when you are in a job search, as many people heard what I was looking for and got the deer-in-the-headlights look.  It was an epiphany post for me.

I Smell Blood! – another epiphany post, talking about a phone call I had with a senior-level HR professional.  We were good friends but I must have sounded gloomy, as he gave me some advice that only a friend could give – “never let’em smell blood!”  He says recruiters and HR can smell blood from a mile away.

I need MONEY! – This was the first time people really reacted to one of my blog posts.  I was a new blogger and decided to go out on a limb and share a really stupid thing I did (cut my hand open), and the amazing stress I had as I wondered how to treat it.  A normal, employed person would have immediately gone to the doctor or hospital.  I knew that it would be expensive and felt our money was running out.  Scary times, and I got a bunch of comments via e-mail – that is when I realized that people were reading my blog!

Gen Y Sounds Like A Bunch Of Entitled Whiners – I know this is recent but it is an all-time favorite of mine.  I had wanted to write it for a long time, and am quite pleased with the great discussion that followed in the 30+ comments.

Depression Clouds Everything – This is the post that wasn’t supposed to have any comments at all.  I thought it would be too sensitive to get anyone to share, or even agree with.  But now there are over 225 comments, and it’s taken a life of it’s own.  I’m continually amazed at (a) the support that people show for one another in that thread, and (b) the amount of new people who happen upon the post.

What I wish recruiters knew and the followup – This was a blast, it let me whine a little as a job seeker, put our perspective on the table, and then get awesome response from recruiters.  There are 22 comments on the first post, and 10 on the follow-up.  I’m not necessarily right, but the dialogue was great!

I’m sure there are others I’m forgetting. Two years is a lot of writing!  Thanks for being with me for all or part of this journey!



Why Work Sucks (and how to fix it) with me, Dan Pink and Scott Stratten

June 24th, 2008

What’s a simple guy like me doing hosting a teleseminar with Dan Pink and Scott Stratten?

Why am I interviewing Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson, the famous authors of Why Work Sucks and how to fix it??

I couldn’t get a job interview two years ago, and now I’m talking with and to these rock stars.

(for those of you who think I am a rock star (dont’ laugh, some people do), I have one message: we are all normal people.  I heard a guy speak this weekend who referred to rockstars as “rascals,” with the message that we are all just normal folks.)

A big part of my “You Get It” personal branding winner of the month award is recognizing ordinary people who are doing extraordinary things for their careers.

I submit a major part of why I’m on this call, which is quite an honor, is because of my blog.  My blog shows you what my professional breadth and depth are, and what my professional passions are.  It’s a cool way to celebrate the two year anniversary :)

Your blog (you have one, right?) would do the same.  And it will put you in the right place, at the right time.

Click on this link for more info about the teleseminar (it’s free!), which is TODAY at 5pm EST (3pm MST):

This is one of my first times doing this… we’ll see how it goes!



Happy Birthday to JibberJobber Blog and Advanced Sourcing Training

June 23rd, 2008

happy birthday to the JibberJobber blog!It was two years ago yesterday that I wrote my first blog post.  I thought I was a darn good blogger until about 6 months into it one of my respected peers said “hey, it sounds like you are finally finding your blogging voice!  Congrats!”  I know it was a compliment but I was offended because I didn’t know I had sounded so lost before that :p

Anyway, this week I’ll share some special stuff with you, like I did for last year’s anniversary.  Stay tuned for that.

Today I wanted to share information on something called Sourcing, which is something that recruiters rely on.

If you are a job seeker, check out the description below – you should know what techniques and tactics recruiters are taught so that you can optimize your chance of being found.

If you are a recruiter, fork over the $149.97 to attend this session by the master of sourcing, Shally no-last-name-required.  Shally (okay, it’s Shally Steckerl) is one of the most respected people in the recruiting space, and probably has some kind of super-human abilities.  He is an expert at searching… that is, finding talent.  Whether it’s through LinkedIn or Google, or however he does it, Shally finds hidden talent.  This is a must-not-miss opportunity.

If you are a career professional who works with job seekers (job search coach, resume writer, career counselor, etc.), consider taking the course so you can learn how to better position your clients.

There you go – a two-fer blog post… first, happy birthday to us (yeah!) and second a recruiting event you shan’t miss!



Getting A Mean E-mail, or Comment, or Post Online… What To Do?

June 20th, 2008

It’s easy to miscommunicate, isn’t it?  I do it all the time :)

In e-mail we’re told to not be sarcastic as it is really easy to misconstrue a message.  Something like

No, those pants don’t make you look fat, but the sandals do!

might be funny in person, but in e-mail it can totally be taken the wrong way (not as a joke, rather as a personal jab).

We can make this mistake in e-mail, IM, SMS, blog posts, comments, social networking (Twitter, LinkedIn Answers, Facebook Walls, etc.)… we have plenty of opportunities to make the mistake!

Instead of suggesting things to do to not mess up there, let me suggest something that you should do if you get crossed in one of these forums.  Actually, this is excellent advice if you get crossed anywhere.

Scott Allen, author of The Virtual Handshake and Entrepreneur expert at says:

Presume good intent.

It’s easy to get fired up after reading something.  Some people commenting on my post about GenY being a bunch of Whiners (actually, I titled the post “SOUNDS LIKE” instead of “ARE” for a reason) presumed bad intent.

But many commenters saw this post as a discussion, a conversation… not an ultimatum or conclusion.  Some presumed good intent and joined in the conversation, and it was constructive.  Others presumed bad intent and attacked.

When you get an e-mail that sounds attacking, presume good intent, and communicate.  You may be surprised that your presumption was right!

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Viewing Last Night, Happy Funeral Today

June 19th, 2008

Today I’m at a happy funeral. This is the funeral for my wife’s grandma, who lived a rich, full life.  It’s a celebration of her life.

I worked at a funeral home when I was first married and did everything except embalm for a little more than a year.  I saw plenty of sad funerals.

The one thing I hope to leave with you today is how valuable your relationships are.

Today… hug someone special.

Tell the you love them.

Call that long-lost friend.

Figure out how to forgive a grudge and start to move on.

Do something, because you don’t want to sit at a funeral wishing that you would have.



JibberJobber Quickstart Guide

June 18th, 2008

I am becoming a slideshare junkie.  My I Just Got Fired presentation has been seen almost 2,000 times!

Here’s my latest, which is a quick presentation for those who are just getting started on JibberJobber:



Gen Y Sounds Like A Bunch Of Entitled Whiners

June 17th, 2008

… yes, I’m expecting to get beat up by the Gen Y experts…

I’ve been in this career “space” for a little over two years now, and I’ve followed the talk about Gen Y since then. It’s quite fascinating, with a number of Gen Y experts who are telling Gen Y what the workplace is and how they can get the most out of their careers… and telling the workplace what Gen Y is and how they are going to change the dynamics of work.

I’ve seen a bunch of red flags, and I just don’t buy a bunch of it.

I remember reading how Gen Y doesn’t (read: won’t) do e-mail. They will text on their cell phones, and they are masters of instant messaging, but geesh, please don’t put old-and-tired e-mail in front of them, because they are much too suave and sophisticated to do e-mail.

PULEEZE! They don’t do e-mail because the people in their network don’t do e-mail! But what happens when they get that job out of school where they have to correspond via e-mail? What are they going to do – say “I’m Gen Y, let’s do this on text because it’s much more hip and cool!”

Give me a break.

Another red flag I saw was talk about Gen Y not wanting to come to work on time. Heaven forbid we actually ask them to conform to getting to work by 8am. Oh my gosh, that would just cut into their lifestyle, and work/life balance. Let’s not cramp their style… let them come and go as they please! Great idea… unless they are in a role where their customers require them to be at work by 8am. It’s no longer about some internal corporate thing… when the customer needs you there, you should be there.

This makes me gag.

What else… they demand the corner office. They demand higher salaries. They demand….

I honestly don’t understand how we are letting a bunch of kids coming out of school change the entire workplace.

Actually, that’s not it… I don’t understand how a bunch of kids are making a big fuss and talking about all of the things they are entitled to.

“Entitled” is such an ugly word (in most cases).

I’ll post to a bunch of Gen Y posts that touch on some of these things… but first, I want to share part of an interview that The Recruiting Animal did with Clifford Mintz (who blogs at Bio Job Blog) … just click the image to get to the sound byte of Cliff Mintz on Gen Y:

I love how he compares Gen Y to Baby Boomers, because this is a question that I have as I ask myself just how different is Gen Y from any other generation before them. (the entire interview is here, that was just a sound-byte)

Here are some interesting posts about Gen Y, as it relates to careers:

Navigating the quarterlife crisis – from Penelope Trunk. Quarterlife crisis??

Make life more stable with more frequent job changes – from Penelope Trunk. In her book I think it talks about how people will have 10 job changes before they turn 30 (or something like that). You know how I feel about loyalty, but seriously, why would I invest in you if I know you are going to be gone in a year?

Crystal Ball: 10 Ways Generation Y Will Change the Workplace – Ryan Healy includes things such as “We’ll Hold Only Productive Meetings” and “We’ll Shorten the Work Day” and “We’ll Promote Based on Emotional Intelligence.”

Sometimes It’s Fine to Burn Bridges – pretty cool article by Presh Talwalkar.

Standing at a Crossroad: Am I Still a Millennial? – great post by Ryan Paugh as he realizes things about being a Millenial… and what all us old stodgy people are thinking.

How Gen-Y Is Decentralizing Corporate America – and changing the world, by Ryan Healy.

Being a Gen-Y Leader – interesting post about how to be the leader.

Check out these two posts, on the Brazen Careerist career blog… mixed in with career advice helping mold young people’s thoughts on lifestyle stuff: Engaged? Why? Does Getting Married Serve Any Purpose These Days? and Fat Pregnant Wife? No, Thanks. I think these posts are part of the search engine optimization, and creating contraversy to create a following, but it’s one reason why I don’t link there much.

If you are Gen Y, or have kids who are Gen Y, and want to get them EXCELLENT (non-whiny) advice, I recommend:

Alexandra Levit – she is BRILLIANT and her posts are very constructive and insighful.

Lindsey Pollak – another brilliant Gen Y blogger who interacts and speaks with Gen Y on a regular basis.

What do you think? Are Gen Y a bunch of whiner-babies, or am I just an old boring man, or is this just sensationalized by the Gen Y experts, and Gen Y is being misrepresented?


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