Dealing With Job Search Depression

April 28th, 2009
I’m in Austin today, heading to San Antonio for dinner tonight…

My Depression Clouds Everything post continues to get comments (342 comments when I wrote this)… it has taken on a life of its own, which is kind of depressing in itself (that it even gets any attention makes me sad).

I got an email a few weeks ago that said:

… BTW Depression is sinking in…

Sad. In my original depression post I don’t give solutions… so perhaps I can throw out some ideas here. I’m not qualified to give medical advice, but here are some Jason Alba ideas on combating depression in a job search:

  1. Move on from the job boards. Sure, get on job boards, but set up their agents and then just watch your inbox.  Don’t spend much time looking for openings where everyone else is.
  2. Set up a nice office. My office was in my bedroom. My bedroom was relatively dark.  How can this be healthy?  Now my JibberJobber office is in a nice dedicated room, with a nice big window.  First thing I do in the morning is to open the blinds and let as much sun in as I can.  I love looking at the sky – blue or gray or whatever… for me it’s so much healthier than my dark bedroom!
  3. Don’t watch TV. Especially the news. Most shows are, well, predictable.  My guilty pleasure is The Office… but I watch it on Friday morning on my computer… 21 minutes with hardly any commercials.  I’m not saying to not watch your favorite show, but don’t watch hours and hours and hours and… yeah, really.  Jobless people watch that much TV… especially while we’re depressed. Movies are okay, however!  Especially inspirational movies! Finally, the news?  NO.  OFF LIMITS.
  4. Get out of the house DAILY. You cannot maintain human sanity unless you are around other humans.  You don’t have to talk to them (heaven forbid), but I think it’s good to be around other humans.  Don’t like that?  Go outside and be one with nature, or sit on your patio and soak up the sun… just get a change of venue.
  5. Exercise DAILY. I barely moved for months, which was not good for my joints or back.  From bed to Lazy Boy (sp?) chair… my body went to pot, and I think I’m still paying the price for being so sedentary.  Want easy?  (a)  Figure out a one mile walking route and do it daily (it should take about 20 minutes).  (b) Do some pushups.  Even girl pushups count 😉 (c) Do some crunches.  (d) Calf raises and/or squats.  Do this regularly.
  6. Write. I found writing very therapeutic.  Start a blog, or start a journal, or buy a ream of paper.  Use writing as a place to reflect on your life, where you want to go, etc.  Do visualization exercises.  It’s powerful.
  7. Read inspirational stuff. I cherish reading the autobiography of Hellen Keller, or Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture.  These books helped ground me.  I love a good Grisham novel, and I LOVE to read Inc Magazine.  There are certain scriptures that really hit home.  Find something inspirational… and read it.  Read good, healthy stuff regularly.
  8. Volunteer. Volunteering is just plain good. I tried two places, got reject both times, and gave up.  I should have been more creative.  Find places where you can keep your skills sharp, or contribute to the good of humanity.
  9. HELP SOMEONE. Usually when they say “volunteer” in a job search I think about volunteering in a business setting.  Do that.  Beyond that, find someone who you can help in some way, big or small.  You can do it anonymously, or they can know, but when you HELP SOMEONE you feel so good!  So good!  Careful, you might become addicted to helping people!
  10. _________. What do you suggest?  The first nine are simply albaisms… share your -ism with us!

(since I’m not close to a computer the comments might not get through until I approve them (that is only true for people who have never commented before).



Michael Port’s Newest Book: The Think Big Manifesto

April 27th, 2009

I was on Michael Port’s Monday Teleconference a while back when we talked about LinkedIn or Facebook (can’t remember)… I had never heard of Michael Port before but was amazed at the number of emails I got from my friends congratulating me for being on his show.  He was a much bigger marketing celebrity than I ever guessed!

Michael is a really interesting person with a very loyal following… I’ve been watching him since then, trying to learn how he has created such a loyal following.  One of these days I’ll report on what I’ve learned from the master himself… for now, I want to share info on his latest book, which I have.  I haven’t finished it yet, so I’m going to copy and paste a message from Michael to you:

Hey, Michael here, calling on all you big thinkers. I’m talking about the biggest, brightest, forward-thinking, still dreaming, hard core intellectual thinking, down-to-earth realistic-being and even the most unconfessed, self-professed and secretive big thinkers (and, that pretty much covers everyone).

The think big revolution is in full swing. There’s no stopping it. Thousands of revolutionaries are coming together to collaborate, cooperate and combine forces to yes…  think bigger about who they are and what they offer the world.

The Think Big Manifesto

Thinking big is like a secret handshake, only there’s nothing secret about it. There’s no tips, tricks or mystery code to decipher.

Thinking big is about one person at a time experiencing his or her own personal empowerment against an existing, deficient (small thinking) system. It’s about being fully self-expressed in the face of all the forces that conspire to pacify your drive, your hunger to be the most you can be.

Be a part of history. Bring your big thoughts forward. Get your manifesto and road map to navigate these revolutionary times. The Think Big Manifesto is not just my manifesto, it’s our manifesto. It is the manifesto of everyone who is, who will and wants to think big.

Get your copy of The Think Big Manifesto.

Am I recommending this book?  I know some people won’t need it, because they are already big thinkers.  But too many people need to expand how they think (I think).  Just reading the first few pages of this book inspired me to think big, and now I think about how big (or little) I think daily.

Get the book.  Think big.  Change the world.



My Schedule Next Week – Austin and San Antonio

April 24th, 2009

Monday I fly to Texas, one of my favorite countries (I mean, states). Here’s my schedule (much lighter than usual):

Monday night I am presenting at The Big Tex Auditorium, The Commons Center, for the Launch Pad Job Club.  I love the LPJC and am behind their mission 1000%.  Free, but limited seating.  I’m guessing this event will reach capacity (300 people?).  I start at 7pm.

Tuesday morning I’m presenting at the Austin Right Management office.

Tuesday afternoon I’d love to have lunch with whoever wants to… what I had scheduled (a presentation) fell through, which is cool – let’s get together for lunch!  When and where?  I’d love to have a big ol’ Texas networking lunch!

Tuesday night I’m having a private dinner in San Antonio.

Wednesday through Thursday I’m at a conference in San Antonio.

Friday morning I’m presenting at the San Antonio Right Management office.

Friday afternoon I fly home, out of Austin.  Maybe lunch in Austin?

The week after that my fifth baby is coming!  Yippee!



Personal Branding Winner: Joe Cockrell -> Joe PR Guy

April 23rd, 2009

I retired the Personal Branding Winner of the Month, but will award the You Get Award whenever I find someone who has a freaking awesome site/blog, etc.

Joe Cockrell’s website is one of THE BEST that I’ve seen in a long time.  Joe’s message is clear… how much clearer can it get?  He’s a PR guy.  He’s THE PR guy!

You know what was jump-off-the-screen awesome?  The design… Joe’s picture right there… you get to know the PERSON, not the website.  You start to make a personal connection.

My first impression (you have to see the entire website, not just this small part of it) includes:

I’m nice.

I’m competent.

You need to have me work for you.

I LOVE it.  Why doesn’t every professional have something like this?

Go see what Joe the PR Guy has done.  If I wanted a site like this I’d go get a bid from elance and probably pay less than $200 for it (only because I could tell the designer: “I want this, with these specific changes” (and then list the changes…)).



JibberJobber’s Third Birthday is Coming Up – Ideas for Specials?

April 22nd, 2009

The week of May 11th – May 15th (probably including both weekends) we’ll be celebrating the third anniversary of  I’ll never forget the night we went live, and the months leading up to it.  Seems so long ago!

Each year we have special offers and fun stuff that we do (ok, this year we’re going to introduce fun stuff!), and I have some ideas for this third anniversary… but I thought I’d throw it out to you: what do you think we could do for this third anniversary?

Note that we’ll grandfather the specials… for example, anyone who pays for an upgrade today will get the accompanying prizes that we offer then… I don’t want you to think you have to wait until next month to upgrade :p

So what are your ideas?  What special offers should we give?  Anything fun to do (as a community?)?

Do you have my LinkedIn for Job Seekers DVD yet?  You can get it here, or you can get it on Amazon here.



The Banker Who Said No – Awesome Read

April 21st, 2009

I saw a link to this quick “lunchtime read” from Alex Rudloff, creator of  Emurse is a website I recommend to any professional looking to beef up their online presence… Alex just announced that AOL acquired Emurse – huge congrats!

Back to the article – it’s about Andy Beal, the guy who practically shut down his bank for four years because he didn’t like the lending that was happening.  He thought it was all bad, and he was going to wait it out until it got more reasonable.

What he thought would take six months took four years, and now he is in a very healthy position to capitalize on all of the vast mistakes from other lending institutions.

When I read this I thought “this is the American Dream! Go Andy!”  Not like he needs any encouragement from me… he’s a billionaire and I’ll never become one.

Here’s a profound quote from the article (more than 1/2 down):

He thinks the government is going to be “disappointed” by its various programs to revive lending….

“Banks are on a prayer mission that somehow prices will come back and they won’t have to face reality,” Beal says. And that reality, according to Beal, is going to get a lot worse. “Unemployment is going over 10%, commercial real estate hasn’t even begun collapsing and corporate credit defaults are just getting started,” he says. His prediction: depression, without bread lines this time, thanks to the government safety net, but with equal cost to society.

Wow.  Not that he’s a prophet or anything but he did figure out that not diving into the free profit from yesterday would keep him healthy today.

The outcome he predicts is bleak.  And we thought we were on the upswing.

Here’s a link to the article.



Virtual Contacts 2 Real World Contacts?

April 20th, 2009

I got this question on Twitter a couple of weeks ago:

Hello Jason, I am looking for an ans. hope you can help me.How do I translate ‘online’ connections into real world ones? thanks.

This is a great question, especially as we are encouraged to network online, and try and figure out if we want to connect on LinkedIn, or how we will accept Friends on Facebook, etc.  Here are some ideas:

  1. Email the person. This is super easy because it’s just a simple email… we all read email, we all write email. However, I get emails from people and can’t tell if it’s spam or form letters or real, genuine interest in me.  Be careful how you craft it – I don’t like anything too formal (looks like spam), and I trash stuff an email that is addressed to someone, but no my name (webmaster, sirs, etc. is not good enough).
  2. Ask the person to lunch. This is my favorite thing to do.  When I first started networking with bloggers in Utah I thought that they all knew one another, and that I was the outsider.  I quickly found out that very few of them had met face-to-face… sitting down for an hour or two, learning about them, and sharing time with them is a terrific way to start a relationship.
  3. Do them a favor. Perhaps introduce them to a network contact.  Or send them a book from Amazon.  Do something that shows them you are more than just someone trying to get more numbers in your network.  Don’t stalk, but be considerate and thoughtful.  I’m not good at this but have had the fortune of meeting a small handful of people who are amazing (Heather Gardner).
  4. Introduce them to someone in your network. This is free and so powerful.  Making connections between your contacts is an awesome thing to do for each person (including yourself).  You’ll be amazed at some of the connections you can make, and you will start to earn the confidence of individuals in your network.
  5. Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up! Harder to do as your network gets bigger, but so important.  Perhaps the single most important thing you can do to stay relevant to your contacts!  I hear JibberJobber is a great tool to help keep up with follow-up things.

What do you suggest to translate virtual contacts to real world contacts?

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How To Volunteer In The Job Search

April 17th, 2009

Last week a buddy asked me how he should volunteer during his job search.  I’m a huge fan of volunteering, especially because volunteering allows you to substantiate yourself (this is one of my favorite posts of all time).  He heard me talk about this post, and volunteering, and asked where he should volunteer.

Of course, I’d love for him volunteer at MY company, but that isn’t the right answer for him.  He’s an awesome graphics artist (I paid him to create the DVD sleeve, cover, and the menu background for LinkedIn for Job Seekers) and he needs to find local jobs.

During our discussion we brainstormed some places where he could volunteer and get really good exposure.  Unlike someone out of work for months, with a need to “stay current,” he needs to be able to showcase his skills and let his “audience” know how good he is, and that he is available.

We came up with two places that he could prospect for volunteer opportunities:

Chambers of Commerce. I’m guessing that most Chambers have graphics needs, and small budgets.  If he could volunteer to do some graphics work for Chambers, I think he’d get some terrific exposure in the community.  Why?  Chamber of Commerce people are POWER CONNECTORS.  Their job is to network.  And brag.  And talk people up.  If my buddy redoes their logo, for example, they should talk him up to Chamber members.  Chamber members are local business who might have their own graphics needs… and they might make decisions based on the recommendation of a Chamber leader.  I strongly suggested one local chamber but then suggested he contact all of the local chambers.

High Schools. He has a knack for creating very cool stuff stuff, which might become posters or logos of the high school mascots and teams.  How many schools could use a makeover in that arena?  This is a pretty visible thing – if there’s a way a school can somehow let people know that he created it (like in a sports program, or something like that), perhaps he’ll get his work in front of the right people (parents of high school kids?).  Otherwise, he can put it in his portfolio… being the designer of something so visible and recognized is pretty dang cool.

I’m sure there are other places he could volunteer, but with that alone he has at least 20 phone calls to make.  This brainstorming session helped me think through two major reasons to volunteer:

  • Stay current or learn new skills, and/or
  • Get exposure in front of potential audience.

Good stuff?  Here’s a post from Walt Feigenson called Volunteering can help your job search.

What am I missing?



Job Search and Working Songs

April 16th, 2009

Here is an AWESOME FUN blog post that you need to check out!  Jennifer Anthony wrote Just for Fun – Songs About Work and Money, which has a list of 25 songs about work.  Jennifer says:

These are all songs about work. Working hard, hardly working, needing a job, hating your job, not wanting to work, and making money…

I love it!  Here are the first three:

Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots Of Money) – Pet Shop Boys

It’s Not My Place (In The 9 to 5 World) – Ramones

Manic Monday – The Bangles

Go check her post for the other 22 songs she picked out.

What are your motivational songs?



Social Networking Picture – Do It Right

April 15th, 2009

Seth Godin wrote a good post called The power of a tiny picture (how to improve your social network brand).  Go check out his list of 10 things to do (and not do) to make a great first impression with your “avatar.”

Then, check out my post about Gravatar, which is a website/tool that allows you to put your avatar in once, and then as you leave comments and do social networking in various sites, your picture is automatically put on that blog or social network.

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