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Massive Changes in JibberJobber for Better Job Tracking

March 17th, 2021

For many months we have been working on some massive changes. Looking back on the history of JibberJobber I can’t remember a project that was bigger than this one. Although maybe I’m just forgetting the other big ones because they were so big I wanted to move on from them :p

Anyway, we are undergoing a change in the foundational code of JibberJobber that should do a few things. These are important to us because they give us more flexibility. They are important to you because you might notice some changes and think “huh, that is cool.” Hopefully they make your experience more delightful.

Better User Experience / User Interface

The reason we implemented this change was to update the look and feel of JibberJobber. What we hope you see in the next month or so is Phase I of this. We basically changed the entire UI architecture. In the test environment I can see some changes, but to be honest it’s not like it’s night and day. Sometimes I can’t tell what has changed. But here’s the cool thing: Since we are on a new infrastructure we’ll be able to make some really cool and noticeable changes easily and faster. JibberJobber launched in 2006 and a LOT has changed in online everything since then. We’re just upgrading what’s under the hood so we can easily make changes to the UX and UI later.

If you do notice some changes, congrats. I think they will be fairly subtle… or at least subtle for what I have in mind.

Faster… Just Plain Faster

Because we are using newer technologies things are loaded faster. In some cases, A LOT faster. We hope you notice this as you navigate through JibberJobber. And this is just another step to making things faster… we have some other optimizations planned. Hopefully you see the speed increases… but you might just see a website that is as fast as it should have been in the first place.

Will Be More Responsive

Responsive means the site “responds” to the screen or device you are on. We’ve had some issues where a smaller screen looks weird, or a bigger screen looks weird. The new UI changes should be fully optimized for devices of different sizes. This wasn’t a primary purpose of this massive update but it was definitely a nice little bonus.

Mobile is Changing

So we’ve had a love/hate relationship with mobile from the beginning. Actually, in the beginning there wasn’t really such a thing as mobile. Mobile phones in 2006 were… weak and slow. No one expected a good mobile experience, especially for a system as complex as JibberJobber, basically a CRM for job seekers. A few years later that changed and we eventually developed native mobile apps for both Android and Apple products. To be honest, they were a massive pain. The experience was different. But the real pain was submitting things to the Google or Apple stores. Seriously, a massive pain. We had to pay to be a member (or whatever), which was nominal but lame. When we submitted our app they would review it, sometimes taking weeks to get back to us. Many times they would kick it back for some super minor reason, only delaying us updating the app. I could go on and on, but the bottom line is the native mobile experience we delivered was painful for everyone… our users and my developers and me.

I found out that the new UI changes would take us in a whole new direction. I won’t go into the technical aspects of it here but basically UI has advanced to the point where it is closer and closer to replacing what native apps could and should do. It’s supposedly the future of mobile. Once we go live with these new changes we’ll retire the native apps, and you should have a more streamlined JibberJobber experience with an updated mobile experience. I’m really hopeful that this is the right direction. If it is I’ll be more than happy to let my accounts on the mobile app delivery services lapse.

Problems?

We’ve been testing this for months. We’ve been testing with so many different scenarios and technologies and browsers and devices it makes my head spin. Our QA objectives are to find any issues before you do, but that is kind of impossible. We have so many smart, clever users that you somehow find things we didn’t even conceptualize. If you have ANY issues after we release, please let us know. There’s a Contact Us link at the bottom of every page… we want to hear from you.

We watch everything you report because we realize once there is an issue reported by one person it’s only a matter of time before everyone sees it. We try to find and fix as soon as possible so no one notices. Anything you find, send it in, no matter how small it seems. We’ll be watching for your messages.

THANK YOU

JibberJobber launched in May of 2006 with some really modest goals. The mission, though, was to help job seekers around the world with one part of their job search: staying organized, and tracking jobs and contacts and follow up.

We’ve had thousands of people use JibberJobber since 2006. We’ve been a part of many job searches. And my hope is we’ve been a part of providing some calm and peace to an otherwise crazy time in your life. Thank you for using JibberJobber, for upgrading, and for telling your friends about us.

 

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How To Use a Job Tracker App?

March 15th, 2021

JibberJobber has been called a lot of things, but what we specialize in is how to track jobs in your job search. Since 2006 we have been on a mission to help people who outgrow the job search spreadsheet (which is a great job tracker for about the first two weeks of a serious job search) use an online and more sophisticated job tracker to keep track of all of the stuff that comes your way. Here are the steps to use a job tracker app to manage your job search:

  1. Track new contacts you make while in your job search
  2. Track everyone you send a resume to
  3. Track who who you have interviewed with
  4. Track every target company
  5. Track conversations or touchpoints you have with everyone
  6. Track any follow up you need to do
  7. Track every job you have applied to, or been interested in

I realize each of these might seem like overkill but let me go back to the “spreadsheet is good for about two weeks” idea. A job search is HARD for many reasons. It can be one of the most emotionally taxing things you go through. You can do everything you should and find that hiring managers and recruiters put you off for months, and networking goes south. There’s nothing linear about a long, hard job search. The last thing you need is to be so disorganized that you can’t communicate well with people, your forget follow up opportunities… you even forget that you have applied to certain jobs at certain companies (I’ve done all three).

Let’s go into each of steps to track a job search listed above:

Use a job tracker app to track new contacts

A job seeker should network. Period. No ifs-ands-or-buts about it. You should talk to people, hopefully getting introductions to more people. Then you talk to them and get more introductions. Supposedly most jobs are found because of networking. This happens when people know and trust you… and when they know about you. Getting known, and sharing what your brand is, should be a significant part of your job search. I started to make traction only when I got out and talked with people, not when I spent hours and hours and hours applying to jobs online.

JibberJobber is a great replacement to the job search spreadsheet to track jobs.

Use a job tracker app to track where you send resumes

Regardless of how much networking you do you will send your resume, or fill in an online application. I’ve gone through the job offer process and been asked, after accepting the job, “will you fill this out so we have you in our HR system?” If you find a job posting that is PERFECT for you, apply for it! I’m not going to tell you to not apply for jobs online. But once you apply for it, figure out how you can network into that job, or the decision maker for that job. Tracking who gets your resume might seem easy but then consider which version of which resume you sent to who? I might give someone two or three different resumes, depending on the job I’m applying to. Fun fact: it was when I had applied to six different jobs at eBay, which was just a few miles from my house, that my spreadsheet blew up. It was too confusing to track so much complexity with a spreadsheet (as opposed to a relational database).

Use a job tracker app to track who you have interviewed with

I know you won’t forget who you interview with… for a day or two. But once you start having a lot of conversations with people, and more and more interviews, and let’s throw in some panel interviews just to multiply the number of interviewers… it gets confusing! If there is anyone you SHOULD NOT forget, and definitely SHOULD foll0w up with, it is the person/people who interviewed you! These are the main influencers and decision makers you need to have conversations with!

In JibberJobber you should keep track of every person you interview with and then try to network with them, when the time is right. Look, there’s so much volatility in our careers that we really need to be open to to expanding our professional networks, even with people who don’t choose us to work with them on a particular job or project. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll be on the other side of the table from them!

Use a job tracker app to keep track of your target companies

Target companies… I thought this was such a boring part of the job search. My target company was any company that would actually hire me. The more desperate I got the less targeted I got. I’ve come to realize that having a list of target companies is critical. Knowing your target companies can help you have a more focused job search, better conversations, and make decisions on where to spend your time. Tracking who is at your target company, and what conversations you have with them, is a critical part of networking.

Having a current list of target companies will help you in many more ways than just knowing what your target companies are. I thought this was a data point but soon came to realize your target companies are central to a successful job search strategy. (Speaking of job search strategy, check out the Job Search Program)

Use a job tracker app to log important and relevant conversations

Alright.. we’ve talked about resumes, companies, people… those generally don’t change much. Names and numbers and email addresses generally don’t change. But here’s what does: where you are at with each of them. We track this in JibberJobber with “log entries,” which is basically any touchpoint, even any thought, that is relevant. Did you talk to a recruiter after an interview and get good information? That should go into a log entry. Did you email someone, have a phone call, or talk to someone at a networking event who could help you in your job search? That should go into a log entry. Not just that it happened but any details around the conversation.

Have you learned something about a job or target company that you want to keep track of? Put it into a log entry. It’s easy to think you’ll remember all these details but putting these things in a log entry can give you a peace of mind that you need in your job search. This can help you with interviews, networking, and how you position yourself.

Use a job tracker app to track any and all follow up

Follow up is one of the secret weapons of effective job seekers. Imagine the opposite: you talk to people, you interview, you send your resume… and you wait around for people to get back with you. Look, here’s the deal: people are busy! I’m busy! This morning I made a little to do list to get a bunch of ideas out of my mind and make sure I do certain things by end of day. I probably listed about 20 things on that list! I guarantee the people you are talking with… that friend who said they’d introduce you to their boss, or someone on a panel interview that said they’d get back to you on something… are busy! They want to. They have the best of intentions of helping you! But they are busy. Don’t sit around waiting for them to get to you. Instead, keep a list of your follow-up opportunities, and YOU work your list.

Can you imagine a salesperson just sitting around waiting for everyone to get back to them? Nope. Good salespeople will be proactive and reach out. As a job seeker, you need to get really good at the art of follow up.

Use a job tracker app to track jobs you find and/or apply to

Here’s another thing I didn’t realize was so important to keep track of. Tracking jobs you like, and especially jobs you apply to, is critical. These jobs can show you patterns of hiring at companies an in industries. If you record the job descriptions you’ll have some great information on words and phrases you could use in job interviews. Learning about the trends in a company or industry can help you have the right language when networking or in an interview. Oh yeah… do I even need to mention that you should keep the job description you apply to because by the time you interview you might not be able to find it online? That would be awkward… you want to know the exact title and the points in the description so you have a better interview.

Tracking your job search can feel tedious at first. But the more you track, and the more details you add, the better your job search should go when you have a lot of activity. The alternative is feeling like you are constantly confused, missing things, and wondering if you have follow up you should do.

Ready to get started? JibberJobber has pioneered online job search tracking since 2006. Sign up here

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Advice for High Schoolers Getting Ready to Go Into the “Real World”

March 12th, 2021

High school. The greatest time of your life that really doesn’t matter.

Forget High School Musical and all the other shows that show high school as the peak of existence. One of my pet peeves in school, including college, was when teachers/professors would say “when you get out into the real world…”

The real world? What is this? A safe simulation where nothing matters? Sorry kids, you are already in the real world. If your life is different than what you see in the shows, welcome to the real world. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

A friend reached out and asked me to share some of my career advice for high schoolers preparing for life after high school. If you have any advice for high schoolers reading this feel free to leave a comment below. Here are some specific topics he asked me to comment on…

What do you need to know about finances?

Financewhat? Finances, not fiancés. A word you probably have heard that will now have a lot more meaning to you than before. Many of you will be blindsided by what finances are.

(1) I remember working at Taco Bell in the 1900s. First check… I calculated what I should have gotten by multiplying (yes, you’ll use real math as an adult) my hourly pay times the hours I worked. I actually saw that number on my check! Awesome! But then there were these things called “deductions”… minus this and minus that and minus something else. What I got in my paycheck was a little more than half of what I thought I was going to get.

I felt deceived. Welcome to being an adult.

You need to know the difference between gross and net pay. Here’s how I keep track of them: Gross… the amount I thought I was going to get but I didn’t… this is gross. Net… think of all the money going to deductions slipping through the holes in a net. What you have left over is your net pay. I’m sorry… not my system, just how things are.

(2) Old boring people talk about spending less than you earn. How lame. How can you get a nice car, a TV for your apartment, a game system, nice clothes, or eat out if you spend less than you make? I mean, maybe just this one time I’ll get a loan to buy that thing I really need. After all, getting a loan is EASY.

This is a quick path to regret, and feeling like you are never getting ahead. Seriously, go without. Figure out how to live without the needed TV or the needed clothes or the needed nicer car or the needed constant eating out. One of the problems kids have when they leave their house is they think they need to maintain the lifestyle they had when living with parents… who have decades of getting their finances in order (hopefully), getting raises (hopefully), etc. You want to skip the hard parts of sacrifice and waiting… steps your parents likely didn’t skip.

How do you spend less than you earn? Make a budget. I know, I know. BORING. LAME.  Guess what? It’s how you get ahead financially. A budget is an intentional activity to help you spend less than you make and prepare for the future. This is a healthy habit that can help you with your marriage relationships. Want to be rich? Want to retire early? Want to enjoy regular vacations? Your budget is the key. Why not start now, while you have just a few items to put on your budget, rather than wait until you have poor habits and have to do some correcting? Budget monthly.

(3) Find healthy financial mentors. I believe that most of us have a bad relationship with money because of conversations we’ve had or heard at home. Money is a funny thing. I say “the more you have, the funnier it is!” But if you don’t have any it’s not funny at all. Bad money habits can ruin relationships, even marriages. Good money habits can enhance relationships. You can have a better, funner marriage when you have great money habits, and the enhanced communication that comes with it. You can find mentoring in books and articles. There are plenty of people out there that have principle-based ideas on money. Just be careful to not stray into the get-rich-quick thinking that is so toxic… and as unrealistic for most of us as being in High School Musical. By the way, my money mentor is Dave Ramsey. I listen to his short clips on YouTube.

(4) Shovels and holes. Speaking of Dave Ramsey, when people call in with their issues he’ll regularly talk about their debt as a hole and their income as a shovel. Someone with $200,000 in debt and an income of $30,000/year has a massive, huge hole and a tiny, spoon-sized shovel. The goal is to get rid of the hole, but filling a huge hole with a tiny spoon is nearly impossible. In a call like that he’ll talk about how to get a bigger shovel. You seriously need to stay out of debt (keeping your debt “hole” as small as possible) while figuring out how to get a bigger shovel. I think about this analogy regularly.

(5) Wealth vs. Peace. Speaking of getting rich quick, listen to Ramsey’s millionaire hour calls. These are only a few minutes long. Dave asks each person how they became a millionaire. I’m not saying you have to take your whole life to get there, but it’s really interesting to learn about his studies showing how people achieve wealth. If you were like me, coming out of high school, I was not interested in waiting years. But I’ve learned being that 20 year old rich guy on YouTube is… hard. So have a principal-based plan that benefits from the path many other wealthy people have had. But here’s a mindset change: is wealth what you are after? I was. Honestly, I still am. But I also want financial peace. Dave’s programs are all about “financial peace,” not getting rich. Can you get rich on his program? YES. But his principles and teachings are first geared towards helping you have financial peace. At my old, old age, I can attest that this is a more important lesson than wealth.

How Do I prepare for employment opportunities?

I couldn’t wait to get in the “real world” and start making my own way. I loved my family, and living at home, but I was so excited to figure out how to be a great success. It was scary, of course, but it was just plain exciting. The early part of my career went as well as I could have hoped. I worked my way through school with an okay job. It wasn’t a career job but it was good enough. Then, I took a risk for a lower paying job with NO benefits, but in a field I knew could be a real career. I forwent income to get experience. The sacrifice was 100% worth it.

My wife and I also tried to stay out of debt as much as possible. Instead of living off of student loans, which is so tempting (so you could enjoy college more), we hustled, working and schooling. I am NOT a morning person, and my brain shuts down around 9pm, but a regular day Monday through Friday was getting up around 6am (ouch!) and getting home around 10pm (ouch!). It was hard for both of us but it was worth it to leave school with a very small student loan that was paid off pretty quickly. I got my MBA while working full time and, if I remember correctly, had only $3,000 to pay off from that loan, which was also paid off quickly. I am pushing 50 now (which is crazy, I don’t feel this old) and I know people my age who are still decades away from paying off their student loan. There’s no financial peace in having this loan hanging out for decades, haunting you.

So, speaking of college:

What about college?

College is a funny topic. In the mid 1900’s getting a degree was really important. It was also more valuable because not as many people had one. Today, it’s pretty easy to get a college degree. I have three questions for you:

(1) What do you want to be when you grow up? If you want to work in a machine shop, or some other blue collar job, you need to figure out the path to success in that field. When I was graduating from college (I got a degree in Computer Information Systems… commonly referred to as CIS or BIS or MIS, depending on the college) I heard that pipe fitters (aka, plumbers) were making $250,000 a year in Las Vegas. Not sure how true that was, but I think I read it in a newspaper.

Um… excuse me, what?? People coming out of my program were looking at $30k to $50k/year starting out, and whatever debt they had accumulated.

Look, there are a million ways to make a living. You can get old aunt Ethel’s secret family BBQ sauce recipe and actually make it big. You can open a deli, and then expand. You can start a landscaping business and end up a millionaire. There’s no shame in blue collar when you have financial peace and the lifestyle you want. I started my full time tech career at Varsity Contractors, a few blocks down from ISU. Read about Don and Arlo, the founders. There are stories of Don walking across Pocatello with a bucket and a sponge to clean someone’s house. No, he didn’t drive. I’m guessing he didn’t get paid a lot. But he and Arlo built that company into a massive industry leading organization that, I think, did over $300 million dollars a year. I imagine they did pretty well along the way.

The other company I worked for in Pocatello was Simplot. Have you studied J.R. Simplot? He has a fascinating story. He had a sixth grade education, but started buying farms and growing potatoes. Who can be successful without having even gone to seventh grade, and growing potatoes? He was one of Idaho’s few billionaires. Like I said, there are millions of ways to make a living.

(2) How will you finance your education? If you choose to go to school, think about how to finance it. Ramsey has a lot to say about this, helping you find alternatives to very expensive schools, or at least choosing a degree where you will be able to get a job (instead of some of the ridiculous, unmarketable degrees that just burden you with debt and don’t prepare you for a career).  Like I said, I worked full time while going to school. We lived in some bad places. We kept our expenses low knowing that we were in a phase of life that would not be forever.

You can get loans but if you do, please don’t spend them on jewelry or other treats. Get a job (see “get an internship” below) and pay for your expenses as best you can. It might not be as fun as hanging out with the college kids but you can save yourself decades of pain trying to pay the stupid thing off. Be creative, go to a less expensive school, etc. You really can get out of school without a massive debt holding you back from financial peace.

(3) Why are you going to college? Years ago there was a debate about why go to college. The person asking the question is someone I have a lot of respect for. However, we disagreed on why college. His answer was to learn, of course. We need to gain knowledge to improve our lives, circumstances, the world, etc. Ignorance won’t lead us to progress, and college is the path to get out of ignorance. My answer was that, no, we don’t go to college to learn. I don’t think I knew anyone who spent tens of thousands of dollars and years of their life just to “learn.” We were all there to get a degree. A degree meant a career. Sure, I learned stuff. But I felt like the learning process was painfully slow. I also knew that learning could happen without a professor and tests. I could learn with books from the library, or online with courses, articles, blogs, etc.

If you want to go to college to learn you’ll likely be a little disappointed. Just realize that your education is a life-long adventure. You could, and should, strive to learn for the rest of your life.

So, why college? Want to be a programmer? Get online courses (I do courses for Pluralsight, the leading tech course library that costs around $300/year… compare THAT to college expenses!) and read articles. Join the #100daysofcode movement. But do it. Don’t take it easy… put some SERIOUS time into learning and building your skills.

Want to work in construction, welding, plumbing, etc.? Find the right trade school for you (ask others who are in your desired trade what they would recommend) and give it your all.

Want to own a landscaping business? START ONE. Seriously, you don’t need to take history and English classes in college to help you learn how to own and run a business. I have a business undergraduate and an MBA and I’ll be the first to tell you that you DO NOT need a degree to start a business. Oh, but the entrepreneurship degree… um. No. You DO NOT NEED IT to start and run a successful business. If you are an entrepreneur you’d have been doing entrepreneurial stuff since elementary or middle school.

There are plenty of good alternatives to a traditional college education. Most alternatives will get you what you need at a fraction of the cost, and get you earning money in your chosen profession much sooner than a 4+ year degree.

In case you think I’m a college hater, I’m not. I think it’s a great alternative for some people. But it’s not the only alternative, and it certainly doesn’t mean people who choose something else are lesser than those who have gone to college (many of which call Dave Ramsey and ask how to get out from a ton of debt).

What professions should you look at?

Which of the million professions should you look at? I have no idea. I don’t know you. Here are some thought processes to go through:

What is your risk level? If you have a high risk level you are open to doing some weird, unproven things to create income. Realize that if you are in a family or household that depends on your income you might have to consider the risk level of others. High risk might mean trying and building and failing and trying again. Low risk means you get a “steady” job, which, by the way, is usually more socially acceptable. Being an entrepreneur is hard for many reasons, including not knowing when you will get paid and being different than your peers.

What kind of lifestyle do you want? You have to figure out if you need the big house on the hill or a decent and clean house in an okay neighborhood. Of course, most of us would love to live in a castle in Genovia, but I’m guessing you weren’t born into royalty. What you get will come from what you earn. Want to shop at thrift stores or do you want expensive clothes from expensive retailers? I don’t care what your answer is… that’s your preference. But you have to consider the lifestyle you want as you choose your career. Working at a job for $16/hour might seem like an amazing job while in high school but it’s hardly enough to live on your own with your own little family. Going back to the shovel concept, you need to figure out how big your shovel needs to be in order to finance the lifestyle you want, and then do what you need to do to be able to earn that shovel.

Do you want your earning to be capped? If you want unlimited income then either own your own business or go into sales (only in a company that doesn’t cap commissions). This can be such an exciting world, but it can also be really stressful. Maybe talk to people who look like they have a lifestyle you want and ask them for career advice. You might find that a career you were really interested in is too limiting, while something you never considered actually looks fun and can earn you what you want.

How important is stability and security? cough cough… I have a news flash for you: NOTHING is secure. Not a government job, not a big, bureaucratic  job. Your income security has to do with your ability to learn, your soft skills, your ingenuity, your ability to manage change, your network, and your brand. But if you want an illusion of security, consider this as a part of the career fields you look at. Talk to people who have been in that field for decades and ask them what it’s like (see “informational interviewing” below)

Do you want to travel? There are some jobs where you are travelling all the time. Sounds fun, right? It is… the first time you get on a plane. But it can get really old after that. I know people who HATE travelling. Business travel is not the same as vacation travel.

What jobs will be great stepping stones to your desired career? There are early jobs you can work in for a few years that will really propel your career. Plenty of people get an accounting degree, work in one of the grueling Big 4 companies for a few years, and then go to work for a company as a CFO with decent pay and much better hours. Sometimes you need to think about your job as a stepping stone to get you closer and closer to what you really want. That could be because you are learning your craft, or expanding your network… don’t discount the early years of your career. They might not feel rewarding, but they can be an important part of your journey. I wish I would have enjoyed those years a lot more than I did, understanding that it was temporary and a great learning opportunity.

Get an internship (or, experience)

I was lucky to get a programming internship, during my junior year of ISU, at Simplot. I was luckier that my boss treated me like a full time programmer, which meant she gave me real jobs instead of little time-wasting jobs. This was the job I was saying I took for less money and no benefits. It seemed backwards and more than one person pulled me aside to tell me I was making a big mistake. It was no mistake. The value I got working as a programmer helped me get on a fast track when I graduated.

The value was so significant I would have done it even if they didn’t pay me.

That is a very unpopular opinion, and I’m not here to debate it, but I’ve thought about it for years, and it’s true. I would have loved to have an unpaid programming internship, even working another job just to pay my bills. Getting experience I got in my internship was invaluable.

My internship was about 18 months long (then I graduated). You can look for summer internships but if you can let me advise you to find a role that you want to be in so you learn the skills for as long as you can. Great if you can get paid for it… definitely look for someone who pays you to train you, but do anything you can to get experience.

Job Search Skills

Alright let’s jump into what I think John was asking for when he sent me a request for this blog post :) If you read through my blog here on JibberJobber you’ll see that job search is what I do. I’ve travelled the world and have done countless webinars on how to find a job. I’m all about high impact activities that will get you closer to the right job. I’ll share three ideas:

Networking: This scares some people but you need to get over it. Talk to people. You don’t have to go to networking events and mingle. For a lot of people that is intimidating. For me it is largely unfruitful. I encourage you to talk one-on-one with people. Maybe talk to your friends’ parents, or neighbors, or other adults about careers. Most adults would be happy to give you their opinions. We tend to want to help people transitioning out of school, who have a lot of decisions to make. Heck, look at this super long blog post, and I don’t even know you. But I want to share some ideas that I wish I would have heard when I was getting out of school.

Use your status as “student” or “recently graduated” to your advantage. “Hey, I’m looking at some career options and am really interested in what you do for a living. What would you advise me to do right now?” People generally love talking about themselves and giving advice, and that’s exactly what you want. Just soak it up. Learn from everyone. Don’t discount anyone.

Informational Interviews: This is easily the most powerful job search tactic I’ve come across. Most people do them wrong, and I haven’t talked to a career counselor who knows how to really do them. It’s such a powerful tactic that I created the Job Search Program. This isn’t free but it’s a powerful job search strategy where I help you, daily, for six+ weeks. Informational interviews is “networking on steroids.” It is “having the right conversations with the right people.” It is one of the fastest ways to the job you want.

Personal branding. I had no idea what this was when I started my big, first job search. Your brand has been “high school kid.” Maybe it was punk or band nerd or geek or jock or quiet one. Whatever it has been, once you graduate, things change. Your brand might become “graduated and has since lived in his mom’s basement playing video games for the last three years.” Think anyone wants to create that brand on purpose? No, except maybe a few youtubers. But that brand happens. I invite you to think about what your brand could, or should be, and figure out how to create it.

I have courses on career management, informational interviews, personal branding, etc. but you can get some good info from your own research. One of my messages is to be intentional in your career. Have goals, and plans, and get to work.

Feeling overwhelmed?

You should. But you should also feel excited. The world is literally at your feet. You have a lot of choices, and that can be scary, but you get to write your own story. Most people your age are sick of living at home and want to do things better… their way. This is natural. Realize you’ll get beat up a bit, and life will be harder than you thought. You’ll learn that your parents weren’t as dumb as you thought, and some people who seemed to have made bad choices didn’t really have other options.

You’ll also learn you are more resilient and smarter than you might have thought. You can do this. Billions of people before you have done it. Listen a lot, and do things on purpose.

Good luck!

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5 Warning Signs You Are in a Toxic Workplace

March 11th, 2021

Julie Walraven Design ResumesAlmost two years ago when we launched the Job Search Program we signed up some affiliates to resell it for us. Affiliates on the internet are a tricky business. I have turned down a lot of internet affiliate “opportunities” because they don’t know or care about the job search space. But I’m happy to have career coaches and resume writers be affiliates because they really care. If you are a career professional and want to learn about the Job Search Program affiliate program, reach out here!

Julie Walraven, owner of Design Resumes, is a friend and colleague I’ve known since… maybe 2006, when I first launched JibberJobber. We’ve only met once in person, at a conference, but we’ve communicated online and on the phone quite a bit over the years. She’s a really cool person and loves helping people in the job search. She was also one of the first affiliates to sign up for the Job Search Program, and has been bundling this six week system with her services because she knows how important it is to work a system.

Julie wrote this blog post (below). I’ll be sharing other content from our affiliates… and I’m excited for you to meet them! Without further ado, here’s Julie!

Sometimes when people finally reach out to work with me, they have been working in a toxic workplace for far too long. At this point, it is imperative that they change jobs but often they feel like they have no value.

The 5 warning signs you are in a toxic workplace

You hate going to work

When you hate going to work every single day, it is a clear sign that something is wrong. When your self-esteem takes a daily hit, the motivation for going to work even when you need the income is at zero.

Your health is being compromised

If you are otherwise healthy but now are experiencing health issues like high blood pressure or migraine headaches, it is a sign that the work environment may be affecting your health.

You hate the people you work with

While you can find yourself upset with someone on occasion, if you find this is a daily occurrence, you may be in a toxic workplace.

You feel overwhelmed daily

If your workload keeps escalating way beyond your job description and you are taking on more functions with no more compensation, this is also a toxic workplace.

You never feel appreciated

While no one should expect a high five for everything you do, if you never hear a thank you for the above and beyond work you do, you may be in a toxic workplace.

9 things you should not do when you are in a toxic workplace

  1. Lash out – No matter how frustrated you are, don’t lash out at others in the workplace or your boss. It won’t help and it could make it tougher on you.
  2. Do inferior work – The temptation to sabotage projects or just do less than you are required is there but continue to do your job.
  3. Pile on more work – this may sound like a direct contradiction of the point above, but you don’t have to take on work outside your job description. It may seem a compliment when someone asks you to take over quality control but unless you have clearly redefined your responsibilities, you may end up in a jumbo job with no end in sight.
  4. Skip work – A pattern of sick days or tardiness ends up hurting your job record. Not going to work because you don’t feel like it isn’t the answer.
  5. Start drinking – Sometimes people take up substances, such as alcohol or drugs, to cope with tough circumstances. This is only going to make things worse.
  6. Take it out on your family – Your family already knows there is something wrong, but they did not create the problem and you can’t be attacking them. Make every effort to keep the peace at
    home.
  7. Burn Bridges – As tempting as it is to bash your employer or company, keep those conversations in a safe place – not on social media or at the office gathering and certainly not when in
    conversation with potential employers.
  8. Go into hiding – Going into hiding whether physical or virtual is a bad idea. It just gives the toxic situation more power over you. By giving up things that make you happy, you won’t be happier.
  9. Vent on social media – While I passionately believe you should not go into hiding, saying I hate my job or trash-talking your company on social media is not going to help and it could stop you from moving forward in the job search or life.

What should you do when you are in a toxic workplace?

Recognize that it is happening. You often feel like it is your fault and as if you have no value. The negativity skyrockets and invades your entire mindset. It makes it difficult for you to be happy at home.

  1. Health comes first – Act by scheduling an appointment with your primary physician to double-check symptoms. While many people want to avoid medications or medical treatment, you are better off knowing and having expert advice.
  2. Make exercise a habit – the endorphins generated by exercise interact with the receptors in your brain that trigger a positive feeling in the body, leading to an energizing outlook on life. Exercise is proven to reduce stress, ward off anxiety and feelings of depression, and boost self-esteem.
  3. Start the process of finding a new job – It is tempting to stay in a role or with a company. Sometimes people think that longevity with a company is critical. While you don’t want to be a job hopper, companies are actually less willing to hire people who stay with a company for more than 10 years. Changing a job is a strategic move that should benefit you from multiple perspectives.
  4. Hire help in job search – While you might be very willing to hire an expert mechanic, lawyer, accountant, physician, plumber, contractor, or hairstylist, some people struggle with investing in expert help in their career journey. They assume they should be able to do it themselves. But ultimately, a career expert can guide you in the right direction and prepare you to make a strategic move.

If you are stuck in a toxic workplace and hate your job, let me help you start your career journey with a solid strategy aimed at helping you once again enjoy your work. Review my services and take that first step today.

Thank you Julie! 

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Personal Branding Course Updated for 2021

March 8th, 2021

Last week my newest course update went live. It is called Developing Your Personal Brand.

Pluralsight Developing Your Personal Brand Header

This course is about 2 and a half hours. I talk about what personal branding actually is, who has a brand, and what you can do to create the branding you want. I share specific tactics, tools, ideas, etc. In the last module I share examples.

When I got certified as a personal branding strategist a hundred years ago I had already written my book on LinkedIn, and I think I had written my book on Facebook. I had been blogging for years, and had been actively doing the personal branding tactics I was learning about. I was doing personal branding online and offline. I didn’t learn much in the strategy certification program because it was geared more towards people who hadn’t been thinking about personal branding… but it was good to make sure I was aligned with the best practices being taught to career leaders.

In my Career Management 2.0 course and on-stage presentations I talk about the two major components to career management: your network and your personal brand. I’ve been forced, on stage, to keep this to 45 minutes. That is really hard. Once, in Maryland, I went for almost three hours, which seems long but no one left and there were still questions after.

Personal branding got on my radar when my 2006 job search sucked and I realized part of it was my branding was non-existent. It hurt me to not have an intentional brand. So, I did a deep dive and came up with a structured approach to creating, developing, communicating, and influencing your brand.

That’s what this course is about. It’s for the active job seeker, the passive job seeker, the entrepreneur, and even the person who’s sat in the same chair for 30 years, getting close to retirement. Check it out here:

Developing Your Personal Brand

 

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The Job Search Program is INTENSE! (Updates)

March 4th, 2021

Last night I finished rerecording the Job Search Program, a six week program that focus on working an informational interviews strategy.

Currently the whole program is audio (with a bunch of text supplements), but once the editor is done with my videos it will be audio and/or video. I’m excited to have this updated with video even though I wish there was a better looking model :)

As I was recording last night there was one line that jumped out at me… I tweeted it here:

Yes, the program is intense. As you move through each of the weeks the tasks get increasingly more challenging. I start of gently so you can get your sea legs, and feel some confidence that you can work the program, but the reality is that within a few weeks you might feel uncomfortable. I’m okay with that. When I was in my job search I was uncomfortable 24 hours a day. I did things that were hard and out of my comfort zone. And, I like I said in the tweet (and the program), I’d rather do the hard things that get me back into a great job than do the hard things that come with long-term unemployment.

So, no apologies. But you have my support and my enthusiasm. If you are a Job Search Program customer, reach out to me. I invite you to, multiple times, email me. I want to know how you are doing, what your challenges are, and how I can help. Seriously, reach out to me.

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