Job Search Depression :: Depression Clouds Everything

July 31st, 2009

One of my favorite posts is Depression Clouds Everything, which currently has 377 comments.  The followup to that post is Dealing with Job Search Depression, which has 9 ideas from me and 34 comments.

Sadly, this is much needed information.  Recently, on Depression Clouds Everything someone left a terrific comment.  Thanks to “Struggling To Stay Positive” for this comment:

Dear Friends:

Here’s a list of resources that have helped me, and maybe they might be useful to you and some other people reading this message thread –

Books (mostly available on as paperbacks for pennies if you buy a used copy. If you can’t afford to buy one, even for pennies, ask a friend or family member to purchase it for you):

1. “Getting Up When You’re Feeling Down,” by Dr. Harriet Braiker — a wise book, written for women dealing with a depression, but men can benefit from it as well.

2. “Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy,” by Dr. David Burns — a collection of useful techniques for dealing with depressing moods and shifting into a more positive outlook.

3. “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living: Time-Tested Methods for Conquering Worry,” by Dale Carnegie — an “oldie but goodie” written during the Great Depression and WWII, full of basic techniques for diminishing worry thoughts and focusing on solving problems.

4. “Happy for No Reason,” by Marci Shimoff — summary of her interviews with “100″ people, many of them now “New Age” teachers, who had various techniques for being happy even in really, really bad situations.

5. “The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want,” by Sonja Lyubomirsky — summarizes basic optimistic thought techniques that have been tested by rigorous scientific research — the author is a research psychologist — the techiques are very simple and almost ridiculously easy.

The author summarizes research that shows that positive thinking, even in very negative situations, improves your life. Brain research indicates that as you shift to positive thoughts, new neural pathways are created in your brain, gradually making negative pathways less powerful.

6. “Learned Optimism: How To Change Your Mind and Your Life” by Dr. Martin Seligman. One of the first books of the new scientific “positive psychology” movement, discussing how to shift a person’s pervasive pessimistic thinking to optimistic thinking.

7. “The Miracle of Mind Dynamics,” by Rev. Dr. Joseph Murphy — for Christians and other people inclined to spirituality, an “oldie but goodie” connecting prayer and meditation with ways to increase positive thinking.

8. “Building Your Self-Image and the Self-Image of Others,” by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin — for Jews and other people inclined to spirituality, a very good mix of practical instruction on maintaining positive thought patterns in a spiritual context, even in really bad situations.


1. The Good News Network — good news not covered by the mainstream media –

2. Positive Thinking Radio — really good free podcasts to listen to when times are tough –

3. Positive Psychology News — free daily email newsletters on positive thinking techniques from the new scientific positive psychology movement

4. American Happiness Association — provides free resources, such as teleconferences, for people who are having a tough time –

Finally, for everyone who may be feeling so depressed that suicide is looking good or someone you care about may be reaching that point:

1. “Suicide: Read This First” — a no-nonsense website that speaks directly and respectfully to peoples’ pain

2. “Lifeline Gallery: Stories of Hope and Recovery” — a website containing podcasts from people who either attempted or survived suicide attempts; also contacts podcasts from family and friends dealing with the aftermath of suicide attempts and completed suicides of friends and family members.

Website is sponsored by Dr. Phil, the podcasts are free to listen to, and other resources are provided on the website.

3. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline — practical, common sense website filled with free resources for people dealing with a suicidal crisis, including a free 1(800) line to call.

4. — a very kindly, warm website jammed with resources for people feeling suicidal and people trying to help suicidal family members

Discouraged [referring to someone else who left a comment on the original thread], I hope that you and anyone else reading this resources list may find some of them helpful. I wanted to “give back” as this message thread as been so helpful to me.

Many blessings to everyone on this message thread.

Hopefully this continued discussion helps someone – a job seeker, a spouse, a parent, a child, a neighbor, who faces this today.

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Planning Software – any suggestions?

July 31st, 2009

I got an email from one of my users recently…. while JibberJobber will help with some of this (he’s a Premium user on JibberJobber), he’s looking for something that is more intense, specifically for planning.  Here’s his question:

Can you recommend the best PLANNING resources you’ve come across? I’m finding I’m a little scatter brained at the moment in planning what I need to do and could use the help.

I use Todo on my iPhone, which is a great app, and it syncs flawlessly with Toodledo, so some way to take JibberJobber with me would be great.

I don’t really have a “planning” system that I use, outside of my Outlook Calendar (soon to be integrated with JibberJobber… oh and I’m not even going to preannounce JibberJobber on the iPhone or Blackberry (oops, did I just preannounce that??).

Do you have any suggestions?

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How To Cancel a PayPal Subscription

July 30th, 2009

One of the ways to upgrade on JibberJobber is through PayPal – you can do a onetime upgrade (1/3/6/12/24 month(s), etc.), or you can do a recurring subscription.  If you do a subscription and then want to downgrade later, the steps are easy, but we can’t do it for you.  Even if you DELETE your JibberJobber account we can’t cancel the PayPal subscription for you.  There are instructions in the FAQ, and on the My Account page (when you logged-in), but I wanted to put it here also.  These are instructions I just got from a user (since the instructions Paypal has in their email is not as detailed):

  1. Log into PayPal
  2. Click the History sub-tab under My Account
  3. Find the last subscription payment transaction in your history
  4. Click the Detail link for that transaction
  5. Click the S-number link at the top of detail page
  6. Click the Cancel Subscription button at the bottom of the page
  7. Click the Cancel Subscription button on the confirmation page
  8. Click Return to Log to confirm the cancellation transaction now appears

Thanks Dieter, for putting these instructions together!

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Recession Webinar with Mark Hovind

July 29th, 2009

I got a lot of positive comments about this 63 minute webinar… here it is in it’s entirety. (there is link in the bottom right corner of the image below, with 4 arrows… if you click on that you can see this in full-screen)

I did get one negative comment, about how we were just focusing on the negative.  I understand the email I got, but hope that after you watch this you can see the opportunities you can focus on.

Again, huge thanks to Mark for sharing his stuff with us!  We’ll do something like this again – any suggestions for topics?



Organize Your Job Search with JibberJobber: Testimonial

July 28th, 2009

Every once in a while I get emails from users that really make my day month year.  Here’s one I got a couple of weeks ago – I am sharing this in its entirety because there is a lot of good stuff in here.  This comes from John Greegan, who first reached out to me to tell me we had a typo somewhere.  He starts off answering my question “how did you come across JibberJobber?

A google search, mainly.  A college professor who taught job search skills to those about to graduate mentioned to me that job hunting today is not the same as it was the last time I found myself in the job market in the mid 80’s.  “One of the things that is different today”, he said, “is the level of organization and effort often required in a successful job search, and there are several web-based tools available to meet that demand.” Though he didn’t mention any tools by name, he did say that a good search with the keywords “Organize Job Search” would help.  This, and my previous experience as an open-source software user, was the catalyst that sent me to the web.

However, my first stop on the web wasn’t google.  It was [note from Jason: anyone who goes to for a solution is serious!], where I’ve had a lot of luck finding tools I needed at my previous job.  Not finding enough there, I then turned to google.  That search returned lots of articles of advice, mainly centered around buying thinks like a Franklin Planner, handwriting in your company and job info, ranking, etc…all still hand-work.  JibberJobber, Virtual Job Coach, JobFiler, HappyJobSearch and Becomed [note from Jason: I think this is the first time I have mentioned any of my competitors on this blog :p] were the tools that I spent a day teasing out of various drill-downs from that list.  JibberJobber was topmost on the top-level list.

Wanting to ensure that I used the best tool I could find, I spent the next day researching and comparing these four and found JibberJobber to be the most robust and sensible tool.

Did John just say JibberJobber is the most robust and sensible tool?  Considering his very technical background, I’m flattered!

He goes on to say, in another email:

While we’re at it, I’d like to take a moment to tell you how happy I am with JibberJobber.  Like so many others, I’ve been collecting companies I want to track on a spreadsheet or in a file folder.  I thought I had a list of about 35 or so, but when I did all the initial data entry using JibberJobber I found that I had actually compiled a list closer to 70!  I felt very good about my job search when I looked at the company panel at the end of that day!  Tomorrow I’m meeting with the folks at the Career Center (an offshoot of the State of MN workforce center), and when I demo this for them (they want to see how I’ve organized my career management/job search thus far, and that just happens to be on JibberJobber), I have no doubt they’re going to be impressed.

Now, I normally don’t talk about WHO upgrades to premium, but I really liked what he said below (in the bold):

I’m going to upgrade my account to Premium in the next few days.  With 70 companies in my list I’m nearing the limit (and I expect to exceed that limit), and since this is the most important activity I’m engaged in at the moment [note from Jason: LOVE this.  Organizing your job search is NOT trivial… it really is quite important, and John recognizes it as “the most important activity” he’s engaged in] it only makes sense to spend the $9.95/mo and get the best and most efficient use of the product.

Pretty awesome, eh?  John gets it, and I am so glad to hear that a college professor gave him that advice!  My faith is getting restored in college professors (remember this post?)!

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Tools I Use (part II of II): Hardware

July 27th, 2009

Here’s the other half of the Tools I Use post.  Friday was about the software I use, today is about the hardware.  Again, in no particular order:

Split Keyboard: I type so much that I need something ergonomic.  I tried a split keyboard when I worked for the FBI doing a lot of typing and it became a must-have.  I never have pain in my wrists from typing unless I am on my laptop a lot, or have to use someone else’s keyboard.

USB headset: As mentioned on Friday, I use Skype… so this headset is how I answer the phone or make calls out.  I love how it is hands-free so I can be on a call and take notes the entire time.

Optical mouse with a scroll wheel: You know the mouse that has that wheel on the top, so you can easily scroll up and down a website?  If I don’t have the wheel I’m apt to go nutz.  Seriously.  I hate using a mouse that does not have the scroll wheel.

UPS: This is that big battery backup that you plug all your stuff into… I’ve had a few brownouts and my UPS easily keeps my computer up.  There’s nothing fun about an electrical problem that causes your machine to reboot… my UPS is awesome.

Two monitors: I cannot do it with one monitor anymore… I have one that is 19″ wide and another that is 22″ wide, and I use all of it.  One day I’ll have four monitors… if you don’t think you can use two monitors you simply haven’t tried.  When I’m on the road and have to use just my laptop monitor I really feel the limitation.

Palm Treo: This is my phone… I don’t know if my next one will be an iPhone (sexy but crappy phone service), a BlackBerry (which I can use on my Sprint account), or a Palm Pre… but for now this does what I want.  I should note that I DO NOT do email or surf the web on my phone… I had to draw the line somewhere and this was it.  I don’t want email to get at me 24×7!

Thumb Drives: When I’m on the road I rely on my thumb drives to transfer my presentations. I didn’t think they were a big deal but I use them all the time when on the road.

Magellan GPS: I call this my “Lady,” and she is crucial to my travels.  I bought a 4″ wide for $175 (it was a floor model) and have loved it from day one.  My Lady has saved me on many trips, and the amount of stress from navigating a new city has gone from 100 to 0 from that day on.

Honorable Mention: Dymo Twin Turbo LabelWriter: Since I got my LinkedIn DVDs in, and started shipping them, this has become my new best friend.  I bought the twin since it prints two different labels… on the left is the shipping label (with your name and my return address) and on the right is the stamps… it is SO awesome to be able to fulfill all of my DVDs from my desk, without having to go to the post office (as long as it the package goes domestic).

What hardware tools do you live by?



Tools I Use (part I of II): Software

July 24th, 2009

One of my favorite series was Char Polanosky’s Essential Tools posts where she interviewed web developers and freelancers about what they used in their jobs.  I figured I’d share what I use with you… I might have forgotten a few things but these are the main software tools I rely on pretty much daily.  In no particular order:

Gmail: it took a while to get used to, especially since I couldn’t file one message into a folder, but as I caught on I fell in LOVE.  I can access it from anywhere, and searching for old emails is awesome.  I use my gmail account as much as I use my JibberJobber account.

Microsoft Outlook: I’m an Outlook guy… always have been.  I love some things about Outlook, and I haven’t been able to replace those things anywhere else.  By the end of this year I suspect I’ll have my gmail and my Outlook 100% integrated, so I get the best of both.  Also, ALL of my calendaring is done on Outlook. I meet a lot of people and have a lot of conversations.  There is NO WAY I could do what I do without having a “customer relationship” tool.  Many people know JiberJobber as a job search tool, or a website to replace the job search spreadsheet, but I, as a business owner and CEO, use it to manage my relationships.  I login in the morning and it stays open in a browser all day long.

Firefox: As a web developer from 10 years ago I grew to dislike the “browser wars,” since coding something would have to work in multiple versions of multiple browsers.  They all sucked, as far as I was concerned.  But I was introduced to Firefox (FF) as a browser that was highly superior to Internet Explorer (IE) by a group of uber-geek programmers, and I thought I’d give it a shot.  I quickly fell in love with a few things… the most important for me is how fast it is (or, how much faster it is than IE).  This is my browser of choice… although I do some testing and other stuff in IE.

Skype: My business phone number is a “skype-in” number… I make all of my business calls from a headset hooked up to my computer through Skype.  There have been a few quirks here and there, but overall I’m really pleased with the service.  And the ability to chat with other skype people is icing on the cake, since it’s become a backup place to chat to my team members, who all work remotely.

Microsoft Live Messenger: I love what used to be called IM (the tool, which was “Instant Messenger”) and is not Live Messenger.  I tried Trillian, which would allow me to put all of my chat accounts in one place, but it didn’t satisfy me.  My messenger of choice is Microsoft’s.  I LOATHE Yahoo messenger (sorry).  But, as mentioned above, if it goes down (not totally uncommon), I can always jump on Skype chat… and increasingly I’m chatting with people on Gmail.

Notepad: This is one of those Microsoft utilities… lightweight and easy to use.  It has become my “sticky notes” or “post-it notes” … when I have a thought I’ll open up a new one, jot my notes down, and then when I’m done I’ll close the file without saving.  For example, the list of stuff in this post is on a notepad file that I’ll close as soon as I’m done writing it.  Another example: when I’m on the phone I’ll take notes in Notepad.  When I hang up, I clean up the notes and then copy and paste into a log entry in JibberJobber.

SnagIt: I grab images from the web regularly – whether it’s a screenshot for my development team or a picture of YOU (if I add you to JibberJobber)… it’s super easy to do with TechSmith’s SnagIt… which allows me to put annotations, borders, arrows, highlight, etc. on the image.  Any image on my blog will have gone through SnagIt before it gets to my blog.  If I don’t have SnagIt I feel lost.  I’ve used this tool for at least five years.

Twitter: Love it or not, Twitter does it for me.  It’s pretty cool.  If Twitter can figure out how to keep the spammers out/down, it would be better.  Meanwhile I’m enjoying it, and am able to communicate to a group of people who want to hear from me.  You can follow me at

LinkedIn: I use this when I see a name of someone I want to learn more about. If we are going to be on a phone call, go to a lunch, or have communicated via email and are taking our professional relationship to the next level, you can bet I’ve gone to your LinkedIn Profile to figure out who you are.

PayPal: I know there are PayPal haters out there, but I’ve not really had a problem with it.  There are many people I’ve paid with PayPal, and many people who have paid me through PayPal.  I’ve also been able to purchase a number of things using PayPal instead of my credit card, which has made it easier/faster to purchase what I’ve needed.

Honorable mention: Camtasia: Another TechSmith product, this is what I use to do the JibberJobber tutorial recordings.  LOVE IT.

I hope this has been helpful … I’m not saying you have to use any of these, but I find many of these indispensable.  What do you recommend?



Job Security in the Government

July 23rd, 2009

I used to work for the Federal Government.  When I decided to leave my clerical position and go to private industry as a web developer, I had a number of people come and warn me that I was leaving the most secure thing I could ever have.  (read my thoughts about job security here)

How could private industry compete with the steady paycheck and the acceptable benefits that the gov’t would provide?  If I just stayed a few decades longer perhaps I could work my way up and make enough money to raise a family (at the time I was making about $10.50 an hour).

They thought I was nuts to leave such a good thing.  And good it was, for sure, for some people.  I have family and friends who have a great retirement after spending their careers in government service.  My career envy thoughts even made me think about the FBI or Air Force as options.

But here’s something that I think is just downright sad… check out this CNN article titled Pennsylvania withholds July pay.


Oh, it gets better… in the article it says Pennsylvania is withholding pay for 69,000 state employees. You’ve heard about California sending out IOUs?  That’s because they have a $26B shortfall.  So hey, take this IOU and pay your bills.  Actually, some debtors took the IOUs for a short time, but either they have stopped taking IOUs or they have a date on when they won’t accept them anymore.  This will ruin personal and business credit.

So much for job security.  The second to last line in that article says “Many thousands of California workers will lose their jobs.”

How’s that for security.

I feel my career envy dwindling already.

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Learn How To Say You Are Unemployed

July 22nd, 2009

I have a friend who is in a job search.  My friend is mad.  He’s hurt, wounded, depressed, sad, and feels incompetent.

But really, he’s MAD.

He’s mad at the people responsible for him being in this job search.  (You might not be mad, but if you are overly hurt, wounded, depressed, sad, etc. and it shows, this post is for you)

Okay, I get it.  I’m mad too, and it’s been almost FOUR YEARS!  The problem with him, though, is that everyone knows he’s mad.

And people feel bad for him, and some get mad with him, and no one blames him for feeling MAD.

But no one is ready to really help him.  No one is ready to spend their “relationship capital” on him for one simple reason: they are not willing to risk their relationship capital when it might backfire.

Since he is so mad, the introduction might backfire.  You see, when I spent time to nurture a relationship, I don’t want it jeopardized by someone who is MAD… someone who I “highly recommend that you chat with.”

I would not give an intro to someone who will ruin my relationship capital.  This person needs to figure out how to talk about what has happened with him  Here are some key thoughts:

  • Be concise. What happened to you has happened to… well, almost anyone who has been working for a few years.  I don’t want to hear every detail… just sum it up and let me know that you are in transition.
  • Don’t be negative. As you tell “your side” of the story you might make yourself look like a risk. Was there a reason you were let go?  Was it performance-related? Where you a legal liability?  And, if you are talking this way about your old boss, how are you going to talk about ME?  You should be able to figure out a way to explain why you are in transition that does not make you look bad, nor does it make you look like a whiny gossip, nor does it make you look like you are anxious to spread the bad word about your past employer (which I might one day become).
  • Make an impression about YOU. You have a few seconds to make an impression and share a message – why would you take precious time to talk about something that really doesn’t matter, or help you in any way?

I know that it sucks, and I’m not suggesting you have to be a Pollyanna, but beware of how you communicate your why, let you turn off your network contacts.



Relationship Capital

July 21st, 2009

There’s a term I started using after talking with a Keith Ferrazzi employee a year or two ago: Relationship Capital.

When I talk about Relationship Capital I am referring to the “capital” I am building up in that relationship.  It comes from nurturing individual relationships.  People might be referring to the level of TRUST they have with a contact when they talk about relationship capital.

I do not think of relationship capital as something I need to get a return on… in other words, if I have an investment I want to get a return on my money invested.

With relationship capital I develop relationships so that I can add more value to the relationships or, if needed, they can add value to me.  I think a one-to-one comparison with any other investment, especially where you will take you investment off the table if it doesn’t give you the ROI you want, is not fair.  If you think of your relationships that way they will probably seem one-sided or fake.

Building relationship capital is deeper than that.

However, understand that one day I might want to take a draw on that relationship capital, which might mean i ask for a favor, or an introduction, or something like that.

Tomorrow I have a post that I talk about networking and using relationship capital….

Have you heard of, or do you refer to, relationship capital?  Perhaps an almost-good-enough phrase to describe something we all need to be working on.

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