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I talk to a lot of job seekers. I talk to a lot of coaches. Over the years I’ve had coaches say “if I tell my clients about JibberJobber they might waste their time on it, like they do on Facebook and LinkedIn!” I help them understand that JibberJobber isn’t a social network, so you won’t get lost looking at cat memes.
But their point was made, loud and clear. Coaches are concerned that job seekers are wasting their time.
That is because they are.
It is easier to do Thing A than Thing B, even though Thing A is meaningless. Example:
It’s easier to clean or organize your email than it is to email someone on your “chicken list.”
It’s easier to do some honey-do tasks than it is to go to a networking meeting.
It’s easier to revise your resume again than it is to get or go to an informational interview.
The things on the left are low-return, the things on the right are high-return. The things on the left are more comfortable, and easier to do.
I wrote this about 4 years after I got laid off because I had, by that time, worked with many job seekers, and was realizing that my personal experience with my job search and my wife was par for the course for almost everyone I talked to. That is, it is a very lonely experience, and we just didn’t know how to communicate during my job search.
We got to a point where we would communicate good news with one another, but the problem was that there wasn’t “good news.” I was running into brick wall after brick wall, with no real success. With all of these failures, with the lack of good news, I found that we weren’t communicating at all.
Not good for a relationship.
I wrote this post with 13 points and I am hopeful that it helps you recalibrate with your spouse during this exceptionally difficult period. I want you to take any of my points, and any others that you come up with, and then sit down with your spouse and have a real, open conversation.
The job search is not a time for a relationship to pause. I encourage you to keep the communication open and real, and realize that your job search is temporary, and hopefully your relationship will weather this hardship (and others) just fine.
Best wishes to you and your significant other as you navigate this very difficult period… together!
I had a fascinating conversation with a an HR friend of mine back in 2006, the year I lost my job and started JibberJobber. In this conversation he said “HR can smell blood from a mile away.”
It was as if the world stopped turning because he called me out, and I had a huge epiphany. You can read the original post here: I Smell Blood!
A year later I wrote Are You Bleeding? because by that time I had talked to a ton of job seekers and a common theme was that they were all proactively bleeding. The things they were saying, the way they were saying them, was bloody. It should an immense amount of hurt and grief.
I’m not one to take that away from you, for sure. I went through my own period(s) where I had hurt and grief. But I had to learn that spewing this hurt and grief was keeping me out of networking opportunities, and keeping my friends and contacts from referring me into the right people.
You don’t recommend someone who has fresh wounds that are impacting their thinking into an important networking opportunity. It was like these people were bleeding, and not realizing they were stalling their job search.
It was a hard realization for me, but a super important one. I hoe these two posts help you.
Dumb Little Man, btw, is a blog with “tips for life.” Anyway, in this post the author (Lesley Knowles) shares six IMPORTANT points to keep your sanity while you are also going through the mourning/loss stages.
Depression in the job search is real. In fact, a post by me (a guy) on depression in the job search is my most popular post, with over 500 comments. My issue was that I was used to being very logical and linear, and depression was clouding my thinking. Check it out here: Depression Clouds Everything.
This is part of the Favorite Friday serious that I started years ago. One of the benefits of having blogged regularly for almost 13 years is that I have a lot of great posts from over the years. My writing style has evolved, but the ideas and principles have not.
In this post, Grow your own beef, I talk about a “three part formula” for either getting a job or having career stability (in a world where it seems like no one has career stability). The three parts are:
Have real subject matter expertise that the market currently cares about,
Have the right credentials, if they matter.
Have the right network, and nurture it.
Read my original post, where I flesh these ideas out, here.
What are you doing? Are you acting like a job seeker, or are you investing in your long-term career? I know it can get tricky to do long-term stuff when you really just need to get your paycheck back, but I challenge you to think of everything you do in today’s job search as a part of your long-term career management strategy.
Don’t make the rookie mistake of throwing everything away once you land your job. You’ll need it all – contacts, strategies, etc. – in all future job searches.
This is from July 2010, on my LinkedIn blog. It is a really short post about that uber-important branding statement next to your picture on your LinkedIn Profile.
The post took a life of it’s own when people started asking for feedback on their headlines. Fortunately, Peter Osborne jumped in to respond to people… I finally had to close the comments before it became a full-time job!
Here’s the post – click hereto read the excellent comments:
By March of 2007 I had gotten an idea of this so-called chicken list, which still scares me, and had been consumed by the idea of wasting time in a job search. Here’s a post I wrote in March of 2007 about making sure your honey-do list doesn’t take time away from what you should be doing in a job search:
Many years ago I worked as a clerk at the FBI. I was bored beyond description. There really wasn’t anything to do, as our department was overstaffed. Some of my colleagues picked up projects from the analysts, but I was too low on the totem pole to do anything like that.
So I found myself organizing, and then re-organizing, and then re-organizing my file folder drawer.
You have to understand, as a clerk, I really didn’t have anything important in my file folder drawer. The exercise was about as useful as sorting, and resorting, and resorting the garbage. It didn’t help anyone or anything… it just burned time.
Do we, as job seekers, do this? I know I did. Here’s my ode to this wasteful, rut of a practice: