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Transitions, Moving On and Moving Forward

February 5th, 2018

This is one of the weirdest blog posts I’ve every written.

An Announcement

In a nutshell, I got a job. A real, go to work, at an office, in a company, job.

It’s been twelve years and almost a month since I was laid off. Here I am, twelve+ years later and I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence.

What does this mean for JobberJobber? Nothing, and everything. Nothing because nothing big will change.. We’ll keep moving forward, and the team has plenty of work to do. Everything because of the way I’m restructuring things, I’ll be more focused on strengthening the core of JibberJobber, and doing the right things for the product and our users.  More on that below.

A “Coincidence”

Is there such thing as a coincidence?

A few weeks ago I started my fourth book, which I’m leaning towards titling The Twelve Year Job Search. Little did I know that half way through writing this book I would accept a job, almost exactly 12 years to the day I was let go from my last “real job.”

The intense emotional roller-coaster I’ve been on these last few weeks was something I was not prepared for. I know a lot about the job search process but had forgotten just how intensely stressful parts of it can be (for me, the parts where I have no control).

A Real Job

For the last twelve years my “real job” has been entrepreneur, founder, owner, and more. I’ve authored three (published) books, became a professional speaker, authored 30 Pluralsight courses, done webinars and podcasts and written ebooks and white papers and blog posts (for others). I built my JibberJobber team bringing in talented contractors from around the world, five of which work as a team on the product right now.

I was looking for a product management job, and happened to see an opening from a company I was really, really interested in (BambooHR). The job wasn’t on the product team, but the description was close enough that it piqued my interest. As I read it I thought “I’ve done all of these things… I could totally do this.” I applied on a whim, thinking I was really more suited for a product management job.

You can read all about this job here: I need a top notch program manager

bamboo-program-manager

This is one of three postings I found for this job (they were all a little different). I thought, “Is this real? I know it’s not in product, but man, it seems like this job was written for me!”

A Company and A Boss

I got a reply from the hiring manager and was brought in for my first interview… and the rest is history. But more importantly, in my research and then interview process, I fell in love with the company. BambooHR makes HR software (including ATS software – that strikes me as funny) for small to medium companies.

It’s not the software I fell in love with (I hadn’t had much exposure to it), rather I fell in love with the history of BambooHR and the culture they have created. As I learned more I couldn’t help but want to be a part of this culture. I want to contribute to this culture, as I build out the vision of the thought leadership programs under my new boss, Rusty (see link above).

I found Rusty’s Ted talk, and a short talk he did for Toastmasters, and read about his background. He is the type of person I want to work with. I am excited for the opportunity to learn from him and build these programs with him. I trust him, and believe in his vision, and want to be a part of this!  I know the alternative… working for someone you don’t like or don’t trust, and I have no interest in that. I feel lucky to have found this opportunity at this company for this leader… a great combination!

A Future for JibberJobber

JibberJobber was born almost twelve years ago. We have had over 100,000 people sign up and try to manage and organize a job search. We currently have five people (aside from me) with dedicated roles, including customer support, QA, server admin, and software development. I have been the product manager, and with this big change I started to transition many of my functions to Liz, who many users have already interacted with.

I plan on spending time, regularly, with JibberJobber, as the Chief of Product. Liz will add product manager to her duties, and will work closely with me to ensure the team focuses on the right things for our users and our future. While my team will continue to stay busy, we’ll make sure the limited amount of time we have is spent on the most important projects.

When I spent four years developing Pluralsight videos I spent a lot more time there than as product manager in JibberJobber. After Pluralsight I went back to JibberJobber with a renewed interest and was appalled at where we were at. I take all of that on me, as product manager. This time I will not make the same mistakes. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time with Liz talking about vision and priorities, and have met with each of my team, and I’m dedicated to making this a great time for JibberJobber, not a time of strategic neglect.

I hope this is reflected in the product, and your experience.

A Conclusion

I’ve written a few more pages but really, this is too long already. If you have any questions, let me know. I’ll be available mornings and evenings, and hope to continue our relationship.  

18 Comments »

18 responses to “Transitions, Moving On and Moving Forward”

  1. Wow, Jason, this is amazing news. And, inspiring.

    Amazing, in that having gotten to know you a little better personally + professionally over the past few years, I can imagine this was a monumental decision; thus, the ‘intense, emotional rollercoaster’ feelings you described.

    Inspiring, in all that you have accomplished over the past 12 years. You are innovative and also a hard worker, committed to both work AND family.

    I admire all you do.

    All the very best as you move ahead in this next chapter of your exemplary career!

    Jacqui

  2. Dear Jason,

    I am so excited for you (and for your new organization which gets to welcome you to its team)! Congratulations on starting this new adventure, and the path to the many successes and celebrations to come! I’m also very happy to hear you’re continuing to lead JibberJobber, along with the rest of JJ team! It is a valuable resource I continue to recommend to clients, workshop participants, and others.

    With all my best wishes,
    Shahrzad

  3. Jason, congratulations to you AND to BambooHR (they are lucky to have you!)

    Best of luck to you on your new adventure!

  4. Jacob Share says:

    Congrats on the new role, and it’s easy to see how it wasn’t an easy decision… until it was. Hopefully your excitement about it continues for a long time to come!

    Will you need to move for the job?

  5. Jason Alba says:

    Thanks for your support everyone :) @Jacob: I won’t move for this job, they are down the road and luckily against traffic, so it’s an easy commute.

  6. Norman Reiss says:

    Congratulations – wishing you the best of luck, Jason!

  7. Thea Kelley says:

    Congratulations, Jason! I’m glad it “took 12 years” 😉 because I use Jibberjobber every day and recommend it to my job seeker clients. Enjoy your new endeavor! I’m sure they’re lucky to have you.

  8. Congratulations, Jason!

    Glad to hear about your new gig with BambooHR and the strategic measures you’ve put in place for JibberJobber’s continued growth. I was there from the beginning.

    To your continued success,
    – Wendy

  9. Steve Thomas says:

    Congratulations Jason. It will be fun to see what you do with this new direction. My guess is based on your history, is that you will make a huge dent in the universe (in a good way). You’re loved out here.
    st

  10. Jason –

    So thrilled for you! I love BambooHR too! They put out some fabulous thought leadership. You are a great fit!

    Congratulations, my friend! All the best!

  11. Congratulations Jason! The company is lucky to have you. I’m happy you’ll be keeping JibberJobber running, though – I’ve been happily using it for many years!

  12. Congrats Jason! I know you will be a blessing to BambooHR and you’ve been a blast and blessing to get to know for me too! Will look forward to your FB, LI and JJ posts to keep us posted. We’re cheering you on brother!
    Blessings, Kelly

  13. Ellie Vargo says:

    Wow. I didn’t expect that news. Now when one of my clients tells me s/he will never be able to find another job, your example should give them hope!

    Sincere best wishes in your new endeavor.

  14. Congratulations to you, Jason. Your message has your excitement displayed throughout. They are so lucky to have you and we remain fortunate that we are not really losing you! You deserve all the best! Looking forward to reading more about your progress and the continuing progress of LinkedIn. In support of your continued success!

  15. Wow, congratulations, Jason! You never know what the future has in store for you! Good luck in your new role!

  16. Jeff Rock says:

    Hey Jason, Huge congrats and a massive virtual fist bump! You’ve done so much for so many people over the years. I loved having you on my show and I wish you all the best! -Jeff Rock

  17. […] This last week, everything changed. On Monday I started my dream job at BambooHR, a company that makes award winning software for small to medium businesses. I’m still pinching myself because this job is too good to be true and a part of me is wondering if I’m going to wake up from a dream. Alas, I made it a week and I still have the job! NOTE: I’m still running, managing, and keeping JibberJobber. Read about that in my announcement here. […]

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