Quote of the week: Thom Singer quoting Sekou Andrews

November 9th, 2011

Thom Singer wrote about Sekou Andrews, a speaker that is rising in fame.  Here’s a quote from Sekou that is really quite profound:

“Take me off your Rolodex and put me in your calendar”


Too often we collect names, phone numbers, and business cards, and say we are networking.

But are we ever working on the relationship?

It reminds me of the part in Never Eat Alone where Keith Ferrazzi talks about the importance of knowing how strong a relationship is with the person you have on your list (Roladex, JibberJobber contacts list, etc.).

Just because you have an email address doesn’t mean you have a relationship!

Keep track of the strength of the relationship, and then communicate with that person!  Perhaps even put them in your calendar….



Lazy, Lazy Job Seeker! Bad Job Seeker!

November 8th, 2011

Check THIS out:

I love it when recruiters rant.  They help job seekers become better, or they tell us what our competition is doing wrong.  Danielle says:

People, how many times do we have to tell you, write down the jobs you are responding to so that when I call you THE NEXT DAY or after the weekend, you know who the heck I am or can at least pretend!

Anyone know a tool that could help you track this?



Read Danielle’s entire post, and make a list of stuff you will and won’t do so that recruiters are IMPRESSED with you.  Make their job easy.  And don’t be lazy!

Get on, and use, JibberJobber!

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Job Search Software

November 7th, 2011

I’m a software guy.

When I changed schools (because I got married and moved to another state) I had to change majors from International Business to who-knows-what.  Finally, I settled on a degree in either accounting or computer information systems.  I figured those were the two degrees that would provide me with the best… job security (what’s that, you say?  It’s something that belongs in a museum :p).

I figured CIS was the right choice for me.  I had zero computing experience, and wasn’t even big on video games.

Fast-forward to today… I live and breath online. I have been a software developer for various companies, and love reading about tech/software companies on TechCrunch.

In my job search I was disgusted that job seekers, who many times feel like third class citizens, had no real software available to them.

That’s why I designed, created and invested in  The world had not seen anything like it before — a web-based tool that allowed a job seeker to organize the complexities of a job search.

At that time, in 2006, a job seeker got kicked out onto the curb and had to create their own job search tracking system.  Some used spreadsheets.  Others used notepads.  Many used scraps of paper.  All of these were short-term solutions.

JibberJobber, as a job search organizer, became the first (that I could tell) real job search software tool for Joe Jobseeker.

Search engine hits for job search software include job boards… in my mind, that is not “job search software.”  The focus of a job board is to get recruiters and companies to pay for postings, or access to resumes.  They really don’t care much about the job seeker (for various reasons).

I’m amazed that almost 6 years later there has been very little progress in this space.  Job seekers still don’t have many software options.

Some solutions attempt to solve a very thin, isolated slice of the problem. Other problems attempt to solve a slice too big to handle.

One problem that keeps companies out of this space is that it’s hard to create a business model around it (aka, how do you monetize job seekers, who generally aren’t big spenders?).

I can only hope that over the next 6 years we’ll see some significant additions to the suite of software available to job seekers.

Anyone brave enough to venture out there with us?

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Rant: How To Avoid Being Laid Off (Part II)

November 4th, 2011

I was surprised that my rant on how to avoid being laid off got any comments.  I’ve seen comments and discussions move away from blogs and onto social sites… so to get any comments, much less 8, was kind of cool… took me back to the good old days :)

One comment that just came it struck me… from Daniel Johnson, Jr.:

… I’ve grown to accept the axiom from “The Godfather”: “It ain’t personal; it’s just business.”

It is just business, really.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean it is good business.

In my case, almost six years ago, it was a horrible business decision to lay me off (in my HUMBLE opinion).

I was laid off because I didn’t politic enough.  I was busy doing my job as general manager, while someone else was making regular trips to the board to politic for my job.  Not only did I not know that, I was busy doing the freaking job, and didn’t play the game.

It was just business, though… and I didn’t play by the rules.

[**deleted** see NOTE below]

So, the decision-makers made a business decision.  Their decision was based on the knowledge they had.

The knowledge was incomplete, misrepresented and flawed.

At the end of the day, it was a business decision.

But it was a crappy business decision.

My message is that just because you are laid off, as a “business decision,” doesn’t mean that the business, or the manager, or the owner, is RIGHT.

They are making a decision based on information they have, at their risk level.

It might be a brilliant decision (even though it doesn’t feel brilliant to you).

It might be the stupidest decision them make that year.

Either way, don’t let “it’s a business decision” drag you down – got it?

NOTE: I wrote this and then deleted PARAGRAPHS.  I was telling TOO MUCH of my story… stuff that doesn’t need to be told, especially on this blog.  I’m working really hard at using good judgement on how much to hold back :)

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Preparing for the interview: Must Have Information

November 3rd, 2011

Don Goodman wrote another amazing post on Secrets of the Job Hunt titled You Must Remember This: Information You Must Have before the Interview.

This is a MUST READ.

In response to his post, I wrote HOW TO Prepare “Information You Must Have before the Interview.”

I talk about the various points that Don writes about, things to do to prepare, and the information to collect, and how to keep it organized in JibberJobber.

After all, that’s what JibberJobber was designed for!

Read Don’s post, then read my post.

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Rant: How To Avoid Being Laid Off

November 2nd, 2011

I was surfing LinkedIn groups last week for some inspiration, and I got some.

There is a post from a state workforce development professional who wrote “How I avoided Being Laid Off.”  It worked for her, and I mean her no disrespect by my contrarian viewpoint.  But I needed to share this.

On the LinkedIn Group she wrote “how to avoid being laid off,” which is different than the title of her post.

I actually agree with her four points (read the post for her details):

  1. Make yourself valuable,
  2. Work to increase your marketability,
  3. Stay positive and build positivity,
  4. Keep busy!

I speak around the country and meet tens of thousands of job seekers regularly, through LinkedIn, through JibberJobber, and in person.

I meet people who are AMAZING, and did amazing work, and were valuable, and even rainmakers.  I meet people who owned their own companies, and still lost their job (company closed).  I meet people who make the world go round – people who invented technology we use today, people who are famous in their circles.

And somehow, they still end up on the chair at one of my presentations.

They were valuable, and all that stuff.

But things happen. Things happen outside of our control.

Whether the company does something wrong and you all get ENRONed, or a boss changes and the new boss brings in their own people, or the sales team misses their goals and you had to get cut… there are a hundred and one reasons why losing your job is not in your control.

The funny thing is, I have a very high Locus of Control, which means I believe that I can control pretty much anything that happens… but I learned to let this go.  I learned that if we lose our job, if we are laid off, it’s not because we did something wrong, or because we suck.

I also learned that we can control our attitude, even if we can’t control whether we get to keep drawing a salary from our last employer.

I learned there are other ways to make money (hence, the 101 Alternatives to a Real Job book).

But don’t … please don’t sit there for hours thinking “what if I only worked harder?”  “What if I only networked more?” “What if I ________?”

It’s not worth it.

Control your attitude, and move on to the next thing.



JibberJobber is for YOU. Branding Mistakes? You make them too.

November 1st, 2011

Last week on my Jason Alba blog I wrote a post titled Branding and Understanding.

The idea behind the post is that many people don’t understand what my (or your) brand is, or represents, and includes.

Colena used JibberJobber for seven months during her job search, and then thought she wouldn’t need it after her job search.  Then she attended a presentation I did and wrote this:

“I appreciated your presentation, your tips and your enthusiasm. I used Jibber Jobber during my 7 month job search. It is an excellent tool and I enjoyed using it. I started a new job on October 3. Having attended your presentation, I now have a reason to continue using the tool even though my job search has ended.”

People still say “I’ll get on JibberJobber when I lose my job.”

That’s fine… I can’t force anyone to get on it, or to use it.  But I do hope that people can understand that part of the service is to help with networking, whether you are in a job search or not. Colena understood that, but only after my presentation.

In the post on the Jason Alba blog I wrote:

But there are others who use JibberJobber as a relationship management tool:

  • happily employed professionals who know they need to be ready for a transition, even if the writing isn’t on the wall
  • unhappily employed professionals who are worried about a pending transition
  • freelancers and contractors who might have a day job, but also have outside clients they need to keep organized
  • Authors who are interested in self-marketing (since the publishing companies don’t do it for them), and recognize the value of a relationship management tool
  • Small business owners, like myself, as well as professional speakers (like myself!)
  • Songwriters, who recognize that getting a hit song depends on your ability to network, as well as your talent,
  • and many others…

I have a branding issue.  JibberJobber is, many times, defined as a tool for job seekers, even though business owners, entrepreneurs, speakers, sales professionals, etc. are using it as a  relationship management tool, because that is what it is.

Do you have a similar branding problem?

Without knowing you, or your situation, I can virtually guarantee that 100% of the people reading this post have a branding problem.  Your brand is misconstrued.  What you think you are communicating is different than what others are hearing.

One more thought.  When I first started marketing JibberJobber I was frustrated that people didn’t get it.  These were people who should have gotten it… I whined about it to my coach, Kent Blumberg, and he said something that stuck with me since then.  Kent said that if they didn’t understand, it was MY FAULT for not communicating it right.

I agree.

If our audience doesn’t get “it,” or “us,” they are not to blame… we are to blame. We need to rework our communication, or branding, or messaging.

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