Six Things To Do Before You Leave Your Job

April 29th, 2014

I’m doing some research on how to onboard yourself once you land your next job. I found this great (important) article on TheMuse titled 6 Things to Do Before Leaving Your Job.

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I hadn’t thought about it much because I focus so much on forward-facing stuff, not what to do to tie up loose ends from a job you have left.  But Leslie Moser is absolutely right.  Her six things are (read her post to get more):

  1. Write a transition plan
  2. Archive, archive, archive (don’t archive information that is not yours, though)
  3. Figure out your health insurance (COBRA is a joke… it is SO expensive)
  4. Have an exit interview (be careful not to burn bridges in this interview, though!)
  5. Keep in touch! (I know this can feel very awkward)
  6. Plan a vacation (take some time, but NOT TOO MUCH TIME!)

A book I’ll recommend is Scot Herrick’s I’ve Landed My Dream Job – Now What???  This book helps you plan your first 30 days on the job, and includes thoughts on wrapping up well from your last job.

In the amazon review I love the person points out that Scot’s book helped her put together a 30/60/90 day plan… FOR AN INTERVIEW!  So maybe this book is a great interview prep book… ?

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Focus Friday Webinars: 10 Minute JibberJobber Trainings

April 28th, 2014

I have been piloting a program for a few months that I’m now ready to bring to the masses.

Each Friday morning (with a few exceptions – travel, holidays, etc.) I do a Focus Friday webinar where I spent 10 minutes on one particular topic or feature in JibberJobber.

For example, last Friday we spent 10 minutes on the Interview Prep area of JibberJobber. In that 10 minutes you understood the HOW and the WHY.

I love these 10 minute webinars because you can get better at JibberJobber, and your own career management, with very little commitment. 10 minutes, that’s all.  Come when you can, don’t come when you can’t.

Sign up at the link below, once, and you’ll get an email with a reminder and link each week.  If you can’t come, just delete the email.  Unsubscribe at any time.

https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/851697802

Feel free to share this link in your LinkedIn Groups and job clubs :)

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Ask The Expert: Fred Coon, Outplacement and Job Search Expert

April 25th, 2014

My call with Fred Coon was awesome.  There were a lot of gems throughout this call.  I have two regrets:

  1. We didn’t have more time.  It seems like Fred just skimmed the surface on an 8-step plan… I think we could have talked for hours more.  BUT, what he was able to share in 90 minutes was a great foundation for anyone.
  2. I asked Fred, impromptu, to provide a little banjo music in the back while I wrapped it up.   He did, I wrapped up, and I mistakenly stopped the recording when I was done instead of when he was done.  I’ve never been banjo’d before… it was very cool :)

Below is our conversation.  I encourage you to take notes, and if you want, let us know what impacted you most, and the minute mark of that impactful moment, so we can get to it easier.

Enjoy!  (vimeo provides a full screen option comes on after you click play, but there is no visual… you can put this on while you do something else (like take notes?))

See past Ask The Expert recordings here.

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How To: JibberJobber Sync with Google Contacts

April 24th, 2014

This awesome beta feature allows you to have your JibberJobber Contacts in your smartphone.  This works whether you are using Android or an iPhone… or any phone (or system, for that matter) that communicates with Gmail.

It’s cooler than an import/export because we are just clicking a few buttons, and not worrying about csv files, cleaning them, downloading, etc.  Here’s how you do the Gmail/JibberJobber sync:

Step 1: click on Import/Export from the Contacts dropdown:

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Step 2: Scroll to the bottom of this page and you’ll see this option… notice it is in Beta.  If anything doesn’t work right for you, let us know!

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Step 3: Choose which Gmail account you want to sync contacts with.  

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Step 4: Now 4 important choices.  You can leave them at default, but let’s understand what we’re doing.

  1. Do you want to export your JibberJobber Contacts and have those be in your Google Contacts?  Then leave this checked. But we don’t force you to have all of your JibberJobber Contacts in your Gmail system.
  2. This is for importing from Google Contacts… which is done by groups in Gmail. Notice you can check/uncheck by groups (and the first option is to import those not in any group).
  3. This is the master/slave idea.  What system has better (more accurate) data?  You can leave it default of you trust both systems, and just want to bring in the newer data.
  4. This is the ant-spam option – I always, always, always leave this unchecked.  If I check this box it will import Gmail Contacts that have no first or last name, which means I get a lot of Support@thiscompany.com and help@thatcompany.com and admin@theothercompany.com – these are not real people, and I don’t care to have them, or need them, in JibberJobber.

In short, you can leave all of them as default, but I wanted to walk you through the 4 main options there.

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Step 5: After you have clicked the Sync button you will see this dialog, which means the sync is in process.  Don’t leave that page… just sit tight until it is done.

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Step 6: You’ll see this confirmation showing that it is done, and how many records where affected.

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That’s it… it’s really a few click-click-click, but we give you the option each time to not get junk into your system…

Let us know if we need to fix or clean anything :)

Note: if you are not Premium (which is as low as $5/month) you might want to upgrade for at least one month just to ensure you don’t have limit issues.

 

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LinkedIn Questions: Shady connections, responding to bad “recommendations,” and contacting via email vs. through LinkedIn

April 23rd, 2014

A JibberJobber user recently emailed me a few questions about LinkedIn and said I could share my responses with you.  His questions/text is in bold:

I have been consulting for a while, and am now looking for a permanent job. I have a few questions that stop me from moving forward, and I bet it does the same to your clients and readers.

question_mark_blog_smallWhen you contact someone on LinkedIn, and they are linked to a person “who will not sing your praises,” what do you do? I am stopped by concern of this.

I don’t really care who people are connected to.  Being connected doesn’t mean there is a strong relationship, or even a growing relationship, or that my connection is even interested in having a professional relationship with that person.  If I’m going to connect or communicate with someone I see/meet/etc. on LinkedIn, I am not going to go through their network to see who my frenemies are that they are connected to.  I know there is a potential for awkwardness.

Recently I’ve been re-networking into an organization that for some lame reason had branded me as something bad, and cautioned them to not look at or consider JibberJobber.  This is an isolated situation, in only one branch of the organization, but I was surprised that the feelings and perceptions are still there. I’ve tried to move forward without assuming that any of those previous contacts are in touch, have a relationship where they would ask for referrals or information, etc.  I would say that you either ignore the connection to the person who would not sing your praises, or you just move on to another contact.

You won’t know until you reach out to your target.  Maybe they have no idea what’s going on, don’t care, or better yet, realize that the person who “doesn’t sing your praises” is a jerk, creep, narcissist, or otherwise not to have their opinion trusted.

question_mark_blog_smallI was Linked to a boss I had for 2 or 3 months. He has a reputation of just being a terrible person. I was far from the person that took the most demeaning treatment from him. I “de-linked” him as I would rather not be associated with him. But he gets around and is very well known in the business. How do I handle this? Do I just go on hoping other people think the same and/or don’t ask him for a reference?

I wouldn’t put any thought into it. You are too busy moving forward to worry about this guy who probably doesn’t have anything bad to say about you.  It was a short period of time, and maybe he thinks favorably of you?  I know that might seem impossible, but read my post on working with narcissists here.  These people are real gems, aren’t they?

If this person has this reputation, a lot of people will disregard his input.  His brand is that of someone who never has anything nice to say about anyone.  What that means is if he says something mean, that is par for the course.  If he can squeak out something positive, then that is a HUGE compliment.  Don’t spend any time working on this person, just move forward.

If someone says “yeah but, so-and-so said you are _________,” you might need a very short, non-bitter response like “I worked with that person for two months.  There were a lot of problems in his department, and he wasn’t ever close enough to me or my projects to know my work ethic or output.  I can provide you with some character references that are much more qualified to weigh in on this than him.”  Or something like that.  You don’t want to be a deer in the headlights with some negative or false accusation, but you don’t want to come out fighting and tearing him down (which will only make you look bad).

question_mark_blog_smallMost people will say something nice about me, or not much at all. Maybe I am going to get an average or below average comment from 1 out of 20 of my connections. How do you handle this?

I would go to the main people who I know would say something nice about me, and work with them to get LinkedIn Recommendations, and ask if they would be a reference for me.  I would not worry about the 1 out of 20 that would not.

Let’s say you had 19 out of 20 that would say bad stuff about you – don’t pursue them.  Just work on the ones that will be favorable.  And, interestingly, time has a way of changing and softening things.  For example, someone you worked with ten years ago might have a different, even favorable, perspective, and have forgotten petty office stuff.  Even if you are holding on to those things, they might have forgotten about them through time or their own personal life changes (layoffs, job searches, deaths, etc.) or because they have realized that THEY shouldered as much of the problem as you have.

question_mark_blog_smallFinally is it better to contact a person via email, if you have their email (or can figure it out), or through LinkedIn?

I ALWAYS try to connect via email first, instead of through LinkedIn.

Sometimes LinkedIn communications add some extra barriers to responding. For example, if you message me on LinkedIn, can I respond back by clicking the reply button? Not always.  I sometimes have to click on the respond button, login to LinkedIn, and send a message from there.  That is not in my email sent folder, which is really lame.  I don’t want to be forced to message you through a system that I don’t really like.

Bottom line, I would email them. If they don’t respond in a reasonable timeframe, I assume the email really was bad, and then I connect with them on LinkedIn (and say “can we get on a call or can I email you about _____?”  My end goal is not to connect with them, but to start a relationship and communication that can grow to something bigger (like a long-term relationship, introduction, informational interview, etc.).

I hope these responses help.  I’m not the “final answer” on the above, this is all swayed by my experience.  It sounds like you have elements of fear that are holding you back, but let me assure you that (a) most job seekers do, and (b) most of the time, the fear is unfounded, and (c) as you move forward your fear can melt away.  Also, I think many times we assume things that are just not accurate… don’t let your assumptions paralyze you. Job seekers are not in a position where they can tolerate being paralyzed for too long.

Any other ideas to add to this?

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What to put on your LinkedIn Profile when you are in transition

April 22nd, 2014

This question comes up all the time when I do presentations on LinkedIn.  There are a few different options, depending on the message you want to give (“I need your help…!” OR “I have expertise in this, and oh yeah, I might be open to looking at other opportunities” and everything in-between).

Recently I was talking to Nick Jenkins, a senior operations manager based out of Austin, Texas.  Nick has deep experience with the telecom industry but, as we were talking, he was explaining his passion to move to a few other industries (still within technology), including mobile stuff, cloud computing, etc.  Nick likes being in the leading edge tech space, which is what he navigated over the last 15 years in telecom.

As we were talking I had a thought: Your LinkedIn profile tells me you are actively looking, but nothing in your profile tells me you are not married to the telecom industry.  In fact, everything there indicates you kind of want to stay there.  What if you let me know you are open to non-telecom stuff?

I shared this idea with Nick and here’s what he changed to clarify his position (being available for new opportunities, and what he is open to).  I think this is the best way to communicate this stuff.

First, the Professional Headline.  Nick’s main message here is “I’m a professional!  Here are my passions and what I bring to the table!” Instead of focusing on “I’m looking for new work,” which is NOT his brand, he focuses on what he wants you to think of when you think about him.

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Next, the Current Title.  He makes it very clear that he is actively looking.

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Now, when I got on the phone with him, this was all that he had done.  I listened to what he was looking for, and open to, and then I compared that with his profile… and therein was the problem: Without having a conversation with him to know he was looking for a career even outside of telecom (or inside of telecom, but not limited to telecom), you probably wouldn’t know that he was open to it.  I suggested that he use the job experience are and tell people more about what he is looking for.  His summary is the typical “here are my strengths,”… but nowhere did he say “I’m open to non-telecom opportunities.”

(Next,) So instead of leaving the job description part of “Experienced Leader and Communicator” blank, he filled it in.  You can click over to his account to read it.

The takeaway for me was that I assumed, based on his profile, something that was wrong.  After talking with him I understood more, and I encouraged him to share that on his Profile (to remove bad assumptions).

I challenge you to state what you do or want to do, and then read through your profile and see if they are aligned.

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Don’t ask people to connect on LinkedIn until…

April 21st, 2014

If I can, I like to connect people.  It makes me feel good, and some of my contacts simply must connect with one another – they are that cool or complementary!

I recently made a connection between two people, and I suggested to one of them to NOT invite the person to connect until they actually had a conversation, and started a relationship.

Why?

Too often I see people who will take an introduction, ask the person to connect on LinkedIn, and then… nothing.

Folks, connecting on LinkedIn IS NOT NETWORKING!

Focus on the relationship!

Can you help that person?  Can they help you?  Is there a reason to have a relationship?  Can you nurture the relationship?  Can you get and give value through the years because of a relationship?

Have a conversation.  Then, in a month, or next quarter, have another conversation (or send an email).  And do that regularly.  Over time. Take the relationship from nowhere to somewhere.

The problem with starting out with a LinkedIn invitation is that too often, many times, I see this:

  1. Invitation is extended.
  2. Invitation is accepted.
  3. Relationship doesn’t go anywhere.

The LinkedIn connection is not a relationship, and it is not networking.  It gets in the way.

So, first work on establishing the relationship, and the LinkedIn invitation/connection is something for later. Don’t let it take the place of the relationship.

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Favorite Friday: Your LinkedIn Network is Useless if…

April 18th, 2014

Another Favorite Friday from my LinkedIn blog.  This one is about the utility of your LinkedIn contacts.  Too often I’ve heard people say “LinkedIn doesn’t work for me.”

That’s like saying “the hammer in my shed doesn’t work for me.”  They don’t tell you that they bought it, put it in the shed, and never used it.

You have to do something with it.  The main line in this post is:

Your [My] LinkedIn network is USELESS if I… DON’T DO ANYTHING WITH IT!

Whether it is LinkedIn, JibberJobber, your business card… the question is: what are YOU doing with it?

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101 Best Sites To Use In Your Job Search

April 17th, 2014

I saw another one… an article listing 99 sites that everyone should (1) know about and (2) use.

So here’s my list of 100 Best Sites to Use in Your Job Search:

1.  Linke………….

Wait!  

NO!  

I don’t like lists like this.

Thinking practically, who in the world has time to (1) know about all of these sites, especially since they seem to come and go with whimsical weather (I’ve had more than a couple JibberJobber competitors fold up and drift away into oblivion).

Yes, of course job seekers have time, right?  They have nothing else to do but to check out new sites that might be gone in three months.

NO.  Job seekers don’t have time.  They are not technical analysts for VC firms, trying to decide what is going to be the next LinkedIn or Facebook.  Or figuring out what “popular” sites will be the next MySpace.  They need to know the handful of high-impact, must-use sites to get them from Point A (no paycheck) to Point B (paycheck).

Don’t waste time on the lists, that take entirely too much time to read, feeling bad about not being up to speed on the “you must know about and use” sites.  Instead, figure out what your gaps are, and address those gaps.

Here are three, count’em, THREE sites I’ll recommend to every job seeker.  Beyond that, YOU have to figure out what your gaps are and where else you should be.

One: JibberJobber

Yes, I put JibberJobber as number 1.  Partially because this is my website, my blog post, and I can order these however I want.  But more than that, the ability to keep you organized in a job search, help you with your follow-up, and be a hub for the information you are collecting from online and offline sources.

In my recent phone calls with users I’m amazed and humbled to hear how people use and depend on JibberJobber, not just in a job search but to manage their personal and professional relationships.  Indispensable.  “Logged in all the time.”  People are using it the way I envisioned they would use it, and have come to depend on it to help keep them organized… it’s very cool to hear from people around the world that for them, JibberJobber is more important than LinkedIn, or other sites.

Two: LinkedIn

LinkedIn has changed a lot since I wrote the first edition of the LinkedIn book.  They have decreased the value by removing features, or moving them to the paid side. Recruiters tell me they aren’t using LinkedIn much, or as much (they are going to where their target audience is engaged, which isn’t necessarily LinkedIn).  They seem to be saturated in the U.S. and, while expanding globally is fine for them, the change in the userbase means that the value to a U.S. user has lessened.

Having said all that, they are the 8,000 pound guerrilla in the professional networking space.  You should turn to LinkedIn (or, if you are in a country that has a more powerful professional network, like Xing in Germany, then use that one) for research.  Learn about your target companies, your prospects, come up with a prospect list, figure out the structure of, and players in, a company, etc.

I regularly go to LinkedIn to figure who the heck people are, and why we should get on a call or have a conversation.  I can’t think of any system or site that is as helpful as LinkedIn is to help me understand that, and make a decision on how much time to pursue on a person or company.

Don’t use LinkedIn to read all of the influencer stuff, blog posts, or immerse yourself in Groups in the name of learning and education.

Do use LinkedIn to help you focus on networking and targeting prospects, and being more prepared for conversations.

And then, of course, go to JibberJobber and enter relevant information about your companies and contacts :)

Three: _____________

I’m really kind of stuck on this one.  Do I tell you to use Indeed?  When I’m on the road, at job clubs, they all talk about Indeed and LinkedIn.  My hesitation is that too many people use Indeed the wrong way.  They use it to find and apply to jobs.  WRONG!  WASTE OF TIME!  DON’T FALL INTO THIS TRAP!

Okay, applying to jobs isn’t totally wrong or bad, but if you do it a lot, because it’s easier to do that then to call someone, email someone, go to a network meeting, etc., then you are chickening out of your job search and probably wasting time.

Use Indeed as a research tool.  Find out what’s going on in an industry or company by the postings on Indeed.  Or, if you are preparing for an interview for a Product Manager, go to Indeed and open up ten Product Manager openings. Then, study those job descriptions and make sure you understand the lingo, keywords, phrases, expectations, qualifications, tasks and duties, etc.  What a great way to prepare for your interview!  Marry what you learn with your interview preparation (which you can wordsmith and store in JibberJobber), so you have stories that exemplify the phrases from those job descriptions, etc.

Or instead of indeed, should I tell you to use Google?  The starting point for the internet… Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc…. to find information and do research.  You can find too much information, which becomes a pain to sift through, but if you can get over your fear of picking up the phone, a search engine + your tenacity can be invaluable.

I’m not sure what #3 really is.

There comes a point in your job search where you have to accept that your problems aren’t going to be solved by widgets or websites, and that you simply have to send *that* email, or make *that* phone call.

Don’t hunt for silver bullets.  Work on relationships, and your messages, and how you request help.  You need to add a bit of old fashioned elbow grease to this job, and not hope you stumble into your next dream job just because you are on the 99 right tools.

What am I missing?

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“The Salesforce for Job Seekers”

April 16th, 2014

I was on a call with a savvy user in Austin, TX who recently found JibberJobber.  He has been a Salesforce.com user and said that JibberJobber is the “Salesforce for job seekers.”

Aside from the fact that JibberJobber has features/functions that are geared towards your professional career management (like the Interview Prep and the Job Journal), there is something else that is really important.  Critically important.

If you have a Salesforce.com account, or a highrise account, or any other CRM account, provided to you by your employer, guess what happens to the account and data (aka, your contacts) when you terminate employment?

That’s right… it’s gone. It’s not yours, it is theirs.

The contacts and relationships are still yours, of course.  That one human being can say hi to another human being is not something they can take away (except for, you know, non-competes, etc.).  But the data – phone numbers, emails, etc. is GONE. Inaccessible.

Your JibberJobber account is YOURS, for life.  You know you can optionally upgrade and downgrade, and you never lose your records.  It is yours through company and job changes.  It is yours when you are unemployed, employed, and even retired.  It is not the property of a company, that can take it away like they can take your paycheck away.

JibberJobber is your empowerment tool.  It is your long-term career manager.  Salesforce is a cool tool that you get when you have a job, provided by your company, and it’s temporary to you.  When you leave, it is gone.

JibberJobber is not gone.  It is there for you for the rest of your career.

That’s pretty cool empowerment!

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