Five Life Changes to Become More Supportive

April 5th, 2021

Last week I had an eye opening chat with one of my favorite people, Shelley Benhoff. You can watch it on YouTube here.

Pluralsight YouTube Shelley Benhoff

I asked Shelley about her advice for girls and women who are interested in a STEM/tech career. I also asked her for advice to guys who work with women in STEM, and how they can be more supportive. This has really been on my mind lately (as I was getting ready to talk to her about it), and I just can’t stop thinking about it. I recently woke up with some very specific ideas I think will help people be more supportive of women, and really, anyone, at work.

I have to say, I think most of us are trying to make work a better place. If that is you, think about these five ideas. I know they have helped me think about how I can support others.

First, nurture an abundance mentality.

I hate hearing people are mad that someone else got a job or promotion because of reasons outside of performance. Of course, this happens. And no, it is not fair. But you need to change your focus from disgust and hate and jealousy to thinking “okay, how can we make this pie bigger?”

Abundance mentality is so powerful. Instead of thinking “they got that job, and so there is no other opportunity for anyone else,” think “they got that job, and we are doing really well, and soon there will be more opportunities.” Abundance mentality is the opposite of zero-sum game theory. Zero-sum game says “if they get something, I don’t.” But during my entire career I’ve never seen where someone gets an opportunity and that shuts doors for everyone else.

Please, I beg you, start thinking about abundance mentality. There is an abundance of opportunity. We just need to find or create it. When you start to believe in abundance mentality it becomes a lot easier to support others, even when we think they got something we thought we deserved.

Second, celebrate wins of others.

When my wife and I bought our first house we were over-the-moon excited. The house was really nice for us, and where we were at. I had just gotten my first real (big) job, and we had a couple of kids. The house was big enough for us to grow into. And it had a (very old but functional) hot tub under a covered patio!

We had friends and family come over… you know how that is. People are curious to see how others are doing, so they come see your new digs. My wife was shocked when some people made comments that expressed jealousy, or other negative feelings. She really thought others would be as excited for as as we were, and was disheartened to hear comments that were less than supportive. We had a few conversations and she taught me an important lesson: Instead of comparing our lives and wins and accomplishments with others, we need to celebrate with them.

Is this easy to do? Not always. When you feel like you have worked harder, are smarter, etc., and you deserve goodness, and then you see someone else get what you thought you deserve before you get it, it’s hard. Shakespeare wrote plenty about jealousy. The old religious books write about jealousy. This is nothing new. Recognize that jealousy is not good, nor is it healthy. Work through the jealous feelings and get to a point where you genuinely care about others to the point of being happy for their wins.

This goes hand in hand with abundance mentality thinking. If you think the pie is a limited size it’s easier to be jealous. When you shift to an abundance mentality you can think “they got goodness, and we can all get goodness!”

Third, recognize your colleague has a whole world outside of work.

It’s critical that we think about people as humans. They have a mother, father, aunt, spouse, kids, even neighbors and other friends, outside of work. When you have jealous, unsupportive feelings about others you are discounting the goodness that others see in them. Maybe they donate their time or resources to good causes. Your lack of support impacts their ability to function and contribute to their other circles.

I think too often we see one another at work as a title, a role, and sometimes a competitor. We worry about what they’ll take from us, not realizing that when they get a raise, promotion, bonus, or even just recognition, that might carry over into how they parent, or their outside relationships. Why shouldn’t we be happy for, and supportive of them, as they have professional accomplishments?

Many times when we think about our own accomplishments we think about how that will change our home life, or our future. We need to think of our colleagues as humans, and afford them the same benefits.

Fourth, admit that you can’t possibly do it alone.

Funny story: When I was in college I had finally settled on a major. It wasn’t computer science… it was the business college alternative (computer information systems). I had two programming classes, and a handful of other tech classes. I looked at others in the college of business, especially marketing and management, and thought “well, good luck getting a job or having a meaningful career.”

Yes, I was immature, short-sighted, and dumb.

Anyway, at my low point in this thinking I remember walking through the liberal arts building with the English and history majors. I remember thinking they made some really, really bad decisions. They chose easy majors to get through school, and would pay for it later when they tried to have a meaningful career. I regret that line of thinking.

Fast forward a bit and I had an epiphany: while I might be the one to create cool technology, or lead teams that created cool technology, without people who knew how to write and communicate and do other things, I would not be able to see the success I wanted. I needed other people. I needed their diverse skills and thinking.

Since then I’ve worked with some brilliant non-technologists. Wordsmiths, presenters, negotiators, leaders, etc. My thinking was so myopic I couldn’t understand why I’d need others around me. And then, when I had them around me, and I could see their brilliance, I realized I was probably the least important around.

No… even that is wrong thinking. We all contribute. We are all needed. We all add value.  Please, appreciate what others can bring, when they feel safe. Think about what you can bring when you feel safe! Appreciating this can help you move past the feelings of jealousy and into a place where you are supportive of others.

Fifth, remember others supported you, even when they maybe shouldn’t have.

At some point in your career you were wrong. You were new, stupid, immature, and probably made plenty of mistakes. I’m not saying that “marginalized people” are stupid or immature or full of mistakes, but I want you to remember that when you were a dork, or an expensive investment, someone took a chance on you. Whether that was hiring you in the first place, sending you to training, giving you a promotion, letting you work on a hard project or with a key customer, you have likely been the beneficiary of someone giving you a chance.

The reality is that someone supported you. I’m not saying they put you on easy street. I’m sure you have worked hard and taken advantage of opportunities. But I’m sure that some people thought, “Maybe I’ll give this person a chance and see what they can do.” I beg you to give this same opportunity to others. Help them with a chance, and then mentoring and coaching. Some of the most rewarding parts of my career have been when I’ve done that, and seen people step up, grow, and deliver.

Bonus, do all of this without any expectations.

I know how disheartening it is to support someone, to go to bat for them, and get nothing in return. Not acknowledgement, not a thank you, not even a head nod. Maybe, you support someone, and it bites you later.

Please support others without expecting or hoping that you’ll get anything more than self-fulfillment. The more you expect in return, the higher the chances people feel your intentions are not genuine. I’m not saying to give everything away and hope for nothing, but if you were to give and support because it is the right thing to do, goodness will come back to you. It might be through wealth and friendships, but it might just be through a peace of mind you get from a clean conscience, and knowing you have lived a good and noble path.

This is our life.

Our life is too short to be a jerk, harbor unfounded hatred, and be jealous. Sure, you could do that, but you’ll live in a level of miserable that you don’t need to. Doing the things above have allowed me to have more joy and happiness than when I don’t.

Let’s all work for an more enriching, meaningful life. Supporting others is a great way to get there.

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Why You May Hate Your Next Dream Job

October 29th, 2019

I talk to a lot of job seekers, and one of the highlights of my day is when I hear that one of my JibberJobber users landed a job. Wahoo!! So awesome!

This post might seem a little dark or jaded, but I think it’s an important conversation. Why? Because not all dream jobs are dream jobs. And because once you get your dream job I don’t want you to let your guard down.

Multiple times I’ve had people write and say “I’m deleting my account, I landed my dream job and don’t need it anymore!” It was their contact lists, histories, contact information, log entries of conversations…. lots of valuable information!

Please, don’t let one cool job derail your career management mindset! So many things can change!

Here are some reasons why your dream job might not be your dream job (and what you can do about it):

Pay isn’t what you thought.

One of my first jobs was filling tortillas at Taco Bell. I remember getting my first paycheck and staring at it. What the heck happened to all my money?? All the fingers dipping into my paycheck took out way more than I thought fair. Fast forward, I get old(er), and the same things happens… what you need (or want) to make now might be way different than what you would have thought. For example, making “six figures” used to be a big deal…. and it is. But it doesn’t mean you are on easy street… just wait to see your paycheck and you might think “gulp! I need a side gig!”

What can you do about it? Get serious about your finances. The equation is not just what comes in (income) but what goes out (expenses). What can and should you cut? Is it time to downsize or simplify?

These become important questions no matter how much you make, especially if you want to keep some of it for later (retirement)!

JibberJobber Pay Check

They did a bait and switch on description.

Nick Corcodilos (Ask the Headhunter) just wrote about this: Does your job match its original job description? This is not uncommon. I’ve experienced it plenty. I generally like the flexibility, but when you are hired to do something you like or something you are good at and then your job changes, that can be a real problem. Goodbye dream job.

What can you do about this? You can try to have a difficult conversation with your boss or the management. You could try to look for another role inside the company. You could give the new role a try, and learn the ropes. Or, you could start looking for something that fits what you really want to do at another organization.

JibberJobber Bait and Switch

You find out your manager is the manager from hell.

I’ve had more than one of these. The stress put me in instacare once, thinking I was having serious heart issues. Just a pre-ulcer. If your manager is from hell, good luck with that. Even if they were the coolest person you interviewed with, working for them can be a completely different story.

What can you do about it? Well, I think either you or they have got to go. I don’t know, maybe you like the challenge, and want to give them the benefit of the doubt, and help them change. For me, this is about as successful as helping a Dementor become a good guy.

So either you go, or you wait for them to go. Many times they leave the company. But too often crummy managers stay around or get promoted. I have no idea why this happens, but it doesn’t help your situation much. I’d say stay with a paycheck as long as you can do your job, but start looking elsewhere asap. I don’t recommend complaining to HR… for obvious reasons.

JibberJobber Manager from Hell

You just have no chemistry with your manager or team.

You know when you just aren’t wanted or valued? Or, when you are around people all day but feel like you aren’t part of the team? This could have everything to do with the chemistry at work. If you don’t fit in it might not feel like a dream job anymore.

What can you do about it? Well, look inside. Maybe it’s you. Maybe you are having a hard time with this transition, or you need to work through some things and let your guard down. Maybe you didn’t give a good first impression. Try to fit in a little more… do some of the team building things they do. But if that doesn’t work I’d say do you job, collect your pay, and get looking. There are more fish in the sea, as they say.

JibberJobber Team Chemistry

You realize your department is a unicorn among donkeys.

I have worked on a special team when the rest of the company was just doing normal work. Everyone was contributing, of course, but my team was special. We got special allowances and had special objectives. And the difference between what we were doing and what the rest of the company was doing was just too much for others to understand…. especially to understand why our team worked different than theirs. It can be hard to feel like you work at an awesome company when people there don’t know how to treat you.

What can you do about it? Hang in there and do your job. Just realize that you are going to be different. Gain strength from your teammates who are in the same boat. However, if your special project isn’t supported by executives or other managers, watch out. Your days may be numbered. If this really bothers you, look for other roles within the company, or start networking outside of the company.

JibberJobber Team Unicorn Donkeys

The company has integrity issues.

Of course, you aren’t going to know about this during the interview process. But if you find out the company, any of the officers or managers, or even your boss or colleagues have integrity issues, you need to figure out how to get out. Nothing good will come of working there. If their brand is bad, having that company on your resume might do you more harm than good. If law enforcement gets involved you might end up in jail. If nothing else, you might feel too much stress because of the disparity between your level of integrity and theirs.

Just get out. If it’s really bad, get out even if you don’t have anywhere else to go. I hardly ever recommend that, but you need to be wise about your associations. It might be better to be unemployed than to get stuck with legal issues because of your employer.

JibberJobber Integrity Issues

Office politics are too much.

Office politics can be so lame. They are funny in The Office, but when you have to live in an environment where politics dominate your day and thinking, you are no longer in your dream job. Office politics can be dangerous, if you are on the wrong side of the politics. If you are in favor with those who are in power, great. Fun. Safe. But you never know how long you will be safe.

Hopefully leadership will get on the issue and change the culture. But if they don’t, if they are weak leaders (or, more hands-off), then you are just going to be stuck in a whirlpool of yuck until you get out. Changing departments, to a new boss, could be like going to another planet. I’ve seen someone go from a depressed, suppressed team to a team that is just right for them.

JibberJobber Office Politics

You have imposter syndrome.

This shocked me last year. I have ego enough for you and me… but when I landed a super dream job last year I spent a few months wondering why they hired me, and if I could actually contribute to the team. Whether I was going to work or on my way home, I was usually questioning my value there. Feeling that insecure was weird.

I got through it by piecing together various comments over multiple meetings where I realized that yes indeed I had value to add. Whether it was knowledge, experience, or work ethic, I was there for a good reason. Time is what I needed, and with time I moved on from imposter syndrome. If that doesn’t help you, read up, study, get some courses, and come up to speed on what you think you need to not be an imposter. Do a serious deep dive in your area. Even if what you read is boring, or you already know it, at least you’ll know what the experts (cough cough, I mean authors) think.

JibberJobber Imposter Syndrome

You find you are just bored.

Aside from the fact that you might just get bored easily, if you are in a bureaucratic environment you might find you don’t get to do what you were hired to do. When the company values archaic systems over real output, you might find yourself living in a groundhog nightmare. I found that coming into a company with an entrepreneur mindset frustrating some people, and I heard “that’s no in your swim lane” more than once :p I could see things getting boring if I spent more time playing The Game than actually adding value to a company.

What can you do about this? Figure out the loopholes in The Game. Figure out how you can do the work you want get done, and spend less time in The Game. But don’t neglect somehow letting the right people know what your value is. I’m not saying to write it in lipstick on the bathroom mirror… but don’t quietly do your thing and assume people know the goodness is coming from you. Be smart about your brand at the new company.

JibberJobber Bored

One of the most powerful things you can do is to create multiple revenue streams. Another powerful thing you can do is continue networking, continue developing your personal brand… continue with your career management!

This is one reason why JibberJobber is a lifelong career management tool, not just a tool for when you are in the job search.

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New On The Job? How To Announce Yourself To Customers

April 13th, 2015

I got this email from a sales professional last week:

“I manage a large territory for my company and I am fairly new here and have a lot of customers.

I have probably only met or talked with 20% of them which are the ones that purchase regularly. The other 80% have purchased in the past and it is very possible they could purchase more or have upcoming projects but they don’t know me or forgot about our company.

Should I send an email blast introducing myself?

This is different than a marketing blast, rather, it is a way for me to reach out to a lot of people but it takes away the personal touch.

Do I do that or take the time to address each one in a separate email with a generic this is who I am and what my company offers and contact me if you have questions, need help, etc.

My initial response was, YES, definitely do this.

I’ve been marketing myself, as a job seeker, and then my business, for 9+ years.  What I’ve learned is that if you do not put yourself in front of people, they forget about you.  You are responsible for getting and staying in front of your audience.

I’ve also learned that the initial contact is just barely breaking the ice.  They key is to get in front of them regularly, as appropriate.  That is one reason why you have CRM systems.  If your company doesn’t provide a CRM system to you, then use JibberJobber.  If your company does provide a CRM to you, but you are making great friendships and professional contacts that you want to take to your next job, then use JibberJobber :)

Here are my specific thoughts and reactions to this person’s questions:

Is this going to be okay with your company/boss?  I can’t imagine a sales professional getting into trouble for sending this type of email, but you might want to check with your boss.  They might know something about a customer they fired (that you shouldn’t get in touch with), or they might point you to some tools or queries to make what you want to do easier.

Should it be one bulk email (BCC, of course!) or multiple individual emails? Pros and cons of both.  I would say it depends on a few things… where are you sending it from?  If you send from a Gmail or Verizon or a personal account (which I wouldn’t recommend), they have daily sending limits.  Going over those limits might get you in trouble (ie, getting locked out of sending email for 24 hours). If you bulk send from your work account, and your email server is on blacklists, count on maybe 5% of your emails getting through (I don’t know the percentage, but just assume hardly any get through).  The idea of doing one bulk email is nice because it’s faster, but I’m not convinced it’s that reliable.

Sending individual emails is more reliable, I think, and you might do 20 – 50 each day. This will even help you manage the responses, over days, instead of all in the first day or two.  But it will obviously take more time. The real question is how many emails are you sending?  If it’s 10,000, do bulk and go from there.  If it’s just a few hundred, send a few dozen each day until you finish.

About the “personal touch,” you can easily do that with individual emails… but you can also do it in bulk.  There are programs you can use (like mailchimp, and even outlook) that can merge names with a general body of text…

What information should the email have?  The number one purpose of this email is to introduce yourself.  In doing that, you’ll reinforce the branding of your company (in other words, remind the customer that your company exists and has stuff for them). You should give them contact information… work and cell # (that’s how salespeople roll, right?).  Keep the email short… don’t go into new products, etc.  I would let them know I’m the new rep, I’m excited to be there, and I’m easy to reach (and I’m responsive).  I want them to know that I’m their partner and want to help their projects be successful.   I will include a one-liner about my company, like “we manufacture the best widgets for the _______.” so people can remember where I fit into their life.  And, as overwhelming as this might sound, I invite them to call me in the next week (or two) and tell me what projects they are working on, what they have coming up, any issues from past projects with our stuff, etc.

I want this email to start the relationship, and invite them to let us take it to the next level.  That might be a emails, it might be a phone call, it might be a face-to-face… but let me introduce you to me and let’s start a relationship.

How often should I follow-up?  What should the follow-up have?  Make sure this first email is not the last email.  As a customer I know I need multiple communications before I trust you, and I need you to hit me at or around the right time (or, when I’m in the market to buy your stuff).  I suggest doing a blast, en bulk, each month.  This can be short, it can talk about new products, or it can talk about case studies where your products/services helped other customers.  The last thing would be the most interesting read for me.  It keeps me engaged (because it’s fun to read), and shows me that you understand that my success is important to me, and it’s also important to you.  I’m not just a customer to help you meet your quota, but you really care. The key?  MONTHLY.

How do I justify future follow-ups?  What if I have nothing new to say or report?  Then create something.  Talk to your customers and ask them if they could share some of their wins with your list.  If you don’t get those stories, then create information that will help others… suggestions, tips, best practices, industry news, etc.  Don’t write too much – we all suffer from information overload, and you don’t want to be that email that I’m sure to delete.

Is that it?  Will I be successful with this strategy?  I don’t think so. I think you need to have an integrated sales/marketing approach… that is, pick up the phone. Meet customers in person.  Don’t just rely on email.  But you already knew that.

Now, get your email constructed, proof it for type-os and grammar, and make sure the messaging is exactly what your customers should understand, and then send it.  

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Six Things To Do Before You Leave Your Job

April 29th, 2014

I’m doing some research on how to onboard yourself once you land your next job. I found this great (important) article on TheMuse titled 6 Things to Do Before Leaving Your Job.


I hadn’t thought about it much because I focus so much on forward-facing stuff, not what to do to tie up loose ends from a job you have left.  But Leslie Moser is absolutely right.  Her six things are (read her post to get more):

  1. Write a transition plan
  2. Archive, archive, archive (don’t archive information that is not yours, though)
  3. Figure out your health insurance (COBRA is a joke… it is SO expensive)
  4. Have an exit interview (be careful not to burn bridges in this interview, though!)
  5. Keep in touch! (I know this can feel very awkward)
  6. Plan a vacation (take some time, but NOT TOO MUCH TIME!)

A book I’ll recommend is Scot Herrick’s I’ve Landed My Dream Job – Now What???  This book helps you plan your first 30 days on the job, and includes thoughts on wrapping up well from your last job.

In the amazon review I love the person points out that Scot’s book helped her put together a 30/60/90 day plan… FOR AN INTERVIEW!  So maybe this book is a great interview prep book… ?




LinkedIn for Job Seekers Videos: Fourth Edition!

February 11th, 2014

Well, I finally did it – I finished the recordings for the fourth edition of LinkedIn for Job Seekers.  This edition will be streaming only, which will cut the cost down on producing DVDs as well as make it easier for me to do updates.

You can check it out here.

The most apparent change in this series is the layout change.  The third edition is, I think, almost two years old, and there have been a lot of changes to LinkedIn’s layout.  The most notable would be the header/menu, which has significantly been pared down (some of the favorite things are missing :( ), and the huge, massive overhaul to the LinkedIn Profile.

Functionally, the biggest change would be the absence of LinkedIn Answers, which for many years had been my #1 favorite feature.  Most of the functionality that you found in Answers can be done in Groups, but not as easily, and perhaps not as effectively.  We go into that.

There were other functional changes… most of which had to do with stuff either disappearing completely or moving from a free to a premium feature.  I have a free account and focus on helping you get more value from the free account.

In this video series, which is appropriate for job seekers as well as business owners (who probably feel like job seekers every morning!), I want you to learn out to OPTIMIZE.

Optimize your chance to be found when someone is searching for you – this has to do with your Profile, and somewhat what Groups you (a) are in and (b) participate in.

Optimize how you share your brand – what message are you sharing, where, how often, etc.

Optimize your Profile, and the messaging you give there.  I was finally inspired to update my Profile (which is a fluid, changing project) and made some really important enhancements.

Optimize your results – we’re on LinkedIn for a reason, right?  Make sure you understand that reason and work towards that reason, instead of just being there because everyone else is.  I’m not about herd mentality… I want you to purposefully seek, and get, value.

The cost of this training is $50.  You have access to it as long as you wish. I ask that you do not share access with others, and you don’t show it in “public settings,” like at a university.  However, if you want to show a video or two at a job club, feel free to do that.

Finally, did you know we’ve been working hard on enhancing JibberJobber and making it more value-add to you?  Not only have we added new functionality, and cleaned up some stuff, we dropped the price of the optional premium level by 40%… to $60. If you are interested in the awesome premium features (including the oh-so-useful Email2Log feature), you can get both the 12 month upgrade and the LinkedIn video series for only $99.

Let me know if you have any questions, and if you want me to add any other trainings into the LinkedIn series.

Whew!  Glad to finally get this updated!

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Scot Herrick Links and Blog (and book)

December 17th, 2013

Scott Herrick wrote I’ve Landed My Dream Job – Now What??? (part of my Now What series)

I got a ping from my blog when he linked to one of my favorite posts, and checked out the context.  I really like Scott’s thinking – he  is very purposeful, and very experienced.  I would pretty much listen to anything he said/wrote.  Check him out at Cube Rules.  Here’s his book on Amazon: I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???


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Four more weeks until Jan 2. What are you doing to prepare?

December 2nd, 2013

I’ve run JibberJobber since 2006 and have found that January through March or April is the time when most people are (finally!) really serious about their own career management.

December feels like a month when you can’t really do anything… people complain that it’s a horrible month for the job search.  Employees are out of the office, on vacation, and hiring decisions are left until the new year… so why try?

When I was in my job search I didn’t care what holiday it might have been, or whether it was a weekend or 3 am.  I had anxiety, and I felt a great sense of urgency to do something to end my unemployment!  I wasn’t doing the right things, but I certainly wasn’t going to celebrate anything (like a national holiday) simply because everyone else was.  It’s hard to feel festive when you feel like an incompetent.

What’s more, many job search coaches say the holidays are definitely a time to do job search stuff, even if you employ different tactics.  But let’s say you doing believe any of that stuff… what COULD/SHOULD you do between now and January 2nd?

Whether in a job search or not, smart, astute, “self-driven” professionals are going do something.  It might be as baby-step simple as listing 10 – 20 people they need to talk to, or 10 – 20 companies they want to network into come January.

It might be something as in-depth and time-consuming as writing a book (even if it is a small ebook) with the purpose of establishing and enhancing their personal brand.

That “something might be seriously considering, or starting, a side business, to create an alternative/multiple revenue stream and maybe even start down the path of 100% self-employment.

Depending on what your year (or last quarter) looked like, you might simply take this month off to do “nothing” – like read some books or articles you’ve been meaning to catch up on, take a real vacation and mentally, spiritually and physically recharge, to be ready for the next year.

Whatever you do, please don’t give up on December.  Whether it is a strategic and very tactical job search to hopefully get some interviews or offers lined up in January, or a more long-term career management strategy, take the time to do something on purpose to finish out this year.

I can’t tell you what it should be – so you tell me… what will it be?



Promote Yourself: Personal branding and career book, and the Tim Ferriss effect

September 5th, 2013

Dan Schawbel finally got his next book out: Promote Yourself.   I don’t have a copy but there is a lot of info you can find in blog posts online (like this one from LinkedIn global spokeswoman Lindsey Pollak).

Dan will be on October’s Ask The Expert call on Oct 1.  Join us here, and send me any questions you have for the call.

Dan has done a masterful job promoting himself.  I’ve watched his career/business blossom over the years. I even shared the stage with him in North Carolina (Charlotte).  It was the one and only time we’ve met in person.

Tim Ferriss tweeted a link to a post Dan wrote:

tim_ferriss_promote_yourselfApparently it took Dan’s website down.  That is a big deal.  I used to crave mentions like hot superstars like that, tweeting and blogging about my stuff… Dan has worked very hard to get the attention he is getting.

I’m guessing this is a personal branding + career smarts + generational stuff (Dan is a big Gen Y advocate) book… if that sounds like your cup of tea, check it out here.

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51 Alternatives to a Real Job on the Kindle (link below)

July 25th, 2013

I finally got 51 Alternatives to a Real Job on the kindle.  Click here to purchase it.

Still, one of my favorite quotes in the reviews, by Mike Hudson:

 51 Alternatives is not an answer book, it is a question book, and that question is “Why not?”

This is definitely a why not book.  I think some of the ideas in here are “too far out there” for many people.  But if you get tired of having layoffs hanging over your head, or if you wonder why you are only making $x/hour and barely scraping by, or if you just want to feel more empowered personally, then WHY NOT?

I’ll never forget an email I got from a friend who makes a bunch of money in a job that takes him away from his family 5 or 6 days a week, for the last many years.  He commented that he didn’t have the guts to do what I was doing… here is his question with my reply (which I blogged, of course):

I got an e-mail today from a buddy in Texas:

I am glad to hear your business is doing well. I wish I had your skills to go out and start my own business, but I am too big of a chicken.

So here is my formula for “going out and starting your own business:

  1. Focus 150% on your career, give your life and time and thoughts to “the company.”
  2. Get laid off because of any lame reason.
  3. Work 60 hours a week looking for a job.
  4. Have a great looking resume that has some ghost problem (something that is a problem but you can’t find).
  5. Have an aha moment that is “wow, this would be really cool!!”
  6. Continue to not be able to get a job (much less a couple of interviews)
  7. Figure that going forward on your own business is going to be more fruitful than spinning the job search window (this was months into the job search)
  8. Being okay with giving up all of the corporate perks (steady paycheck, bonus, holidays, sick leave, “cheap” health insurance, etc.)

There you go. There’s my guts. Where are yours?
frog dissection where are your guts?

Do you have the guts to ask WHY NOT?  Check out the WHY NOT book, 51 Alternatives to a Real Job.  Now on your kindle browser :)




How to Switch To A Completely Different Industry (Management to Video Production)

June 3rd, 2013

I got a great email from someone… their email is in bold and my response is in not-bold:

I’ve been in ________ Management for several years and that’s what’s on my resume, but it would be nice to turn my hobby and first love of video production, editing, and graphic arts into a source of income. 

Cool… big transition!  It’s good to know what you want to do and pursue it, if it can support your lifestyle.

Problem is, NOBODY will simply hire me to do this without a competitive resume with years of experience. 

I think the video production, editing and graphics arts are specialized enough that I might hire three different people to do each of those.  I’m not sure a “resume” is going to get you the gig, because you have to get into the right interview first.  Regarding “years of experience,” above you say this is your passion and first love, so I wonder what other projects you’ve done.  Maybe no commercial projects but if you have done projects that might be all I need to take a gamble on you…

I wonder if you focus on one or two of the three things you list, instead of all three.  For example, bring a graphics artist in to complement you.  If you network enough and well with those specialists, maybe they will bring YOU in on video projects…?

Replacing your last job is hard enough, but changing careers requiring a whole set of skills (which you may have sans the experience part) is nearly impossible.  

We talked about this on my Dick Bolles Ask The Expert call.  It is definitely not easy but you can do it.  How do you position yourself?  Generally, my simple thoughts are to figure out and talk about your “transferable skills.”  You’ll probably have to pull from your off-time for graphics and video products you’ve done.  BUT, what if you pull together some contractors you can tap into and then focus on the product/project management of the project, as well as sales and marketing?  Get some great commercial projects under your belt and that should lead to more.

Again, watch Dick’s interview. I don’t remember when we talked about this but his response blew me away.

The ONLY option that I can foresee is to go independent and adopt a very aggressive marketing and networking campaign to drum up business.  

The “very aggressive marketing and networking campaign” you would do to drum up business is virtually the same you should do in a job search.

In my job search, seven years ago, I had to make a decision.  Do I spend time working towards “a job,” which someone might take away again, or do I spend time working towards long-term financial independence, which do I do?  I chose to shift gears, work as hard as I was on my job search, and took a gamble.

For you, what I would recommend is to build up a portfolio of projects.  Make some up for yourself, or beg and convince friends at businesses to do things for them.  As your portfolio grows it will be easier to have people know and think about and choose you for their projects.

My personal proof was here, in this post from 2006: Substantiate Yourself


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