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A Recruiter Is a Broker Not an Agent

February 26th, 2021

I searched “broker” on google and got this (supposedly from wikipedia and LinkedIn):

A broker is a person or firm who arranges transactions between a buyer and a seller for a commission when the deal is executed. A broker who also acts as a seller or as a buyer becomes a principal party to the deal. Neither role should be confused with that of an agent—one who acts on behalf of a principal party in a deal.

I’ve always thought about the job seeker / recruiter relationship because when I was in my Big Failed Job Search I misunderstood it, and wasted a ton of time, effort, and hope on recruiters. It wasn’t until Dave, a recruiter who I thought was going to be my golden ticket, told me “you’ll find a job for yourself faster than I’ll find a job for you.”

My world stopped spinning and I suddenly and finally understood that the role of a recruiter wasn’t even close to what I thought it was.

I thought recruiters would love to have my resume, and would work hard to match me to openings. I assumed they would spend hours looking at openings and pitching me to decision makers. No, no, and no.

Once you understand that recruiters have a list of openings they are working hard to fill you can understand what your value to, or relationship with, recruiters is. You are a number. You are a commodity. You are hopefully the round peg they can fit into the round hole.

Of course some recruiters are amazing people. Some of them are job seeker advocates. Many of the recruiters I know are just splendid people who really care about you and your success. But their job, what they get paid to do, is to find a great hire. If you are not a great hire they are not secretly going to bat for you, and putting hours in for you. They are doing their job: searching for that great hire.

I thought I was networking with agents. I most definitely was not. And that explained why they ghosted me so often.

If you have a recruiter-heavy strategy, fine. Just make sure you understand who a recruiter is, to you, and who you are to a recruiter. Otherwise you’ll hit brick wall after brick wall.

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Reminder to Be Physically Healthy

February 24th, 2021

Maybe it’s because the weather where I live is in the mid-20s this morning, when I looked. Maybe it’s because the Texans experienced devastating lows last week. Maybe it’s because I’m longing for warmer weather where people are out and about.

This morning I woke up with physical health on my mind.

In 2006, during my horribly failed job search, I literally would roll out of my bed, walk a few steps to a recliner, and sit there until dinner time. I’d go to the bathroom, and maybe the fridge, but my life had become just about 100% sedentary.

It took years to recover from that physical neglect. Muscle atrophy is a scary thing… not to mention lack of pushing your cardio system.

I did this because I felt that doing anything other than a job search was cheating on my family. Seriously, that is what I thought. I needed to find a job, and recover our income, so I could pay my bills. If I chose to do anything other than get that next job I was cheating my family… and maybe my future.

I learned I was indeed cheating my family, but not because of my focus. Neglecting my physical health had long-term implications. And so with this post I want to remind you to take care of your physical health. I think the saying that resonated was that you better take care of your body, or your body will take care of you!

Garbage In, Garbage Results

My son’s friend told me “you get abs in the kitchen, not the gym.” What a profound statement! As a job seeker you feel like you want need comfort. Comfort foods are great at satiating, but don’t give your body comfort. Please, please make good food choices. You need to be your best for an interview, or when you are networking, or even just to keep your head above water during your daily routines as a job seeker.

I’m not going to tell you how eat, or what to eat, but donuts should generally be on the naughty list while fruits and veggies likely belong on your binge-all-day-long list.

Motion Is Lotion

Four years ago I kicked a heavy bag (aka kick bag) and broke my ankle. Lest you think I am a seasoned kicker, this was probably my first really hard kick where I completely neglected form (hence, the broken ankle).

So a month or two later, after surgery, I’m at the physical therapist, pretty much getting beat up. He said this phrase, “motion is lotion,” and I loved it. We need to move. Our bodies were made to move. When we move, our body reacts well (unless you are in a bad place). Movement is not only good, it’s necessary.

I have this dream that when I have time and money I’ll be like Tom Hanks in the Da Vinci Code movie (side note: the book is WAY, WAY better than the movie)… remember at the beginning of the movie Tom is swimming laps in the pool? My dream is to have lazy mornings where I can swim laps at my leisure. But I didn’t have a gym membership, and swimming takes too much time before/after. I had some weights, but weights only go so far for me… I just didn’t have what I needed to get a good workout.

Or did I?

Really, you need some kind of resistance… gravity works well for that. And most of us have access to gravity.

I don’t care if you choose yoga or walking, but I invite you to choose either of those. I got to a point where I needed to walk. I had to. I felt that if I didn’t I would go to a really bad place, physically. My legs ached, my weight suffered. I’m not a runner, but I can walk. SO I started to walk. My goal was 500 miles in a year because, well, I can walk 500 hundred miles, and perhaps I could walk 500 hundred more (get it?).

That year I walked, I think, 353. It wasn’t 500 but it was enough to jump start my journey back to health. I lost weight, felt way better, gained muscle in places I didn’t know I needed it… it was the most amazing thing I’ve done physically, ever. Consistent walking, whether it’s 1/4 mile or 3 miles, is the key. Almost every day I’d walk. I invite you to do the same, even if it feels slow and meaningless.

Mental Health Is Critical to Physical Health Is Critical to Mental Health

I’m not an expert here but I know that what happens between your ears will have a significant impact on your physical health. And what happens with your physical health can have an impact on your mental health. These are usually and strongly connected.

I’m not saying you can exercise yourself out of mental health, or that you can think yourself to better physical health. But improvements on one side can help the other side.

When I was in the deepest part of my depression, and feeling an utter failure, both my mental and physical health suffered. One of my favorite ideas is that self discipline creates (or improves or helps or whatever) self confidence.

This didn’t mean doing 1,000 pushups. Maybe it meant doing ONE pushup. Or walking one mile. Or choosing one healthy meal. Self discipline leads to a feeling of “okay, maybe I CAN do something right!” Stacking a few, then a bunch, of small wins leads to “I can” instead of “maybe I can.”

As a job seeker, you need to be on your game. You can’t be filled with maybes and “I’m not good enoughs.” You need to perform at a higher level. People can tell when you are down, and they are hesitant to introduce you to their networks or recommend you to their companies when you are out of sorts.

Guard Your Physical Health

So that’s my reminder. I give you permission to take care of yourself, EVEN THOUGH you feel like you don’t have the time. Make the time now or you will HAVE TO in the future. Trust me, it’s better to do it now than do it when you HAVE TO.

 

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Are You Working On The Right Things?

February 22nd, 2021

I have this imagine in my mind of a mime, or circus performer, who has a bunch of sticks holding up spinning plates. The performer’s job is to keep every plate spinning so that they don’t fall.

Keeping the plates spinning is really the analogy of my career. From early on, when I was IT manager of a national company I had a LOT of things I did. I had no idea what a normal day looked liked because one day I might work on programs and applications, another day I might be in meetings ALL DAY, other days I might work on a big computer order, or actually unpacking and setting up machines. Those were just some of my plates.

Right now my plates look different. I have owned my own business since 2006, and have had many opportunities to learn (read: fail) how to run a business. I’ve had different income streams… one month my quarterly royalty check for my LinkedIn book was my biggest check I’d received, other months I banked three or four speaking checks (those were good months!), other months we had specials on JibberJobber.

The phrase “you eat what you kill” describes the life of many entrepreneurs, and it has definitely defined much of my life since 2006. The safety and stability of getting a check deposited in my account every 5th and 20th became a fond memory. And with that change, I learned to change what I choose to work on.

Choosing Priorities

I have a Pluralsight course called Prioritizing Tasks and Managing Time for Greater Productivity where I talk about figuring out how to make the best use of your time, and accomplish the right things.

I am also a fan and student of Mark LeBlanc, who has an excellent program for small business growth. With his permission I have borrowed a few of his principles and created the Job Search Program, a six week program to help job seekers find their next job. In that program I have you focus on the three most important things you should do, over six weeks, for one purpose: to get a job. The key to your success as a job seeker has to do with “having the right conversations with the right people.” It’s a neat program that helps job seekers focus on the right priorities.

Focusing on the right priorities means ignoring, delaying, or removing the wrong priorities. This can be painful when some of those wrong priorities have a special place in your heart. Maybe they have a special meaning, or you think they might impact others you care about, or they are just projects you want to do. Letting go of things on your list can be emotional. Geesh, I have some pants in my closet I’ve had for years long than I should have kept them. They don’t fit or are have rips that just don’t work for my style. But these are pants I’ve had experiences with! Getting rid of the pants might feel like I’m getting rid of the experiences!

People: your pants are NOT your journal.

Removing things that don’t belong on your to do list is is a healthy activity.

Schedule time today, or tomorrow morning, to make sure you are working on the right things, and removing other things from your list. Release them.

What I’m Working On

As you know, I’m a fan of multiple revenue streams. I also have self-diagnosed as having “business ADD.” I think if I were more focused I would have sold JibberJobber ten years ago, but I have always had too many business plates spinning. With all I do, I even have some business ideas that I’ve either given up or put on pause. Here’s what I have chosen to work on, or, put another way, where I’ve chosen to invest my time:

JibberJobber

Well, of course, since this is the JibberJobber blog, I’m going to talk about JibberJobber. I started JibberJobber in 2006 with me, a full time programmer, and a full time QA person. We have been busy since day one. There is a ton of work to do… right now the biggest project we are working on is redoing much of the infrastructure of JibberJobber to modernize and speed up most of the user experience. Additionally, switching the architecture allows us to easily work on some of the other projects we have on our roadmap. I’m really, really excited about this change, and hope our users see speed improvements right away, and my team is able to push out new changes in a much better and longer-lasting way.

My role has been reduced quite a bit as we have put systems and processes in place, and as my team has assumed parts of my role. Liz, who some of you have interacted with, is my right-hand-woman. She is fantastic, and plays a big and important role in the daily affairs and the future of JibberJobber.

The Job Search Program

I created the Job Search Program almost two years ago. I am about to re-record the whole thing in video instead of just audio. I’m really excited about this, and a few other enhancements to the Job Search Program. I need to review the entire script to figure out what changes I need to make, and then will get this produced. I’ll also be involved with the redesign and optimization of the whole UX as we update the program.

Pluralsight Online Soft Skill and Professional Development Courses

If you’ve spent five minutes in JibberJobber you know I’m a Pluralsight course creator (aka: Author). This weekend I uploaded the last changes for a course revision for my personal branding course. I have 36 published courses right now. I have a lot of courses I need to revise (older courses). Eventually I’d like to have maybe 60 courses. It would be out-of-this-world to have 100 courses. That would be a vanity goal for me… not anything I need to do but if I do that it would be epic. Of course, I’d have 100 courses I would need to keep updated. This has been a huge part of my time since 2012. When I go heads-down on these courses I tend to neglect a lot of my other work, which is why I have the systems and processes in JibberJobber (so JJ doesn’t depend too much on me).

I should note, recently Liz mentioned that we need to up our customer service game on the JibberJobber side. With some of the other stuff I’ve been working on it has suffered… my apologies, and we are more sensitive to that now.

Snowfly: Employee Performance and Rewards

Almost two years ago I made my first angel investment in a Saas company called Snowfly. I’ve been friends with the owners for a number of years, and have watched from the outside trying to figure out how I could get on the inside. Of course, timing was an important part of becoming an insider. In July (I think) of 2019) I became an equity owner in Snowfly and assumed some of the marketing tasks. I have written on their blog almost every week, and started sending customer/prospect newsletters. I also made a few first-passes on their marketing website. There’s still a lot of work to do there, which I’m reprioritizing. A lot of the marketing updates are “do it once” and walk away for a little while (as opposed to repeat tasks). I am also on the Board and get to meet with the CEO and other team members in a consulting/coaching capacity.

This has been a lot of fun. I told my wife that if I were to retire I think I’d like to find more Snowflys where I could contribute in a coaching/consulting way. I also get to have conversations that make me think about my own CEO role in JibberJobber, which is really good for JibberJobber.

Rentals

I have always wanted to own rentals. Before JibberJobber, or before entrepreneurship, I was living paycheck-to-paycheck and keeping my financial head above water was a challenge. I moved from a low-cost state to a higher-cost state without a raise. We went from “I think I might be able to get ahead” to really understanding the cost of living impact of a bigger city. It was difficult.

Fast forward a few years and, because of life circumstances, my wife and I moved. The plan (ha ha ha ha ha) was to sell our house and put whatever equity we earned into our next house to have lower payments. Well, even though houses were moving like hot cakes and we were in a great neighborhood, our house just wouldn’t sell. Long story short, we kept the house as a rental. Within days of us moving out we had renters in, and have not missed one month of rent payment in 4+ years. We’ve had tasks there… some cleanup and repairs between renters, some maintenance, etc., but for the most part this investment has been safe (knock on wood). I’d like to think I got a nice rental because we were fiscally wise, instead we were kind of pushed into this dream. But so far it’s been very good.

Coincidentally, the house we moved into has a mother-in-law apartment that we rent out. That was a big factor in choosing to buy this house. So now I own two rental properties. It has gone so well that I think I’d like to do this a hundred times over, but I also realize there are some big risks with renters/rentals. I think I’m not going to get any more anytime soon, especially with this ridiculous real estate market. But if the right opportunity pops up, at the right time, and I’m somehow ready, I’m in a much better position to make a wise decision on moving forward.

I don’t spend much time with my rentals, but I’ll certainly put in a few hours (or more, depending on what’s going on), with them.

Life Balance and Family and WHY

Those are my main business plates. I have been married for over 25 years and have five kids, from preteen to a couple in their twenties. I take my roles of husband and father seriously. I try to mentor my kids as they become adults and spread their wings. I try to nurture my marriage and “show up.” I believe these roles I’ve chosen (husband and father) are the most important things I can do. It takes time and thought. Fortunately, it’s a great break from my other plates, and it is immensely rewarding. I’ve been blessed with a great family that I enjoy being around.

I put this section in here because without a bigger WHY we can become barons and scrooges without a direction. Having a business and accumulating wealth is not a big enough WHY.

My family is a big part of my WHY. I want to make an impression on this third rock from the sun. I want to impact and inspire. I hope I do that through my work with my projects I’ve listed above, and those in my close circle. It’s why I get out of bed each day.

What is your WHY? How do you invest your time? Which plates do you keep spinning, and which do you let go, to work towards your WHY?

The title of this post is “Are You Working On The Right Things?” It could have, maybe should have, been: “Are You Choosing Working On The Right Things?”

I invite you to do a personal self assessment to make sure your choice of where to spend your time is right for you right now. Be intentional at this thing called life. Most of us only get one shot.

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Job Search: Age Discrimination or Convicted Felon?

February 4th, 2021

This is a long post about working through, or around, job search discrimination. I’ve written quite a bit on this topic over the years.

My friend Paul sent me this set of questions, which got me thinking about how hard it is for older (definitely over 50, but many over-40 job seekers feel it too) people to get into interviews, and then get an offer.

Years ago I had a friend, Makini Harvey, who’s mission was to help convicted felons find jobs. Makini had a heart of gold, and I loved seeing her at conferences and chatting on the phone with her. She was hope and love all bundled into a ball of fire. I think all of my career colleagues would agree with that. I was always impressed that she took perhaps the hardest group of people and jumped right in, willing to help.

I don’t know nearly as much about the felon job search, but I think a common tactic is for them to just start their own business. Practically anyone can start a business, whereas going applying to companies that would discount you because you were convicted has got to be so discouraging.

In my own Big Failed Job Search, in 2006, I faced age discrimination from both ends. I was too young to have the things I had on my resume. I can thank starting my career in a small town, and becoming a VP of tech and general manager very quickly. When I moved to a much larger city, the people who had the same things on their resumes were easily twenty years older, and had much deeper experience with those titles in more sophisticated companies. I was just too young for anyone to consider me.

At 32 I was just too young.

Guess what? 32 is too old to be considered for the other jobs I was looking at, including project manager, product manager, and business analyst. There was a healthy group of just-out-of-school kids who cost about half of what I was looking for, anxious to get their foot in the door. Guess who got hired… someone with experience, or someone who cost 1/2 of me?

At 32 I was just too old.

Maybe my Great Failed Job Search of 2006 wasn’t all my fault.

Age discrimination sucks. It’s also illegal, but so what? It happens all over the place, all the time. Just because it is illegal doesn’t mean you can prove it, would win in court, or that it doesn’t happen. Deep down in our human nature we judge others based on things… many of those judgements illegal in the hiring process. But this judgement is in our lizard brains, and it just isn’t going anywhere. So, then, what do we do?

You can’t blame everything on ageism

Paul says this: “I am 64. There are several issues. 1. There is ageism, but you can’t blame everything on that.”

Paul is absolutely right. Let me rephrase this to “you can’t blame not getting an interview or a job 100% on age discrimination.”

Hire a job search coach, especially one who has worked with older workers (that is, not college grads), and they will have experience working around age discrimination issues. Their job is to help you understand what the red flags are, and how to position yourself in your branding (resume, LinkedIn profile, etc.) and your networking (30 second pitches, 5 second pitches, etc.) and your interviewing so that you minimize age as a reason for people to not consider you.

When you are looking for career professionals, resume writers and job search coaches, ask them about their experiences with people your age, in your industry, looking for jobs you are looking for. You want to get an understanding of how they might help you. Some of them will recognize the issues you are facing and know that it is not a big deal, if maneuvered correctly.

You CAN blame everything on being old, and how age discrimination is just plain horrible. But Paul is right, and has the right attitude: blaming everything on that will not help you address the problem at hand. Maybe you need to work on certifications, work on communicating your expertise better, network differently, or for crying out loud, get off the job boards.

Huh? Job boards? Where did that come from? Check out Nick Corcodilos’ post, and the 300+ comments, on the effectiveness of job boards, here: The Bogus-ness of Indeed.com

Paul’s next question is:

How do you redefine yourself?

Ah, a big question. I guess the first three questions I have are:

  1. How are you currently defining yourself?
  2. Who is the audience to which you want to be defined?
  3. How do you want to be defined?

I think one of the problems is that too often older job seekers see pretty much one definition:

OLD

Old has a lot of stigma: expensive, slow, won’t put in extra time, expensive, health issues, set in old ways, can’t teach an old dog, did I mention expensive?

When you feel like age discrimination is the issue, you see yourself as old. Washed up. Has been. Of no value. I don’t discount those feelings at all. A couple of years ago I wrote a tweet (I’m not going to look for it) where I challenged tech companies who are all about no discrimination to show their age numbers. They are real big on making sure that race and gender are not discrimination points, but my experience with high tech funded startups is that they are full of people right out of college. No hate towards those people, they need jobs. But if you preach anti-discrimination, please show me that you are hiring people who are 64, also.

They are too outdated, you say?

No, they are not. You are simply discriminating.

Okay, that’s a tangent. But a good one.

The irony about the people who say that too old is too outdated is that one day those people will be too old. Irrelevant. And in as much distress as people now who can’t get an interview or a job because they are too old.

Sorry, I’m ranting again. Back to Paul.

You redefine yourself through a strategic, intentional personal branding strategy. You go through the process of figuring out what your brand boundaries are, and then come up with branding statements and use branding tools (LinkedIn profile, LinkedIn articles, LinkedIn group, maybe a blog, your 30 second pitch, your resume, etc.) to ensure you are communicating the right message that is on brand, and of value, to your target audience.

You understand your target audience, and what they are looking for. Maybe they are tired of hiring people with no experience, and they could really use someone with your background to lead the team, or reengineer processes, or develop prospect or customer relationships.

Job search seminars I’ve been in talks about how you need to identify the problems organizations have, and then address those problems. Phrase your value in a way that shows them how you will save or make money (I am not 100% on board with that, but in some cases it can be an important position).

If you know the role and industry and even organization you want to work for, and can identify their problems (through networking you may be able to identify real, current issues they need help with), you can devise your marketing assets to address those. Imagine if I’m looking for help growing my pipeline… and you have a few blog posts or LinkedIn articles that show exactly how you have done that for other organizations… I do not care about your age at all… I’ve seen what you have done for other organizations and I want you to do it for me!

Find the problems and address those exact problems.

Too often I see laundry lists of skills and characteristics. They mean nothing to me. They are noise. I want substance, stories, examples, and some sense that you are the exact person to solve my problems, because you have done it before.  If you can communicate that, I’m all over you. I want to talk to you. I don’t care of you are 85, if you can solve my problems.

In my personal branding course on Pluralsight I talk about this… the why, what, and how of personal branding to define or redefine yourself. You can watch it with a free 10 day trial.

What jobs are better to try to do?

Hm, this is a big question. Every job seeker, young and old, is trying to figure this out. And, the 70+% of people who are at work but don’t like their work are asking the same things.

Early in my career I took jobs I thought would help me get to where I wanted to be when I was old enough to retire. Jobs that would put me on the right path.

At that stage in my career it was a “put in your time” attitude. This meant doing things that would lead to the next promotion, and then the next, etc. It meant working hard and maybe more hours, volunteering for things, etc.

I don’t know when it happened but somewhere along the line I realized that where I wanted to work, and what I wanted to do, shifted. I wanted to work for an amazing boss, in an amazing team, impacting the world somehow. I needed my work to make an impact. I needed a certain amount of money, of course, but I would not take higher money sacrificing the work environment.  I had worked for crappy leaders and I had worked for excellent leaders, and I knew I didn’t want to work under crap anymore. In addition to those things, I value a flexible schedule.

So, what are better jobs to try to do? I’m not sure what you have done. What have you liked from what you have done? What organizations did you enjoy, what roles and responsibilities and impact gave you satisfaction? What did you NOT enjoy? Before you make a list of companies and titles, make a list of characteristics you want in a job. Start there, then work backwards.

Once you get that list, and prioritize it, and figure out what you might sacrifice or swap out, then you can start to come up with your list of jobs. Job titles you end up with might surprise you.

What companies are better to apply to that will be more accepting (like smaller companies)?

I’m assuming you mean “more accepting of hiring older workers.” A few years ago when I was looking at local companies I was interested in working with I noticed one, a high tech funded startup that was on everyone’s list to work at around here. I was researching that company and found the about us page, with a recent picture of what looked like all of the local employees… maybe a couple hundred. I enlarged the picture and scanned through… and something jumped out at me: the owner looked like he was my age, maybe older. Every other person in that picture looked like they were right out of college.

I knew, or at least I assumed, that I didn’t have a chance. It was a disgusting realization.

That’s an example of a small(ish) company only hiring young people.

Ask the in-house recruiters and they’ll tell you that no, absolutely not, is there age discrimination. But there is. We all know it. They know it. Company owners know it. Job seekers especially know it. So, just cross that company off your list.

I’m not sure if all big companies are discriminatory and all small companies are not discriminatory. When I go to Home Depot (ahem, The Home Depot) I see a bunch of old people. People who have had great careers as electricians, plumbers, handymen/women, etc., now roaming the Home Depot isles helping people pick put the best products for their job. The last time I talked to one of them, we chatted for almost an hour (not about what I went there for). Rather than being bored in front of the TV, these people with decades of knowledge and experience got to be out helping and chatting with people.

That’s an example of a big company hiring older people.

I’m not sure what the best companies are… I bet AARP has some “best companies for older workers” list. But I want you to go back to your list of ideal characteristics and make sure they match before you do a job search based on who hires older workers. Then, make sure your brand communicates the right things, and see how you can network into those roles.

My 6 week Job Search Program is designed for recent grades and older people alike… it’s based on informational interviews. I think informational interviews is an excellent strategy for just about any job seeker.

Back to Felons and Older People

If discrimination is the issue, and it might very well be THE ISSUE (regardless of what I wrote above), maybe you need to do what felons are advised to do: figure out your own thing.

I wrote a book about creating alternative income streams based on things I’ve heard about from people who have done it. I don’t sell the book anymore (I’m pretty much out), but you can find similar lists online (here’s a list with 55 ideas). Look for side hustle lists. If you don’t have a job, these side hustles become your main hustles. This list doesn’t quite do it for me, but I only took one second to actually look.

I had a guy come clean my windows. I think I paid him around $450. He was in his mid sixties, but his age wasn’t a deciding factor at all. As we were chatting he told me about taking his whole family, including grandkids, on a European vacation. Who imagines their window cleaner is making that kind of bank?

When you start your own business, whether it is consulting or web design or delivering flowers or whatever, you don’t face age discrimination like you would at a job. You have other challenges, like sales and marketing. But usually when I hire someone to do something (like my windows, or marketing consulting, or video editing, etc.) I don’t ask their age, nor do I ask if they just got out of prison.

Business ownership… not easy, but perhaps easier than finding a job when faced with blatant discrimination.

One last thought about these lists of ideas… many will be like “um, NO!” Cosmetologist, for example… here in Utah you have to be in school for it, which is expensive, then get I think 2,000 hours practicing, to get licensed. Unless it is your passion, I’d advise you to pass on it.

What I want you to get from those lists is inspiration. Figure out your own gig. Watch Shark Tank to see the crazy ideas people have to create income and value.

I know this is super scary. But if you have expertise in an area, why not hang your shingle and do consulting on that? It wouldn’t cost you anything to fish for clients, and see what kind of interest there actually is.

When I started JibberJobber I was still looking for a job, hoping to finally get a corner office on the top floor, and be called Mr. Alba (not really, I prefer Jason). But there came a point where I realized I was getting a lot more attention from my side business idea that I was as a job seeker. It was a lot easier to do my own thing. Maybe that is where you should focus your time.

Lost

Paul ended his emails to me with this: “I am truly lost at this point.”

My heart breaks. I know the feelings of being lost, and hopeless. For me, everything changed when I got hope, which came as I conceptualized JibberJobber. It has not been the smashing success I thought it would be (you don’t read about me on the front page of anything), but it provided HOPE at a time when I had pretty much lost all hope. It was enough to get me on a good path, instead of a path where I kept hitting dead ends.

JibberJobber lead to blogging, which lead to my first book, which lead to getting paid to speak, which lead to consulting and writing and more books, and eventually to my Pluralsight courses. All of that lead to a 10 month job a couple of years ago, which was one of my best and most favorite jobs, but even that went away. Even so, my other things were still there, waiting for me to pick up again. I was sure I knew how to create an income… and I have.

It took creativity, persistence, courage, etc. But most of all it took HOPE.

It is my earnest desire that you, Paul, can find hope in whatever you choose to do. When you get that hope, the whole world brightens again, and opportunities somehow present themselves.

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