July 08 Personal Branding Winner of the Month – Norman Reiss

July 31st, 2008

Norman Reiss is a non-profit professional.  Want to know how good he is?

Want to know how much he knows about and thinks about the non-profit space?

All you have to do is check out his blog.  You get a good sense of his depth (how well he knows certain topics), breadth (how many topics he knows about in this space), and professional passion.

Norman’s blog is excellent – it puts his brand out there as a subject matter expert and a though leader in the non-profit space.  His tagline is “Bridging Technology, Communications & Development to Implement ePhilanthropy Strategies for Nonprofit Organizations,” and all of his posts are so on-brand it’s awesome.  

Here are some recent posts, and my comments on how/why they really show Norman’s brand:

Seriously, Norman gets it.  I’ve been impressed for a long time, and I’m happy to give him this award!

Norman Reiss, 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:

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ETP Network is Empowering Today’s Professionals

July 30th, 2008

Last year a guy signed on to JibberJobber and started sending me thoughtful enhancement requests.  He has a strong background in software development, design and QA, and we struck up a cool relationship.  He mentioned he wanted to introduce me to Rod Colon, founder of the ETP Network, and possibly have me speak on one of their weekly teleconferences.

That happened in January of this year, where we had a fun, lively conversation.  I shared 8 things to do in ’08 with LinkedIn (I know, clever :p), and was very well received.  This ETP audience was sharp, proactive, and eager to be CEO’s of Me, Inc.  It was a great experience.

A few months later I had the opportunity to go to New Jersey to speak and reached out to my buddies at ETP to see if we could get together.  Not only did we get together, we got together in style!  This was my first experience at a restaurant where they printed custom menus just for our dinner. Huge thanks to the ETP team for making my visit to New Jersey feel like something reserved for royalty :)

I came to understand that ETP was not just a New Jersey thing.  I thought it was, but found new subscribers to JibberJobber who were states away from New Jersey… I asked Rod what ETP’s geographic boundaries were and they said there were none… I immediately thought that some of you would love to get value from what ETP offers.

You can get a lot of info from the ETP Network website, but here are 5 things I want to bring out:

  1. Access to weekly teleconferences. These start at 9:30pm EST and go for about two hours.  I wouldn’t think they actually work, if you told me about them, but having experienced them, and hearing about them from participants, I’m very impressed.  These are terrific “shot-in-the-arm” calls filled with concepts, strategy, tactics and techniques, and very helpful for those in a current job search.
  2. Involvement in the ETP Yahoo Group. I’ve been receiving a digest of the e-mails and their is rich information shared there – from current resources to ideas on finances to ETP news and events announcements.
  3. Getting-started guides and articles. From their benefits list, they state “The basics of finding a new job always needs to be reinforced and reexamined. Forgetting the basics means wasted time, money, and opportunities. Stick with the basics and get results!”   This accompanies the ABC’s of Job Search document… and there are more where that came from!
  4. Being “in” with proactive networkers who understand Me, Inc. I’ve found ETP members to be serious about being CEO of Me, Inc. AND very giving networkers.  Rod Colon calls it a warm network, where there is a certain trust level just because of the fact that you are an ETP member.  This is not taken lightly, and benefits many people.
  5. Information and training you need to understand real career management. I had to read plenty of books, blog posts, and articles, and go to various conferences and even get formal training… that was my 2+ year path to understand personal career management.  The ETP Network is big on helping you learn this stuff fast.  It’s inculcation at its best.

The annual cost, if I understand correctly, is $25.  This is not a big money-making thing – the guys that run this have a fire in the belly that is contagious and powerful.  If you are feeling stuck, I recommend you head over to ETP and see for yourself what they have to offer.



I’m on JibberJobber — Now What???

July 28th, 2008

No, I’m not making progress on that book yet!  But I am hosting a webinar tomorrow with a professional in the non-profit space to get up and running on JibberJobber.

I asked Barry Groh, who I blogged about a few days ago, if he was using JibberJobber, and he replied that he hadn’t taken the time to get up and running yet.  I know it can be overwhelming, and I figured he’d appreciate a personalized webinar – so I offered him a one-on-one, with an open invitation to anyone else to listen and watch.  We are doing that tomorrow (Tuesday, July 29) at 11am MST.  You can register at the webinar page.

Note that one of the quirky features of GoToWebinar is the date when you register for any of these webinars… it says Dec 31 of 2009… disregard that and jump on any scheduled webinar on that page.

What are the rest of those webinars? About twice a month I do a webinar for JibberJobber users and usually talk about getting up and running, but the webinar can go off on any tangent based on participation.  If someone has specific questions, or issues, we talk about that.  Usually it’s entry-level stuff, and I think it’s always eye-opening… if you haven’t jumped on one yet I invite you to join any JibberJobber webinar.

Hope you can make it tomorrow!

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Should Job Seekers Take Vacation?

July 24th, 2008
Join Jason Alba as he spends time with Barry Groh, executive in the non-profit space, with a personal “Getting Started on JibberJobber” session.  Barry has not started to use JibberJobber, and this one-hour session will answer all his questions, address things such as importing from LinkedIn and Outlook, and anything else that comes up.  Simply use the same registration information and callin number you find on the Free Webinar page (even though the date is for next year, this will happen on July 29, 2008 at 9am MST (11am noon).

When in my job search I listened to a guy who said taking a vacation from his job search was a huge mistake.  He lost momentum and found it hard to get back in the groove.

I was working 60 hours a week (10 hours a day, 6 days a week) in my job search.  I could have used a vacation, but (a) I didn’t have money, and (b) I was to anxious to get a paying job to go off and frolick somewhere cool.

It seems to me I’ve read articles from career experts saying it is important to take a vacation during the job search.

I didn’t even want to stop working on holidays!  I was anxiously engaged in finding that next job!

What do you think – should job seekers be able to (or, make time to) take a vacation?



Career Success Mentoring Program Is Now Free

July 23rd, 2008
Join Jason Alba as he spends time with Barry Groh, executive in the non-profit space, with a personal “Getting Started on JibberJobber” session.  Barry has not started to use JibberJobber, and this one-hour session will answer all his questions, address things such as importing from LinkedIn and Outlook, and anything else that comes up.  Simply use the same registration information and callin number you find on the Free Webinar page (even though the date is for next year, this will happen on July 29, 2008 at 9am MST (11am noon).

The Career Success Mentoring Program is now free … but just for a few more days.

I’ve blogged about Linda Lopeke before, who has a SmartStart program.  From her website:

The program was created in 2005 and tested by business school students and Fortune 500 employees for 2 years before being released to the public in June 2007. That’s how we know following our advice can advance your career success up to 3 times faster than average!

Linda is a thinker in this space and for those who know there’s something better, or know it’s time to become CEO of Me, Inc., this could be a great program.  Through the end of the month you get to sign up for a year at no cost, if you sign up after that, the price goes up to $39.95/month.

If you are interested in the program, click here to see her description, and scroll down to see audio and newsletter samples.  Click on the Add to Cart button and you’ll see the price is set to $0.


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Managers Are Stoopid And What To Do About It

July 22nd, 2008

These thoughts come from two specific discussions, and years of pondering, and reading Dilbert :)

(thanks to the B2BBlog for these, … you can read their post here)

On employee reviews. Last night I was talking to a buddy about his company’s annual review process. I remember my annual reviews, where were a joke.  They seemed to be an act, where there was no (or little) substantial feedback from the manager, and the better I did, the more nit-picky they got about what I needed to improve (becauase Dumb Manager 101 says you must help your subordinate to improve, right?).  My friend mentioned that once he had a review and didn’t even know it – he was told in the subsequent review “oh yeah, that was our review.”

On job search interview techniques. At a job search network meeting we were asked how the training process was for us unemployed souls.  I commented that we were getting armed with a lot of incredible knowledge and techniques, but the people who interviewed us came in significantly less sophisticated than we were (due to preparation).  It was frustrating to be interviewed by someone who seemed to be fumbling in the dark, asking questions they didn’t understand (they were reading from some list).  If they didn’t get the question, how could they appreciate the answers?

Why were these incompetents becoming the gatekeepers to my career future?

Definitely a frustrating experience.  In defense of stoopid, incompetent managers throghout the world, I’ll claim my own stoopidity.  As a manager I wanted to work with high-speed, low-drag employees who required no handholding.  However, as a judgement error, I’m sure I was too hands-off and didn’t do my managerial job as well as I should have.

So how do we, as CEO’s of Me, Inc, deal with this widespread issue?

  1. Recognize our place, and what that means. Submitting to this ignorance doesn’t mean that we are being ignorant ourselves.  But it might be job-suicide to do what you really want to do.  Put the manager in his/her place.  Go above them and tell the manager’s boss what’s going on (or the president).  Blog about it :p  I don’t suggest you just sit there and take it, but I suggest you think about what the consequences might be, and how much you can risk.  Is money not an issue?  Then you can afford to be more bold.  But if you are too dependent on the paycheck and benefits (health insurance, etc.), you better craft a smart strategy.
  2. Figure out how to get out without getting out. In my first “real” job, I had a manager who had a slew of problems.  One time I walked into her cubicle and she was lightly banging her head on the bookshelf whispering “I hate my job, I hate my job, …” over and over.  I was shocked ….!  I loved my job, even though I didn’t get any management or leadership from her.  Somehow, her boss took me under her wing and I got the mentoring and projects that shaped that learning period for me – it was incredible!  There was a little bit of tension between me and my direct boss, as I started to get some awesome projects, but I was definitely in a better place.
  3. Prepare anyway. Just because the interviewer isn’t sophisticated, or the boss doesn’t know how to do an annual review, doesn’t mean you can go in like a dunce.  Be prepared, have strong statements, stories and supporting evidence, and be sure you prepare them for a stellar performance.  You aren’t competing against the boss or decision maker, you are there to make a sale!  Do your best, and learn current techniques.
  4. Keep a long-term perspective. When I was at the FBI it was sometimes like walking around a Night of the Living Dead set.  It was normal to talk about lame stuff, problems, issues, and safe/boring things.  No one was out to over-achieve, or do more than asked.  There was no incentive, and no fear of getting let go.  If you are in a situation like this, which I feel is a direct result of the culture the management creates, either figure out how to cope with it with a long-term perspective, or figure out how to get out before it ruins you.  But don’t let it snuff your spirit!
  5. Do a great job! No matter what hell you might be going through at work, with no appreciation, etc., as long as you do a great job you can have a clear conscience AND you might be setting yourself up for bigger things.  That rotten manager might be making your life hell right now, but one day, management is going to figure out how to get rid of them, and guess what?  They might just be eyeing you, based on your performance.
  6. Realize you are in a job search. We are all in a job search.  We’re either actively doing it, or passively doing it (recruiters call people who are not looking “passive candidates.”).  This is where JibberJobber comes in – you should be doing certain things RIGHT NOW whether you are in an active search or not – employed, unemployed, unhappily employed, etc.  Taking control of your next job placement, to any degree, should give you a greater peace of mind!

What stoopid management stress have you put up with, and how did you deal with it?



Share Target Companies With JibberJobber Users

July 21st, 2008
Join Jason Alba as he spends time with Barry Groh, executive in the non-profit space, with a personal “Getting Started on JibberJobber” session.  Barry has not started to use JibberJobber, and this one-hour session will answer all his questions, address things such as importing from LinkedIn and Outlook, and anything else that comes up.  Simply use the same registration information and callin number you find on the Free Webinar page (even though the date is for next year, this will happen on July 29, 2008 at 9am MST (11am noon).

Since the beginning of JibberJobber there was a cool little feature you may have seen when you added a target company.  At the top of the screen you would see this checkbox:

Last week, in the upgrade where we introduced the new Silver level (1,000 contacts and 1,000 target companies for $5/month), we also introduced Phase II of Global Companies.  This is a very exciting enhancement for you.  Here’s where the idea came from:

When I got laid off, I was fairly new to Salt Lake City.  I had only lived here about 18 months, and I spent most of my time either commuting or working… but no networking.  The only companies I knew about in the Salt Lake area where those I could see when I drove down the road.  In my job search I found out about more companies, specifically, those which posted openings on Monster or in the newspaper.

I knew there were hundreds, maybe thousands of other companies I should know about, some of them with my next job!  But I had no idea how to find them.  How in the world do you turn over eery rock to find these companies….???

The idea for Global Companies was born, and that’s where you come in.  When you check the checkbox, you are sharing certain company information with all JibberJobber users.  You won’t share your private information, like how you rank them, notes, log entries, etc.  You won’t even share that YOU are the one who added the company to the list of Global companies.  You’ll share something like this:

Simply general information.  How cool is that, that I can share this with other JibberJobber users?  Better yet, I can see with others share, based on where I am targeting (based on the address I have on my own profile):

If I am searching for companies in a different location, say, Seattle, I would simply change the data in the drop down.  Or, if I’m going to relocate and know that I’m moving to Seattle, I’ll change my home address under My Account so it always comes up with the Seattle area.

From the image, you can see I can comment on the company, which can help others learn about the company (any information you want to share).  The comments will show as anonymous, but if we find trolls or abuses, we’ll have to clean up the junk and figure out what to do with those who are trolls).

I can also rank the company, and have my ranking contribute to an overall ranking for that company.  Between the comments and the rankings, this can be an excellent way to share more information about potential target companies with JibberJobber users.

Notice the add icon (add icon - to add the company to your list of target companies) next to the name of the company.  When I click on that icon, I add it to MY PERSONAL list of target companies.  So if I find a company that someone else has entered into JibberJobber, and I want to store private information about it, I just click that link and it shows up in my list of Target Companies.  That’s where I’ll do things like create notes, action items, log entries, tie people to the company, etc.

If I want to get more comprehensive information about the company, I simply click on the name of the company and it takes me to a page with the shared information, comments, ranking, and even a Google Map with directions to MY HOUSE to the company, miles between us and estimated driving time!!  How cool is that?

We encourage you to share your companies as a Global Company.  You can either do this when you first set up the company, or when you edit the company, by clicking on that checkbox at the top.

Or, on the Company Detail Page, you’ll see a new icon:

When you click on this icon, it will make that company a Global Company.

Remember, no other JibberJobber user will know that you added the company as a Global Company, or how you ranked them, or what your comments were.

Cool?  Powerful?  We think so!  Simply login to JibberJobber, mouse over the Companies Menu Item, and click on Global Companies at the bottom!



Introducing Silver Upgrade Level On

July 18th, 2008

I’m excited to announce a new upgrade level on  This comes after a number of people have told me that $9.95 is too much (I would not have paid it, as I didn’t have any money, but I think someone in my family would have paid it for me), but the free level just wasn’t doing enough. In fact, most of the feedback about the free vs. premium levels is that they really just need more contacts, and more target companies.

The Silver Level is a step up from the free level, with up to 1,000 contacts and 1,000 target companies.  You can still get ALL premium features, and unlimited contacts and companies for just $9.95. Here’s a summary of each level (you can see a side-by-side comparison here):

Regular (Free): We designed this to be more powerful than a job search spreadsheet.  You can track an unlimited number of job postings, whether you find them on Monster, through networking, etc.  You can track up to 250 network contacts and 75 target companies, and post up to 10 log entries on each of those records.  You get a lot of tools, some reports, and more.  Note: when you first login you get 14 days of premium services for free.

Silver ($5/month): You get all of the Regular features PLUS an additional 750 network contacts and an additional 925 target companies.  This is an intermediate level designed to give those who are more budget-challenged an opportunity to use JibberJobber more effectively in their immediate job search.

Premium ($9.95/month): The floodgates open and you get all kinds of cool stuff.  My favorite premium feature is the action items e-mailed to me, so I don’t have to login to JibberJobber to see what I have coming up.  No wait, my favorite premium feature is the ability to import/export my data, so I can keep all my LinkedIn contacts, Cardscan contacts (buying one soon), Outlook contacts on JibberJobber.  No wait, my favorite premium feature is that I can use the Get Contact List to export my contacts based on a number of things, like tags or categories.  No wait, my favorite premium feature is that there are no limits on number of records I put in, or number of log entries I have… you get the point, right?  This level is optimal for those who are either serious about their job search, or not in a job search at all but very relationship-oriented (or career management oriented).

You want to know what may become the best premium feature yet?  The Outlook plugin, which hopefully will be in beta in the next few weeks.

We are trying to fit your budget – for $0 you get value.  For $5/month you get more value.  For $9.95 a month you get a bunch more value. Cool?

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LinkedIn Maintenance: Do This Right Now (or else?)

July 17th, 2008
I just updated the instructions which changed sometime between Feb and Nov 2012.  Click here to see how to easily backup your LinkedIn Profile and Recommendations, and DO IT TODAY!

I got an e-mail from Susan Ireland, at the Job Lounge.  She asked me if I knew anything about LinkedIn deleting people’s accounts… I’ve heard a little about this, but mostly just hand-slapping for looking like spammers.  Getting an account deleted can be a huge problem, especially as you use LinkedIn more.

She writes about it here (I can almost hear a tear drop on her keyboard as I read it… ouch!!!).

The two issues are (1) why she was deleted, and (2) what LinkedIn can/will do about it.  I have no idea why she was deleted, and apparently she doesn’t either.  As far as she knows, she wasn’t doing anything wrong with her LinkedIn account, or LinkedIn connections.  As far as what LinkedIn can or will do, here is their response:

“At this time we do not have a recommended back up system for your account. Once something has been deleted there is not a back up at this time to recover any information. …One thing you can do is copy your profile information and save it as a word document so that you will always have it on your computer.”

Not very comforting, is it?

Here are two absolute must-do’s, right now, on LinkedIn – and they will take less time than it takes to read this blog post (so do it now!): NEW INSTRUCTIONS HERE

  1. Export your contacts. Simply click on Contacts, scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on Export Connections, and follow that process.  Just leave everything at default and you’ll end up with your connections in a .csv file, which opens in Excel.
  2. Export your profile. You’ve probably put a fair amount of thought into creating your profile, right?  What about any references you have gotten?  Simply click on Profile, then find the grayed-out icons above your name, and click on the adobe pdf icon.  This exports your profile, including recommendations, into a very nice, presentable document (kudos to whoever at LinkedIn did that formatting, it is very well-done!).  Here’s an image of where the icon is:

These are the two most important things for me to grab, if I knew my LinkedIn account might go away.  (1) Who I connected with, which includes e-mail addresses very every single contact, (2) my recommendations  (I can always rethink and recreate a profile, but those recommendations are priceless!).

Please, don’t even take 2 seconds to comment on this post, just head on over to LinkedIn and do this very easy, very quick maintenance!



Career Idea: Have You Thought About Becoming A Virtual Assistant?

July 16th, 2008

I frequently see e-mails from people who have x years in administrative, bookkeeping, organizational, etc. roles, who are well-seasoned and well-skilled.  Because they are not quite sure what else they can do, they are looking for some kind of executive assistant role, hopefully paying more than $10/hour.

I hate thinking that someone with so much wisdom, experience and business savvy will have to digress to an entry-level role when they really could and should be able to contribute so much more.

That’s where Virtual Assistants (VA’s) come in.  I’ll confess I don’t know a ton about VA’s, and if I were as good as Alexandra Levit I would have done a bunch of interviews, and had great stats for you.  Alas, I’m not that good, so I’ll throw out my ideas, and point you to some resources, and let you do your own research.

I love the concept of setting up a VA business because:

  1. You can earn more than $10/hour. Depending on how you speciliaze, or where your clients are, I think you can charge more than $40/hour.  Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?
  2. You can set your own hours. You are a VIRTUAL assistant, meaning you don’t have to go into an office (no commute), and play the political games, and punch your timecard just for the fun of it… if you do your best work at midnight, cool. If you do your best work between 9 and noon, cool.  That’s when you work.
  3. You define what you do. VA’s are quick to point out they are not merely data entry clerks, although I’m sure many do data entry ($40/hour is pretty pricey for data entry, but hey, people pay it).  But I’ve seen other VAs define their boundaries, and I’m amazed at the skillset they are bringing to the table.  Seriously, think about what an assistant would do for you, or for a CEO, or a one-man business…. that is what these VAs are doing.  I’ve been on radio interviews where the VA is the technician, because they understand what buttons to push to get the recording… define your own skillset and market that.
  4. It is entrepreneurial. And you already know how I feel about being an entrepreneur, or at the very least, having another income stream.
  5. Need more money?  Get another client! Too busy?  Scale back.  You are your own boss, and you set your own schedule.
  6. what did I miss?

Of course, this isn’t for everyone, but I really think it’s a great option for a lot of people.  And it helps that Tim Ferris, author of The Four Hour Workweek, really sensationalizes the idea of having a virtual assistant, so he’s turned the world onto the idea of buying the services.

If I were going to look at being a VA, I would start by googling the phrase.  But I would pour over the information at Virtual Assistant Directory,  and the owner’s website, Kathie M. Thomas.  She writes the popular and information-rich blog for Virtual Assistant Directory.  Another site to check out is Ultimate VA Support.

I don’t write about career ideas like Alexandra Levit, but this is one of a handful of ideas that I really, really like, and know I’ll be pointing people to this post for a while.


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