Is Networking a Waste of Time?

March 13th, 2015

A few weeks ago I saw a post on Facebook from career pro and friend Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter with this image:


I thought this was interesting because for me, 99% of my networking was indeed a waste of time.

I was doing it wrong.  I had a sour attitude.  I’m sure I repelled people.

It felt like a waste of time.  At that time in my life, it was indeed a waste of time.

I needed to fix myself, and my thinking, and my attitude.  I needed to learn how to network, and figure out what I was doing wrong.

Reading Never Eat Alone (Ferrazzi) helped.  If you have a few minutes, read this Harvard Business Review article: 99% of Networking Is a Waste of Time


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Pluralsight Courses That Will Earn You Additional Upgrade Days on JibberJobber

March 12th, 2015

I was recently asked for a list of the courses that you can watch on Pluralsight that will earn you free upgrades to JibberJobber Premium.  The list is below, but as new courses come out you’ll find all of my courses here: Jason Alba Pluralsight courses. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to get free JibberJobber upgrade for watching my Pluralsight courses. And, here’s a video showing how to access Pluralsight for 30 days, and get additional JibberJobber upgrades:

I wrote a book on LinkedIn back in 2007, which is now in the 4th edition.  I’ve done hundreds of LinkedIn trainings around the U.S. and virtually around the world since then.  This is the latest and greatest on using LinkedIn:

These courses are specific to job seekers. If I were in a job search right now, they would be required watching:

This is a ten thousand foot view of career management, and a great course to get calibrated on how to think about your career, and what we used to call “job security”:

Stephen Covey said “begin with the end in mind.”  Once you land your job you will start your first 30/60/90 days of work.  This course presents the idea that you should onboard yourself at your new company (it is NOT about HR forms and processes):

This could have been under the Developing a Killer Personal Brand… but I’m breaking it out to be in it’s own entrepreneurial/marketing section:

These are my courses on communications (note there are a bunch of courses on presentations, but they aren’t mine):

Here are my management/leadership courses:

If you are already a JibberJobber user, you should be more interested in the weekly User Orientation… this video below is for people who aren’t on or don’t care about JibberJobber:

There are a bunch of other awesome courses, including courses to help you get into the high tech field, as well as other soft skill courses.  Any Jason Alba course will get you additional days of premium on JibberJobber.  When you get your 30 day code through your JibberJobber account (just login to JibberJobber and you’ll see a link directly below the main menu), you have access to the entire Pluralsight library for 30 days.

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What to do the day you are fired (or, laid off)

March 11th, 2015

jeri-hird-dutcherNot everyone who loses there job is fired… so let’s just say that if you lose your job, because you walked away or someone pushed you away or the company went Enron… what do you do?

This can be a very emotional and stressful day, for sure.

You must read Jeri Hird Dutcher’s post: Fired! What to do that day

Jeri shares some very candid and important DO THIS tips as well as some DO NOT DO THIS tips.

Don’t underestimate the flood of weird emotions and thoughts you’ll have.  Jeri’s post is spot on.

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Pluralsight Update: Track Videos You Watch Easily for Free JibberJobber Upgrades

March 10th, 2015

One week ago we announced the awesome access you now have to my career, job search and soft skill video courses on Pluralsight. Today we’re announcing the Pluralsight Video Tracker, which is an internal tool on JibberJobber that allows you to keep track of which Jason Alba courses you have watched and get free JibberJobber premium upgrades for each Jason Alba course you finish.

Here’s a video showing how to access Pluralsight for 30 days, and get additional JibberJobber upgrades:

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to take advantage of this very generous access (thank you Pluralsight!) to my videos:

First: login to JibberJobber and click the link right under the menu. NOTE: if you close this box, you can still get access to the right page by clicking Videos, directly under the search box.




Second: Once you click on that link, you’ll come to a page with an explanation of what all of this is about. Note the blue box on the right, where you click to get your personal, unique code.  Click that link and you’re on your way!




Third: The blue box will expand and give you (1) your personal code… just copy that and then click the (2) signup button to go to the next page (which will open a new tab).  NOTE: Step 3 says to come back to this page to turn on the tracker… we’ll get to that in a minute!




Fourth: See how small that form is?  That is IT!  No credit card number, no commitment, no strings.  This is awesome.  Just paste your code in the top box, fill out the form, and then click the button.  If you don’t work for a company, don’t worry.  Pluralsight wants you to know who they are, and when you land your next job, you can introduce your new team, your boss, etc. to Pluralsight.  You now have your Pluralsight account, and the clock starts to tick on 30 days of unlimited access (which means, all of my courses, and the rest of the 4,000+ courses in the library).




Fifth: Notice Step 3 turned into this link.  This takes you to the Pluralsight Video Tracker, where you can see what courses that qualify for more JibberJobber upgrades, and how to easily report each course you watched…. so, click this link.




Sixth: Click the button to start the tracker… this starts the 30 day counter.  If you sign up for Pluralsight one day, and click this blue button a different day, your days will be off.  No big deal, just do the math in your head, or let us know and we’ll try to adjust it. This counter is internal to JibberJobber, and not coming from Pluralsight.  



Seventh: Now that you have clicked that button, you see the tracker… below this image I will explain the 6 highlights.



  1. This shows how many days you have left, according to when you clicked the Turn on Tracker button.  This is NOT tied directly to Pluralsight, so if you didn’t click it the same day you got your Pluralsight account, it might be off.
  2. This green progress bar shows you how many Jason Alba courses you have watched.  It does not show how many times you have watched one single course.  Right now I have fifteen courses in the Pluralsight library.  If you watch all fifteen, you’ll be at 100%.  If you watch only one course, fifteen times you will only be at 1/15.  I wouldn’t worry too much about getting to 100%, unless you are keen on watching all of my courses at least once :)
  3. This line shows you how many upgraded days you have received because of courses you have reported, and when you premium expires.  If the math appears to be off, let us know!
  4. The left column shows the Jason Alba courses… you can click on the title or the link to get to that course.  The order is a kind-of-logical-suggestion, but you can watch in whatever order you want.
  5. The eye button is what you click to report that you have completed a course.  Every time you watch a course, click the eye button…
  6. Note the counter, which shows how many times I’ve watched a particular course.  You can see I’ve watched the Killer Job Search Strategy course 3 times, the Informational Interviews course 25 times, and the Killer Personal Brand course once.  Each time you click the button the number increments, and you earn more JibberJobber premium.

Of course, we reserve the right to audit any self-reporting.  If you click 30 times today, we’re guessing you haven’t watched 30 courses in one day… we’ll have a conversation about that.  If you did watch 30 courses, and report them all one on day… great.  We simply ask that you be honest. Also, once you click 52 times, your submissions go into a queue that Liz will monitor.  If you really watched the courses, you’ll still get your upgrades… of course.

Here are two questions I’ve received:

A Pluralsight user asked what happens after the 30 days.  Every time you watch a Jason Alba course on Pluralsight, and report it on the JibberJobber Tracker, you get additional days of JibberJobber premium.  Whether you came to Pluralsight through JibberJobber, or whether your company pays for your account, or whether you have had your own account for years… you earn these days.

Can I leave discussions on the courses on Pluralsight? I’ve been told that yes, you can leave discussions and rankings, even if you are on the 30 day trial.  Feel free to leave anything you want as long as it is honest :)  I like to answer questions to courses on those discussion boards, as opposed to individual emails.

Now, carve out some time… even if it’s 30 minutes each day, and get watching! 30 days will come quickly (but the upgrade on Pluralsight is very reasonable, if you need more time!)




Job Search Success = Proper Principles & Tactics + Accountability + The Right Tools

March 9th, 2015

I saw this video on facebook where a guy said that believing in himself is what he needs to accomplish things.  I can’t figure out if this really happened, or if it was staged.  Either way it is funny:

The proposed formula from the video is (1) make a plan, (2) follow-through with it, and (3) believe in yourself.  But what if your plan is bad?  What is you can’t follow-through with it?  What if you believe in yourself unrealistically?

Many years ago I was trying to figure out what the components of a job seeker’s success strategy included.  I do believe self-confidence, attitude, and related things are critical.  Back then I only listed three things:

Principle-based strategy/tactics: I spun my wheels for weeks and weeks because I was doing things the way I assumed I should have done them, but they were simply wrong.  It’s easy to find bad advice in a job search. If you landed a job today, wouldn’t you take days or weeks, and sometimes months, to study everything about your new job?  The same should be true with job search… you should study what the job search is, what networking means, how to implement personal branding, etc.  There are a lot of bad assumptions out there, many positioned by people who are either outdated or don’t know, and really are not responsible for you paying your bills.  But they’ll preach like it’s gospel, all the while leading you down a path that is fruitless and frustrating.   If you want to see my training videos for job search and career management, at no cost, check out this page: free job search videos through Pluralsight

Accountability: I did not get a coach, or hire a resume writer, because I “didn’t have the money.”  What I didn’t realize was that I was missing out on a significant part of the overall picture: someone to be accountable to, regularly. Someone who would, at least weekly, say “what are you doing, why are you doing it, do you need to change anything?”  The accountability partner can be a paid professional (who should be expert in this role, and understand the current job market intimately), it can be a volunteer at a job club (many faith-based job clubs have staff that would love to help you, at little or no cost to you), or even a friend.  If it’s a friend, they must understand their role is not to coddle you, but to regularly hold you accountable for your time and tactics.  Your accountability partner should not be your spouse (who is too close to the emotions of the situation and the emotions of the outcome) and it should not be some lug-head who assumes you get a job today the same way you did back in 1980.  They must be current on principle-based strategies and tactics.

Real tools: Of course I’m biased here, but think back to 2006.  There weren’t many tools for job seekers.  Spiral notebooks, Franklin planners and Excel spreadsheets was about as heavy duty as it got.  Now, in 2015, professionals are more demanding of software tools, apps, etc. to help them get the job done.  JibberJobber has been a pioneer in the job search tool space, and will continue to offer job seekers what we call “industry level” tools.  That is, just because you are unemployed, or don’t want to pay, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get awesome tools at your fingertips to help you do your job (of finding a job).  I wish I could list a whole lot of other tools, but there just aren’t that many.

So we could go on, and add that attitude and outlook, have an important role, as do perhaps faith and self-confidence… what else could we add to this list?


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When Is The “Right Time” To Network?

March 6th, 2015

A few weeks ago I asked my daughter to take the car she drives all over town to get the tires rotated.  This is a simple procedure, and helpful to lengthen the life of tires… and I’m now bought into the idea that we need to do this.  I’m also bought into the idea that she should do it, and learn about vehicle maintenance by doing it.

So, she comes back to me and says that the tire tech said the two front tires needed to be changed, and that they they were running thin… I was kind of ticked (not at her) because these are less than a year old.  Even though they have a warranty that should cover them for years, I’m sure the tire people would say “well, sorry, but the alignment is off, and you haven’t rotated them lately… so it’s really all on you.”

I was not excited about spending a couple hundred dollars to get new tires. I was not excited about the time it would take to do this (I didn’t trust the salespeople with my daughter, who has never bought tires before). And frankly, I just wasn’t finding the time to get this task done.  The car doesn’t spend much time in the garage, and I have been very busy lately.

Last week my wife called me from school, where she was mentoring a class, and my daughter had come for a class… she said that the front tire was leaking air pretty bad.  I knew the time had finally come, and I had to table what I was doing and get the front tires replaced.

The thing is, this was admittedly stupid.

I should have taken care of this before… my daughter drives on the highway every evening to go to stuff, and if she had problems on the highway, it would have likely been a blow-out.  My mechanic told me that too many accidents are a result of bald tires that blow-out.  And the anguish and cost could be much worse than $200.

Long story short, I left work, took care of the tires while they were in school, and we’re all good.

Driving home I was thinking about how I didn’t make the time to fix the tires… there really was just not a good time to do it for me.  Just like when we have a job, and we put of career management stuff because we are too busy working, or resting from our work.  We neglect it.  The timing just doesn’t seem good enough.

And then, if you are like me, you are told that there is no more job, and all you have is time.  And then you wish that you would have addressed it earlier… but you were “too busy.”

Let me invite you to rethink what job security is.  It might have been a degree and a work ethic back in the 1990’s, but today it is the strength of your network (which is not how big your LinkedIn network is), and what people understand about you.

You can work on that, right now.  Today.  And tomorrow.  And the next day.  A little bit every day, whether you are in transition or not.

We were lucky to have avoided a blow-out on the highway.  Work on your network and brand, and you might avoid a blow-out in your career.


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JibberJobber Bait and Switch (nope)

March 5th, 2015

A couple of days ago a tire kicker (that is, someone who came to JibberJobber and checked it out for a few minutes and then left) sent us this message (the two points are in bold):

>> First thing I see is that I’m gonna have to deal with upselling. 

My first reaction was “no, not really.  We are really light on upselling.  In fact, I’d say we are really bad at it.  There’s not much to buy.  You *could* “have to deal with” choosing to go premium, which is $9.95 a month, or $5/month if you do the $60 yearly price… but that’s a simple choice that we all make in life.  Walk into the mall, and we could choose to buy something.

What I don’t want people to think is that they ever have to upgrade.  I don’t want you to think that you are forced into an upgrade, or that there is any bait-and-switch. I remember calling a job board company in Virginia and the voicemail that greets you says, first thing, “If you want to cancel your subscription, press 1.”  I couldn’t believe that the first impression of the company was “we trick so many people into subscribing that most of our phone calls are to cancel a subscription… and so we put that in front of anything else in our voice mail.”  YUCK.  DOUBLE YUCK.

I didn’t want to ever be “that company.”

So, what happens when you finally choose whether you are going to upgrade or not? Well, first and foremost, you don’t ever lose any of the data you put into the system.  If you put in 400,000 Contacts (seriously, I have no idea where someone gets that many contacts), and you go to the free (“Regular”) level, which has a limit of 500, you still get full access to your 400,000 Contacts. You don’t have to choose the first 500, or the last 500… you get to see and use all 400,000.  That is pretty cool.  You don’t ever have to upgrade just because you are worried you won’t see or have access to your data.

Aside from that, you lose only three features: (1) Email2Log, (2) bulk importing, and (3) push notifications on Action Items.  That is it.  Everything else is in the free version of JibberJobber.

We designed it so that you can upgrade when you want those three features (and the ability to get more Contacts/Companies in, if you hit the 500/500 limit), and you can downgrade whenever you want.

AND, we give plenty of upgrade away.  Every time you watch the JibberJobber User Orientation, live or recorded, you get another 7 days premium.  Every time you watch one of my premium job search videos, on Pluralsight, and let us know, you get another 7 days premium.  You could easily have a free upgrade all year if you want, without paying a dime.

There ain’t no bait and switch there.


>> Second thing I see is that I’ll need to spend time learning a software that I will lose the benefits of when I don’t sign up for the paid version – my time is too valuable for that. 

I get that you don’t have time for training.  But let me make it clear, again, that when you are not a Premium user, you really have access to almost all of JibberJobber.  A couple of years ago we changed our upgrade model (lowered the price by 40%, took out a middle tier option, and moved almost all of the Premium features to the Regular account) and made the free side way, way more powerful.  If you never upgrade, you still have 99% of the value of JibberJobber.  That extra $5/month will get you some automation (which admittedly can save a lot of time, each day, especially with the email2log), but most of JibberJobber’s value is on the free side.

If your time is too valuable for that, I understand, and I sincerely wish you well in this period of your career.  If you find that your spreadsheet or other system is just getting to messy, come on back… we’ll still be here.

So there you go.  We’re not out to strong-arm anyone.  We just want to provide significant value, and help you out now and during future transitions.

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How To: Introducing the New Calendar

March 4th, 2015

We’ve had a calendar in JibberJobber for a number of years, but it recently underwent some significant changes.

The best way to get a feel for it is to go look at it.  You can get there from going to Tools/My Calendar… or, you can add it to your homepage as a new widget!  Go check it out and play around with it.  Find something missing?   Let us know by clicking on Contact at the bottom-right of any page.

Here’s how to get there… click Tools, then My Calendar:


Or, from the home page, click on Manage Widgets, and then add the Calendar (it’s at the bottom of the list):


Then you’ll see the super-fast, cooler looking calendar, which has a lot of options (day/week/month views, show/hide different kinds of things, etc.):


This is a great enhancement for two reason: speed and aesthetics!  Enjoy!



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Jason Alba Job Search Videos… for free? YEP!

March 3rd, 2015

pluralsight_transparentI’ve been working on this for months and I’m so excited to finally be able to shed light on what I’ve been doing, and what you can now get, at no cost.

Last night we made some important changes to JibberJobber, including a new calendar (which is way faster)…. I’ll blog about those things in another post.  In this post I want to introduce two of my worlds, JibberJobber and Pluralsight, and how they have finally come together.

One takeaway is that you can now access all of my videos for free.  You can still buy them for $50 from JibberJobber, and for some of you, that will make sense.  But if you don’t want to spend any money, you don’t have to.  When you do the steps below, you will have complete access to my courses, and all courses, on Pluralsight, for 30 days.  So start today, and watch as many videos as you can in the next 30 days!

Update: Here’s a video showing how to access Pluralsight for 30 days, and get additional JibberJobber upgrades:

And a bonus: For every course you watch on Pluralsight, that is mine, you get an additional seven days of premium.  I have 15 courses on Pluralsight (one needs to be retired, so really 14 current ones).  If you watch each course, you will get 14 weeks of premium upgrade on JibberJobber.  If you watch them again you get another 14 weeks.  For every course you watch, every time you watch it, you get an additional seven days of Premium added to your JibberJobber account.  Note: you can watch courses in 1.5 speed (so, faster than normal), but I only suggest you do that if you taking notes…  There’s a lot to take in from my courses!

It is super easy to to get started:

First: Login to JibberJobber and click the link in the off-white box, right under the menu.


Then: Now you are on the Free Job Search Videos instructions and information page. On the right of that page you’ll see a blue box that says “get your code…”  Click that link to get your personalized code. 


Next: Copy the code and click Proceed. Or, just click the proceed button, which should automatically copy the code. 


Then: After you click the Proceed button you’ll be on Pluralsight’s page, where you can fill out a small form (paste the code into the first box) and get immediate access to the entire Pluralsight library for 30 days.  AWESOME: you won’t have to give a credit card number.  


Next: In the search box, search for Jason Alba.  Every course you watch, in full, of mine, you can get an additional seven days of premium added to your JibberJobber account.


Finally, start watching courses. You can watch anything in the library as many times as you want, during the 30 days!  You get 7 days premium on JibberJobber for every Jason Alba course you watch.

This is a super generous offer from Pluralsight (thank you Pluralsight!).  I should mention a few things.  Pluralsight offers access to their entire library (over 4,000 courses?) for only $29/month.  That is an awesome price, considering some other sites charge more than that for just one course.  Also, for those of you who are unemployed, when you land, go to your boss and ask them to subscribe to Pluralsight.  There are awesome corporate discounts for companies who buy this training for their employees. Historically, Pluralsight has created videos just for programmers, but with acquisitions of other companies, and adding non-programmer content creators, the library is becoming more appropriate for non-IT people.

To redeem your 7 days premium, simply use the Contact Us form and let us know which course(s) you watched, in full.  Again, watching in 1.5 speed is just fine… we are working on a smarter way to report what you have watched, and get your your 7 days upgrade, but for now just use the Contact Us form.

Do you have any questions?  Let us know in the comments, or email me, or use the Contact form. When you click the link in the off-white box in JibberJobber, to get started, you’ll see a page with a lot more information about this offer.

Ready to get started?  Ready to consume learning over the next 30 days?  Get started now by logging into JibberJobber and clicking the link in the off-white Pluralsight box!



Ask The Experts: David Safeer

March 2nd, 2015

david_safeer_headshot_mediumDavid Safeer is not a career coach or career professional. He is a professional who started using JibberJobber a few years ago.  I’ve emailed him a number of times over the years and always found him to be really nice, and from his LinkedIn Profile, I can tell he is quite accomplished.

In this hour+ conversation, we talked about a bunch of things, and there were some big AHA! moments for me.  Here are some of my notes with times… enjoy!

0:00 — introduction

3:00 – who is David Safeer… his background and professional career
6:00 topic of branding, and rebranding… at a corporate and a personal level
8:20 personal rebranding: “it’s one of the mot difficult things that I have had to do…”
9:45 on getting laid off and shifting directions
10:30 on becoming a freelancer or business owner
12:20 the reality of entrepreneurship – it is freaking scary, and it is really hard!
13:20 pausing and figuring out what you really want to do (instead of panicking in the job search)
14:10 “I didn’t have the confidence in myself”… what should I charge, etc.
16:00 on starting his own business – a lot of work, thought, etc.
18:20 what happened to his company when the recession hit :(
19:45 during this process, he learned about JibberJobber (through a network contact)
20:30 on closing a business right, or wrong… and learning from it
22:00 the emotions of closing a business, starting a job search…. where was David at? “The toughest couple of years of my life, emotionally.”
24:10 – how to get through very difficult emotional times in the job search (value of a coach — this is awesome!)
25:00 is it worth it to hire a coach?  Especially when money is so tight?
25:30 BNI – networking groups… great advice
26:20 – “anyone who doesn’t know how to network, should learn how to!”
26:35 “Capital N Networker”
27:30 “I dont’ remember his name, but I’m going to get on JibberJobber and find him!”
27:50 Tree View “Absolutely amazing”
29:40 “networking forced me out of the house….”
29:45 what do you do at a one-to-one meeting?  Lunch…?  But then what?!
30:45 could you be a Capital N Networker?
31:40 having connections on LinkedIn vs having relationships with people and where he is at on the Quantity vs. Quality debate…
32:00 going to network meetings… are we being effective, or is this superficial??
33:30 network meetings – are they fun, or are they stressful?
35:30 his trick when entering a network meeting….
36:00 how I feel about networking at conferences… (you guys aren’t alone!)
36:30 when networking gets fun and rewarding
38:10 what is a third degree contact… and how is it different in JibberJobber than a social network?  And how and why this impacts the tree view.
39:50 figuring out who to thank for your clients, leads, etc.
40:30 how to thank people who introduced you to contacts
41:00 put BNI in as a contact, so he could track everyone he met through an organization (I would recommend using Tags for that instead of associating to a Company)
42:00 FASCINATING discussion of how to rank people based on (a) do you know people, and (b)  will you make those introductions— not for measuring personal relationships, or if they are a good person.  This is something he did about 18 months ago… “it was emotionally difficult to me to move someone down from a five star to a three).
43:40 “I had to network UP and ACROSS” – very cool and insightful “that’s when I started making real progress”
44:35 “you need to figure out who are the right people to network with”
45:20 he defines what a five star is (this is BRILLIANT!)
46:45 would you ever have lunch with a 2 star contact? Yes, absolutely… (find out why)
48:00 this new ranking system has “made a huge shift in my productivity”
48:15 using a “cookbook methodology” (or a system)
50:00 “having the RIGHT conversations with the RIGHT people.”
52:00 “it’s really tough to put a friend in a 1 or a 2” but he’s using ranking not as “how strong is my relationship with that person”
57:00 are you using Email2Log?  Surprisingly, no.l  Why?  Listen here …
59:20 if your audience doesn’t “get it,” is it their fault or your fault?  Chastisement from my business coach
62:00ish final thoughts and advice
65:00 Functional Resume WOW!  Everyone says to stay away from functional resumes… but he says they are valuable!  This is really insightful!
66:20ish – is Functional Resume for everybody? Perhaps not… !
67:35 on finding target companies, and why that didn’t work for him (at an executive level)
68:15 “networking is by far the most effective way to do this”


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