51 Alternatives to a Real Job on the Kindle (link below)

July 25th, 2013

I finally got 51 Alternatives to a Real Job on the kindle.  Click here to purchase it.

Still, one of my favorite quotes in the reviews, by Mike Hudson:

 51 Alternatives is not an answer book, it is a question book, and that question is “Why not?”

This is definitely a why not book.  I think some of the ideas in here are “too far out there” for many people.  But if you get tired of having layoffs hanging over your head, or if you wonder why you are only making $x/hour and barely scraping by, or if you just want to feel more empowered personally, then WHY NOT?

I’ll never forget an email I got from a friend who makes a bunch of money in a job that takes him away from his family 5 or 6 days a week, for the last many years.  He commented that he didn’t have the guts to do what I was doing… here is his question with my reply (which I blogged, of course):

I got an e-mail today from a buddy in Texas:

I am glad to hear your business is doing well. I wish I had your skills to go out and start my own business, but I am too big of a chicken.

So here is my formula for “going out and starting your own business:

  1. Focus 150% on your career, give your life and time and thoughts to “the company.”
  2. Get laid off because of any lame reason.
  3. Work 60 hours a week looking for a job.
  4. Have a great looking resume that has some ghost problem (something that is a problem but you can’t find).
  5. Have an aha moment that is “wow, this would be really cool!!”
  6. Continue to not be able to get a job (much less a couple of interviews)
  7. Figure that going forward on your own business is going to be more fruitful than spinning the job search window (this was months into the job search)
  8. Being okay with giving up all of the corporate perks (steady paycheck, bonus, holidays, sick leave, “cheap” health insurance, etc.)

There you go. There’s my guts. Where are yours?
frog dissection where are your guts?

Do you have the guts to ask WHY NOT?  Check out the WHY NOT book, 51 Alternatives to a Real Job.  Now on your kindle browser :)

51-alternatives-to-a-real-job-kindle

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The right clothes for work

July 22nd, 2013

This post was written by Sarah Turner, single mother of two with over 5 years of experience in professional careers advice.

In any working environment, it helps to have the right clothes. For employees, this keeps them safe and offers a certain level of appearance. For employers, it helps create a sense of professionalism, teamwork and unity across the company.

The same can also be applied if you’re looking for work. Sometimes you may want to provide your own as a sign of commitment whilst at other times you may simply want to show your readiness to wear the required clothing. Likewise, if you’re an independent worker, the right appearance and clothing is highly important and all up to you.

Practicality

First and foremost, there are a variety of jobs and industries where clothing needs to be practical. A painter, for instance, may need to wear snickers work trousers when working. These clothes offer a vast number of pockets, material that doesn’t mind getting dirty and thick cloth to help when leaning down or reaching up high. It helps make the job easier to complete, making it an important tool.

Practical clothes demonstrate a strong work ethic that many employers will find attractive. It suggests people aren’t afraid to get stuck in and do the required task. It can also suggest that due caution and understanding of the work and materials involved has been carried out and that safety is a priority for this individual – another positive characteristic.

Appearance

When dealing with practical trades that use hands-on skills, appearance takes on a less corporate image but still needs to be professional. This clothes are almost universally recognised as being connected with these industries and that presents a professional image to outsiders such as prospective customers and even investors or business partners.

From a business perspective, this makes for a very professional appearance relative to the industry in question. Customers expect certain things from certain people by default. An office, for instance, expects suits or formal wear whilst industrial trades suggest something different.

This is where snickers trousers, overalls and other clothes come in. They are to their industry what a suit or formal dress is to the office environment. It’s the little details that connote the bigger message to any customer and this is even more important for those who work in the public sphere as their appearance can act as a form of promotion to existing and prospective clients.

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What to do when your job search simply sucks

July 19th, 2013

Here’s another older post I found because a spammer tried to comment on it: The Job Search Sucks.

It’s true, isn’t it?

No one wakes up and says: “You know, I’m up for a new challenge. I want to do a job search. This should be a good challenge because the economy sucks… we’ll see how this goes!”

Maybe some people do … people who are in a horrible corporate situation.

But when you are a job seeker, and discouraged, and tired of spinning your wheels and feeling like nothing is working, sometimes you need to step back and take a little break.

In the blog post from 2009 I shared some ideas (read the post to get the entire gist of it):

  • step away and regroup
  • focus on relationships
  • fix something at your house (sometimes having a project complete, or accomplishing something, is a nice break from the mundane job search)
  • plant flowers
  • go back to school (I think this needs serious thought, because it means major changes to schedule, finances, etc.)
  • change industries
  • QUIT the job search. Sound silly?  I did it.  And that is what 51 Alternatives to a Real Job is all about.

Check out the post for more, as well as insightful comments from others :)

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First 30 Days of Your Job Search

July 18th, 2013

Fortunately spammers leave comments on really old blog posts that I have all but forgotten… and they turn my attention back to a really good post :)   That’s how I got this post back in front of me: Job Search Tips: What I Should Have Done In The First 30 Days

This is one of my favorite posts, and a really important one.  I talk about what my failed strategy included, and then what I would do now if I were to start over.  In the first 30 days I would (read the post to see more explanation):

  1. Prepare my resume and other marketing documents, 
  2. Find a coach or someone to hold me accountable,
  3. Figure out my finances and my “runway”,
  4. Really understand the recruiter’s role in my search (I would buy this book: How to Work with Headhunters)
  5. Really undersatnd the role of job boards, and not waste most of my time there,
  6. Network in person, even though it is hard and scary,
  7. Network online,
  8. Prepare myself mentally for a long search,
  9. Maintain relationships with my family,
  10. USE JIBBERJOBBER (of course I get to slip that one it… I’m biased, but it is still THE tool you need to use to organize it all).

In the comments there are some awesome additions.  Read the entire thing here.

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175 Questions To Ask At A Job Interview (JobMob)

July 17th, 2013

jacob_shareMy friend Jacob Share posted this: 175 Helpful Questions To Ask At A Job Interview

Of course, you aren’t going to have time to ask 175 questions.  If I interviewed you and you asked me even 17 questions (at the end) I might be annoyed.

I would suggest you print this out and go through it with a highlighter, picking out your favorite questions.  Or, questions based on various things like: company size, promotion potential, industry, job title, etc.

The questions are broken up as follows:

Questions 1-71 are about the job itself

Questions 72-111 are about the company

Questions 112-131 are about the boss

Questions 132-162 are about the team

Questions 163-175 are about feedback and next steps

If you ask smart questions in an interview that show me you’ve done your homework or are knowledgeable or passionate about this company, industry or the role, you will be heads and shoulders above many other interviewees!

Great resource for those who are going to interviews – thanks Jacob!

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Job Seekers Need to Understand: “ATS is a Reductionist System”

July 11th, 2013

I’m pretty sure that is a quote from Nick Corcodilos, during an Ask The Expert call this year (watch it here).

ATS (applicant tracking system) is the software a recruiter uses to organize and keep track of candidates.  It is like JibberJobber, but for the recruiter.

A recruiter uses the ATS is to REDUCE the number of candidates they are interested in.  If there are a lot of candidates they have the luxury of REDUCING the list of candidates because of trivial things, like typos in a resume, or some mismatch between qualifications and job description requirements.  If you have 200 candidates for a job, it’s easy to skim a lot of almost-matches right off the top and get to the 20 seemingly perfect ones.

This is where those trivial things, like typos (or what you wear, what you say, your cover letter, etc.) come in.  Immaculate.  Perfect. Flawless.

Is this stressful?  It is to me.

This month’s Ask The Expert touched on the same topic.  Jack Chapman was talking about interviewers using past salary, or your salary requirements, as a way to weed people out.  If the job pays $45k/year, and you made (or want) $100k/year, it is probably not going to be a good match and it is a waste of your time and theirs to continue. It’s like going shopping for a new house… you can afford a $150k house but you are looking at 750k houses.  That is a waste of your time and the Realtor’s time.

Salary history/requirements can be used to reduce the total pool of qualified candidates. (watch the ATE with Jack Chapman to see how he got around some of the common salary negotiation issues)

See a theme here?

What if, instead of being part of a pool that was being REDUCED, you could be one of a few that really stand out.  How do you do that?

I have some ideas, but I need YOU to think about it this week.  How do you go from someone that could be cut from the pool to someone who no way should be cut?

Think about it… leave a comment if you want… but THIS is the million dollar question in your job search.

 

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“I’m not in a job search. Why would I use JibberJobber?”

July 10th, 2013

On Monday’s webinar I asked a participant how we met (it was a few years ago at a networking dinner), and if he used JibberJobber. His response was:

“I am not in job search mode (yet) and I don’t use JibberJobber. However, is there value in JibberJobber for folks not looking for a job? Can it be used for other purposes?”

Well, I’m glad you asked!

It is true that JibberJobber helps your organize and track your job search.

More than that, JibberJobber is a relationship management tool.

Whether you are looking for a job or not, you should be networking.  And if you are networking, even if it is just with neighbors or family, you could get value out of JibberJobber. For example,

A grandma or grandpa (totally out of the job market) could use JibberJobber to remind of family birthdays, phone numbers, email addresses, etc.  If you send an email to someone (or a bunch of people), like a family newsletter, you could log that email on the recipients so you can know WHO got WHAT communication.

A solopreneur needs to network and work his/her prospects.  Stay in touch with contacts, make sure you follow-up on opportunities or relationships, remember when you said what to who, and when you sent what, for what occasion, to who.

Harvey Mackay says you need to dig your well before you’re thirsty.  Anyone who might be a job seeker in a few years should nurture and grow their network (aka, dig their well) RIGHT NOW.  Nurture those relationships.  And keep track of how you do it with JibberJobber.

Mark LeBlanc is a business coach who says you should send specific mail (email or snail mail) to different segments of your “database.”  For example, you would send past customers one message while prospects get another message.  You would send industry colleagues a certain message and you would send evangelists (people who help talk about you and your services or brand) a different message.  Sending appropriate messages to the right people increases the readership of your messages… doesn’t that make sense?  You can easily manage this with the TAGS feature in JibberJobber.

I track my personal service providers, including garage door guy, the appliance fixers, attorneys, air conditioner, plumber and electricians, in JibberJobber.  When need someone to service something at my house or business I can easily find who I used last, what they did, how much I paid, and what their contact info is. I can even track WHO came and did the service, and if I liked them or not.

None of those are necessarily job search related, but all of them help me spend less time on google and trying to remember who I should follow-up with, or who I need to call.  Relying on my memory is not a good thing… and that’s where JibberJobber comes in.

Thanks for the question, and I hope you can see value in JibberJobber, whether you are in a job search or not!

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Ask The Expert: Salary Negotations with Jack Chapman

July 9th, 2013

Yesterday I got to spend an hour with Jack Chapman, expert in salary negotiations.  Jack has years of experience and a lot of stories of successful salary negotiations. You can see our webinar at JibberJobber.com/ate, or watch it below.

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Jason Panczenko’s Awesome Slideshare Presentation

July 8th, 2013

A friend and colleague emailed me a link to Jason Panczenko’s blog post: How do you get 14K strangers to view your resume in one day?

I’ll tell you how: you create something AWESOME that people want to share with others.  As the AWESOME is shared, people click through to learn more.  It is as simple as that.

Check out Jason’s slideshare presentation.  It obviously took a lot of work.  I’m sure you can learn from what he has done to create your own awesome.

What do you think?

 

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Awesome LinkedIn Summary: Pete Danielsen (TV Executive)

July 5th, 2013

Robyn Feldberg is a friend and resume professional in Dallas.  She emailed me a while back sharing an idea she came up with to enhance Pete Danielsen’s LinkedIn Profile Summary… I LOVED her idea!  Pete and Robyn gave me permission to share the idea here.

The Summary is simple but executed well.  Let me reiterate that: you can duplicate the idea, but you might miss the mark.  Notice what they have done reinforces Pete’s brand very well.

Robyn and Pete came up with a list of “Top 10 Random Things About” Pete:

linkedin_summary_pete_danielsen_robyn_feldberg

 

Click here to see Pete’s full list.

Again, this is not a complex idea.  Lists are common.  But this is the best executed list I’ve seen, with a strong emphasis on helping you reinforce his brand. I bet people will fully read through this more than they might fully read through regular narrative (which can be done very well but usually is not).

Great job Robyn and Pete!

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