Job Boards May Not Be Effective, But You Shouldn’t Ignore Them

July 31st, 2017

In a workshop I went to they said that job boards and posted jobs account for some 14% of hires, as opposed to the much higher percentage “networking.” So, focus on networking, right?

Actually, the point of the stats was that if 14% of jobs came from posted jobs, then spend 14% of your time on job postings.  Sounds logical, although a bit flawed.  Nick Corcodilos, at Ask the Headhunter, told me in an interview that around 2% of jobs are gotten from job postings. Holy moly… that is a super low number.

Why do most job seekers spend most of their time on job boards, when the success rate is SO low?  Because it’s much easier than networking. You don’t have to do your hair, brush your teeth, be nice, get out of bed early, or anything uncomfortable to apply to jobs online (as opposed to networking).  And, at the end of the day you can say “I applied to five jobs today!” which sounds a lot more productive than “I went to a networking meeting this morning and ate three donuts!”

Let me diverge for a minute. Until I was eleven, I lived in Santa Rosa, California. Back in the ’70s and ’80s this my neighborhood, and everywhere I could bike to, was like the Garden of Eden.  There were tons of animals around, and I spent most of my time looking for snakes, lizards, newts, salamanders, and anything else that would fit in a cage or aquarium.  It was common for me or my brothers to come home with an animal, our “new pet.”

How did I find animals all the time?


I must have turned over thousands of rocks, and rolled hundreds of logs. If it was a rock big enough for a snake to rest under, I turned it over (if I could).


I was obsessed with finding that next snake, and was especially hopeful to find a California King Snake (my dream snake). I never found that snake… but let’s undiverge…

As you look for your next gig, even your dream job, are you looking “under every single rock?” Or are you focusing on just one area (where most other job seekers focus)?  Let me suggest that your (job) hunt looks like my (snake) hunt… look everywhere. Be relentless.  Be hopeful. And be ready, when the right one is there, to land it.  I was always ready to land that next animal.

Back to job boards… should you spend any time there? Yes.  There is a lot you can get out of a job board, including information to help you understand market opportunities and prepare for interviews.

How do you get value out of job boards?  Check out Barb Poole’s excellent LinkedIn post titled A 10-Step Strategy for Acing Advertised Job Openings.


It’s not a long post, but every single line can open up a world of ideas on how to include job boards and postings into your current strategy, and get real, significant, immediate value.

I’ve been reading job search posts for over eleven years (since I started JibberJobber), and this is the best post on job boards that I can remember reading.  Print it out, mark it up, and figure out how to implement ideas from it every single day.

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Ask the Coach #1: Recovering from a Bad Interview Experience

July 28th, 2017

I blogged about this about a month ago, but I wanted to put this in front of a group of job search and career coaches and get more qualified thoughts on this question and issue, which I’m sure a lot of people have dealt with. So, let’s launch a new series called “Ask the Coaches,” where I present a bunch of coaches with questions from job seekers (SEND ME QUESTIONS :)), and they’ll answer it with their years of experience.  Let’s jump into it. The question I sent the coaches is:

“I had an interview and the feedback I got was that I was too low energy. You can imagine that was a problem since this was for a sales role. I am a pretty even-keeled guy, and I’m not super high energy, but I am very good at sales. His only hangup was my energy level?  How do I respond to the interviewer, and what do I do going forward?”

atc_headshot_john_sattler_125John Sattler, Certified Personnel Consultant and Certified Professional Resume Writer

Sales is about numbers and people, therefore, any question about your perceived energy deficit can be squashed easily via a dialouge where you turn it into a unique asset and show how you use it to your advantage. I’m assuming you made it to a face-to-face interview by showing proof of your sales performance in numbers. 

It’s best to evoke/uncover and address an interviewer’s concerns during the interview. After the fact can be done via phone or, as a last resort, email. If the job is ideal, try to set up another face to face appointment to discuss.
Interviewer: Do you have any final questions?
You: I’ve learned a lot today, and, although I was upbeat on the position prior to this interview, I am now positively enthusiastic. Based on what you know right now, are you ready to hire me?  
Interviewer: No. I am concerned because I’m sensing a lower-than-normal level of energy from you.
You: That is really interesting, what makes you say that?
Interivewer: You speak at a slow pace……and just your general aura. I feel little or no enthusiasm coming from you.
You: “Do you have any other concerns? (you MUST uncover ALL concerns and deal with them one by one)
Interviewer: Not at all, I feel strongly, however, that a sales representative must transfer feelings of energy in order to be effective…..”
You: I understand. As sales manager, of course you want a team of high peformers who get along reasonably well, are helpful, and represent the company is a professional and positive way. 
I bring all of those assets to the table – at least my employers think so – and I have found my personality to be a huge asset. You’re right, though, few would readily think someone they perceive as calm, introverted, and speaks with a slower-than-normal cadence would turn out to be a top-performing salesperson. But the fact is, I am just that, as my performance record indicates. I use this initial perception of me as an advantage by focusing the entire presentation on the prospect: I demonstrate how I will solve their problem, robustly and directly address their concerns, and communicate trust. The prospect is reassured that I am talking substance wholly unaided by “big personality,” if you will. I’m not saying it would work for everyone – it does work for me – and the proof is in the numbers.
So, I don’t blame you for stating your concern – at that moment you didn’t have all the information. Though now that you dohave plain proof, in quantitative and qualitative terms, that I can deliver top-tier performance and be an asset to your team, would you be ready to make the offer? (DO NOT SPEAK until they do). 

atc_headshot_frank_pomata_125Frank Pomata, Labor Tech/Suffolk County Dept. of Labor

I would urge the candidate to take the feedback seriously and perhaps engage in some mock interviews with others to see if they have similar perceptions.  Thank the interviewer for the feedback, but emphasize that many customers prefer not to be sold in an aggressive/high energy manner and how your track record in sales demonstrates the success of your approach.

That being said, consider being open to trying new techniques to show your energy level is at least equal to other sales personnel.

atc_headshot_melvin_scales_125Melvin Scales, Senior Vice President, Meridian Resources, wrote:

In my opinion, having a perceived low energy level when interviewing for a sales role has everything to do with what is being sold. In non-tangible sales such as consulting for example, being a high energy salesperson can backfire because the salesperson is seen as pushy. Of course this can happen in tangible sales such as automobiles, major appliances, computers etc. This is clearly an issue of preference demanded by the hiring manager. He or she is looking to hire someone like themselves. It has been my experience that the best salepersons are excellent listeners and remain focused and balanced throughout the client relationship.

atc_3_cheryl_lynch_simpson_125Cheryl Lynch Simpson, Career, Job Search & LinkedIn Coach | Executive Resume Writer

Assuming you have shared your sales achievements with the interviewer, then his “low-energy” comment indicates to me that he has a pre-conceived idea of what he views as a desirable candidate personality. He clearly equates high energy with sales success despite evidence of an exemplary sales record.

Moreover, because he seems to be insisting that all of his hires must have the same sales personality, I believe he is probably a micromanager. Is that the kind of person you want to work for? If it’s not, then I suggest you move on, but clarify for yourself what kinds of personality and leadership traits you are seeking in an immediate supervisor and make every effort to screen your potential managers going forward.

atc_headshot_lucie_yeomans_125Lucie Yeomans, Certified Career Services Professional and Job Search Strategist

Don’t take the feedback too hard. Your personality has led you to what sounds like a great sales career. Going forward, here are a couple of strategies you may not have considered.

  1. Recent studies show an overwhelming majority of interviewers today are looking for a cultural fit as much as they are looking for the right qualifications and experience. To show your enthusiasm and energy, do your homework on the hiring company. Go beyond just reading the company website. What are the industry trends, opportunities, and challenges? Have thoughtful, engaging questions and your accomplishment stories ready to discuss with the interviewer(s) regarding these topics. You want the interviewer to notice how impressive your up-to-date industry/company knowledge is, which will bring out more of your personality and enthusiasm as you engage them in meaningful discussions.
  2. Also, many candidates never consider whether the hiring company is a good fit for them. You are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. Check out the company’s social media platforms and engage with employees. What are the employees tweeting about? What is their culture like? Is it a good fit for you? Too many clients have come to me after they jumped at a job only to find out within a few months the company was not a good fit. The trick is to not be one of them.

atc_headshot_denise_taylor_125Denise Taylor, career coach, Chief Inspiration Officer, the 50 Plus Coach, responds:

It sounds like you were interviewed by an extrovert, high energy person who was looking for someone similar. You want to be ready with all the examples of how you are successful in sales, and how you adapt to different potential customers. That’s the experience bit, but this person wants to see and hear your energy. Here’s some suggestions for next time. Let’s think about what’s going on inside and outside. Inside you know you can do it, and are enthused but it’s not coming through so find inside you the energetic enthused you from a previous, possibly non work situation and hold that thought. How did you feel act – was there more passion in how you spoke? More energy? Changes in how you hold your body? Now take that and make it come to the outside – make some changes to your voice tone and posture and let this energy shine through. You’re not looking got a radical change but a shift of maybe 10%.

atc_headshot_gina_bartosiewicz_125Gina Bartosiewicz, Professional Resume Writing Consultant

Never sacrifice who you are and what you stand for, personally or professionally, for any role or any company.  If you are getting feedback on an interview (which, by the way is great!), that you are not a particular fit for that company’s culture, then this feedback is extremely valuable and not to be taken lightly.  One of the most important things you can do for your well-being and your career is to take on a role with a company where you will feel like you mesh well with the culture, and can effortlessly fit in, and therefore, find it easier to contribute and make a difference! Always attempt to do your research on a company’s culture prior to the interview, if possible!

I have been hearing more and more about this type of feedback, or feedback in general pertaining to an interview candidates skills or qualifications being brought to the attention of the interviewer during the interview itself.  Although, most are not prepared for this type of feedback during an interview, it is becoming more commonplace, and I think it’s a positive thing.  Historically, you receive a letter or email after the interview with a simple “thanks, but no thanks” and not a lot of reasoning behind it, but having something to actually think about and have hard facts and reasoning behind the “no thanks” walking out of an interview can be enlightening  It may not be what you wanted to hear, but any constructive feedback can be helpful to you in your job search.  Additionally, it helps YOU weed out the company.  Remember, you are also interviewing the company.  This particular company wanted high energy sales.  This was not the candidates style, and it may have just been an uncomfortable fit for everyone.

atc_3_headshot_elvabankinsbaxter_125Elva Bankins Baxter, Certified Master Coach

When the feedback is “low energy”, it can be a matter of “fit” as it relates to the high achievers on the current sales team or it could be a reference to the age of your friend. Your friend may be older than the sales team’s high achievers and potentially exude less energy.  Either way, the interviewer perceived a cultural mismatch.  While this feedback is frustrating to hear, when the candidate has proven successes and high achieving sales, it’s an “Ah Ha” moment for the candidate.   My advice for this candidate moving forward is to tell stories about his key wins, not just state the statistics about a win.  He or she should give specifics about these key wins and what made him or her successful in beating the competition.   Told early in the interview,  these stories must be brief and should be rehearsed well before the interview.  I recommend using the S.O.A.R method for story telling.  Most people like to hear a good story that has a beginning middle and a highly successful ending.  The telling of the story will demonstrate the candidate’s passion, credibility, energy, and fit and enables interviewers to see the potential value that this candidate brings to the sales team.

atc_3_headshot_ron_auerbach_125Ron Auerbach, Author of Think Like an Interviewer: Your Job Hunting Guide to Success

Even-keel can be used to describe those who let things just roll off their backs. Translation, things just don’t bother or get to you. This is a good thing because it says to interviewers that you’re somebody who will not get very upset, lash-out, or give up. But when it’s used to describe somebody who is less motivated or dedicated, that is an extremely bad thing! So less energy = less motivation, dedication, and/or desire to achieve or succeed. And with sales, this is a job killer!

Sales is a profession where candidates need to be seen as highly-motivated and extroverted. Somebody who is extremely personable that can relate well to new prospects and existing clients. And a person who will be able to handle the pressures and rejections that are commonplace in sales. So to be successful in a sales interview, an interviewer must perceive you as displaying these qualities.

Now you don’t want to go overboard! Being seen as too aggressive can turn off an interviewer just as easily as being too shy. So you need to avoid crossing over into arrogance or cockiness territory. So extroverted and personable enough to say prospects and clients will feel very comfortable with you. And cool enough to say pressure and rejection won’t get to or bother you.

Sadly, it is too late for this questioner to do anything about that interview because it was after-the-fact. And the time to have been seen the right way has passed. So speaking up now won’t change their minds. But going forward, is is crucial that he be seen in a very positive light. So learn from this by displaying a more animated and extroverted personality. One that says you’re outgoing, personable, can handle pressure, and don’t let things bother or stand in your way. Those are the KEYS to success in a sales interview!

atc_3_headshot_rich_grant_125Rich Grant, online career course instructor for Peak-Careers

Your response to the interviewer (ideally the hiring sales manager) is your opportunity to demonstrate your competencies as a sales person, primarily overcoming objections and highlighting the benefits of your product or service in terms of the customer’s needs. A good sales person is a good listener and asks good questions. By the way, this might be a test to see how persistent you are. You want to make the point that being low key does not mean “low energy.” Ask some questions to find out more about the personalities and temperaments of the customers. Do they expect a hyper, high energy sales approach or would they prefer a serious, less pressurized, consultative approach? You overall point is that you get results. You’re good at sales. Your even-keeled demeanor provides a benefit to the customer because you listen and they’re comfortable with you.

atc_3_headshot_gavan_ambrosini_125Gavan Ambrosini, Executive Coach, Career Consultant

First off, congratulations on getting the interview.  Your resume and/or your connections are working for you, and that is a great start.  Second:  Try not to take it personally when you get feedback that isn’t 100% positive. Use it to your advantage to work on your interviewing skills, and be sure to thank them for the useful feedback (yes THANK them) It shows you have a growth mindset and are open to learning.  It could keep the door open to continued dialogue with them.  Perhaps send them a few testimonials from happy customers to illustrate your point that you don’t need to be super outgoing to be successful or to please your clients. The next time you interview, tune into the body language of your interviewer–and mirror the person you are talking to. If they speak with a more energetic tone– match their pacing with yours.  If they talk slow and deliberately, then slow down your pace down.  People are naturally & unconsciously biased towards those who are like them unless they are trained specifically to recognize it when it pops up.  Remember, feedback is subjective and tells you more about the person giving feedback than it does about you. The only reason feedback may bother you is if you think there is some truth in it.  If not, it wouldn’t bother you.  If so, then there are ways to work on it to present yourself differently for the next time.

atc_headshot_heather_maietta_125Dr. Heather N. Maietta, Master Career Coach

Addressing the feedback in the moment would be ideal. This is easier said than done, especially when caught off guard. In part, the interviewer wants to see how you respond to unconventional questions or feedback, so how you react is as important as how you respond. In this instance, letting the interviewer know that’s your signature approach to sales and it has brought you much success to date. People respond well to your easy going, laid back demeanor, as supported by your excellent sales record. Mention this is a question she should pose to your references when he calls so he can be rest assured your energy level is a non-issue.

atc_headshot_wym_bumgardner_125Wym Bumgardner, Career Services Representative

Every interview is different.  “Being too low energy” means different things to different people.  And, kudos to the interviewer for pointing this out.  This is a “gold nugget” for you to consider, and also to engage your interviewer in a discussion about this.

It sounds as if the interview is over.  You have an opportunity to follow up with the interviewer, thank him for his comments, get specifics about what “low energy” means to him and what a “high energy” interview would be.  Let him know that you are flexible with your style, and that your excellent sales results speak for your skills.  Offer to meet with him again, demonstrating a high energy level.  Practice with a trusted colleague for this “high energy” interview before you go.  Being prepared both with “energy” and strong sales accomplishments could lead you to a new position.

And that’s it for our FIRST Ask The Coach Question… click here for more!

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Do You Know What The Cube Rules Are?

July 27th, 2017

scot_herrick_fullScot Herrick is a guy I’ve been following for years. In fact, I’ve had dinner with him in Washington and breakfast with him in Wisconsin. He wrote a book under the Now What brand (I’ve Landed My Dream Job — Now What???), and we’ve blogged about each other a lot. I have a lot of respect for him because he’s like most of you…. has a great career and day job, but he is an astute observer of how things work in the workplace, and created a site called CubeRules to help people figure out how to navigate their office.

He was recently interviewed by Zack Andresen on and his responses were so great that I wanted to share them with you. He talked about JibberJobber, which is super cool… but that’s not why I’m sharing his interview. His answers are just too solid to not share.

First, here’s what he said about JibberJobber:

The single most important tool to maintain your personal network and to track job opportunities is at Most of it is free. All of it is awesome.

I love it… thanks Scot :)

Here are the questions Scot responds to… please click to the interview to read his responses.  It will be worth your time to hear from this hiring manager.

  • What’s your professional background? Can you tell us about your interest in helping individuals find a job and success and build employment security? What inspired you to write on this subject?
  • What are the most important lessons you’ve had to learn in your professional life on finding and thriving in a job?
  • What are the challenges new graduates commonly face when searching for a job?
  • What advice would you offer graduates on overcoming these common challenges?
  • What tools or resources should recent grads be using to track down job opportunities?
  • What are your dos and don’ts for resume writing?
  • What would job seekers do to prepare for their interviews? What are best practices for a successful interview?
  • How should recent grads and young job seekers approach salary negotiations? What do they need to know about making sure they’re being compensated fairly?
  • How can new employees ensure they can hit the ground running in a new position? What conversations should they have with HR and their supervisors to help the transition to a job?
  • When should an individual consider changing jobs or careers? What are signs that a particular position is not a good fit?

There you go, some of the most valuable reading your’ll do today :)

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JibberJobber Job Search Widget (Chrome)

July 26th, 2017

Do you use Chrome to surf the internet? Check out our new JibberJobber Job Search Widget (version 1), which helps you grab information from the sites you visit and enter that information into JibberJobber (as a new Job, Contact, or Company record)!


Simply click the “ADD TO CHROME” blue button, and you’ll have your widget on the top of your browser, like this:


Then, just go to any page and click the icon (NOTE: It will want you to login to the widget, even if you are logged in on the website. Not sure why… added security?) For example, I went to my LinkedIn page and clicked it and this is what I see:


Notice the name and URL were pulled in… I can easily type anything else I want in the form on the right… and then scroll down to find the Save button.  If I want to copy and paste from the page, I have to select the text from the page and copy first, then click the widget icon to open this form. I’m not sure if that’s a widget limitation or not, but if we can, we’ll make that easier in the next version.

Here’s a job I grabbed from Indeed… I’m getting used to selecting and copying the description, and then hitting the widget icon, so I can paste the description into the right place:


Like I said, this is the first version… think Beta… we are already putting together a list of enhancements for the next version. If you have any suggestions to make this better for you, please let us know (here’s the Contact page).






LinkedIn for Job Seekers, almost all videos are up!

July 17th, 2017

Last week I announced that I was about to release the fifth edition of the LinkedIn for Job Seekers video course. It’s all up now, with the exception of two bonus videos, a short introduction, and a video on how to import into JibberJobber. None of those are too critical, but they will be uploaded as soon as I get them done. For now, enjoy the real meat of this training… simply mouse over Tools, then click on JibberJobber Videos, and then you’ll see the 5th Edition at the top. Here are some of the videos:


As I mentioned, this is part of the premium bundle that includes the entire JibberJobber Video Library.  It’s a great deal, at only $60 for a year of JibberJobber premium and the video library!

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JibberJobber Is Free. And You Can Also Upgrade.

July 16th, 2017

Last week someone deleted their JibberJobber account with this message:

 “I thought this was a free application and was surprise to see there was a 14 day time limit. When individuals are seeking alternative employment, cost is critical.”

I appreciate the last sentence, helping me understand that unemployed people think cost is critical.

I designed and developed JibberJobber when I was unemployed, and I financed it by draining my 401k, which is now gone. I understand that cost is critical.

Let me clarify a some things:

First, you can easily use JibberJobber for free.  The way I designed it is that you can have a free-for-life account that has almost every single feature we’ve built. In fact, a few years ago we took some thirty or forty premium features and moved them to the free side. The free level of JibberJobber is extremely functional.

Second, there is not a “14 day time limit.” What we do is give you a fourteen day trial of the Premium features.  After the fourteen days, you go back to the extremely useful and functional free level.  Why do we give you fourteen days to try out the premium side?  Two reasons: One, so you can easily import your contacts from Outlook, LinkedIn, a spreadsheet, etc.  It’s pretty awesome to be able to do a mass import at the beginning, rather than type contacts in one-by-one. We give you fourteen days to do this because, well, you are busy, and you procrastinate. Hopefully two weeks is enough to do this task that takes about ten or twenty minutes (although it can take longer). Two, obviously, we’d love for you to upgrade for only $60/year. To entice you, we let you try out the other premium features, like Email2Log.  That’s the number one reason people upgrade… why not try it out for a couple of weeks?

Third, JibberJobber is not government sponsored. Someone has to pay for the people who work on it, and the servers, etc. In a world of “give me free,” or “give me free because I’m unemployed,” and “I got a free game on my phone!!”, we understand that we are weird. But, we have bills to pay, families to feed, etc. And we want to keep working here, on this project, and helping people.  If this becomes free, without some way of paying our company bills (like advertisers, which we aren’t super keen on), then I imagine JibberJobber will start to get cobwebs, some broken things, etc.  And that will be no fun for anyone.

Sorry that something costs money, but that’s the world we live in.  We’ve worked hard to reduce the cost while improving the value to you… something we continue to do every single day.

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LinkedIn for Job Seekers, Fifth Edition Video Course

July 12th, 2017

Today I am adding the twenty three videos that make up the fifth edition of the LinkedIn for Job Seekers course into the JibberJobber Video Library.

I used to sell this as a DVD, then as a streaming course, for $50.  But now you can get this course, AND all of the other courses, AND JibberJobber Premium, for one year for only $60. It’s like it’s Black Friday all the time around here :)  Just login and then click the bottom link to upgrade to get access to this course, the rest of the video library, and all JibberJobber Premium features.

There are still a few tweaks I need to clean up, but instead of making you wait to access it, you’ll have the whole thing today or tomorrow. We’ll do our cleanup in the background and hopefully you won’t notice anything amiss :)

Here are three videos that you’ll like:

LinkedIn Search Optimization: one of the reasons people upgrade is to get better search results. I tell them, why not learn how to use LinkedIn search better, so you get better results whether you upgrade OR NOT?


Asking for and using Recommendations: LinkedIn has made a big deal out of skills and endorsements, but Recommendations is, in my opinion, much more powerful. This is a great opportunity to network, and get specific language you can use for your personal branding.  In this video I teach you what you are really after (what kind of language is valuable to you), how to ask for a Recommendation and get one that is awesome (instead of vague dribble), and then what to do with the Recommendation once you get it.


Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile: Below The Fold: LinkedIn made some HUGE changes to your Profile in 2017, and it’s so important to understand what we can do to still have people find, read, and be impressed with our Profile.  The beauty of my LinkedIn Profile writing system is that you can add to it and tweak over time… you don’t have to sit down for to solid days and pour all of your creativity into it. Let’s make your Profile great!


Those are just three screenshots… you can see the videos are about ten minutes long…. I tried to make them shorter because all the experts say we our attention spans are too short for anything over three minutes, but really, there’s just too much to say. So, you get about ten minutes to learn what you need to learn.

Here’s the table of contents… I’ll add and update this over time to keep it current.

01: Introduction

02: The Landing Page

03: Profile: Above the Fold

04: Profile: The Summary

05: Profile: Below the Fold

06: Profile: Adding Rich Media

07: Profile: Wrap-up

08: Giving Recommendations

09: Receiving Recommendations

10: Companies

11: LinkedIn Groups

12: LinkedIn Jobs

13: Optimizing Search

14: X-ray Search

15: Communicating with Others through LinkedIn

16: Settings and Privacy

17: Status Updates and Posting Articles

18: BONUS: Exporting Contacts (for backup)

19: BONUS: Cleaning Exported Contacts

20: BONUS: FAQs I Get About LinkedIn

21: BONUS: Importing into JibberJobber

22: BONUS: Ten Things to Do or Know Right Now

Want access to this? Go to JibberJobber, login, then click Pricing or Upgrade at the very bottom.  You’ll see this new course up by tomorrow night under Tools >> JibberJobber Videos.



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What If Your House Burned Down?

July 6th, 2017

On the Fourth of July we were at an our traditional friend gathering about half an hour away from our house. It was a great evening to see friends I hadn’t seen for a while, relax after almost a full day of working in the yard, and eat some good old picnic/bbq food.

One family was missing because the kids were sick. But plenty of people where there, and it was fun.

After it was dark and we were sitting around chatting about this-and-that, one of the ladies noticed something on her phone and said “Do you guys know any Nelsons? Their house burned down…” It was news from someone close, and based on how the message was sent, we should have all known them.

Turns out the Nelsons were actually the Nielsens…! The family that was supposed to be there with us!!  What happened?

Here’s the front of the house… this is the “good” side:


Here’s the back of the house… you can see it was very serious from this view:


We weren’t sure, but this started a flurry of activity that has been amazing to watch. First, and most important, everyone was safe… Mom, Dad, and the seven kids (yes, seven. We have big families in Utah), and the three dogs. People were mobilizing, figuring out how they could help, making calls, sending out word on social media, etc.

The people we were with are the heart of a huge youth simulation, involving hundreds and hundreds of volunteers (of which the Nielsen family is an integral part of), and these people are the coordinators.  To watch them get in their groove and think about the many details of how to help this family was really cool.

Before I switch to job search / career mode, let me ask you to please donate $5 or $10 or whatever you can (but seriously, all the small donations add up, so give something) to this family. They have insurance but it’s so early that we don’t know how that is going to play out. What we do know is that there are nine people who have immediate needs, and your $5 will be well-used.  Here’s the gofundme page. I’m hoping that their insurance experience is delightful… the stuff commercials are made of. But I’m not holding my breath.

Click this image to donate $5, or whatever you can.


So, how is this related to YOU?

Many of my JibberJobber users feel like their career has burned down… getting fired, laid off, or however they lost their job is very traumatic… one of the most traumatic life experiences that you can go through.  And in all seriousness, people lose their lives. Some lose their savings, their direction, their purpose, etc.

On the other hand, some people find themselves. They get a much-needed pause, and get to reevaluate their direction and thinking. They recalibrate. They find new, real friends who become a big part of their life moving forward. They find work that is more meaningful and fulfilling than they were in before, and whether they make more or less money, they feel like they have gotten a second chance.  The transition was a turning point that was hard to go through but was well worth it.

I hope that your experience is like the last paragraph… and turns out amazing.  But let’s go back to that initial transition.

If my house burns down I’ll rely on my insurance company to come through with their promises. I worked with my insurance agent to get the right insurance, the right amount, and the right deductible.  Then, I paid my bills… I did my part so I could have peace of mind for when tragedy strikes.

What are you doing for your career management, for when tragedy strikes? I’m guessing it’s more likely that you’ll go through an unwanted job loss than lose your house in a fire. Yet while we prepare for the house loss, we are not preparing for the job transition.  Perhaps that’s because it’s easier to just buy the right insurance than it is to manage our career the right way).

Some of the things we might do to prepare for a job loss include having a nurtured professional network. And now we know that doesn’t mean we have a huge network of super strong relationships (thank goodness). But we shouldn’t be hermits in our career management.

We might also have a resume readyish. It doesn’t have to be polished, but at least have an outline and format (of course, you can download that from the web). Maybe you have a list of career accomplishments that you might use to create your resume, or for networking conversations, or interviews.

You should have reasonable savings… I had $1,000 in the bank for emergencies… on the Saturday after my job loss my two cars were in the shop… and it cost $1,000. Cool to have the funds, but not cool to lose them all in one day, on cars :(

Look, we don’t know when tragedy will strike. But we can start to prepare. You don’t have to get all your savings now, or add 200 people to your network now… but start doing a little bit now. A little today, and a little tomorrow, etc., will add up, so that when you need to tap into it, it is there and ready.  And you feel like you are in a little bit of control during a very chaotic period.

Good luck to the Nielsens, as they rebuild their lives, and to each of you, as you deal with your own personal tragedies. We can do this… with your fortitude, and with your friends and neighbors and communities.  We will rebuild.

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The Job Search and The Beekeeper #Vision and #Hope

July 3rd, 2017

This weekend my cousin came over to help me with my beehive. The good news is that he easily identified the solution to my problem. The not-so-good-news is that the solution is going to be kind of a big one… a bit costly and it will take a while.  But this will be an important measure in ensuring my bees live through the winter, which they apparently weren’t set up to do.

We suited up and I asked for a picture because many, many years ago, my grandpa was a beekeeper. If he were alive today, I’m sure he’d be thrilled to know that two of his grandkids, and two of his great-grandkids were beekeepers (to one degree or another :p).  Here’s that shot:


I’m on the right. Can you tell that I have my glasses on? It’s hard to tell because of the black screen that’s around my head… the little black lines make it hard to see the black lines of my glasses.  I broke my ankle in January and it’s still not back to 100%, so I find myself looking down a lot when I walk, especially in my backyard, which is not flat:


In this picture we are walking from where we suited up to the “North Forty,” or the part of our backyard that is not landscaped (and is to the north). During this whole walk I alternated between looking down and forward… so I was on the right path, but also so I wouldn’t stumble.

As I did this my eyes had to adjust between what was a few feet away (the ground) to what was many dozens of feet away (towards the beehive). As my eyes adjusted again and again, sometimes they would get stuck focusing on the mesh netting of the beekeeper suit in front of me.

If my eyes stayed focused on the mesh netting I could see what was immediately in front of me, just inches away from my face, but everything else would be out of focus… the dip in the rocks where I might roll my ankle, or the path to get to the bees, and I might take a wrong turn.

I had to make sure I was focusing on the right thing so I didn’t get in trouble. I could be intrigued and focus on any of the three things my eyes went to (immediately below me, or the mesh, or far ahead of me), but I couldn’t stay focused on any one for too long.

Isn’t this just like the job search?

The mesh is like our immediate needs. It’s paying the bills this month. We can’t close our eyes and ignore that, or we’ll be kicked out, have our utilities shut down, or have bad stuff happen to our credit. We have to look at those and take care of those, but we can’t consume ourselves with those or else we might stumble, or get on the wrong path.

The ground below us is related to the very movements, or tactics, that we make or implement in our job search.  I had to put one foot in front of the other, in the right place, and not step where I might roll my ankle. I had to watch out for the dips and hills because my bad ankle is just not good enough to handle those well. In our job search we have tactics, even micro-tactics, that we have to pay attention to. How are we writing follow-up emails?  How are are leaving voice mails? How are we dressing when we go to network events? How are we doing the big things, and the little things?  You have to pay attention to these and do them with care and purpose.

The view far, far ahead, towards the beehive, is similar to our vision and hope for when we land a job.  Yes, we have to pay attention to immediate needs (bills), and to the tactics we employ, but we also have to know what we are looking for. When we stop looking to the future, when we lose (or give up) hope, we forget the why. The tactics become less meaningful, we don’t value ourselves correctly, and we shoot lower than we should. Having a vision, and having hope, helps us have spirit and purpose in all that we do. It helps us weather the very difficult lows (like rejections) in our job search, knowing that there is definitely, indeed, something better out there for us.

Saturday, when I was first experiencing all of this, I was thinking about how important it was to look out, past the mesh, and focus on the future, but as I’ve thought about it, I’ve realized that focusing on any of the three, at the right time, is what’s really important.  Don’t ignore one or two of these things because they are hard or uncomfortable… take care of all three.