Juan: “If you are looking for ‘any’ job, then…”

October 27th, 2016

I am going through an awesome video interview I had with David Perry, author of Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters, and in our discussion a job coach named Juan says:

“I tell my guys that if they are looking for ‘any’ job, then they aren’t really looking.”

I totally agree.

“Can you help me find a job?”

“What are you looking for?”

“Anything, really. Anywhere.”

This means, NOTHING.  I’m looking for NOTHING.  I’m not even in a job search!

When I first started JibberJobber, many people I talked to would say “how can I help you?”  They sincerely wanted to help, and would have.  My pathetic answer was “I have no idea…!”

And so no one helped me with what I needed, because I couldn’t communicate what I needed.

“What do you want for dinner?”

“Anything.  Except… whatever you are going to suggest to me in the next few minutes.”

If you know what you are looking for, you can do a targeted job search. Your network contacts will know who to introduce you to, and how to help you.

Don’t look for any job… figure out what you are looking for, and then go after it.



How To Have That Hard Conversation

October 26th, 2016

When we are in job search, we feel vulnerable. We might feel incomplete, not strong, less-than, etc.

Sometimes, even though we feel all of these things, we need to make a very hard phone call.  This is a call where we say that it was our fault.  We rightfully take the blame.  It might be for something as simple as “oh my gosh, I totally missed our lunch appointment and left you stranded in a restaurant for an hour” to something harder like “I thought I sent that email about you to just the other person, and am totally embarrassed that I sent it to you, too.”

Yeah, that email that talked poorly about the person that you now have to apologize to.

So, how do you handle this?  What’s the best thing to do?

My advice is to just make the call.

Plan it, first, but don’t delay.

In your call, you should plan to:

  • Really apologize. This isn’t an empty “sorry if I offended you” or “sorry that some people get offended” or something like that.  You are not apologizing for their feelings, you are apologizing for what you did, or didn’t, do.  Whether they accept your apology or not is not on you.  Even if they choose to yell at you, and tell you why you are horrible, that is not on you.  You are simply and sincerely apologizing.
  • Minimize excuses. Many times I can tell people “sorry, my call went over, and that’s why I missed our call.”  But I wasn’t on a call in the first place.  I could give a white lie excuse, and it really would be no big deal.  But, to me, it is a big deal. It’s a question of personal integrity. It’s better for me to not give an excuse, or make something up, and just own that I made a mistake.  I find the more people give excuses that I don’t need to hear, the lamer they sound, and the less apologetic they seem.  So, simply leave it at the apology, and let them know that you’ll share WHY, or your excuses, but only if they care.  The important thing is “I’m sorry.”
  • Accept the right and fair amount of responsibility. If you did wrong, then own up to it. If they have some ownership in the wrong, then you don’t need to own that, but don’t turn this into a blame game. Whether they own up or not is NOT on you.  Whether they apologize or not is NOT on you.  You just do what is under your control, and do it sincerely.
  • Be ready to have this be water under the bridge. If you apologize, and they accept, then move on.  You don’t need to rehash this. Your mistake doesn’t necessarily define you as a person.  You need to forgive yourself, too.  It doesn’t take too long working with people to know that apologizing, while it can be just a few short words, is a BIG step in building a relationship of trust and professionalism (and friendship).  Don’t dwell on this, be as good as you know you are (or as good as others think you are).
  • Realize that they don’t have to accept your apology. If they don’t, that’s okay. You’ve done what you can. Relationships, and people, are complex. But you’ll know that you’ve done the right thing, for the right reason, and you’ll show you are a person of integrity.

I recently had a call like this.  It was a genuine call where the person apologizing was very sincere, obviously uncomfortable, and took full ownership.  The other person accepted the apology just fine, and that was that.  Any harm done was easily rectified with this simple communication, even though it was a hard call to make.

Trust me, making these calls will help your relationships stronger rather than just ignoring the problem and hoping it fades away.

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JibberJobber is a Top HR Blog, According to BambooHR

October 25th, 2016

Check out BambooHR’s list of top HR blogs, with JibberJobber at the top of the list in the “recruiting and hiring” specialty: Top HR Blogs 2016 Edition.  Scroll down past the top 10 general blogs and you’ll see the specialty blogs.

Thanks for the recognition :)




Warning: Hard Drive Not Found

October 24th, 2016

That’s what I woke up to this morning.  Not what I had in mind.

My tech friend asked if I had my backup disks.  Of course he would ask that.  Of course, I have had them, kind of, but I’m not sure where they are now. I honestly don’t know if they would even work.

It’s not entirely my fault that I don’t know where my backup disks are. You see, I’m moving, and we thought our house would be under contract about four weeks ago. So we packed EVERYTHING.  We almost even packed the toilet paper.  Not really, but it feels that way.

When I say we packed everything, I concede that is an exaggeration. Honestly, we only packed anything and everything that is useful.  We’ve had this conversation many times:

“Where is the __________?”

“It’s packed :(“

So, my backup disks are probably packed in some box that is somewhat well-labeled.  To find them would mean carving out at least two hours of time to go through the piles and piles of boxes in my garage.

Of course, this made me think about my career “backup.”  When I got laid off, I had NO “backup disks.” I had no network connections, no one knew who I was, and I was not educated in or practiced with any networking and job search tactics and strategies.

I was ill-prepared.

I’ve learned a lot in the last ten years.  It’s important to have that backup, ready to go. So, while my computer is writing new backup DVDs, I’m thinking about what a career backup DVD would include. They would have to be things you can start doing now, and continue to work on over time. Every minute you spend on your career backup will help you have an easier, less-stressful job search.  Unfortunately, the job search might start as abruptly as my morning did, when I saw the dreaded message “hard drive not found.”

What would you say is important to add to your Career Backup DVD?



How Recruiters (Should) Think

October 19th, 2016

I like to share what I learn about recruiters, and what they like, and how they think, with job seekers.  Here’s a great article on LinkedIn: 11 Hiring Hacks Every Recruiter Should Know in 2017.

As I read down the list of these things I think “who is doing this?” Not many companies.  But if you find a company that does some of these things, you should expect the culture to keep employees will be as great as the strategies used to attract employees.

As you read these 11 things, think about what YOU can do to implement any of the ideas from your side (in the interview, your branding, etc.).

Enjoy the article!

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Introducing, Closed Captioning Coming to JibberJobber Videos!

October 14th, 2016

For the last couple of months I’ve been working on a ginormous project… and one of the fruits of that project is to bring closed captioning to my videos.  I went through a learning curve, then the in-the-trenches work of getting my video transcribed and formatted for closed captioning… and then figuring out how to get all that in the right format so that video players will be able to take the transcription and put the words in the right place.

This was not a quick project.  But I love what it has produced.

Check out this two year old interview I did with senior technical recruiter Robert Merrill… it was a fun interview, and going through it word-by-word reminded me of how many awesome nuggets of wisdom Robert shared with us… all of which are still relevant to today’s job search.

To see the captions, simply click the cc button, between the volume control and the HD option.  Listen to this, read this, and tell me this isn’t a GREAT interview!

Here’s the first time I posted this video, two years ago!

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Problem with JibberJobber? Just Ask…

October 4th, 2016

Story time:

I have been watching an email thread started by Phil (on the Contact page), describing a funky problem he was having. Indeed, he found a bug.

Liz tested and was able to duplicate the problem, and got the dev team on it right away (meaning, pulled them off of what they were working on to fix the bug). She then tested their fix and they released it to the live server.  Liz then followed-up with Phil and he tested it on his end, and confirmed that it worked.

This is a great example of how things can go if you let us know what is wrong. Sometimes people delete their accounts and leave a nasty gram, such as “I didn’t find the jobs I wanted to on JibberJobber. It’s just like Indeed. This sucks!”  Other times they come back months later and say “this hasn’t been working forever… you guys stink!”

Folks, just let us know what’s going on, and where it is, and let us find and fix it.  We do our best to get on things right away, but if we don’t know there is a problem, we’ll never be able to address it.

And, you get extra karma points for being nice :)

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The Power of Job Clubs

October 3rd, 2016

Attending Job Clubs JibberJobber

I am doing some research on local job clubs and found an article from 2011 titled U.S. Labor Department wants job clubs to play role in addressing high unemployment. The article itself is good, and it’s fun to recognize names (I’ve done a webinar for Diana Miller, and have had multiple calls with her, and I’ve co-presented with Ben Seigel, who is not at the Department of Labor anymore).

What really gets me are the comments.  Here are some, with my reactions:

“where was this suggestion 3 years ago?…what a totally disfunctional govt we have..”

I did not get the suggestion to go to job clubs (in 2006) from the workforce services office. They were around, and had been for years, but it seemed to me that “the govt,” or, the workforce services offices, wanted me to go just to them for training, networking, etc. In their defense, when I learned about a few job clubs, even they (non-government) weren’t telling me about the others.

I don’t think it’s the role or duty of the government to tell me about job clubs.  But, it sure would be nice if they would let us know about all resources available, not just government-sponsored resources.

“People don’t leave their houses now to look for a job,just turn on the computer or go to an employment agency.”

Yes, and I would consider that a significant problem. Sure, you can get stuff done at home, but by getting out you should strengthen your network relationships (which should lead to tapping into the ‘hidden job market”) as well as establishing a stronger personal brand locally.

I tried the “stay at home and job search” for too many weeks, and finally dragged my humble self to a job club. It was not easy. But the value I got from being in a room with others in my situation, who were focusing on solutions, was tangible, and had a big impact on moving forward.

“The times I was out of work I just pounded the pavement looking for a job.”

That is great… get out and get to work. A job club should not be just a bunch of whiners consoling one another.  The focus is helping one another, learning from one another, recallibrating, brainstorming, and getting introductions to people that other job seekers have been networking with.  It’s kind of like networking on steroids. You can do this alone, but there is significant value in going to the weekly job club meetings.

“This is nothing more than a feel good measure meant to try and calm down the unemployed prior to next year’s election …”

Actually, I disagree with this.  Every single job club I’ve been to, with the exception of POAC in Maryland and the EUs in California, are founded and run by volunteers, not affiliate with any government organization. Many times they meet in a church.  Having said that, the EUs and POAC do not seem to be dictated to, or run by, the government. Sure, the state has a big role in those organizations, but the staff and volunteers are amazing, and do what’s right for the job seekers. It seems to be a perfect match between a government and non-government organization, where the staff is empowered to do the right things without any of the strings attached.

And finally, from Blossom: “Getting together with a group of other unemployment people to pray and share job searching woes might be comforting, but as someone who is currently laid off, I don’t see how it would actually help someone find a job. I have friends and family to share my job searching woes with. I think I’m probably echoing the opinions of most other unemployed folks in saying that we need actual JOBS, not feel-good support groups!”

So much here… if you haven’t been, let me suggest you go. In my experience, across the country, well-run job clubs are not a place to share job search woes for comforting. Instead, you go in and get ideas, resources, and introductions to network contacts. I remember an awesome one (Wooddale Job Transition Support Group) run by Lonny Gulden, in Minneapolis, where there were probably 100+ people in a HUGE circle in a church. Each person stood up and gave their 30 second pitch, and with at least half the people, others would walk over to them and give them their card saying something like “I just interviewed with someone you should talk to – email me and I’ll make the introduction.”

I’ve seen that happen before, but not at the volume that it happened at Wooddale. You know what? There was prayer.  And there were people who shared their woes.  But 95% of the meeting was people helping people, with suggestions, ideas, and introductions.

Furthermore, to Blossom’s point about family and friends, that is the wrong group to share your woes with. I’m not saying you can’t, but the more you do, the more they’ll see you as a broken whiner.  That’s not how you need them to perceive you. If they are going to help you, and they should, they should know that you are ready for their help, and ready for an introduction.

I agree that what we need is JOBS, but the support that comes from job clubs is too powerful to ignore.

So, do like I did… humble yourself, schedule it in, and go to those meetings every week. At first you’ll go to “get” from others, but soon you’ll be going to “give” to others.  And that’s when you’ll really “get.”