Valerie Gonyea is one of my favorite people… she recently posted this on Facebook:
In the comment thread, she continued:
The hidden job market has been defined as job opportunities that exist but aren’t posted for the public to know about them. In other words, once it’s online, or on a job board, it is not “hidden.” In this example, this opporunity came when “the CEO and the CFO had just started to come to the conclusion that they needed some help.” Who knew about it? NO ONE. It was “hidden.” No one could have known about it because the to CxOs had just started to come to the conclusion… this was far from being posted online, and far away from them going to a recruiter to find talent.
Valerie “tapped into the hidden job market” (which is what we all want to do) by, as she said, working it. She reached out, and I’m sure she let the two people she reached out to know who she was (what kind of work she does) and what she was looking for. She did it in a clear enough way that they could communicate that to their network… and it worked.
Will you talk to only and exactly two people? Probably not… some people talk to two hundred plus people…. but talking is where it is at. Valerie probably had NO competition in the decision-making phase… contrast that with the idea of being one of hundreds of resumes submitted online.
Think differently about where you spend your time. This concept would have changed the way my job search went entirely.
A while back my wife was in some training and she picked up a phrase that has become oft-repeated in my home. “Quick to forgive.” It’s a powerful concept, easy to accept, perhaps hard to apply.
The power of forgiveness is real. As a job seeker we feel slighted for many reasons… the people who let us go, the people who don’t help us network, the people who don’t choose to hire us, the people who ________.
Job seekers work with people… and thus we have plenty of opportunity to forgive.
As you let things go, and get over them (or through them), you can put your time, attention and energy into more important things, like the task at hand. What do you need to do to move forward, instead of why are you staying held back?
Try to create a personal culture of being quick to forgive, and move on with what you need to move on to.
Finally, I can’t talk about forgiveness without suggesting that you get really good at forgiving yourself. I’m not saying create excuses for not having or achieving what you want, but don’t wallow in self-pity and feelings of failure and inadequacy. Forgive yourself, take ownership of your issues in the spirit of being willing to improve, but stop harboring unsafe and harmful feelings – towards yourselves, or others.
I can’t imagine how serene life would be if we could be quick to forgive… can you?
Tip 5, Day 5: Internalize the idea that this is the new new: career management is where it is at.
I know being unemployed is the pits. It’s not really any fun, and you just want to fix the problem (ie, get a job), and make this whole nightmare go away. I get that.
I encourage you to think a little differently about it, though.
What if you knew that every 18 – 36 months you knew you were going to do something like this? How would that make you think about your brand, and your relationships, and your continuing education?
What if you could prepare for your next transition, whether it was because you got bored and needed more of a challenge? Or because your boss was unstable and there was no way you were staying, or because the company imploded like Enron?
Free yourself from depending on your job. Perhaps you LOVE LOVE LOVE where you are at, and you couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. That’s great! Congratulations! But free yourself from being dependent. Simply prepare for the next transition. Do things now to make that next transition easier, faster, smoother.
Some people get this. CxOs know they are in transition about every two years. Changing jobs is just the way it is. They prepare for it. They nurture long-term relationships. Their attitude is adjusted so they don’t need to have a pity part every two years when it happens.
That is the new reality for more than just CxOs. I’ve been doing this stuff for more than eight years and I’ve seen a lot of people have to adjust to this new way.
It’s worse when you get older… start now, invest in your career, and the inevitable changes. Embrace the challenge. And when you are in your next role, and can settle in and be comfortable, don’t stop your career management.
Tip 4, Day 4: Learn what networking is, why to do it, and how to do it.
I was too good to network. If you would just read my resume, you would know I was the right person to hire, and we really wouldn’t have to waste time with all that networking crap.
Networking is more important the higher up your job level is, and in certain industries. Need to replace a minimum wage burger flipping job? No worries, just go apply. Need to replace a professional-level job? That’s harder. Get networking.
BUT, don’t do it the way most people do, at a superficial level. Pick up Keith Ferrazzi’s books (Never Eat Alone, etc.) and become a student of his. Learn to love the conversations, the relationships, and “giving.” Learn how to have the right conversations, and achieve your purposes (establishing a relationship, reinforcing your brand, getting introductions, etc.).
Also, you must understand that the goal of networking is not just to meet a bunch of people – that is too vague. Understand that as you meet people, they are likely not the people who will know of an opening for you, but they should be able to introduce you to someone, who can introduce you to someone, who can introduce you to someone, who might be able to hire you. The idea is that you are drilling down, getting closer and closer to the right person at the right company… but that only comes when people trust you, and you communicate the right things at the right time.
Obviously, as you do this you’ll need a CRM to keep track of all of these relationships, introductions, and conversations. Sure, go ahead with Excel. When that doesn’t work, get an account on JibberJobber
Tip 3, Day 3: Use technology as a too, but don’t let it become your excuse.
There is no doubt that I, as the founder of JibberJobber, will encourage you to get an account on JibberJobber. I’ll also encourage you to get on LinkedIn, and use other technology as a tool.
But do not get sucked into the idea that using technology is your job search. You still need to have real human connections and conversations. Hiding behind a job tracking spreadsheet, tweeking this sheet and adding that column and creating this formula and color coding those cells… don’t go there. You could spend weeks doing that, in the name of your job search.
In reality, you are simply hiding behind technology, because you are too chicken to do what needs to be done.
Call people on the phone, every day. Go to network meetings, meet people, and ask them to lunch (or for more time, even if it’s just in the lobby or foyer). Relationships… humans. Playing the “will you connect with me” game on LinkedIn is not only a waste of time, it can mislead you and make you think you are really “networking,” when you are just making a superficial connection that doesn’t go any further than “sure, let’s connect.”
Technology is a tool – and tools are important – but there is WORK to be done.
Do that work (the work you are afraid to d0). Embrace it.
Tip 2, Day 2: Find someone to be accountable to.
If you can find and afford a professional coach, good for you. You are lucky. Use them. Don’t tell them what to do, just fit into their system, and DO what they say to do.
If you can’t afford one, then find someone who you will be accountable to every single week. Don’t skip reporting any week. This person needs to be strong enough to “hold your feet to the fire,” which means they will ask you “did you do that thing you said you were going to do? Why not? Okay, well what are you going to do this week? If you don’t do that, then ________.”
Accountability is such a critical component of your job search. I know it’s embarrassing to invite someone into this part of your life… a part that feels like a failure. BUT, bring them in, and let them help you.
You don’t have to do this alone. Having someone who you’ll be accountable to can be a huge, huge part of your success. Respect them, respect their time, and be completely honest with them.
Tip 1, Day 1: Take a breath, relax, pull yourself together.
The job search is scary, and can be hard on many levels. You might feel like the loser in your neigborhood, and people won’t know how to treat you. You’ll question your value after you go through enough rejections.
This is not a time to allow yourself to become demoralized.
It’s also not a time to vent to everyone, or even to your very closest friends and family. This is the time to be strong, confident, and move forward with a plan. Even when you don’t believe in yourself (and there will be plenty of times for self-doubt), believe in your system that you follow in your job search.
Allowing yourself to wallow in pity too long, or to communicate why everything sucks and it’s all just so unfair, or even have to explain to everyone why you are looking, will only sap energy from your job search. People won’t be ready to trust you with an introduction to their contacts until they know you have pulled yourself together.
So focus on that.
I recently got an email from a user asking something to this effect:
“What can I do when I forget to use the Email2Log when I sent someone an email? Do I have to copy and paste the email into a Log Entry now?”
I don’t think I’ve addressed this in a blog post before. This is a great enhancement to your workflow, and it doesn’t require copy and paste. Here’s a scenario:
It is as EASY as that! (pictures below)
Remember, what we are doing here is (a) taking the email and making it a Log Entry under every record that matches an email address in the “contacts:______,______,etc.” line, and (b) creating new Contact records for those email addresses that don’t match an existing Contact records.
In other words, let’s say I get an email from someone (a recruiter) who is not in my JibberJobber database, and she cc’s 3 other people (2 colleagues and the hiring manager at a company). I reply back saying “I’d love to come into an interview on Thursday – thank you!” But OOPS, I forgot to bcc my Email2Log email address… do I have to go into JibberJobber and manually (1) enter four new Contact records, and then (2) copy and paste the email thread to each of those four new records? Ugh… that will take like 10 minutes
Well, there is a much easier, faster, convenient way to create those new Contacts, and Log Entries! Here’s how (I’m using an email I sent to myself yesterday as the oops email):
Step 1: Just forward the email to your Email2Log address…
Step 2: Put Contacts: on any line (I do the first line, but it can be anywhere (even after the Log End Line)), and then delete everything up to the email address (this almost always show if you are forwarding an email).
Step 3: (optional) Put any other names and email addresses on this Contact: line, with a comma between each record. In this example I added my JibberJobber.com email address, even though it wasn’t in the original email:
That is it. Send this, and it only goes to JibberJobber (not anyone else, unless you put other address in the To, CC or BCC), it will create new Contact records (if they aren’t already in), and add the email as a Log Entry to every address that is in the (a) TO: field, (b) CC: field, and (c) contacts: line (in the body).
Once you figure this out, it can take just a few seconds to do this, and it is AWESOME!
Many years ago I heard about the brilliant idea of pasting your resume, or a job description, into a word cloud generator to get an analysis of what words and phrases were commonly used. We now have a tool to help you do this type of analysis in JibberJobber. What we have now is Phase I of a bigger project, with some really cool and useful enhancements in the planning stage.
This type of reporting and analysis can help you create better resumes, and prepare for interviews better. If I had an interview I was preparing for, I would do this analysis on ten jobs with the same titles and then compare, side-by-side, what the analysis shows me. Smarter resumes, smarter cover letters, smarter interviews, smarter networking dialogs… it all comes from understanding better what companies are looking for.
Below is how our word cloud stuff works (this is all on the Jobs Detail Page – I would create a “Job” record of just my resume, and do the same analysis of my resume as I would of a job description):
First, put a Job into JibberJobber. You can see this is for a Senior Systems Analyst / release Manager:
Then, scroll down on the Detail Page (the page after you save the job, not the Add/Edit page), and you’ll see these three tabs (right above the Log Entries area):
The first tab is for Notes, which is what we have in the other Detail Pages, and what we’ve had in JibberJobber since 2006. The second tab is where you paste the Job Description, which is a simple Copy/Paste from LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster, Dice, etc. The third tab is where you will see the Word Cloud, and other analysis (see below).
Here’s what a Job Description looks like, pasted into the second tab (NOTE that double-clicking on the tab will allow you to add/edit the Notes, and add (paste) a Job Description):
Now that we have a job description in, we can click on the third tab, and see the Word Cloud (first tab), and the Analysis. Here’s what the Word Cloud looks like… notice I can change the output to different types of word clouds, and I can show x% of the top words/phrases:
So that’s it – that is what most word cloud systems let you do (afaik). The next thing we do is show you a simple statistical analysis, under the Analysis tab:
NOTE the last line in this image (there more more below this one) is TWO words… we allow you to create multi-word “phrases (see more below), as well as blacklist words or phrases, in the last two tabs.
So, click on the Phrases tab and you can see that we can force phrases – if “computer systems” are two words right next to each other, we force them to be a phrase, instead of making computer one word and systems another word… pretty cool way to “clean up” the results:
We can also blacklist words, like and or the or something else we don’t need to see in the analysis. This also helps clean up the analysis:
SO that’s it’s for Phase I. There are some REALLY COOL features that I want to introduce in Phase II… stay tuned! If you have any requests to enhance this analysis and reporting, let me know: Jason at JibberJobber dot com – thanks!
Note: I don’t blog about that because my competitors like to read my blog posts to see what we’re up to, and see what they can squeeze into their system…