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Quick Save on Add Contact

June 16th, 2009

Not sure how I missed this one, I knew it was coming… but I didn’t write about it in my last “JibberJobber News” post…

For years we’ve been asked to put a Save button at the top of the screen of the add contact, since you have to scroll down about three pages to find it (which is no fun if you only have a name and email address to enter).

We finally put the button here:

When you hit Quick Save it will save the record and take you directly to the List Panel page.

If you don’t want to go there, then go to the bottom of the Add/Edit Contact page and choose where you want to go…

Also, this is one reason why my List Panel is ordered by who I put in the system last – I always see my most current entries at the top of the List Panel.

Yeah, we know – JibberJobber users are celebrating this around the world (last I checked we had signups from over 100 countries).

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Why Grandma Should Use JibberJobber

June 15th, 2009
Disclaimer: while talking about “grandma” I hope I’m not crossing any PC lines… you know, maybe I should have said Grandpa (because he should do what is described below?), or Nana, or Grammy, or whatever.  No offence intended, to grandmas, nanas, grammys, grandpas, etc.

JibberJobber is a job search tool, right?

Not really.

It’s a personal relationship management tool (shhh!  don’t tell all the job seekers using JibberJobber that it isn’t a job search tool!).

Let me give you an example of how JibberJobber could be used to manage relationships…

My wife’s grandma (affectionately called Nana) has a special gift – she always sends just the right thing on birthdays.  Sometimes its a thoughtful card with a bit of money, sometimes its a shirt that is stylish and just the right size – we don’t know how she does it, but she (a) never misses and (b) always sends the right thing.

We, on the other hand, miss just about everything we can.  My wife regularly finds fathers day cards, birthday cards, etc. from years ago.  We’ve been known to send a batch of these lost cards to cover the last few years :p

So what we should do, and anyone who sends cards and presents and well-wishes, is put our loved ones into JibberJobber (this is private, no one can see the people I put in (unless I make them my Coach)) and put their birthdays in.

All I have to do is put a name and birthday.  That’s it – you don’t even need the year.

Then, JibberJobber emails us on the first of each month with a list of upcoming birthdays (for the next five weeks), and another email on the day of (or a few days before) the birthday.

It is really quite powerful to get these reminders – whether you are in a job search or not, retired or in middle school, I think this birthday reminder is a very cool feature to help you stay on top of those special dates.

This is a free feature in JibberJobber – just login and start entering the info!

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Free eBook: Phone Networking Secrets Revealed (for job seekers)

June 12th, 2009

For a “limited time” (at least through the end of June) you can download Mary Elizabeth Bradford’s ebook called Phone Networking Secrets Revealed.  I blogged about this almost a year ago, now it’s free.  Back then it was 11 pages, but she’s added information since then.

To learn more about Mary Elizabeth, check out this 30 minute interview from Peter Clayton, of Total Picture Radio.

Here’s info from Mary Elizabeth:

This e-book is for anyone who has ever dreaded the “follow up phone call” after sending a resume!

Packed with easy to use tips and techniques and LOTS of phone scripts for various situations

so you can confidently make the phone calls you need to reach critical contacts, gain referrals and secure interviews.

For a limited time this $9.97 ebook can be downloaded instantly for FREE!

Just key in coupon code: careerartisan
***don’t forget to click the apply button!***

Here is the link: http://www.maryelizabethbradford.com/phonenetworking.php

Enjoy and feel free to let us know how the information helped you!

There ya go – enjoy!

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Cancer Sucks. Yes It Does.

June 11th, 2009

A few days ago I wrote “Cancer Sucks.” as a sole tweet. I got a number of private responses asking if I was okay – yes, I’m okay, no cancer that I know of – but I have a number of friends and family who struggle with cancer, and it … well, it sucks.

I wish that we could just figure this one out… can you image a world where cancer wasn’t such a killer?  Can you image a world where getting a diagnosis of cancer resulted in “okay, let’s treat it” with a 99.9% chance that you would indeed get cured?

It’s scary.  Especially to a job seeker who is “in-between” health insurance policies.

I’m not going to talk about my family and friends who are struggling with cancer right now, with the exception of one friend, my video editor Bong.  His father was diagnosed with cancer and is starting treatments.  Bong is working hard, as are others in his family, to figure out how to pay for this treatment.  Bong has not asked me for more money, or for a raise, he has actually asked me for something very simple – a vote in a video contest.

Why?

The winner gets a Sony laptop.

How is that going to help Bong?  He writes:

If I win the prize (a Sony Vaio), I’m planning to sell it so I could help my mom with all the hospital bills.

How cool is that?

So please join with me and either rate or comment on Bong’s video on YouTube (it is a 50 second video, which is his idea for a commercial for a bank in the Philippines) – you either have to have a YouTube account OR YOU CAN LOGIN WITH YOUR GMAIL ACCOUNT!

Each rating or comment on this YouTube page counts as a vote.

Again, any comments or ratings on this video goes towards Bong winning the laptop.

And that laptop would help pay for his dad’s cancer treatment.

Please spare a few minute to help out Bong and his family… thank you.

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JibberJobber Update: Tags and Images

June 10th, 2009

Finally, finally, we got around to something that has been much requested: putting tags on Jobs and Companies.

Tags are awesome.  We’ve had them on Contacts for a long time, and now you can organize your data with tags on Companies and Jobs.

We also put “Images” on Companies… so if you can grab the logo of a Company you can see it on the Detail Page as well as the search results, the List Panel, and the Maps.  In pictures:

To add an image on a company, the field is directly below the Company Name… see the Tags field two below that?

This is a view of the Detail Page, you can see the Tags there (top arrow), and the image in the Notes section (just like on the Detail Page of a Contact):

On the List Panel, you can do a search based on tags, like this (this applies to all fields… just put in the field name, colon, and the search phrase (no spaces, like in the image)).  Notice there is only one record showing because we just released this like 8 minutes ago, and this is the first company I’ve tagged.  Also, note the second arrow pointing at the image of the company.

On the Job entry/edit page you’ll see the Tags box right here:

One quick thing to point out – notice on the Job Tags there is a drop down that says “Choose a Tag,” but on the Company Tags there isn’t that drop down.  Here’s how this works:

  • When you don’t have any existing tags, there is no drop down.  It only appears and populates when you have existing tags.
  • When you click on a tag from the drop down it will automatically populate it into the Tags box.
  • Company Tags are different than Job Tags which are different than Contact Tags.

Pretty cool, huh?  It’s a simple thing we should have done early on – thanks to the user requests we finally got it in!

(FYI, Tag Maintenance is not in the system yet but is coming soon – another oversight!  This will allow you to manage Tags the same way you manage Categories (add, edit, delete from a maintenance page)).

As usual, send us any suggestions (best is to use the Contact Us form).  We have a list a mile long and are continually working on it.

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Losing a Contract

June 9th, 2009
I almost wrote this post on my Jason Alba blog, which is where I’ve started to write more about entrepreneurial stuff.  You can subscribe to get those posts, which are written less frequently than these posts, but have a different flavor.

I remember one of my first days of work at a building maintenance company, there was a weird feeling in the air.  I soon learned we had lost a 5 million dollar contract.  This was a huge contract, perhaps one of our largest, and I was suddenly scared.

Surely, people who worked at those facilities would have to be let go.  That’s the way the building maintenance world works – it’s easy to find new maintenance professionals, which means it’s easy to let them go when you don’t need them.  I wondered if they would regret hiring me as their first IT manager, with a salary higher than they wanted to pay.

I walked into my boss’s office to see what might be different.  I was shocked to see him happy, whistling an upbeat tune.

It was like any other day at the office for him.  No big deal, regardless of losing this huge contract.   When I asked him about it he responded:

“We get and lose contracts all the time.  We have for the last 40 years.”

I was reassured by his confidence, and this perspective. Here we are, more than nine years later, and I find his perspective still has an impact on me.

During the next six years at that company at that company I indeed saw contracts come and go. I heard a rumor they recently lost a contract worth around $100M.  How do they react?

Restrategize.  Reorganize.

There are a few lessons we can learn from this volatile business/industry:

  1. Stuff happens. They lose contracts, we lose jobs.  We lose contracts, life goes on.  Business goes on.  You think there are companies or industries out there who don’t have to face this?  And find me someone who hasn’t lost their job ever… it just happens, and it’s okay.
  2. Attitude matters. Of course, we all know this.  In this situation we can go into the corner and cry for a while, or get mad and take it out on someone or something, or we can move on.  Hopefully we can figure out how to cope with this change and move on quickly.
  3. Opportunities abound. If others are losing contracts, that means there are new contracts looking for service providers.  If others are losing jobs, hopefully there are opportunities for us to pick up where others left off.  If companies aren’t hiring now (it’s freaking EXPENSIVE to hire someone, isn’t it?), perhaps they might look for a short-term contract.  Perhaps YOU can be the person to provide contract services?
  4. Keep on keeping on. Before they lost the contract, they were doing good marketing and operational stuff.  They had laid foundation for new contracts, and they just kept this up – it’s important we have a system and foundation in place before we need it… right?
  5. Restrategize and reorganize. Maybe it’s time to consider switching professions, or industries, or rethinking the amount of money you “need” to make.  Perhaps it’s time to move, or downsize, or sell a car.  Companies do this, sometimes they even do it strategically and well.  Why can’t we do this?  Oh yeah, perhaps if you were there for 40 years you get the golden watch… STOP!  It ain’t happening – stop thinking like that.

We need to be able to think like a startup – nimble, flexible, quick, hungry.  Not like a big company – slow-moving, unwavering.  We can’t afford that… we must be proactive and reactive… this is OUR career, we are CEO of Me, Inc.

Lost your job? Lost a contract?

It’s okay.  You will get through it, just like my old company did.

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JibberJobber vs. LinkedIn

June 9th, 2009

I got a PS in an email to me a few weeks ago that made me grin:

P.S. Your website (JibberJobber.com) is incredibly useful for jobseekers, perhaps even more so that LinkedIn. I’m surprised they LinkedIn hasn’t made you an offer to buy the company yet!

This came from someone who was on the JibberJobber user webinar, where the secrets of optimizing JibberJobber were unveiled :p

JibberJobber is incredibly useful for job seekers… even though not everyone gets it.  People going into a job search are looking for what Monster once was… the place to go to find a job or be found by a recruiter.  It doesn’t work that way anymore.

Perhaps the job search today is like the gold rush of yesteryear – more people coming to California didn’t mean more people were going to get rich – many died dirt poor looking, looking, looking.  I’m not suggesting you’ll die dirt poor, but chasing the crowd, and doing the easy stuff in a job search, is not lonely… you’ll be accompanied by millions who are also looking at that same freaking awesome job posting you just found.

JibberJobber is different.  You take initiative to fill in information on who you are networking with, the target companies you are tracking, etc.  It’s not necessarily easy or sexy, but it’s sure important.

Regarding being more valuable than LinkedIn, I can see that for some people.  LinkedIn offers value that we’ll never offer – access to 40 million professionals, and their networks.  That is really, really powerful.  But so many don’t know what to do with it -that’s why I created LinkedIn for Job Seekers, the DVD.

Regarding LinkedIn not making an offer yet, who says they haven’t?

Just kidding – they haven’t.  I’m not sure where I am at on their radar. At one point they thought I was in competition with them, which is far from the truth.  LinkedIn and JibberJobber are complementary tools for people who are into relationships (whether job seekers, salespeople or entrepreneurs).

The thing I’d LOVE is to have a JibberJobber application on LinkedIn – but it’s a very closed process right now, and they are doing things with CRM features that will probably mean I won’t get an application. Oh well.

How about instead of thinking JibberJobber vs. LinkedIn, it’s more of a JibberJobber + LinkedIn?

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The ABCs of Public Speaking

June 8th, 2009

Today I’m writing a post as a birthday present for my Austin buddy, Thom Singer.  Thom is really, really old today.  I’m not sure how old (oh, just checked his blog – he is 43 years old today – a lot older than me :p), but he has to be a lot older than me :p  For his present, I’m highlighting his new blog series called The ABCs of Public Speaking.

A is for the Audience

B is for Backstage

C is for Confidence

D is for Dress Code

… that’s all he has now – to keep up on this series go to ThomSinger.blogspot.com and subscribe to his blog towards the top right… I’ve subscribed for a couple of years and always look to see what he writes.

(no, he has no idea I’m writing this post, or suggesting people subscribe – but this post kills two birds for me – first, it is my bday present to him, second, many people ask me about speaking… and I know Thom has excellent info about speaking!)

Happy birthday Thom!

Have you seen the LinkedIn for Job Seekers teaser video on YouTube?  Check it out and let me know what you think!

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Prepare For A Layoff Before It Happens

June 5th, 2009

I remember when I was first married (and thus, quite impressionable :p), a friend of mine made a really interesting comment, something like:

Getting laid off is way harder than getting fired.

His logic was that if you get fired, it’s with cause, and you can know exactly what stupid thing you did to get you fired… but if you are laid off it was because of a bigger (group?) failure, and perhaps, just perhaps, if you would have worked harder you could have avoided it.  In other words, maybe it was because you weren’t working hard enough.

In 2006 I was laid-off (not fired).  At some point I was elated to be out of a hellhole that I was in for three years – a hellhole that caused stress on my family, my health, my sanity… but it was a hellhole with a salary and health insurance.

As I was driving home I was thinking of the things I would do — formulating a strategy to get through this short (HA!) period of unemployment, and land a job with a better culture, work environment, and pay than what I was leaving.  I had the world at my feet, I thought, and I was going to conquer.

I had no idea what I was up against.

So, let me share some thoughts with you, if you see the proverbial “writing on the wall.”  Things have changed in the last three years, of course, as have I.  These are the things I’d tell you to do if you are looking at a layoff (or job transition) in the next 12 months:

Get your resume in order. I wasted…. WASTED an entire week just looking for and then trying to recreate my resume.  I had to call my university to get exact dates and names of degrees I got… I didn’t want anyone to do a reference check and find a mistake, thinking i was being fraudulent.

As an employed worker this is a terrific time to engage with a professional resume writer… sure, take a stab at doing it on your own… but starting a discussion with a professional resume writer who is in the trenches right now, and understands current resume and job search issues, will pay off.

Start getting your network in order. In humility (that means I didn’t do this for a while – until I was humble enough to drag myself to an employment center) I sat down with a volunteer career counselor.  He asked me to start naming people in my network.  I discounted former coworkers, customers, prospects, workers at competitive companies, and family.  This really was my network, but I discounted them all for various reasons.  My network list probably had three people on it.  Pretty darn lame.

This excercise is a BRAINSTORM.  LIST EVERYONE.  Even your great grandma (who might know someone who knows someone…) … don’t discount anyone.

Put all of these people in a spreadsheet.  Just start with names so you don’t get hung up on phone numbers and emails that you might have to hunt down… list names and more names and more names …. get this network down!  And then import this list into JibberJobber, which is where you’ll keep track of each of these contacts, rank how well you know them, put their phone numbers, email addy’s, etc.

Start NETWORKING. The last point was to brainstorm and record.  This point is to meet with people – virtually, on the phone, in person, via snail mail, whatever.  Start making contact with them.

I was apprehensive about contacting someone who I hadn’t contacted in many years.  I worried if they were going to wonder why the heck I was calling them (I’ve heard “Is this Amway?” before :p).  I really didn’t know what I was going to say to them… how to phrase it, and how they could help me.  And I didn’t want to sound like a wounded animal.

But it’s better to go through that before you are laid off than to wait until you are laid off.

Here are the three networking things you need to do SOON:

  1. Get on LinkedIn. This is easy, low-hanging fruit.  Get my LinkedIn For Job Seekers DVD to get up to speed quick.
  2. Start reaching out to individuals. People on that list (the one you imported into JibberJobber) – contact them, let them know what you are up to (you don’t have to say you are going to be in a job search), and ask how you can help them.  Hard?  Read Never Eat Alone, by Keith Ferrazzi.
  3. Start attending local networking meetings for EMPLOYED people. This would be local chamber of commerce meetings, PMI chapter meetings, ASTD chapter meetings… figure out where you SHOULD HAVE been going all these years and start attending.  You want to grow your local network with people in your industry or profession… and you want to get on their radar.  Better to do it NOW than wait until you are in the job search.

Understand your finances. We sat down with our congregation leader, who asked us to lay out our monthly budget for him.  He wanted to understand where we were at financially, and how long it would be until we needed financial help.  He also wanted to see what we could easily cut out of the budget (cable, eating out, etc.).  This is simple, but we aren’t budget people, so it was enlightening to understand what our financial needs were month-to-month, and when we’d run out of reserve cash.

That’s all I’m going to recommend… I don’t want to overwhelm you with a list of 20 things to do… but if you want more, I got some great advice from my Twitter network:

I like this advice from Sandyjk, because you will have time to stop and smell the roses and do some stuff you might have always wanted to do – it’s a great time to chill and help and serve.  Maybe you’ll get a completely different perspective on life by doing so?

I agree, kind of… you might not be ready to announce it, or they might not be ready to handle it (you wouldn’t believe the number of people who tell me they won’t tell their dad they are in a job search – I hear this from the 40 – 50 year old, executive crowd.

I especially like her advice to establish an advisory team… very smart!

Yeppers…

That was from a “direct message” (DM) so I don’t have a link to it, but the link to the book is Get Back To Work Faster. Jill is terrific!

And the replies I got from Facebook:

Great advice…

Does this help?  What else would YOU add?

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Comcast Email Issues Make Me Want To Poke My Eye Out

June 4th, 2009

I’m beyond frustrated with Comcast email issues… I’m writing this post for two reasons:

  1. To inform users and people who sign up for JibberJobber that they WILL NOT get email from us anytime soon – so those birthday reminders, action item reminders, signup verification, password reminders… none of that will get to you until we can get this resolved.
  2. To tell people, whether you use Comcast as your ISP or email provider, that there is a much, much better way to handle your email.

First, for the issue of the JibberJobber mail server not able to send to Comcast addresses.  I was an email admin a while back and know that we will never win the war on spam.  Never.  It’s a huge issue, of course, as no one likes spam.  But sometimes the rules put into place cause more problems than they fix.

For example, when I was an email admin we set a “threshold” so that certain emails would go through (the good ones) and others would get stuck in a spam bucket (the bad ones).  Guess what? There were a number of “false positives,” that is, emails that were GOOD but got marked as spam.

Executives (who are typically the most whiney in situations like this) at first complained they got too much spam.  So we change the threshold so they get no (or little) spam, and then they whined they weren’t getting the important emails (the false positives, usually from their kids).

The problem here is that Comcast has blacklisted our server, which means NOTHING will go from our server to a Comcast email address.  We have tried to go through their process of getting off the blacklist, but have heard NOTHING back from them.  Very unprofessional.  Maybe @comcastcares on Twitter, but this is living hell for me, as I have a bunch of users saying “I never got _____ email.” And indeed, they are writing from a Comcast email address.

I’ll try again today, based on this blog post about getting off of Comcasts blacklist, but I’m not hopeful.

Enough about me and JibberJobber – now for the regular person.  I strongly encourage you to get a Gmail email account, for a few reasons:

  • Gmail has an awesome interface on the internet, and other interfaces (with Outlook, etc.).
  • Gmail interfaces with other cool tools, like the Google Calendar.
  • Gmail has awesome spam management.  Rarely have I seen problems in their logic, which amazes me.
  • Your Gmail address WON’T EVERY CHANGE.  Let me present a scenerio… today you are on Comcast (or Quest or whatever)… and then you move and get a different ISP or phone service.  Guess what – you will likely get a different email address… and have to tell all of your contacts.  Do this a few times and it’s frustrating to YOU and your contacts.  Get one gmail address now and keep it forever… regardless of who your ISP is.
  • Gmail makes you look more sophistacated (or up to speed, or whatever) than other providers like AOL (old), Juno (older), Yahoo, etc.

There ya go.  I gotta stop writing and go try and get off of Comcast’s blacklist.  Grrrrrrrrrr…….

Oh yeah, in case you are having blacklist problems with your email server going to Comcast, here are some good reads:

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