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Favorite Friday: Tweaking a Job Search & My Lawnmower

October 15th, 2010

I found one of my favorite posts…. this one got a lot of offline comments and people still talk to me about it.  It is titled I Hated My Lawnmower, and I talk about a major problem I had with my lawnmower and the very simple resolution.

I still remember the day I fixed it and loved the post that came out of it – go check it out here :)

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Do you Skype?

October 14th, 2010
This post is talks about Skype + JibberJobber. It is not about any Skype browser plugins. See comments for more…

I love Skype.  I’ve been using it for a few years.

Skype is VOIP (Voice over IP), which means I make phone calls over IP, or the Internet (as opposed to a regular phone line to my desk).

I pay the $3/month for unlimited long distance to the U.S. and Canada – and I do it all from my headset that is plugged into my computer.

When I’m on the road I *can* do the same thing, including get email (I can but I don’t – usually running to hard when on the road).

I also paid for the SkypeIn number, so I have a local phone number that people can call (instead of calling my home number, which they called when I first started my business, or my cell, which I hardly ever give out).

I also paid for the voice mail.

I share this with you because you can have a very cool tool, if you are a Skype user and use JibberJobber.

Let me share how this works… imagine you are a salesperson who is on the phone all the time.  You have your desk/cubicle and a headset and you are dialing and talking all day long.

For this role, picking up a phone and dialing numbers is just too much… so the company has provided you with software that is tied into the phone system – all you do is click a phone number on the screen and it dials out.

NO MORE HURTING YOUR FINGER DIALING!  Imagine the bliss :)

Actually, you can live this bliss, like I do.

Just go to My Account and Preferences and you’ll see this option:

skype_loves_jibberjobber

When you do that your phone numbers will look like this:

skype_icon_jj

Click on the green button and it makes the call for you – just make sure you have your headset on (and you’ve paid for the long distance service).

Another thing you can do, if you haven’t paid, is skype-to-skype calls (no cost) and initiate skype chatting.  Just add the person’s username as a “Service” and then you’ll see the call(green)/chat(blue) icons, like this:

skype_icons_jj

Like it?  I love it!

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San Diego Networking at The Boardroom

October 13th, 2010

Today I fly into San Diego early and head out to a lunch with Tim Tyrell-Smith (Tim’s Strategy – a very smart blog!).

Then I’m speaking at 1-2:30 in San Diego (actually, in La Jolla) at The Boardroom.  YOU CAN COME IF YOU ARE IN TOWN! The presentation is sponsored by MENG (MENG members get a discount on JibberJobber upgrades – login to your MENG account and then join JibberJobber from there).

I LOVE these types of network meetings because they CHANGED the way my job search was going… I am a big believer in getting away from your computer and meeting people, even job seekers, in person!

What local network meetings do you go to?  I know of some great ones in Minneapolis, Houston, Maryland/VA, Silicon Valley, etc.  What about you?

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If the Career Doesn’t Fit, Don’t Wear It

October 12th, 2010

A few weeks ago, as I was preparing to get ready for my 2-week trip and multiple speaking engagements, I decided to get some new shirts.

Understand that I’m not a shopper (in general) and especially don’t like buying clothes for myself.

I went to Kohls and found this cool 60% off section for dress shirts.  I found 4 or them that I really liked, tried one on to make sure I was picking the right size, and then bought all four.

I took them, still in their packaging, to my first hotel (in Dallas) where I unpacked and ironed them.

There was a problem with these very nice shirts, though.  They are “fitted.”  That means they are made for someone who has a body style with certain characteristics, most notably “goes in at the waist.”  In other words, it goes in where I … um… go out :)

Fitted is NOT my style.  It was uncomfortable for me during my presentations (but my schedule was so tight I didn’t have time to look for any shirts while on the road), and the way the shirts made me feel probably had a negative impact on my presentation.

THE FIT WASN’T GOOD.

How many times do we try and force a fit in our career?  Maybe we think we can still fit into that industry, or that job, or with that boss, or that company?

But the FIT just isn’t good.

You can try and make it work but it will be uncomfortable for you (and possibly have an impact on your work).  It will likely be uncomfortable for everyone around you.

I had two real options with my shirt. I could either (a) keep working out and eat better and hope that one day I fit into my fitted shirts, or (b) I could get rid of them (try and return them or give to a fitted friend :p).

I am choosing option (b).  No reason to clutter my life and closet with the shirts when I can get a better fitting shirt that feels good and I’m comfortable in.

How about you? If your career doesn’t fit, how long do you live uncomfortably?

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Multiple Streams of Income and the Job Seeker

October 11th, 2010

Friday I reshared some ideas on creating multiple streams of income. I get emails from people who own a business saying they are doing the same thing – creating multiple products/services that can generate various types of income (passive, etc.).

I think some job seekers (or happily/unhappily employed people) wonder if they can have multiple streams of income, and if so, how do they do it?

Let me relate a story.  Growing up I knew my dad, who worked for the government, could not have a side business.  Not only did he work all the time (so he had no time to pursue something else), there were policies in place precluding him from having a side gig.

That, I thought, was normal.

I didn’t think too much of it. I was that typical worker-bee who wanted to do good stuff for the company and not have side distractions.  No big deal.

Then, in my job search I had a really interesting interview.  It was after I had launched JibberJobber and I had my mind set on having JibberJobber run as a little side project that might make a few hundred bucks a month.

I asked the interviewer, who was at the VP level, if there was a problem if I had this little side business.

His reply floored me:

“Not a problem – the manager across the hall has a movie theater and the one down the hall has a such-and-such business, and …. “

My thought?  Why didn’t I get this memo???

Why was I trusting 100% of my income to one person when I could have had side gigs that were producing a few hundred, perhaps a few thousand dollars each month?

Talk about securing my own income!

I missed the boat on that one…. but I walked out of that room thinking NEVER AGAIN.

The funny thing is, most of the people who were involved in the decision to lay me off had their own side gigs – other income.  Why was I so blind?

Can you have a side gig? Yes, you can.  Don’t wait until you NEED the extra income, though.

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Favorite Friday: Multiple Streams of Income

October 8th, 2010

I LOVE the concept of having multiple revenue streams.  When I got laid off in January, 2010, I had 100% of my income disappear overnight.

I never, ever wanted to be in a position where one person (or worse, a committee) could take away 100% of my income.

Enter: Multiple Streams of Income.

One day I sat down and listed out all of my revenue streams – I was surprised to find I had 10 of them.

I wasn’t working all of them, but I was planning on working on them.  Others were producing a pretty good income. I decided to share what most of them were… I hope you get inspiration from my sharing this to figure out what your own multiple streams could be:

It’s not necessarily a path to sure wealth and jets and engines… I’m not talking about get rich quick or schemes or anything – it’s all about securing your own income and having more control because of a certain degree of diversity.

What about you?  Can you have multiple streams of income?

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How To: Using Tags

October 7th, 2010

Tags are COOL. Seriously cool.

Tags help me slice and dice my data. That simply means I can get a report/view on just certain records, like:

  • Show me all of my Contacts who I’ve tagged as “family.”
  • Or, show me all of my Contacts who I’ve tagged as “hiring manager,” or “newsletter.”

One that I’ve done is this:

  • “show me all of my Contacts I’ve tagged as “family,” and who have the last name of “Alba.”

Tags help me filter down and get a subset of my data.

How do you create a tag?

On the ADD or EDIT page (of Job, Company or Contact) simply type in any tag you want (1). If it is a tag you already created you can either type it again or you can select it from the drop down (2).

jj_tags

It’s that simple, and perhaps one of the most important things to do when you create a record.

The two main places to make use of tags are in the List Panel search:

jj_list_panel_search

… and the Get Contact List (here’s a video on how that works) (premium feature):

jj_get_contact_list

Are you using Tags? If not, use them!

(note: tags are similar to Labels on Gmail)

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How To: See What You Want on a List Panel

October 6th, 2010

I had a user ask how to change the columns of the Network Contacts List Panel. It’s really easy, and one of the cooler features you can use in JibberJobber. There is a video showing how this works here (notice on the List Panel you’ll see a video icon – that is called “inline help.”).

In the user orientation I might say something like “I’m not going to pretend to know how you want to see your data” when you are looking at the List Panel.  Indeed… this is not a preference that is unique to each user, but also to each project you work on. In other words, sometimes I change the view based on what I’m trying to accomplish.

What I mean is that I might like to have these columns, in this order:

  • Last Name
  • First Name
  • Email Address
  • City
  • State

And YOU might like to see (in this order):

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • State
  • Tags

There is no “better” way… it just depends on what you are doing. So we let you change it whenever you want.

How?

Click on the Manage Columns icon, which is to the left of the search box that is directly above the List Panel:

jibberjobber_manage_columns_icon3

On the left column of the screen you’ll see all of the columns you could show. You can do two things:

  1. Turn columns on and off by checking or unchecking the checkboxes.
  2. Reorder any of the columns by clicking on the blue box and dragging it to whatever position you want (like, drag the First Name box above the Last Name box – now it will be before it).

jj_manage_columns_add_change

Pretty cool, huh? You can watch the short video on this here.

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Personal Brand: Do People Really Know What You Do?

October 5th, 2010

Recently I was on a call with a new JibberJobber user (and good friend) who had a lot of questions on how to use JibberJobber. I’ll call him Brad.

Like many of my users, Brad is good with technology but not an IT guy. This means he has a lot of smart “how do I do this? “ questions… things that I don’t think about. Also, Brad is an entrepreneur and is using JibberJobber to manage professional relationships (customers, prospects, etc.).

I call JibberJobber a tool to organize your job search but really it is a relationship manager. Some call it a personal relationship manager but it is really, essentially a “customer relationship manager,” or CRM – that’s what we modeled it from.

So back to my call with Brad… one thing he said is that he LOVES LOVES LOVES the inline help videos we have for users to understand how to use various parts of the system. He asked me to make a lot more. “Spend a day and just do a lot of recorgding,” he asked.

It occurred to me that even though I, and many users, know about many of the rich features of JibberJobber, there are many more who don’t.

I have to educate them, continually!

And you, as CEO of Me, Inc., have to educate YOUR audience.

You think they know, but they don’t.

Yes, you have told them a me-in-30-seconds, but that doesn’t quite do the job!

My point is this: YOU have to communicate what you do, your brand, etc. to your network/audience regularly.

HOW are you doing this?

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Job Journal, Success Stories and a Job Seekers Strategy & Ego

October 4th, 2010

Recently I wrote a post about the idea of a Job Journal and the power of recording your past successes to help you communicate your value to people in interviews, on resumes, etc.

Mary Lou Hely left a great comment:

I’m a believer. The PAR statements make a critical difference in both keeping you from feeling like a loser for not having a job, and for positioning yourself as the ideal job candidate on your resume.

I kept putting off the effort. I guess subconsciously I didn’t really believe I had any successes. But, finally one day recently, I just buckled down and started making notes of my successful experiences with each company I’d worked for. My brain hurt at the end of the day, but it completely changed my approach.

I then took the rough notes, fine tuned them into brief, succinct PAR statements and transferred them to one of my resume versions. It’s pretty powerful let me tell you.

What a boost of confidence it gave me! What a powerful statement it gave my resume! On my resume, instead of a long boring list of every job and responsibility I had, it zooms right into where I added the most value. I can pick and choose from my PAR statements to customize the resume for the type of job I’m targeting. It’s a GREAT exercise for every current and future job seeker.

I hadn’t thought of this exercise as something to help you change the way you think about yourself, or how you communicate (except that you can more effectively communicate your value props), but Mary Lou reminded me of how low you can get in a job search and that doing something like this can remind you that YOU HAVE SELF-WORTH!

Here’s what I’d suggest, if you were my job-seeking client:

Put off everything you had planned to do today, except for any phone calls that you have to make, and spend the entire day brainstorming wins and past accomplishments.

If you can, like Mary Lou, get such value, isn’t that worth the entire day??  She mentions:

  • It can help keep you “from feeling like a loser,”
  • It can “completely change [your] approach,”
  • It can add meaty content to your resume, indeed, give your resume a “powerful statement!”
  • Give you a BOOST of confidence!
  • Give you PAR statements you can “pick and choose from” – how powerful is that??

Awesome – thanks for sharing Mary Lou!

Brad Attig, a career coach, also left a great resource on developing your PARs.  Check it out here, and read his comment here.

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