LinkedIn Proactive Strategies Webinar: Tomorrow

February 28th, 2013

Tomorrow I’m doing a webinar you can join to learn how to be more proactive on LinkedIn.

That kind of sounds like work, huh?

I continue to hear people say “I don’t get any value out of LinkedIn.”

I’m convinced you can get value out of LinkedIn, if you put some strategic effort into it.

Tomorrow at 9am Mountain Time I’ll share how to do that.

Of course we’re going to talk about the three foundational things: share your brand, grow your network, nurture individual relationships.

We’re going to go deeper in each of those areas and talk about tactics.  As I’m preparing my notes I am getting excited because the stuff we’ll go over are things that I’ve done to grow my business.

These things work.  I’ve tried them.  Not just this week but over the years.

I don’t think I would be in business if I had just put up a website or a profile and waited for things to happen.

I needed a strategy with tactics to get in front of people.

I needed to help people talk about (aka, evangelize) me and my company.

I needed to figure out how to nurture relationships and follow-up as my network grew, so I didn’t leave easy opportunities on the table.

I needed to go to people instead of twiddling my thumbs hoping they would come to me.  Because I’ve learned that even if they want to come to me, they are too busy or distracted.

That’s what we are going to talk about in this webinar.

If I would have known this stuff in my job search I’m sure I would have gotten job interviews and offers.  But I was too busy applying on job boards.  You know, because it felt right.

But it wasn’t right.

Tomorrow.  9am MST.  Details here.

NOTE: This webinar will be available as a recording later, just like the New LinkedIn Profile webinar is available.  But if you get it by the end of the day tomorrow you’ll get sweet bonuses :)

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Pamela Slim and Merideth Mehlberg: Test Often and Fail Fast (free webinar)

February 26th, 2013

I’ve known Pamela Slim for years.  She’s the creator of Escape from Cubicle Nation.  Anything she does is awesome.

She’ll join Merideth Mehlberg tomorrow at 12:15 PACIFIC time to talk about starting a business.  The entire title is:

Test Often and Fail Fast: The Art of Rapid Deployment to Quickstart Your Business.

Here’s the link to join the webinar. Merideth has a really cool program called The Career Gold Club, which she has interviewed me for.  Definitely worth your time to check out.

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Association Executive Looking for Work Anywhere: How to Find a Job in an Association?

February 25th, 2013
Charlotte Weeks is the expert on the March 5th Ask the Expert call about working in the association industry.  This is a monthly no-cost webinar – register here right now and you’ll get email reminders so you don’t miss the call.

I got an email from Ted Pierce, association executive in the San Francisco Bay Area, who says:

I’m an association executive looking for work in the San Francisco Bay Area and elsewhere. I find there aren’t enough jobs in the Bay Area serving my profession. There are very few people in my expanding Bay Area network who can help me find this kind of work. Most trade associations and professional societies are located in Sacramento or Washington, D.C. The people I network with in Sacramento are not very open or helpful. Washington, D.C. employers don’t seem to take me seriously because I live in Walnut Creek, CA — even though I’m willing to relocate with my family if given an offer.

What should I do?

Next week (March 5) at 9am Mountain Time we are jumping on an Ask the Expert webinar with Charlotte Weeks, who wrote I Want to Work in an Association – Now What??? Here is Charlotte’s response to Ted:

I’m a big supporter of anyone who wants to work in the association industry. Associations are known as great employers, lead the pack when it comes to benefits, and provide pay that is often comparable to corporations.

Plus, as associations focus on serving a group of individuals united by a common cause, (often a trade or industry) these nonprofits emphasize adding value to their members over the bottom line.

I have heard many association employees say that it’s the best of both worlds – an opportunity to make a difference, while still making a good living.

Now back to Ted’s dilemma. He’s right – getting a job in a different part of the country can be challenging. Even for locals, organizations usually prefer referrals. Still, there are ways to build your relationships with decision makers in the association industry, whether they are in your hometown or in another city.

First, remember to JOIN associations. Many association employees start to think of them solely as employers and forget that there are organizations that support them – associations for associations.

The main one is ASAE, which is headquartered in Washington D.C. As a member, you’ll have access to 21,000 association professionals located throughout the country.

In addition, almost every state has an individual association. Ted, for example, could join the California Society of Association Executives, where he can get to know association professionals in different parts of the state.

Second, Ted mentions that many of the people he has been networking with haven’t been very open or helpful. I have noticed that a lot of people WANT to help, but don’t feel they have anything to give. Of course, they probably realize you’re looking for work and if they don’t have a job lead – the conversation ends.

Fortunately, there’s a solution! You can still establish a connection with someone and gain valuable information by following the REAP acronym. This stands for Read, Events, Activities, and People. As an example, you can ask a new connection, “Are there any other association professionals in Sacramento that you recommend I speak with?” or “What industry events do you regularly attend?” This also takes the pressure off of your contact which in turn could lead them to feel more comfortable networking with you in the future.

Finally, be sure to provide value to your networking contacts. You can follow the REAP format in reverse (i.e. pass on interesting articles or let them know if any activities they may want to attend). The key is to do this consistently – while it won’t open overnight, taking the time to build high-quality relationships will lead to more connections and job leads!

There are thousands and thousands of associations. I went to an AESE conference once and was amazed at how many associations were represented.

In my job search I never thought of an association as a “target company,” but maybe you should?

Sign up to join us next week as Charlotte and I talk more about getting a job in associations.

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Tracking Your Contacts (organize your job search)

February 22nd, 2013

I was cleaning up the Yahoo Groups I’m on (leaving all the dead ones, or the ones that are broadcast only) and out of curiousity I checked the website for Atlanta Job Seekers.  I’ve been on that group for probably 6.5 years.

The website is defunct… it hasn’t been updated since June 26, 2009.  Check out the last post: Tracking your contacts.

Sadly, this post suggests you get a 3 ring binder, 50 copies of their “contact sheet,” 3 copies of their “tracking log,” etc.

This works great in your first week of networking.  After that it becomes an absolute mess.

I know because I tried it (with my own version).

It makes me sad that the Atlanta Job Seekers was saying to do this even three years after I joined their group, and participated.  They should have been promoting JibberJobber back then.

Here’s the saddest part: I still see this horrible advice coming from career “professionals” (even a handful of the ones I network with), career centers at universities and military bases, and faith-based career groups.

Folks, it is 2013!  The world didn’t end last year, and it’s time to move on from paper and Excel to track and manage this very complex thing!

Aside from the functionality differences between web-based vs. paper, there is the longevity of the information you are collecting.

Think about this: let’s say you use a spreadsheet (or paper-based system or something like that) to organize and track your job search.  You land a job.  What happens to the spreadsheet?

Five years later you are intransition, you need the information from your last job search, but it’s gone.  You moved, gave away your computer, had it crash multiple times, etc.  It’s wiped out.  Your backup system is gone.

Best case scenario is that you can still access it.  Great!  But you open it and the notes make NO sense.  The columns… the lack of information, the half-notes… it makes no sense.

Throw it away and start over, from scratch.  Spend a week tweaking columns and rows and sheets.  Waste that time.





Steve’s Question: What is the best way to transition quickly while you are out of work?

February 21st, 2013

This is the final of three questions that Steve sent me in his email.  Great question.

What is the best way to transition quickly while you are out of work?

Information Interviews, I think, is where it is at. I think if you do at least one informational Interview a day (you can do more) you’ll get closer to a job than any other tactic.

An Informational Interviews strategy has multiple benefits:

  • You are doing power-networking and having great conversations (if you do it right),
  • You are becoming known to a lot of people (assuming you do a lot of interviews),
  • You learn other perspectives to help you understand the industry/company/profession,
  • You are getting introductions to more people and getting deeper into the industry/company/profession,
  • You are getting away from the resume black hole and non-response from other job search activities,
  • Your moral is higher since you are having real, professional conversations with people,
  • ??

Informational Interviews are the bomb.  I did a video training on Informational Interviews.

The dated stats say that networking and directly communicating with a company are the two tactics that are most effective in getting a new job.  Informational Interviews is a great way to do both of those.

What do you think? What is the best way to transition quickly while you are out of work?

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Steve’s Question: What is the best way to look for a job while you have a job?

February 20th, 2013

Here’s the second question from the email from Steve:

What is the best way to look for a job while you have a job?

Great question, and pretty common when talking about LinkedIn Profiles.

Here’s my answer:

Informational interviews and networking.

Be out there. Meet new people, ask “who can you introduce me to” (or any variation of that question), and meet more and more people, but with purpose and within a strategy (not just to collect contact info).

Let’s break these down:

Informational Interviews are so key in today’s job search that if you aren’t doing it, you are probably wasting time in your job search. If I had to start my job search today I would have informational interviews as the #1 task that I do every single day.

Networking is such an ambiguous word. I did it wrong until I read Never Eat Alone.  If you haven’t, read a networking book then read one.  There’s more to networking that what you are probably doing right now.

Be out there means you have to be visible.  If you are only working and going home to apply to a job here or there, no one will know who you are. Go to lunch with people.  Go to networking events, not as a job seeker but as a professional.  Don’t feel like you are cheating on your employer… being an active networker is good for him/her too.  It might lead to sales!  It will be great for you, for many reasons.

Meet new people means you don’t go to networking events for the food, and that you are actively growing your network.

Ask for introductions, with various questions like “who should I talk to….”.  You want to get deeper into a company or industry or profession, and a great way to do that is by people making introductions for you.  And that happens when you ASK FOR THEM.

Having a purpose and strategy means you don’t have meaningless conversations.  If you get 10 minutes with your prime prospect what do you talk about?  Know the answer to that.  Know how to use 10 minutes, and how to end it (with an invitation for something more?).

What do you think?  How would you recommend people do a job search while employed?  (or, how do you do an undercover job search?)

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Steve’s Question: What is the best way for job seeker to overcome negative emotions and get motivated in the search?

February 19th, 2013

I got an email from Steve with a number of great questions, which I’ll share today, tomorrow and Thursday.  The first:

What is the best way for job seeker to overcome negative emotions and get motivated in the search?

This is a hard question. I can feel the pain in this question.  I don’t have THE answer, but I know what worked for me.

I had to have a vision of something I had more control over.

When I got the idea for JibberJobber it was like a shot in the arm. No longer was I completely discouraged and helpless… I finally could have some control over something and make progress, regardless of the resume black hole.

Not sure what it might be for you but for me it was empowering myself with at least one other revenue stream that had potential.

The interesting thing is that since I started JibberJobber I started to get job offers. Not interview offers… job offers.  Multiple job offers.  Even this year, seve years later.

People could see what I was capable of doing, they could see I was passionate, and they wanted me on their team. One of my favorite posts about this is titled Substantiate Yourself.

What can you add?  How do you overcome negative emotions and get motived, whether you are in a job search or own your own business?



How to Export Contacts from iCloud,

February 18th, 2013

Here’s a short video on how to export your contacts from your iCloud account (below the video is a link to export to It exports to a vcard file but you can then convert that to a csv file… not bad :)

The vcard to Excel (or csv) converter is: (I know – it’s a site in China… I never thought I’d link to something like that)  This is a great site for anything Apple, since they like vcards so much.

NOTE: this is a video from some other system, not JibberJobber… I’m sharing this video so you can see how to get your contacts out of iCloud.

Exporting your contacts from – awesome post with pics.



What Does Emergency Gall Bladder Surgery Cost (aka: health costs when unemployed or self insured or as an entrepreneur)

February 16th, 2013

A month ago, at this very minute (note: I started this post on Friday but took a very rare sick day during the post), I was laying in a hospital bed trying to “breathe through my nose.”   I never disliked breathing more than that day.

You can read the entire story here (I need to clean it up because I wrote it when I was on narcotics… it doesn’t read as well as it should).

The purpose of this post is to talk honestly about what you can expect to pay if you have an emergency that requires you to go to the E.R.

There were five or six vendors or service providers involved in this.  Below is what I was billed (approximations):

Hospital, including emergency room, operating room, recovery room: About $18,000

Operating surgeon: about $1,600

ER doctor: Bill amount: $888

Pathologist: To do what, I have no idea. Bill amount: $49

Anesthesiologist: Bill amount: $1,275.

Radiologist 1: Bill amount: $119.86.

Radiologist 2: Not sure if there was one, but was told there might be one.

Each of those are independent from one another, and no one would tell us what the bill might be, or even who to contact.  It was either make calls and figure it out or wait for the bill to come.

There is a reason to make the calls immediately.  Many medical vendors provide a discount for “self-pay,” which is the term you use if you don’t have insurance.

Why we don’t have insurance is for another post.  Trust me, we tried to get it (more than once), but the insurance industry is so corrupt it is disgusting.

Anyway, if you are self-pay there are two things that happen:

  1. 1. You get offered a discount – up to 50% off.  You can see the discount amounts below.
  2. 2. No one believes you will pay.  The government and media has done a masterful job creating an image of uninsured people (aka, self-pay) that if you are self-pay people think you are going to not pay.  Not true, but thanks to the gov’t and media, that’s a new stereotype to live under.

Here are the discounts we got:

Hospital, including emergency room, operating room, recovery room: About $18,000. They gave 50% off to self-pay if you pay within about 2 weeks.  That meant our bill would be about $9k.  We went in to talk about it, and when to pay, and the finance person lowered it another $1k (because much of the time billed was when I was in “recovery,” which didn’t really take the same resources as a bunch of people doding on me every minute.  Total bill: a little shy of $8k (for about 55% discount).

Operating surgeon: about $1,600. When I went in for the post-op checkup they said they would offer a 50% discount if paid THAT DAY or a 30% discount within (I don’t remember how many weeks).  We paid that day. I wish they could have given a little flexibility – perhaps 50% if paid in a week.  It wasn’t fun to pay that day, considering the payment to the hospital was made in the same week. Total bill: I think it was almost $800. Are you blown away that the person who controls the operation gets only $800 (less whatever his company takes in overhead)?  Crazy.

ER doctor: $888. I found their information and called them and learned they offer a 50% discount. I have to pay that by early March, which is about a 6 week timeframe.  Very thankful for this discount and the extra time. Total bill: $444. Nice savings :)

Pathologist: To do what, I have no idea. Bill amount: $49. They offered a 30% discount, which we were thankful for.  Ended up paying $34.

Anesthesiologist: Bill amount$1,275. I was highly disappointed in their discount, only 20%, to bring it down to about $1,000.

Radiologist 1: $119.86. 20% off put it down to (total bill) $95.89.  Not liking the small discount but the amount was so small that it was sixes.

Radiologist 2: Not sure if there was one, but was told there might be one.

The total out of pocket for this emergency surgery was about $10,375.

Are you ready for that capital outlay right now?

I wasn’t either.

Aside from being on insurance, what can you do to get ready?  I’m not talking about preventative because this could have been an ambulance ride from a car accident (and healthy eating usually doesn’t prevent that).

If you got a $10,000+ bill from the hospital, would you be in a world of (financial) pain?

You can prepare for medical emergencies.  I recommend:

1. Regular insurance

2. Accident insurance

3. Robust and growing savings

4. Knowing who you can tap into to get help from (family, etc.)

It’s a scary time without this $10k bill, but being able to do it can come from planning and preparation.  Start NOW!



Reed Hastings (Netflix) on Company Culture

February 14th, 2013

When I was in the MBA program “culture” was the big buzzword.  Companies that create a strong positive culture are companies where people want to work, and give 1,000%.

Companies with a weak culture have high turnover.

My wife and I were talking about “family culture” a few weeks ago.  Applying “culture” to something like family, neighborhood, etc. is kind of hard if you haven’t been indoctrinated with the concept of culture.

I want to share an amazing 126 slide presentation from Reed.  I know it’s long but this is an amazing slide on culture.  Consider this a “sharpening your saw” exercise, take the time to go through this.  Best presentation on culture that I’ve ever seen. It almost makes me want to go work at Netflix right now.


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