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How does a job seeker save money?

March 17th, 2011

I have a series of blog posts to write about how you can save money in a job search.  Not by not spending on stuff you need, but on some corners you can cut.

Before I start the series, though, I figured I’d ask YOU :)

How can a job seeker save money while they try and get back on their feet?

Whether it has to do with groceries, bills, etc…. what tips do you have to help save money while in a job search?

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Mobile Job Search Tools (including JJ) and why I haven’t blogged much lately

March 14th, 2011

Hey there, it’s me.  Really.

Sorry for the silence last week… I hate not blogging daily, but I was really, really slammed.  I had 3 “new” webinar presentations to do last week, and it was stressing me out (doing “new” content takes a lot of mental energy… ), and I took a surprise trip to Pocatello, where my wife and I started our family and lived for 9 years.

Then, up at 4am (according to my body… according to my clock it was 5am) to jump on a plane to Baltimore/Boston.  This is going to be a super-busy week and I’m excited for a bunch of reasons…

Anyway, the purpose of this post is to point you over to a Glass Door post about mobile job search tools JibberJobber was listed!  How cool is that?

We recently announced our mobile job search tool here.

Here’s Glassdoor’s post.

Thanks to Vicki Elmer and Glassdoor for the ink, and big thanks to Cheryl Palmer for including JibberJobber as a job search tool she suggests :)

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JibberJobber: Web-based Relationship Manager vs. Desktop Relationship Manager

March 8th, 2011
Warning: long post that can be used as a reference post for later.

I got the following email from a career coach this morning:

I’ve been trying to convince coaching clients to use JibberJobber. But I’m getting objections to “web-based systems”. They are concerned about security and want to be able to back up all their data locally.  Do you have any responses to these types of questions that I can provide to them?

I wish I had an amazing “oh my gosh you must do this and now you really get it” response, but I don’t.  Let me break this down into two different objections, with my thoughts on each:

It’s hard to use JibberJobber, in general.  It’s hard to put in the data, or it takes too much discipline to keep it going, or I have a sticky-note solution that seems to work just fine.

This coach isn’t directly asking this, but it has to be addressed because it might be the root problem.

If people aren’t ready to use JibberJobber as their relationship management tool, or as their job search organizer, nothing I do or say can change that.

I remember a time I spoke to 100 people and offered the audience 6 months of premium services.  3 people emailed me that week to ask for it.  97 people didn’t care.  They weren’t ready.

What would I have done, if I was in the audience?

Good Jason wants to say he’d definitely take advantage, use it, and get immense value out of JibberJobber.

Realistic Jason doesn’t think he’d use it at all.  Why?  Because it seems like a long-term tool, and Realistic Jason just knew he’d have a job offer in the next few weeks.  He didn’t need a long-term tool – just a pile of post-it notes and he’d be fine, until he landed.

Smart Jason now looks back and realizes how short-sighted that thinking was, and appreciates the idea of a long-term career management, relationship management system to use for the rest of his life.

When you are talking to your friends in a job search they are looking for right-now tools … tools that can help them right now!  JibberJobber is an awesome, amazing tool, but it doesn’t solve their pain RIGHT NOW!  It might solve many pains in years to come, but some people want RIGHT NOW relief.  And they tend to find it hiding behind job boards.  The only issue is, that relief is temporary and gives them a false sense of hope.

Now, when I speak, I offer, but if you don’t take it I don’t chase you, or try and convince you.  If you are ready, and know you are frustrated because of things that JibberJobber can help you with (like organizing your job search, or tracking were you send resumes, etc.), then you are ready to come, learn, do, invest (time).

Until then, I just share various messages and hope you think I’m smart/wise enough to listen to every once in a while.

When the pain is there, you’ll be back for JibberJobber.

Now, what about this online, in the cloud system?  Is the data safe and secure?  Or should I get a desktop system that I have complete control over?

This is one of two classic software questions that CIOs have ask about software they look at buying (or leasing).  (the other question is should we make it ourselves, or should we buy it from a vendor?)

Benefits of using a desktop system, like ACT!

  • Buy it once, you own it forever and ever. This is appealing, except every once in a while upgrades come out and you feel compelled to pay as much for an upgrade as you did for the original package, so the $100 list price is not really the final price.  Just give it a few years – the features will seem so outdated that either you stop using it or you feel compelled to keep forking over the money for upgrades.
  • You control all of the data… no one else can access it, ever. Yeah, unless your system gets hacked into (don’t worry, no hacker wants your CRM database – it’s too boring).  Oh yeah… YOU can’t access it from anywhere but your PC/laptop – if you need it, you are out of luck until you go home and login to your system.
  • You don’t have to worry about anyone else backing it up, because you can. But do you?  Or, will you restore it?  I’ve had about 4 computer crashes in the last 5 years and each time I had backups of Outlook (from Mozy.com).  But each time I just reinstalled fresh, without putting my backups in.  It was too much of a hassle (it really wasn’t much work, but it was more than I wanted to deal with).
  • When you get a new computer,  you can just install the disk again, and you’ll be up and running. Granted, that’s if you can find the disk.  I somehow seem to lose all of my software disks… :(

Benefits of going with something in the “cloud,” which is the current cool way of saying someone else hosts it on their server (formerly referred to as ASP (application service provider) or SaaS (Software as a Service)):

  • You really don’t have to worry about anything, except is the site down. Systems like JibberJobber (and salesforce and google docs and ___ (there are millions, I’m sure)) work really hard to ensure their system is up and running and accessible to you, from wherever you are – whether you are at your home computer, on vacation in Panama, accessing from a smart phone, or at your mother-in-law’s house.
  • You get all of the updated when they are released. When we fix a bug, add an enhancement, tweak a process, add a new feature, etc. you get that right away, without uploading a patch or an upgrade, or buying an addon.  The code sits on a server… when the developers push the new code to the server, everyone automatically gets it.  No effort on your part.
  • We take care of the backups. We backup your data, and our code, regularly.  The backups are treated similarly to how any large company treats their backups – with reverence and respect.  They put this data on a tape drive (weird, huh?) and take it off-site regularly (weekly?), in case the whole facility catches on fire… the tape drive can be used to restore the entire system.  If this happens we’ll be down for a while, but we’re in a position to get back up, with no effort on your part (just patience).
  • You get a say in the features we have, and the features you need. Because of the way a cloud system works, it’s easier for us to add enhancements and tweaks to the code than if we were doing the traditional (old-fashioned) software development.  As an example, let’s say we need to change a word on your screen.  We can do that easily, for all users, and keep it all consistent.  If we had a package like ACT!, we’d have to do it in version, and it would only work on certain versions… and getting that patch to you would be a nightmare.
  • We can try things out. LinkedIn “tries things out” all the time, throwing a new feature in to a certain set of users to see what they think about it without introducing it to everyone.  It’s sometimes frustrating for people to either see, or not see, a new feature, and then have it moved or taken away.  We don’t do that much (hardly at all), but it’s a great way to test an idea instead of pushing everything out all the time.

I have to admit, I’m rusty at this debate since I haven’t had to go through it in a corporate setting for a long time.  I’d love to hear other reasons by IT types, who have to evaluate this stuff regularly.

The bottom line, though, is that if someone isn’t ready to jump on JibberJobber, they won’t.  I can’t spend time chasing them and convincing them… sometimes no amount of talking will do.

What do you guys think?

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How You Respond MATTERS!!!

March 7th, 2011

I am a sucker for Tim Ferriss’s Muse writeups.  I’ll share more of them when I get a chance, but today I wanted to take one sentence from an interview from someone who is following his system to create his own business, and income.

Christopher Odell started his “muse,” which is a “low-maintenance business that generates significant income,” based on two of his passions.  He needed to find a company to manufacture the product, and he went to a site called Alibaba to look for manufacturers.  In describing that processes he says:

“We reached out to several companies, judged them by how good their responses were, then chose a few to make our first prototype.”

I’ve done something similar, using a site called elance, to find service providers.  Like Christopher, I sent out my specs and waited to see how good their responses were.  Those with canned, impersonal responses were scratched off the list.  Those who had good/awesome responses made it to my short list, and then other judging criteria entered.

I thought I was somewhat petty, putting so much value in their initial responses, but I’m human.  And that first impression carried a lot of weight in my decision-making process.

Did I miss out on amazing people?  I’m sure I did.

But that was one of my limitations.

How good are your responses?

Even though you are the most amazing person in the room, or have the most amazing resume people will ever see, are your responses keeping you out of that next round?

Work on your responses.  Whether they are email responses, networking 30 second statements, interview responses, … whatever it is, be more conscience of how you communicate, and what your first impression is.

Why?

Because you are always being judged… always.

So make a great first (and second, third, etc.) impression, and stop keeping yourself off the short list!

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Favorite Friday: Your Spouse’s Role in the Job Search

March 4th, 2011

Being a job seeker can really, really suck.

Being the spouse of a job seeker can suck just as bad.

Going through the loss of a job, then working through the rejection, feelings of self-doubt, etc. is hard on both you and your spouse.

Last year I wrote a heart-felt post about your spouse’s role in your job search.

It was acclaimed by some, criticized by others.

If nothing else, read the post and use the ideas as a starting-point for discussion with your significant other.

Don’t let the pink elephant(s) in your job search create major problems in your relationship.

Here’s the original post – feel free to comment there and retweet it: The Spouse’s Role In Your Job Search

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What Do I Name My Resume? IT MATTERS!

March 3rd, 2011

I saw this tweet from my technical recruiter friend Robert Merrill:

Robert always has fun information… I clicked on his “proof” link, which goes to a great post on how to name your resume, as well as 9 ways to NOT name your resume.

Click to see his post titled YES! Your Resume’s File Name DOES Matter

What is your resume named?

It really matters!

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Career Advice for Middle School Students?

March 2nd, 2011

Robert Merrill (I’m blogging about him tomorrow, too) asked for input for a presentation he’s doing on Friday for middle school kids.  I’m guessing they brought him in because he’s been a technical recruiter for a long time.  He asks:

…if you suddenly found yourself in middle-school today (12-15yrs old)…

…what one or two things would you want someone to inspire you about concerning your future career?

You can click over to his post to see what others said, including a short comment by me :)  I invite you to give your own advice there, too.

Here’s my advice:

START A BUSINESS.

Right now.  Today.

When else are you in an environment where you don’t count on your financial success to keep a roof over your head, food on the table or your laundry clean?

When else can failing at a business venture mean so little, both to your financial viability and to your ego (or, sense of professional well-being)?

I really have no other advice for these kids.  What a great time to try out various things to see what you like (for example, do you like the details of things, or the high level strategy, or delegating?).  What a great time to learn about cash flow, profit margin, customer service, operations, product delivery, pricing, time management, work ethic, business relationships and partnerships, etc.

I would love to see more kids involved in entrepreneurial ventures, not because they could become fabulously wealthy but because the skills they’ll learn in their ventures will be skills they will use for the rest of their careers!

What do you think?  What would you tell this group of kids to do (in preparation for their future career)?

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Baltimore / Boston Speaking

March 1st, 2011

I’ll be speaking a few times in March in Baltimore and Boston.  Can you make any of these?

I’m doing all of the engagements below, but some of the details, locations, times might be slightly edited… I’ll post any changes on the blog.

Baltimore:

Monday 3/14, 6pm – 8pm, LinkedIn for Job Seekers @POAC.  This will be completely booked.

Tuesday 3/15, 6pm – 8pm, Career Management 2.0 @POAC. This will be completely booked.

Wednesday 3/16, 1:30 – 3pm, Optimizing LinkedIn as a Premier Job Search Tool (for career coaches and resume writers) @ the Career Thought Leaders Conference. Only open to conference attendees (you can register just for that day).

Boston:

Thursday 3/17, 11am to about 12:30pm, Career Management 2.0 @WIND SOUTH. OPEN – COME! Here’s a link with info/directions.

Thursday 3/17, about 2pm – 4pm, LinkedIn for Job Seekers @ the One-Stop / ETR in ______.  Here’s a link to their website. (I’ll update this with more info shortly)

Friday 3/18, 11am – 1pm, Career Management 2.0 @ Acton Networkers (meeting at the St. Matthews Church in Acton). Link with address and more info here. OPEN – COME!

Friday 3/18, 2pm – 4pm, Career Management 2.0 @ Your Career Source.  OPEN – COME.  Link with more info.

What started out as “I’m speaking once on Wednesday at a conference” has turned into a busy trip.  I’m excited to go to Boston… I’m not sure if I’ve ever been there (I think I haven’t). I wish I had time to enjoy the history of the town, but it will be a whirlwind trip!

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