Favorite Friday: Generational Wars, Gen Y Whiners

February 11th, 2011

June 17th, 2008.  By this time I must have been thinking I was pretty hot stuff in the career space.  This post was fairly gutsy. I started it with this line:

… yes, I’m expecting to get beat up by the Gen Y experts…

Gen Y Sounds Like A Bunch Of Entitled Whiners.

The post is fairly long (with some good links) and (as of right now) 46 comments… head on over and check out the issues we have with stereotypes.

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Simple, Inexpensive Fixes Can Change Your Job Search

February 10th, 2011

Remember the post about my lawnmower, and the huge issue that was fixed (for good) with a set of pliers I had in my garage?  No money and a few minutes was all I needed to fix my problem.

Or my post about water damage, and talked about neglecting important things.

I related these posts to our job search and career management, suggesting that maybe we have big problems that can be fixed simply by addressing the problem with some thought, not tons of money.

This week our bathtub was clogged.  A few years ago I would have tried drano, and then called a plumber.  This time I went to Home Depot and got a less-than-three-dollar solution that I absolutely love. It is called a Zip-It, pictured to the right (see link for more).

This is an amazing tool.  It doesn’t require skill, training or bucks.  It costs less than $3.  And my problem is solved.

I also had problems with two vent covers.  I’ve had the problems for at least 2 years, but never did anything about them.  In the same trip I got new vent covers for about $6/each.

Why do we sit on problems that can have such simple, inexpensive and longterm solutions?

I wonder what simple solutions you need to implement to make your job search, and your career management, go smoother?

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LinkedIn Groups and The Hidden Job Market

February 9th, 2011
I’m in Phoenix speaking and in strategic meetings this week – see my speaking schedule here.

Have you heard of this elusive hidden job market?  You know, the one that is hiding right under your nose?

What LinkedIn Groups do you think you should join to find the hidden job market?

When I instruct job seekers on their LinkedIn Group Strategy, I suggest they find Groups that are relevant to them, based on location, profession (think: job title) or industry.

I don’t recommend they find a bunch of Groups for job seekers.  In fact, I’m so focused on encouraging them to find relevant Groups that I never talk about joining job search Groups.

I say this even though I have a JibberJobber Career Management Group on LinkedIn.  And many of my friends have Groups for job seekers on LinkedIn.

Perhaps you can get some good value out of those Groups, but if time is an issue I encourage you to focus your efforts on Groups that are relevant to you, where you could network with employed (and unemployed) professionals in your area, profession or industry.

You can get that from the job search Groups, of course, and if you have some extra slots open, join them.  You’ll notice the conversation is quite different between these two types of Groups, though.

(need help with Linkedin? Get my LinkedIn for Job Seekers DVD)



Front Teeth Hit Pavement: Lessons from the Emergency Room

February 8th, 2011
I’m in Phoenix speaking and in strategic meetings this week – see my speaking schedule here.

Saturday afternoon my wife woke me from a nap and told me our 4 year old daughter was running to a friends house and tripped really hard.

She had smashed her two front teeth inwards, and there was a lot of blood.  It was scary, to say the least.

(update: she seems to be doing well.  No broken bones (jaw, nose, etc.) and we’re hoping she has a full, sweet recovery)

I could write six blog posts about the experience, but I want to focus on one, and tie it to people who just learn they lost their job (or lost something else that is big).

My wife and I were sitting in the emergency room with our daughter, who was laying on the bed.  We were waiting for the next update and we had all kinds of questions.  Of course, as parents we think about the worst case possibilities and wonder how this will affect her speech, looks, social activities, etc.

How long will she have to eat out of a straw?

When will her teeth be strong enough to bite into a piece of bread?

What happens if they have to extract her teeth now?

How much pain will she be in, and for how long?

I think we did good, as her parents, but I think it’s fair to say were were terrified.

That’s where the emergency room staff came in.  I had never had such a positive experience before.  The wait to get help was very short and every person we talked with was very kind, patient, professional, and even somehow soothing.

I was thinking about how we were terrified, but we had people to “hold our hand” through the ordeal, and help us know that this would be fixed, and she would be back to normal, and it would be okay.

That’s exactly what many job seekers need.

In my job search I needed someone who could almost take control, let me see there were answers and processes and tools, show me I wasn’t alone and this wasn’t unprecedented.

Just knowing we were surrounded by professionals and tools in the right environment to get the problem resolved eased our terror.

How can job seekers find solace in the tools, environment and friends they have? It should be there, or close – perhaps just look a little harder?

How can career professionals help? Don’t forget that even though you’ve helped people through this process a million times, this might be the first, most terrifying experience for your new client.

How can friends and family help? Be supportive, validate the feelings, and try and help the job seeker get in the right environment, with the right tools, to help get through this process.

My experience in the ER was one that I don’t want to have to repeat again, but I’m happy to say that in our time of fear and unknown we were set at ease by the environment and people.

Please, help job seekers get in the right environment, and surrounded by the right people, and equipped with the right job search tools.



Phoenix Job Search Presentations

February 7th, 2011
UPDATE: I mistakenly put Thursday night for SJN, but it is WED!  It is fixed below :)

I’m excited to travel to Phoenix for my first JibberJobber trip as a speaker.  Here’s where I know I’ll be:

Tuesday at 8:30 am Career Management 2.0. Details here. Gilbert, AZ.

Tuesday at 12:45 ($21 or $30 fee) I’m on LinkedIn — Now What??? (emphasis on LinkedIn for businesses and entrepreneurs).  Details here. Scottdale, AZ.

Wednesday at 6pm What if this isn’t my last job search?  Southwest Job Network (at the Gateway Community College Campus). Details here. Phoenix, AZ.

Can you make any of these, or let your Arizona network know about them?

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Favorite Friday: LinkedIn Maintenance (OR ELSE!)

February 4th, 2011

July 17, 2008, I was passionate about an idea but didn’t expect it to spread as fast as it did.

LinkedIn Maintenance: Do This Right Now (or else?) was one of my more popular posts.  I talked about HOW to backup your LinkedIn network and LinkedIn Profile.

The scare tactic was that if you didn’t do it, and LinkedIn “deleted” (or suspended) your account, you were hosed.

Read the post here: LinkedIn Maintenance: Do This Right Now (or else?), and then follow the instructions to back up your stuff!

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Perspective: Special Days, Special People

February 3rd, 2011

I remember my life in my last job.  I worked at least 60 hours a week (including the commute).  I traveled a bit and generally wasn’t around much.

Since I lost my job I’ve had the sweet chance to renew relationships with my wife and kids.

I’ve come to appreciate “being there” and not missing those moments that define a life, build character and create memories.

Today is a special day for someone who is very special to me.  And I’m taking the entire day off (I think!).

It’s easy when you are in a desparate job search to forget about the special things that make our life what it is.

I know why – losing a job is like having oxygen cut off. You can’t think of ANYTHING except getting that next breath.  The world stops turning, your lungs burn, and nothing else matters.

I’ve been in that situation (diving in Puerto Rico as a young teenager), and it’s scary.

The problem with these feelings in job search is that it is not relieved in just a few seconds, when you finally swim to the top of the water.  The job search can go on (and you miss important events) and on (while you miss birthdays because you are there physically but not mentally) and on (while you miss opportunities to help your kid through a life-changing experience (because their “issue” seem trivial to you)) and on (while you miss pillow talk because your relationship has been crumbling) and on…

See where I’m going with this?

Pause.  Take a breath.  Regroup.

And stop missing the important things with the important people.  Jobs come and go, but work hard to keep those important people in your life, and a part of your life.

To my special someone who is experiencing something big today: love you!



Speaking: Phoenix, Baltimore, Boston, Los Angeles, Vegas

February 2nd, 2011

I’m getting ready to get on the road again. I’m looking for opportunities to speak at job clubs or employment centers… if you have contacts or ideas, let me know.

Next week I’ll be in Phoenix presenting a few times.  Mark your calendar for Tuesday, Feb 8, in the morning, and Feb 10, in the evening.  Those are my two open presentations (details coming later).

In March I’ll be in Baltimore presenting a few times, I’m not sure if any of them are open or will have room.  I’ll be there from March 14 – 16, and then fly that night to Boston (!!) and do presentations Thursday, Friday and maybe Saturday (March 17-19).

In April I’ll be in Vegas at a conference… I hope to find at least three job clubs I could present at. (the week of April 4th)

The next week (April 11 – ?) I’ll be in the Los Angeles area presenting to university career center directors and I’m looking for some job clubs to open their doors to me.

All details will be posted on the blog… like I said, if you have leads or ideas, let me know!  And mark your calendar!

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Joe Biden and Team: Here’s How To Get In Touch with the Jobs Reality

February 1st, 2011

Yesterday I commented on Joe Biden’s advice for job seekers: hang in there, stop smoking and cut out the junk food.

That is “good advice,” but I think it’s too out of touch with what today’s reality for job seekers is.

You, Biden & Co, seem out of touch with what’s going on out there.

It’s been said people in the federal government (yes, the ones we’ve elected, and the ones we are paying for through our taxes (including their pension (which we’ll never have) and lifetime health insurance (which we probably won’t have)) have said that job seekers are lazy.  Job seekers are gaming the system, living off of unemployment (have you seen how pidley unemployment checks are?  Not enough to sustain a household for most people).

Unfortunately you are caught up in the hype about the unemployment rate going up (sad! hide!) or going down (yippee!  Celebrate!).

I don’t believe in those numbers.  They are fraudelent (at the very least, they don’t tell the whole story).

You also get caught up in the reports that say companies are going to hire more this year.  More than what?  More than last year?  That was bottom-of-the-barrel stats… anything is going to be better than last year!  Those reports are speculations based on surveys – they are not necessarily going to happen.  Anything can change the strategic direction of a company and cause them to not hire.

Unfortunately you have this far-fetched idea that it the governments right, and role, to provide or create jobs.  The stimulus didn’t work.  The jobs created for the census were fake, and are now gone.  How has that helped?

It was a bandaid, it was not sustainable, and now it’s over.

I’ll tell you how to get in touch with reality. I’ve been doing this for a few years and it’s been quite an exercise.

Go to job search clubs where professionals and executives meet.

Go undercover, so you aren’t the celebrity there that steals the show.

What you want to do is ask questions, and then listen.  There are some very, very smart people there.  There might even be some 99ers (you know, the ones you think are lazily sitting on the couch, smoking and twinkieing and cashing those unemployment checks?).

Find out WHY they are unemployed.

Find out WHY they haven’t been able to get jobs.

Ask them what they think about the economy (they have a very realistic perspective).

Ask them what they think would solve some of these economic problems (the answers will be less selfish than you might think).

Ask and then LISTEN.  Just listen.  Don’t make promises, don’t give advice (because you aren’t really in a position of giving advice to them).

LISTEN, and then think about it, and internalize the problem, and then try and come up with real policy that might help our country, and the world, during these rough economic times.

Stop blaming past administrations, stop whining about who controls the House or the Senate, and how hard it is to work together.

Stop coming up with overreaching federal policy that is more of an expensive bandaid than a sustainable solution.

The reality you see, from reports and percentages and numbers and speculation, is far from the reality that we are living in.

I challenge you to spend a few days on the road, attending these meetings, talking with these people, and getting a real perspective on what’s happening and what could happen to fix it.


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