Are Mom Skills Transferable? From Mom To Employee…

October 17th, 2017

nick_corcodilos2My friend Nick Corcodilos has an excellent post titled Mom wants a new career, where he counsels a woman who spent a lot of time raising seven kids, and now is two years in the workforce and looking for something bigger.

Go read it now: Mom wants a new career.

The comments on this one should be great… the first one is.

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Exporting Contacts for Use In Outlook, etc.

October 16th, 2017

Barbara asks:

“Is there a way to down load the contacts in jobber jobber and upload them to my Microsoft Outlook? I can do individual items, not sure how to do bulk.”

Yes, definitely.  Mouse over Contacts from the top menu, then click on Import/Export. OR, right above it, click Get Contact List (that’s the shortcut!).

jibberjobber-export-contacts

If you click Import/Export you’ll see the import dialog on the left, and the other options (including export options) on the right.  Click on the one to Export Contacts (this is where Get Contact List takes you):

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Now, you are on the export Contacts page… we default this to exporting to a csv file, but you can change it to html, or just emails… then go through the rest of this page and you can filter down to just what you want… in no time you should have a csv file of all the contacts you want to import into Outlook or whatever.

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Good luck!

 

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See How To Use The JibberJobber Chrome Widget to Save Many Jobs Quickly

October 13th, 2017

I was recently tasked with saving a lot of jobs in JibberJobber, and honestly my first thought was UGH.  Then I remembered the new Chrome Widget which allows us to save a Job, Company, or Contact from a website.  So I thought I’d give it a shot… and it was awesome! This was the easiest way I could imagine getting multiple jobs into JibberJobber quickly… watch the video below, to see how I did it.

Note: you can find a link (button) to get the widget from the bottom of any page… it’s for Chrome only.

You can see this in full-screen if you click the full screen icon in the video player.

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7 LinkedIn Tactics from Hannah Morgan

October 12th, 2017

Hannah Morgan, Career Sherpa, has a great article on LinkedIn titled 7 LinkedIn Secrets You Need To Know.

Definitely worth your time to hop over there, read it, and figure out which of those seven things you can and should put into your strategy today, and moving forward!

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Your Job Search PROBLEM, Or Just Problems?

October 11th, 2017

As Senior Product Manager of JibberJobber, I have a lot of things I am working on. One of them is making sure my develops are working on the right things.

How do you figure out what they should work on, and when?

As Product Manager I have two Biggest Problems I’m working on: one is getting more people to sign up, the other is getting more of our users to upgrade.

As a a job seeker my two Biggest Problems are similar: one is getting more companies interested in me, the other is getting offers for the right jobs.

The PROBLEM for an business is more sales. But how do you get there?  You don’t just work on “more sales,” you break it down and figure out smaller problems to address, and sometimes break those down to smaller problems. Eventually you have a big list of things to work on and then get to choose where to put your time and team.

Choosing one problem means putting off other problems.  And that’s where it gets tricky. What if you put off the wrong problem for too long?

In JibberJobber we have broken down our PROBLEM and have identified smaller problems, and are strategically working on each of them. We’re methodologically working on what we think are the right ones, and then we’ll move to the next right ones, etc.

In your job search I know that your PROBLEM, not having a check, not having a job, or a title, is so big and distracting that it’s hard to think of anything else. You know you need to work on your LinkedIn Profile, or your resume, or prepare for an interview, etc., but the suffocating feeling of being a job seeker (who feels like you are spinning wheels) can overwhelm you to the point where you neglect the smaller problems… or the steps to solve your bigger problem.

Let me suggest that you break down your PROBLEM and then figure out what to focus on.  Here are some ideas, with sub-ideas. Some of you need to work on some of these, others need to work on others… it’s a pretty individual thing:

Soft Skills: Listening, phone skills, empathy, work ethic, teamwork, tenacity, attitude, etc. Any of these can be a lifelong pursuit, but if you know you need to work on certain skills, learn where to start and what to do to improve them. This is the 7th habit from Covey (sharpen your saw).

Hard Skills: What do you need to do or show to prove that you can actually do the job? Perhaps this is through a degree, certifications, licenses, hours logged, new skills (breadth), or improving current skills (depth). This is also the 7th habit from Covey (sharpen your saw).

Job Search Marketing Material: Creating a master resume, crafting resumes based on postings, business cards, making your LinkedIn Profile better, etc. Don’t get hung up on these things for weeks, and neglect other things you should be doing (like talking to people!)

Your Presentation: Maybe an updated wardrobe, or just getting a haircut or makeover or something. Not necessary for everyone, but first impressions count, right? I went to my first big interview in a much outdated suit (but I still got the job :))

Networking: find networking events you should go to, schedule them in your calendar, actually go to them, meet with individuals one-on-one, and please, please: following-up!

Interview Skills: create your response(s) to “tell me about yourself, create short stories you can use in response to interview questions, plan your closing remarks, and script out responses to any question you can come up with.

Personal Marketing: Does anyone know who you are, and what you want? Do they know your target companies and what titles you are applying to? Your job, as a job seeker, is to get your name out. This means you have to get out, meet people, and (tactfully) communicate these things. Sure, you can (and should) do things on LinkedIn and through email, but don’t neglect communicating your brand with individuals and groups.

Personal Branding: What is your brand? Can you communicate it in such a way that people can understand and repeat it (even if they aren’t in your industry)? Refine your tagline. Define the main parts of your “claim,” and then figure out how to communicate those so people get your brand. Your personal branding strategy is a big part of your answer to how you’ll tap into the “hidden job market.”

What do you need to work on? Do you need a coach to help you?

Notice my question isn’t what is most comfortable for you to work on… it is, in order to get a job, what do you need to get fixed or resolved?

Make your own list, with priorities, and even if it’s uncomfortable, make sure you work on the right things!

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JibberJobber Video Library: How Business Owners Hire (Cheryl Snapp Conner, PR Firm)

October 9th, 2017

I interviewed Cheryl Snapp Conner for almost forty minutes, asking her how she hires, What do you look at, how do you find your people, what do you think about resumes and LinkedIn Profiles… what really matters?

This is one of many videos in the JibberJobber Video Library, which is included in the $60/year upgrade. Not only do you get great videos on how to use and optimize LinkedIn as a job seeker, but you get great interviews from hiring managers.  Confused on weird or conflicting advice about how to get a job? The buck stops here, with these interviews.

Cheryl has a rich career history, including running PR at one of the biggest firms in Utah (Novell), then starting her own very successful PR shop which has employed and trained many PR professionals. She is also a Forbes superstar, because of her own writings as well as mentoring other Forbes superstars (like Devin Thorpe and Josh Steimle). She is a regular at networking events, either as an attendee or a speaker. She’s a GIVER, and is always up for helping and offering advice or introductions.

So how does someone who is this busy, successful, and sharp hire people? What do they look for?  She has created an awesome company and culture, and this is someone you want to know and learn from. How do you get there?

She shares this, and more, in our interview. Just upgrade on JibberJobber for $60 for the year and you can watch it now (and get access to other interviews, and the JibberJobber Premium features):

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What else is in the JibberJobber Video Library?

Here’s the write-up I did about the tech recruiter Robert Merrill.

Here’s the write-up on hiring manager Kristi Broom.

The insights in the videos are amazing!

 

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When You Have Found “THE JOB!!” #dreamJob

October 6th, 2017

I got an email from Sarah last night, here’s part of it:

“Any last thoughts on the resume or cover letter? … I really want this job.”

I also really want certain jobs.  Here’s my advice when you find THE ONE that you really want. THE ONE that is just perfect for you. The one that would make all of your wildest dreams come true:

Find, and apply to, more jobs!

The lowest point of my job search was when I found THE ONE, and was convinced that I had the job. I started to prepare my 90 day plan, and even had a dream about my first days there!  It was so exciting, so invigorating!

And then I found out I didn’t get the job.

It was the lowest point in my job search… at a time when I had already though I’d seen “low.”

If I could go back and coach myself, it would be with the same advice that salespeople get when they make a great sale: sure, celebrate, but get right back on the phone and call some prospects.

Why?

So you can take advantage of the high of the sale.

My advice is a little because of that, but also because (a) there is no sure thing, even if you are perfect for the job, until you have the job! And, (b) the timing of the job search and hiring cycle is such that you might fixate on a job that you aren’t going to get, and waste valuable days and weeks as if you had the job.

So, did you find the right job? Great! Do everything you can to earn it! But keep looking… don’t stop looking and working it until you have landed what you want!

 

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Who Is Helping You Build Your Career?

October 5th, 2017

Yesterday I talked about your career foundation, and compared it to my chicken coop. I think it’s a pretty good comparison… check it out here: What Is Your Career Foundation?

There’s another part to this chicken coop experience that I want to bring in.

I’m a fairly smart guy. Between Youtube, some blogs, and even shed plans that I bought online, I figured I could figure out how to build this chicken coop. How hard could it be, really?

To make a long story short, it was pretty hard. There was lots of heavy lifting and uncomfortable positions. You might remember that just a few months earlier I had broken my ankle and was kind of recovering from ankle surgery. My balance wasn’t very good, and my strength had deteriorated quite a bit from laying in bed for a long, long time.

Aside from physical help I needed know-how help, and the right tools. I tapped into my friend network and got some tools from one guy, and other tools from someone else. I didn’t have one know-how expert helping me, rather I had a small handful that would help me figure things out when I got to them. For example, my next door neighbor was super helpful in getting the foundation in and making sure it was square (who knew that would be important? Or harder than you would think?).

Another neighbor helped put the floor in and get the walls up. No big deal, right? Actually, there was a lot of heavy lifting. More importantly, this guy was a building genius and knew how to tackle every challenge we came up against. When it came time for the roof I had a couple of friends help get it up and shingled.

Don’t get me wrong, I did a bunch of work myself, but having those people help was critical to building something that will last.

As I thought about this I wondered who are the right experts to help you in your career.  The obvious people, hopefully, are professors and counselors at school. I didn’t get much guidance or help from those people, with the exception of Dr. Beard, who was awesome in that way. But you might not have gone to school, or you might be decades away from school, and you need mentors, helpers, and experts right now.

Here is my list of people who can be really helpful in your job search and career management:

Parents of other loved ones: I hope you have this in your life. My parents and in-laws have been a great support to me in my career, helping me with advice (solicited and unsolicited). My brother gave me great advice (which I didn’t take, but I repeat it to others regularly). A lot of times parents have been there, done that, even if they have never told us about it. What we are looking for is wisdom, and hopefully they have earned that.

People who have, or have had, the job titles we want: Why not go to someone who has what you want and ask them how they got it? Perhaps not with those words, but you could start a conversation and learn from them… learn what path they took, what education or certifications they needed, what companies and roles were important and which to stay away from, etc. Ask enough people and you’ll likely learn there are various ways to get to the end goal, all of them valid. But some might be easier than others. Most of these people should be able to give you good advice for where you are at now.

People who are “in the trenches” of a job search:  This might include career coaches or people who volunteer at job clubs. They have worked with multiple job seekers, sometimes over many years, and have seen a lot. They’ve seen things that work and things that should, but don’t. These people should be in touch with current job search tactics and strategies, and help you avoid pitfalls.  Note that sometimes their advice will be different than what you might hear from people who have not been in a job search for a long time.

Who else? I’m sure there are other types of people who you should get mentoring from.

Ultimately, my chicken coop was mine. I had to go to bed at night feeling comfortable with what we did, which means that sometimes someone suggested something and I overrode it, to have a different design. Your career is yours… no matter who you listen to and learn from, you are the one who is ultimately responsible for making the right decisions and doing the work.

But going it alone is not something I would recommend.

 

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What Is Your Career Foundation?

October 4th, 2017

Today I spent time with my dad sealing the chicken coop, which is super important because soon we’ll have more rain and snow. I would hate for my wood to get rotten just because we didn’t do this important step!

Painting is a slow process… which means you get to stand in one place for too long. While spending so much intimate time with my coop, talking to my dad and thinking about my kids that are growing up and getting ready to do grown-up things, I thought about this project that I wasn’t quite sure I could do (but I did it!! With help, of course). I like to go out every once in a while and slap a wall, just to make sure it doesn’t move. Kind of like how, before you buy a car, you kick the tires. Who knows what that is going to prove, but for some reason kicking the tires is like the final approval.

The coop doesn’t move, not even a little.  It’s so gratifying.

My dad asked if we were going to paint the foundation and I said “no, I don’t think so.” It’s treated wood and should be fine… and not painting it should be fine.

But then I started to really think about the foundation, what it is for, and how important it is.

Getting to this point took A LOT of work… there are four 4x4s that had to be level. The wood is treated lumber, so it doesn’t rot:

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Now that the 4x4s are in we can put the trusses (not sure if that’s the right word) on, which will hold the floor sheets. The trusses are also treated.  Mess any of this up and you’ll have a wonky floor.  No chicken wants to walk on a wonky floor!

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Nothing would be standing today if it weren’t for a good, solid, healthy foundation. We’ve had some crazy storms since this coop went up, and the walls are fine, as is the roof.  If we had a bad foundation I imagine something would have moved a little, and with a little movement, the entire integrity of the coop would be bad.

I thought about YOU, and your career foundation.  What is your foundation? Is it solid? Is it square?  Is it made out of the right materials?

Career Foundation Materials

Did you know you can’t use just any wood to make your foundation? For me, that meant I couldn’t use the cheap would, I had to use the expensive wood! It’s called treated lumber and it’s made to sit on the ground, get wet, be in mud, etc.  Non-treated wood will rot and it will be ugly.

You can’t have a foundation that will rot.

What is your foundation made of? Mine is a CIS degree, and an MBA. It is my training in management and leadership and project and product management. It is in Spanish and English.

Those are all the things I was told would help me be gainfully employed throughout my career.

What I’ve learned since is there are other parts of a career foundation, which include:

  • Character
  • Personal integrity
  • Work ethic
  • Personal network
  • Personal brand
  • Hustle
  • Career management mindedness

You must pair your on-paper credentials with personal and professional characteristics. Some of these are highly visible, others are hidden underneath everything else. But they are all important.

Just make sure you aren’t doing shortcuts and using the cheap stuff. I’m not saying everything you do needs to cost a lot, but make sure you are getting quality.

A solid career foundation

As we were putting the floor on the foundation I noticed that the foundation didn’t move. It was SOLID. Perhaps you could have gotten a sledgehammer and knocked some of it around, but really, it was solid.

Think about how solid your foundation is.  Or, another way of looking at it, how strong it is.  You get strength with depth and experience.

If you read an article on electrical engineering, you might have a small idea of some EE principles. But that doesn’t make you and electrical engineer. If you get an EE degree, you have a much more solid understanding of EE.  Then, with time on the job, in different challenges and industries, you learn more and more, and you gain expert-level status.

Reading an article about what you should know about won’t make you an expert… it can get you pointed in the right direction, but what are you doing to make sure you are becoming the expert you should be?  Think about continuing education (non-traditionally, like through Pluralsight), job shadowing, and simply just doing more and more things in your space to gain expertise.

Is your career foundation square?

There was a really annoying part of building the foundation: making it square. That is, perfect 90 degrees at each corner. This is really hard to eyeball… you need the right tools (or techniques, like a couple of nails and a string) to figure out if your foundation is square.

If it’s not square, you are doomed.

Square is not opinion, it is science, and it is proven.

Some careers don’t seem to have a square equivalent. What makes an entrepreneur successful?  Education? Luck? Timing? Hard work?  A certain combination of those?

I know a homebuilder who is a major hustler, who barely makes ends meet. I know another homebuilder who has a huge, wonderful business.  What’s the difference? I’m still trying to figure that out. They both have hustle, they are both smart, they are both really good. What’s the different between the two?

One figure it out, the other might not even know there is more to figure out.

With other jobs it is easier to identify what is square. It might be a certain education, degree, certification, or test. You should be expert enough to figure out what you need to do, that you can’t get around, to be what you want to be.

Need an idea on where to start? Find someone with the job title you want and interview them. Then interview their boss. They should be able to point you in the right direction on next steps for your career.

When you have a solid foundation, built the right way, with the right things, you can build something great on it. Your something great is your career.  But make sure your foundation is right.

 

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What Do I Look For In My Next Job?

October 3rd, 2017

I have a gap in my life. For four years I spent lets say thirty hours a week on Pluralsight courses. That might be a stretch, but the last year I did Pluralsight it was over that (I did 14 courses in a 12 month period, and it was nuts).

I managed my team at JibberJobber, too. During that time two things happened:

  1. I put into place some systems that would allow me to be “gone” more. I built my team to the point where I didn’t really have a full-time job anymore. This is eMyth meets Four Hour Workweek.  I didn’t work myself out of a job, but I didn’t need to be there 40 (or 60!) hours anymore.
  2. I found this out when I was done creating Pluralsight courses… I put my team and systems on autopilot, but I did a bad job of vision, future, and strategy. Work was done, but the right focus (UX) was neglected.  I won’t do that again… we’re becoming hyperfocused on the user experience, which means a lot of cleanup, and focusing on some very specific things.

Since my gig with Pluralsight ended I have found that I have an enormous amount of time… more time than I need to keep JibberJobber doing what it needs to do. My critical path relies heavily on my developers, and some projects they are working on are a month or two out… I also have a sizeable gap in my revenue/income.

So what does a guy with a lot of time and a need for money do?  Maybe look for a job!

Of course, JibberJobber is still moving foward, and the development team is plenty busy… and I’m still very involved with what is going on. But I have a lot of free time on my hands. The market is supposedly pretty hot right now, especially (supposedly) where I live, so why not give it a try?

Tangent: as a business owner and entrepreneur, this is hard to post. It’s an exciting time, and I’m not walking away from JibberJobber… there’s plenty of work to be done, but I don’t have to be here for a full workday anymore.  But it’s almost like walking away from my baby :/  At the same time, there are a lot of opportunities that are interesting to me, and they would fill the time/money gap I have right now.

I’ve applied to a few jobs I’ve been interested in, and as I think about them, I’ve realized there are certain things I’m really interested in, with regard to a job:

Salary: we should get this out of the way right away. I’ve learned that salary isn’t everything, but it’s pretty important. Don’t take a higher salary because it’s higher if the culture stinks. But if the other factors are good/great then higher is okay.  On the other side, a salary too low will just not work. You’ll be unhappy, especially if you think you are getting a raise soon and it never materializes.  I wish more companies would post salary ranges on postings, to let you know what jobs you just shouldn’t even apply to.

Location: Some people like commuting. When I was in Washington, D.C. I knew a girl who commuted from Richmond. I think it was a three hour drive, one way. NUTS. Why she liked it I’ll never know. I personally don’t like commuting. Options are: find a company close to me, or look at jobs that offer a lot of work-from-home freedom. Having said that, for the right job and opportunity, I’ll commute!

Culture: Do you believe in company culture? Have you ever worked at a company with a great culture? I have. It’s almost too powerful to describe.  I want a company that has a great culture. Employees are taken care of, they are happy, and they are empowered. I’m not saying that a bad culture leads to employees that aren’t taken care of, unhappiness, or unempowered… but I know that a great culture is amazing, and it’s what I want.

The Team: I’ve worked on cohesive, tight teams, and I’ve worked with dysfunctional teams. I have no need for drama and dysfunction in my life… I want to be on a high performing, respected, and awesome team. This means the leader(s) and members are awesome. It’s not easy to figure out how awesome your team is, but it doesn’t hurt to ask around.

Company Mission: What is the company doing? One company I worked with made fertilizer. Another ran a janitorial and building maintenance operation. Both are noble, I guess, but I wasn’t necessarily passionate about what they were doing. I didn’t care, at the time… just do my job, do it well, etc.  But then I started JibberJobber and our mission is to help individuals through a really tough time. The mission of helping and serving, offering a hand and relief, was much more fulfilling than any other company I’d been involved with, and my eyes were opened to how it is when you are aligned with the company mission.

There are more variables, for sure. Sometimes the importance (or weight) of these can change… what are the factors you think are most important in your future job?

 

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