Interview with Amy Franko (LinkedIn Tips, Thoughts on being an entrepreneur, etc.)

August 31st, 2009

A few weeks ago I was interviewed by Amy Franko, a business coach out of Ohio.  We had a very nice interview where we talked about a number of things – you can get a download of the interview (as well as a transcription) from this page (I’m #4).

Some of the stuff we talk about (her audience is not job seekers, it’s entrepreneurs):

  • thoughts on being an entrepreneur,
  • stuff about my book and how I’ve used it as a marketing tool,
  • the name of a movie that had a major impact on me as an entrepreneur (I saw it on my way to a speaking gig in Turkey),
  • and a number of thoughts on using LinkedIn.

If you have a few minutes and any entrepreneurial inclination, check it out :)



Twitter for Job Seekers

August 27th, 2009

I can’t believe I missed THREE days of blogging!  This surgery-recovery thing is kicking my butt.  I was also pretty preoccupied with a new presentation I was putting together for masters level students at universities. I delivered it yesterday … I was nervous since I haven’t spoken for a while AND I knew I wanted to do a NEW presentation – it took a long time for me to figure out just what I wanted to do.  But I think I now have something I can use at other universities – especially as a presentation to kick off the school year.

One of my projects is to create new training on using tools I talk about for professionals.  In the title of this blog post I say “Twitter for JOB SEEKERS” – by now you should know that I think we are all job seekers.  My audience for this new webinar is professionals (including executives) in transition, or professionals who want to do Career Management better.

That would be YOU.

This webinar was one hour and twenty three minutes!  I couldn’t believe I got that much content in something so seemingly simple – but I talk about:

  • how Twitter fits into an overall social strategy
  • basics of Twitter, including RT, @, hashtags, etc.
  • How to use Twitter as a personal branding tool
  • How to use Twitter as a networking tool
  • Tools that tap into Twitter that are powerful – including one MUST USE site, whether you use Twitter or not
  • and some other miscellaneous alba-isms (come on, you gotta love the alba-isms :p)

The good news is I’m done with the recording.  The bad news is it is not ready for you to view yet – it should be available shortly… we’re working on a system that will allow you to watch this recording as a streaming video – I hope that it is up and ready next week.  Watch the blog for when it’s ready.

Comments Off on Twitter for Job Seekers


Job Search vs. Career Management

August 21st, 2009

This is one of my favorite posts from over two years ago (original post here).  I’m amazed at how I wrote it – even now, after the growth I’ve had, I don’t think I could do it better.  I hope you enjoy this stroll down memory lane :)

I frequently think about how we think of our job transitions – we are supposed to have lots of them during our career.

I’m completely intrigued by the people who have forgotten what a forced transition is like, or by those that feel totally secure in their job (or their ability to find a new job) – and their reactions to a “job search.”

Before I get to some differences that I have brainstormed, I have to admit one of my personal characteristics. As a trained computer programmer I tend to try and figure out how to create a process that can be duplicated. So, if I’m going to change jobs “nine more times” what can I do that I can reuse during any of those nine job changes? (yes, JibberJobber is based on this idea, that’s why I call it a “career toolset” and not a “job search tool.”) … so with that introduction, I share my thoughts on the job search vs. career management:

Job Search: I will start to look when I need to (unemployed, completely fed up, can see the writing on the wall, etc.)

Career Management: I am always in career management mode – I regularly do things that I need to in order to navigate quickly (and be in control of) future job transitions.

Job Search: I network to find immediate job opportunities, and hope that my network isn’t too stale (or… “what network??”).

Career Management: I have a very strong set of relationships and continually strive to add value to people that are in different circles than I am in.

Job Search: I find networking to be frustrating and non-beneficial to my search (and it takes too much time).

Career Management: As I nurture various relationships I find great satisfaction in watching my contacts succeed, congratulating them when I can and offering to help as appropriate.

Job Search: I don’t have time to volunteer – I’m too busy looking for a job.

Career Management: I actively volunteer in areas where I can contribute considerably to an organization and where I will meet other professionals that I want to get to know better.

Job Search: I have spent considerable time on my resumes and have “the perfect resume.” I hope I don’t have to do this again any time soon because it took a long time to tweak it just right.

Career Management: I keep a Job Diary (see Liz Handlin’s post on what a Job Diary is).

Job Search: I share my personal brand through my resume, interviews and my business cards I just got “for free” from VistaPrint (um, its not exactly free).

Career Management: I know what my value proposition is and I find ways to share this in various mediums. I have various elevator pitches (for different events), I know what a Google search on my name will produce, I have (or will have) some kind of strong presence online (I’m buying a URL with my name, I will start a blog once I figure it out, etc.).

Job Search: I don’t have time to read one more article or book on the job search – because its time to find a job and I need to apply, apply, apply.

Career Management: I have a list of books (and other resources) that I read to help me understand my own career options including job search stuff (interviewing, resumes, etc.), personal branding, etc. I am not hurried through these books and mix in my own favorite reading, but make it a point to keep abreast on career issues.

Job Search: I hope my next job is at least as good as the last one (or way better).

Career Management: Each job change I have will (should) be a stepping-stone to my ultimate career goals.

Job Search: I need something NOW (you know, mortgate, bills, mouths-to-feed, etc.) and am prepared to sacrifice what I really want to get what I need for now.

Career Management: My career is planned out – with flexibility. I won’t have control over everything but I know that my career is mine to own, and I’m making sure that I do everything I can to work towards my end goals.

Job Search: I hate recruiters – why don’t they ever call me back??.

Career Management: I have a handful of recruiters that regularly contact me. I’m interested in hearing what they have to say and have no problem selectively opening my network to them.

Job Search: I can’t wait until this is over so I don’t have to do this stuff anymore!

Career Management: My career management is never over – its a part of what I do.

Care to add your views? Disagree on any of these? Add a comment :) … and if you think you are a “career management” type and don’t have an account on JibberJobber yet, you need to click here to see what its all about…

Great post, wasn’t it?



What Is Your Motivation To Seek New Employment?

August 20th, 2009

One of my LinkedIn contacts, Marianna Fichtenholtz, asked me a question on LinkedIn that I’ve thought about for the last week:

If you were a job seeker, how would you answer the following question:

What is your primary motivation to seek new employment?

My first thought was “to make money again.”  When I was a job seeker it was not by choice, and my funds were drying up.

But all week I’ve batted this around, and come up with a few other ideas:

  • To make MORE money. Some companies or titles or jobs or career paths or industries might offer me more money if I switch.
  • Because I’m done here. An executive might have accomplished what he/she came to do, or in my case, there wasn’t anything more to learn (which was the reason I transitioned out of one of my first jobs).  If you’ve reached “the end,” and you’ll know it before you get there, then perhaps it’s time to look.
  • To find something more secure. JibberJobber users are pretty savvy – they realize nothing is totally “secure,” but some things can be more secure that what they have now.
  • To find something more aligned with your values. Whether your values are aligned with tree huggers, liberals, conservatives, ultra-conservatives… if the company you work for isn’t congruent or tolerant or conducive to your values, you might find it taxing to go to work each day.
  • To escape HELL. Been there.  Done that.  It’s better to move on than stay.
  • To do something with a purpose. In one company I did cool stuff but the company wasn’t necessarily doing anything life-changing in the world.  I didn’t think I’d care, but when I started JibberJobber and really started affecting individuals lives, WOW, I’m hooked on having a job that has a purpose.

Let me throw this out to you – what is (or has been) YOUR primary motivation to seek new employment?



Please Do Not Comment On My Facebook Posts – Comment On The Blog

August 18th, 2009

I recently wrote a blog post titled “The evolution of a Blogger’s Ego” on my Jason Alba blog.  I wrote about a change I’ve seen in the last three years since I’ve been a blogger and having participated in other social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.).  I think it’s an intriguing history… you can read it there, but one issue I bring up is this:

The discussion that a blog used to be able to create is not dispersed over various networks.

This is different than it was three years ago.  For example, when I now pose a question or discussion on a blog post, I hope to get good, health debate.  However, what happens is I get a few comments here, a few comments on Twitter, a few comments on Facebook, a few comments on LinkedIn (if I post the question on LinkedIn), etc.

This is good for ME, but horrible for YOU.  YOU being anyone who is not following me on Twitter, or my “friend” on Facebook, etc.  YOU is also anyone who comes over from a google search.

Case in point – the post from yesterday addresses two comments I got from Facebook.  My blog posts automatically become “Notes” in Facebook, and some of my Facebook Friends leave a comment there.  The problem?  That comment is seen by a few people, but really it’s lost to the masses.

I contend that the comments from YOU on my blog posts are much better than my own blog posts.  So please, please, please bring the conversation back to the original blog post – if you see my stuff on Facebook please DO NOT hit the “Comment” link… rather, click on View Original Post to leave a comment on the blog.  It’s better for everyone, even you, as your wisdom and input goes to a much bigger audience.

Thank you :)



Affording Healthcare – Update On My Surgery Post

August 17th, 2009

A few thoughts since I wrote about paying for surgery when you don’t have health insurance.

First, I need to say that while I don’t have health insurance, it isn’t because I don’t want it.  I can’t write about why I don’t have health insurance, but from my readers I know that securing health insurance is not as easy as you might think.

Get a job and get health insurance… it’s pretty easy.  But if you don’t have a job there are two significant factors that preclude you from *easily* getting health insurance:

  1. Price. I know people who easily pay more than $1,000 each month for health insurance.  This is not an option for everyone.  I have readers of this blog who are just looking for $30 for groceries or their utility bill.
  2. Qualifications. Getting health insurance on your own usually means some contract nurse comes to your house to have you fill out forms, do blood work, and some other tests.  A few weeks later you hear back.  If the health insurance company thinks you are too risky for them, guess what?  NO HEALTH INSURANCE FOR YOU! Worse than the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld.  They own a racket and when you are on the other end, it SUCKS.

So let me reiterate… my post about how to pay for a surgery when you don’t have insurance was NOT about how to get around health insurance, or to say that health insurance is bad or unnecessary.  We’re working on getting insurance, but we haven’t been able to yet.  The post was more about:

  1. Letting you know that you can actually negotiate with the service providers (doctors and hospitals) to get SIGNIFICANT (50%+) discounts, and
  2. just sharing how SCREWED UP (the cost of) health care is if we can get 50%+ discounts by paying THAT DAY.

Here are two comments that came on my Facebook post that triggered this followup:

>> You are fortunate to be able to pay 3400 dollars out of your pocket in one payment. What of those that can’t?

I am very fortunate to be able to pay that out of pocket.  We did have this planned and had time to figure out where the money was coming from… that was definitely a benefit.  But I realize that many people don’t have $3,400 sitting around.  My point in the post was just to share that you COULD save that much money if you could figure out how to get the payment together.  Most people (me included, before this experience) don’t know that you could even question this big hairy institution.


>> It is great that you’re able and willing to self-pay, but what is something happens and your bill is in the hundreds of thousands or even millions? I sincerely hope that never happens to you, but it happens to a lot of people. If you self-pay and don’t have your own insurance, then doesn’t that really mean that you’re shifting the risk to those who… Read More are paying federal taxes? And how different is that than being an advocate for single payer?

Again, this is why I’m writing this clarification.  I’m not saying “don’t get health insurance because you can save 50% by paying upfront.”  I’m saying “Did you know that you could even negotatiate?”  I’m writing more to the people who can’t get or don’t have health insurance – which is A LOT of people.

… so that’s it.

Here’s one more LAME update.  The doctor’s office coded the procedure wrong, so the quote from the hospital was $5,000 low.  That meant we got hit with an additional out-of-pocket $2,500 charge (if we wanted to get the 50% discount) that we weren’t expecting.  Fun?  Absolutely not.  Wish I had health insurance right now, but for us the discount is the only option we have (other than sitting on double the amount and making payments until my kids move out).



Marketing Yourself: The Most Awesome Tip

August 14th, 2009

Dan Schawbel wrote what might be the most significant post on his personal branding blog just a few days ago. It’s titled: Branding by Association is the Single Most Powerful Idea in Personal Branding

This is a very long post, so I’m not going to say much here.  Just go read it.  Print it out.  Mark it up. And figure out how YOU can apply it to YOUR career.


Want to know something?  If I didn’t write the book on LinkedIn, JibberJobber probably wouldn’t be half as far as it is today.

Is that not profound?  I’m not going to attribute our current success with:

  • My amazing programming and development team,
  • any vision or skills that I brought to the table,
  • any traditional marketing, or even social marketing, that we’ve done,
  • any branding that I did for

I’ll attribute 50%+ of my current success with my LinkedIn book.

But not just any book – a book that was associated with a site/brand that was going gangbusters.

Read Dan’s post, it is brilliant.  It works (I’m proof of that).

I’d love to hear how YOU think you can apply this post and concept to your own career.

Comments Off on Marketing Yourself: The Most Awesome Tip


How To Delete All Of Your Contacts

August 13th, 2009
If you want to delete ALL of the records from an import, check out this blog post: How To: Delete multiple records that you had imported

Every once in a while someone asks how to delete their contacts.  Usually this is because they did an import and didn’t clean up the data before they imported.  Or because they got on one of our user webinars and learned they could have tagged, ranked, etc. their contacts all at once BEFORE the import.

Whatever the reason, it is pretty easy to delete a bunch of records at once.

HOWEVER, IF YOU DELETE STUFF FROM YOUR ACCOUNT WE CANNOT GET IT BACK. No data recovery is available so be sure you want to delete it before you delete.

STEP ONE: Go to the List Panel where you want to delete multiple records.  Usually this will be Contacts or Companies. (note that clicking where either arrow points will open the List Panel).


STEP TWO: Click on Manage Columns ICON so you can see more records.


STEP THREE: Change the number of Rows per Page to 255, which is the most you can see per page on a List Panel. Click “Save changes” to go back to the List Panel with a lot more records showing.


STEP FOUR: Click the checkbox in the top left of the List Panel, which checks (or unchecks) the checkbox for every record on that page.


STEP FIVE: Scroll to the very bottom of the List Panel and click on the DELETE icon.  WARNING: THIS WILL DELETE ALL RECORDS THAT HAVE A CHECK MARK IN THE BOX!!


That’s it…. you might have to do step four and five a few times, if you have more records than the 255 limit you can see per page.

If you want to delete by a certain criteria (date of mass import, or tags, location, etc.), order your data differently.

For example, I have my List Panels show my data by the date I entered them (Date Created).  If you sort by Date Created you’ll group all records by the date they are created.


You can filter your search based on keywords… which is very cool.  Read this post for more on filtering your search.



Unemployment Insurance: Good or Bad? Evil or Not?

August 12th, 2009

Last week I wrote about a guy who is on Unemployment Insurance (UI) and shared 10 things to do while on UI.  Some of the comments in my post critiqued my logic/post, so I want to make my feelings clear on UI.

I still think the original post with 10 ideas (which are (1) build a business, (2) travel, (3) have more sex, (4) exercise, (5) spend more time with family or friends, (6) eat healthy, (7) cook at home, (8) read more, (9) try a new hobby, and (10) relax) had a bad message.  See my original post for what I think the message was.  Funny, the suggestions aren’t bad… if I were to edit that post I’d suggest rewriting the intro and making it less of “I’m on UI now, so I can have more sex” to “finding a job is frustrating, and isn’t going to happen overnight… I am collecting  UI and working hard to get back on my feet financially.  I’m going to share 10 things that I’ve filled my spare time with…”

Regardless, my post may have came across as brash and critical of anyone on UI.  That is not the case, and I apologize for any misunderstanding.  I do not think UI is “the dole,” but the message from quoted post seemed to associate the two.

When I lost my job I was advised to get on UI as soon as possible.  I didn’t think I’d need it because I had gotten a 6 week severance which meant I wouldn’t get any UI for 6 weeks after termination.  My plan was to be employed by the end of that six weeks!

But I applied anyway.

By the time I was qualified to draw from UI I was down on my luck and probably depressed.  It would be a long road before I pulled out of it.  UI was… awesome.  It was necessary.  It was a significant reason why we didn’t lose our house, car, etc.

UI didn’t make me rich… it was about 20-25% of my normal income.  UI is taxable.  I only qualified for UI if I met certain conditions (and reported on them) each week.  Each state is different in the requirements but it seems that reporting is a weekly requirement.

Should you be ashamed to be on UI? No.  I was, but I got over it. I was eternally grateful there was a system in place that could serve as a financial safety net.

John made an interesting comment:

Perhaps one could say the same thing about that older busisness associate of yours who retired on Social Security; they are living on the “dole” also. Maybe we should get rid of Social Security and give the money to those well-qualified executives on Wall Street who have really worked hard out on the golf course, do you suppose??

I don’t associate UI and SS as the same thing, with the same purpose.  UI, in my mind, is to help you get by while you get back on your feet.  It is a temporary solution not designed to make your life comfortable, but to help with necessities (not wantaties).

You pay into both UI and SS in order to get it (Barry notes that he doesn’t qualify because his employer didn’t pay into it).  The idea behind SS is not to serve as a temporary solution, and the amount you get out depends on the amount you put in – quite different than UI.

Lawgirl says “I would choose to go to work everyday, but in the meantime, yes I am enjoying the mental, physical, and emotional break.” I don’t disagree with you at all, and being on UI does not make you a bad person.

I really like what RecruiterGirl wrote:

I don’t love being on unemployment either. Lots of misconceptions about UI (unemployment insurance). So Joshua is “living quite comfortably” on UI. Unlikely. But he is doing a good job of making a mockery of the system and in the meantime anonymously making himself and possibly his generation look bad.

My original post was not to bash UI, or those who are on UI.  If it came across wrong, sorry.  I am glad UI is there, and that it helps save people from financial ruin.



How To Pay For Surgery Without Health Insurance

August 11th, 2009

Three months ago we had a baby and paid for it without health insurance or government aid.

Last week my wife had a surgery and we’ll have it paid for as soon as we get the final invoice, again without any health insurance or government aid.

You should note that I have NOTHING against private health insurance (well, I think it’s grossly overpriced and doesn’t offer what it should) nor am I against getting government aid when appropriate (more on that tomorrow). This isn’t a political post, or a bashing post… I just wanted to share a couple of ideas that might help you save money (or, be able to afford the health care you need).

When asked what our insurance is we simply respond that we are “self-pay.”  This means it doesn’t go through insurance, rather that we pay for it ourselves.  As self-pay you can finance the service(s) through the service provider (hospital, doctor., etc.).  Or you can pay in full.  Why would you pay in full? Read on.

When we had our baby we told them we were self-pay and asked them if they offered a discount.  Guess what the discount was?

OVER 50%!  Instead of paying more than $8,000, our total hospital bill was around $3,400.  That is a huge, significant savings.  I like getting things on sale, and I like saving almost $4,000.

Note: We had to pay this in full before my wife got out of the hospital.

Fast forward three month (yeah, surgery three months later sucks).  My wife goes in for a surgery, fairly standard, and the doctor said he would do surgery wherever we wanted, so we could shop around.  We didn’t know you could or should shop around, asking hospitals what the cost would be.  We found there were pretty significant differences and chose to stay with this same hospital, which offered 50% off of this procedure. (we also learned that if you are insured and pay the copay up front you save 25%)

The doctor also offered 50% off – we took advantage of this for both the birth and the surgery.

Did you know you could save so much?  We had no idea.  But for us it’s a necessity.

We also learned we could get a prescription for any oral medicine the doctor would prescribe that was to be administered in the hospital and get that filled at our local pharmacy and then just bring that in for another significant savings.  I have no idea how much we saved but it was cool to know we could do that.

My point with this post is that health insurance isn’t the only way to get stuff paid for… if you don’t have it simply ask your doctor or the staff (the medicine thing was a suggestion from his front desk staff), and the hospital finance people… there are plenty of people who are self-pay and it isn’t as bad, scary or undoable as we thought it would be.

The scary part of this is that it exposes how expensive health insurance is.  If a doctor and a hospital are willing to discount 50% of their invoice just to (a) get paid in full upfront, and (b) not go through the insurance system, can you imagine what healthcare would be without health insurance in our system?

Do you have any other suggestions on finding affordable healthcare.


« Previous Entries