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
  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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The 6 Week Job Search Program

October 23rd, 2020

Hey, so I’ve been crazy busy spinning all my plates… that is, I have a lot of things I’m working on, each of them are like plates spinning on sticks. If any of them slow down too much they will fall, so I’m busy keeping each plate spinning. All good stuff, and I’m super excited about some pending changes to JibberJobber that will, among other things, make JibberJobber FASTER for you. Also, more mobile friendly. I’ll talk more about that soon.

Today I wanted to share a video I did a few days ago talking about, introducing, really, my 6 week Job Search Program.

This program isn’t made for you to “get a job in six weeks!” I’m not a used car salesman. I care about processes and procedures, and that you are doing the right things in your job search. You’ve probably seen my stuff before, but now you get to hear me talk about it… the what and the why. I tried to keep this down to about 6 or 7 minutes but, well, I just coudln’t : p So you get eleven minutes of me talking about how I think I can help you. Here you go:

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Job Search Tools or Job Search Tactics?

October 13th, 2020

I’ve recently seen two posts on social media talking about resumes that struck me as odd. One was from a job seeker talking about how much time and effort you need to put into your resume, and then comments came in like “I did all this and I am still not getting jobs!”

The other was from someone on LinkedIn who talked about resumes to resume writers who collaborate with their clients to create a resume vs. creating one without collaborating…. insinuating they just pump something out that maybe misses the mark. The comments were, I’d say, passionate, because there are different ways of doing things, and people felt they needed to defend their way.

JibberJobber Resume

When I read the “I did all this and I’m still not getting jobs!” comments I thought about the difference between tools and tactics.

For the last few weeks we’ve been without a kitchen at my house. We are having some work done and decided to pull our kitchen out and get this work done right, instead of patch here and patch there for years. So, we have tried out all of the frozen pizza brands and now have strong opinions on that… as well as frozen burritos.

Sidenote: if you plan on remodeling your kitchen, you definitely need to factor into your budget new food costs. You can’t just go the store and buy stuff and make it at home… now you are shifting your entire eating and shopping and probably eating out a bit more.

Anyway, my contractor has some pretty sweet tools. Lots of brands that I like, and lots of little attachments. He has the right tools for various jobs, whether that be drilling or cutting or pounding or painting or whatever. If he needs a new tool for a different job he goes and buys it, or he brings one from his shop.

He doesn’t skimp on tools. Tools can make the job go better, and faster.

At night, the crew cleans up and leaves. The tools are piled up neatly and really, available for me to use. Of course, he didn’t say that, but if I wanted to I could grab a drill or a brush or a hammer or a tape measure and do something with it. I haven’t yet, but I could if I wanted to.

JibberJobber Job Search Tools

The problem is, aside from not having time, and not wanting to mess something up that they would have to spend time fixing, I don’t really know all the tactics. Those professional tools, in my hands, without training, are kind of worthless. Sure, I could learn. Sure, I know how to do stuff. But the building process in my kitchen is calculated and complex, and I wasn’t invited to any of the planning meetings.

The parallels to the job search are too good. A specialty tool in my untrained hands is about as useful as a resume, whether excellent or poorly written, in the hands of a job seeker who doesn’t know what he/she is doing.

Case in point: I get people coming to JibberJobber who say, “Delete my account, I’m not finding any new job postings here.” And, I gladly delete their account (or tell them how to do it). If you think your job search consists of looking for jobs on boards and then spending all day applying, you probably aren’t ready for JibberJobber. You have chosen the “easy” button, along with millions of others. Easy but not effective.

So they delete their account and move on. However, if you were to come to me and say, “Jason, I’ve been doing this for six months. It’s not working. What am I doing wrong? What should I do in my job search?” Now we are talking… now you are ready.

You realize your resume is a tool. You start to figure out you have a little toolbox, perhaps filled with phrases, questions to ask in networking, interview techniques you can use, your LinkedIn profile, even JibberJobber to track your job search progress and networking, etc. And you are ready to learn how to use all of these tools in a calculated manner to address a complex process.

Look, the job search is tremendously complex. I’ve tried to simplify YOUR part in the, which I think is one of the greatest things since sliced bread, at least to job seekers. I’ve removed a lot of the noise you might have allowed into your job search and give you specific, daily tasks to move closer to interviews. I am providing you training to land your next job. I’m not making you a job search expert… most people I talk to don’t want that. They just want a job. And do I take the expertise I’ve learned and earned over the last almost 15 years and have a very simple, concise, and effective system for you.

JibberJobber Job Search Program Easy

It’s like if I contractor hired you to work in my kitchen and said, “I have all the tools, and I’m going to show you how to lay tile today. You aren’t learning to measure or cut the tile yet. You are just going to sit on the floor and we’ll give you tools to do this one job. I’ll show you the tricks, and help you avoid common mistakes.”

You get to specialize in that one thing. And when you figure it out, you’ll be ready for the next thing, which might be to measure, or to cut, or whatever. But master this technique first, get really good at it, and then we’ll move to the next thing.

You know how good those tools are after 5pm? They are just put in a pile. They sit and wait for someone to pick them up and use them the right way.

Your resume is a tool. It sits in a pile. Your 30 second pitch is a tool. If unused it’s as good as sitting in a pile. Many of you have a pile of tools. You are just waiting for the right time or opportunity to pick them up and put them to use. That’s where my Job Search Program comes in.

One more thought on that. Years ago I was talking to a friend of mine who owns a roofing business. He’s been a professional roofer for years and has a nice little business. We were talking about tool quality and he said he loves this brand and that brand… but if he has a little job and needs to replace a tool quickly, he sometimes goes down to a store which I will not name and gets a “throw away” tool. It will work fine on the job, for that job, but it won’t last long. It will break soon, but hopefully he will get the job done. He’ll also buy it at a fraction of the price.

He is calculated in strategic in where he invests his money in his tools. Sometimes he goes with excellent quality for tools he’ll use for years. Other times he gets something that can do the job, but knows it is not an investment.

Similarly, you have various tools in your job search that need high quality, like your resume, and other tools that can be disposable, like a 30 second pitch.

JibberJobber 30 Second Pitch

Sending a resume to someone that is “cheap,” something that has bad formatting, bad grammar, bad punctuation, or weak messaging (I think this is the hardest part for most people) is BAD. It’s not just “might work for now and I’ll upgrade later” bad, it is “this person is sloppy and doesn’t pay attention to details so we can’t hire them” bad.

You have to put time into having a solid, powerful resume (and LinkedIn profile).

Your 30 second pitch? That is different. Yes, work on it. Yes, try to have a good one. But if you don’t have a good one you can probably talk your way out of it…. and you should definitely work on it regularly. Improve it every time you deliver it. You have time to make it better… just be intentional about it.

Tools and tactics. One without the other is weaker than it should be.

Have the right tools, but don’t think that just because you have them the work will get done by itself. You need to master the right tactics, and then put them into practice. Again and again and again, until you land your job.


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#42DaysOfJobSearch and #100DaysOfCode

December 4th, 2019

On Twitter I’ve been seeing the hashtag for #100DaysOfCode from people who are spending 100 days to learn how to program. It’s inspiring, and fun to watch their progress. It’s really cool to read when someone posts about a new contract, or turning in a project to a customer. Here’s an example:

The stories that accompany this hashtag are all about empowerment through education and creating financial security by creating personal value. This speaks to my heart!

For weeks I’ve been thinking about introducing something similar. It will be much, much smaller… but still, I’m introducing #42DaysOfJobSearch. I want people in job search to be inspired, to be intentional, to make progress, to share progress, and to have hope. I want them to shoot for something, and make progress every single day.

Who is #42DaysOfJobSearch for?

Clearly it is for the job seeker. The person who feels alone, feels dejected, and needs a job (and hope). It is also for people who are preparing for a job search… Exhibit A:

Whether you are part of the 19% of BMO staff who are getting let go, or the thousands of WeWork staff out on the street, or you came from a tiny company (like I did) that doesn’t do outplacement… #42DaysOfJobSearch is for anyone who wants to better their career.

Even if you have a job right now, but feel underemployed or unsatisfied.

Why 42 Days?

Simple: because seven times six is 42! And because 42 is the “Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.”

Actually, because the Job Search Program is a six week program that you do seven days a week. During the 42 day journey you should be making as much progress, and have as much excitement and hope, as the people who are doing #100DaysOfCode.

Also, because 42 days seems like enough. It’s better than the one+ year job searches that I hear about. I want people to be intentional, directed, and purposeful, and make an impact on their future and income RIGHT NOW. I don’t want you to wait for months. I want you to have success NOW.

I want to know how your #42DaysOfJobSearch is going! I want to hear your progress, your stories, your tiny wins, your big wins… I want you to share and inspire others. Whether you share it on Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn or just send me an email, I want to hear and share this journey with you.

Learn more about the 42 day Job Search Program here. And send me updates on how you are doing.

Job Search Program Effective Job Search

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The Job Search Program to Kill Analysis Paralysis

November 25th, 2019

JibberJobber Analysis ParalysisLast week I was on a call with very talented and accomplished executive, asking for more information about the Job Search Program. As we were talking we got on the topic of analysis paralysis, and she asked if the Job Search Program helped with analysis paralysis.

Yes, absolutely. 

Why? Because the Job Search Program is all about doing the three most important things today, and then reporting back on it by the end of the day. And tomorrow, you do the three most important things for tomorrow and report back. And you do that day after day after day.

This program is not a recital of any given job search or networking book.

It is implementing the stuff you do in a successful job search.

In my job search I realized that I could read all of the books and ebooks and articles and blog posts and listen to podcasts and take courses to become an expert in the job search (and networking and interviewing, etc.).

But I didn’t want to become an expert. I wanted a freaking job!

The Job Search Program is all about getting results. Studying this stuff, unless you want to enter the careers professions (resume writer, coach or counselor, etc.) will likely lead to analysis paralysis. How long should you take to figure out what you want to be when you grow up? A few chapters worth of reading might lead you to think you need to spend a month on that before you can do anything else. But a month without income? Not feasible for most of us.

Look, I’m not bashing on the books. I’m definitely not bashing on the knowledge. But if you are struggling with analysis paralysis, I invite you to take a leap of courage and say “I’m going to do something TODAY. Even if I’m not sure how to do it!”

Better yet, sign up for the Job Search Program (right now it is only $197) and I will give you THREE things to do every single day. I’ll ask you, at the end of the day, if you have done them. If you want to be stuck in paralysis the rest of the day, fine. But at least get my three things done today.

If you mess up, and don’t do it, then do the three things tomorrow. But don’t get stuck thinking, wondering, analyzing, comparing. DO SOMETHING. Better yet, do the right thing(s).

That is exactly what the Job Search Program is.

Ready to get results? Click here to start.

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The Job Search Program to Find Consulting Gigs?

November 22nd, 2019

On LinkedIn I got this question from Hugi:

“Can we use it to find consulting gigs?”

I’m guessing Hugi is asking if he can use the Job Search Program to find consulting gigs. My answer, of course, is:

Yes, absolutely yes!

Not that I think this program is the answer to every question, but what is a consulting gig? It is a mini-job.

JibberJobber Consulting Gigs

How do you get a consulting gig? Well, you might find out about it through a posting. Or through a network contact.

How can you proactively find out about consulting gigs? By having the right conversations with the right people.

Which is exactly what the Job Search Program is designed to do. I help you:

Have the right conversations with the right people.

The job search program uses the time-tested and proven tactic that every job seeker should use: the informational interview. Instead of just teaching you what an informational interview is, and then leaving you on your own, I walk with you for at least six weeks as you invite people, have the informational interviews, follow-up with them, and get more informational interviews (or, more of the right conversations with more of the right people) through referrals.

Networking. Accountability. Follow-up. All the normal high impact job search stuff. With my Job Search Program I help you, day-by-day, make progress in the right direction.

Whether you are just out of school, or looking for a mid-level job, or looking for an executive role, this program can help you have the right conversations with the right people. Not by giving you hours of instruction and a pat on the back… but with a systematic program that YOU CAN DO.

Is this for a contractor looking for gigs? Yes, it definitely is.


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Slow is Fast, Even in the Job Search #ScaryConcept

October 31st, 2019

By the time I went to Bamboo last February (almost two years ago!) I had spent the last 12 years as an entrepreneur. Two ways I describe being an entrepreneur:

You eat what you kill.

This means that if you don’t make a sale, you don’t eat. Very, very different than drawing a paycheck. The “eat what you kill” mentally creates a sense of urgency that you don’t usually see walking down corporate hallways where people have salaries, insurance, benefits, and some semblance of security.

JibberJobber Eat What You Kill


My friend Marc says that every day he wakes up unemployed, and has to go find work. He’s been an entrepreneur forever. I think this is a really healthy way of looking at it (he’s in the services business). Again, sense of urgency mindset.

JibberJobber Sense of Urgency

I then went into a bureaucratic organization. Not to bash on Bamboo… every organization has bureaucracy. But I went from hurry hurry hurry to slow down, slow down, it will be okay.

I remember watching the sales floor HUSTLE, always busy, and see their stats posted (and rising) on monitors throughout the day. I could just sit there and watch for hours (although I never did). I thought that a lot of the “slow down” mentality was funded by those hustlers on the floor. And in the ecosystem of a healthy company, that makes a lot of sense. Have people who are bringing in new business while you have strategists steering the ship and people carrying out plans in the background. Two seemingly disjointed operations happening at the same time, both of which have a profound impact on the other.

It was beautiful, really.

But to the point of this post. I went from entrepreneur mindset to hearing almost daily “slow is fast, fast is slow.” This, they said, came from Special Forces, and it meant to slow down, do things right, and you wouldn’t have to spend time cleaning up messes later. You could make better progress over time by going slow and purposeful than if you just throw a bunch of spaghetti on the wall and see what sticks.

But from my previous 12 years it was really frustrating to “go slow.”

When I created the Job Search Program I chose six weeks as the length of the self-guided coaching “course.” I’m still not sure what to call it (maybe that’s why I said “program”)… but six weeks feels awful slow to me (as a job seeker). Who wants to sit around for six weeks until stuff happens?

Granted, if you are doing the program you should start to see results in week one or two. Traction, conversations, introductions, referrals, etc. You are likely not going to notice that YOU are getting BETTER at these conversations… but that will happen, too.


I would argue that spending time doing your job search strategically, and doing the right things at the right times, is better than spending two to ten hours on job boards frantically applying for whatever you think might work for you.

Here’s the message I want you to walk away with: the results you might see (or not see) probably feel excruciatingly painful. Too slow. But trust the process, trust the system (as long as they are principled) and work the system. Results should come.

My job search was slow but my system was completely flawed. Get the right system, work it, and you should see results.

Need a system? Check out the Job Search Program. It uses informational interviews + accountability + follow-up to help you have the right conversations with the right people.

Job Search Program Effective Job Search

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STOP Handing Out Resumes In Informational Interviews

October 30th, 2019

JibberJobber Informational Interview Nervous

As part of the Job Search Program I talk a lot about the rights and wrongs of informational interviews. A major mistake people make is giving out a resume at the end (or at any time) of an informational interview.

Why is this a mistake? Aren’t you open to getting hired?

Yes, of course! But in my version of an informational interview you are having a peer-to-peer, colleague-to-colleague conversation with the other person. The minute you become a job seeker you change the dynamics of the relationship. They are in a position to help, you are in a position of hurt.

I’m not saying it’s bad or shameful to be a job seeker. Nor am I saying you need to hide it.

But for this 20 or 30 minutes I want you to remember who you are… a professional project manager, or analyst, or whatever you are. NOT just an unemployed person.

Even though you are not currently working you can still talk with expertise and authority about your field. You have expertise and experience and can have a great conversation. Don’t forget that.

Have a great conversation and then immediately hand them a resume and you go from expert and passionate to needy and desperate.

JibberJobber Informational Interview Resume

Maybe you are needy and desperate… but you don’t need to wear that on your sleeve.

So what do you do? Here’s how you have your cake and eat it too:

If they ask for your resume simply say “oh yeah, I’ll shoot that to you when I get back to my computer.”

This shows them that indeed you are there to have a really good conversation with them, not to use them and their position to try to get your resume in front of HR.

If they don’t ask for your resume, follow-up in an email about your meeting. I would NOT send a resume then… but continue the conversation, following-up on referrals, and maybe send a link to an article relevant to our conversation.

Can you talk about your job search? Sure. Can you ask about openings they know about? Sure. But don’t push a resume to them right away. There will be a perfect time for that, and it’s not at the very beginning of your conversation.

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Job Search Program: Introducing Nick’s Box

October 17th, 2019

A few weeks ago my friend Nick Corcodilos said that one thing the Job Search Program was missing was more anecdotal “Jason Albaisms.” He might not have said Jason Albaisms, but he did say that I needed some more something. After going back and forth on phone and email I decided to put in a fifth box on the Job Search Program page.

You have to understand this was not an easy decision. Nick was right, of course. It did need something else. But, I didn’t want to add that something else into the recording. I don’t want Job Search Program customers to think “oh boy, I need to listen to Jason again… but I haven’t blocked out 30 minutes!” I really, really want to keep these recordings as short as I can, which is why they (probably) average around 5ish minutes.

But I needed to add more.

The other thing I was up against was adding more stuff on the site. JibberJobber is a very complex system and there is a lot going on on any given screen. With Job Search Program I wanted to keep this super clean. Adding one more box… yuck.

But, I really needed to get the new information in… internally we call it “Nick’s Box.” Externally it will look like this:


I’m excited to fill these boxes in… which I’ll be working on over the next few weeks. I don’t want to duplicate information, but I think this anecdotal stuff, with links to blog posts and videos and books and articles as well as my own experiences that will enrichen the experience of everyone who goes through this program.


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The Job Search Program Focuses on Networking

October 16th, 2019

When I talk about the Job Search Program to career professionals (resume writers and career and job search coaches) I say that it is designed to help the job seeker have “the right conversations with the right people.”

Networking is a funny, misunderstood beast. The joke is that it is, for job seekers, a four-letter word. Not many people like to do it. It feels fake, and many people can’t wait to land a job so they don’t have to network anymore.

In my job search I remember finally dragging myself to network meetings and making up goals like “I will get 10 business cards today,” or something just as lame. I wasn’t focusing on having right conversations and didn’t even understand who the right people could be. I was just going for a number because, sometimes, the job search really is a numbers game. So I thought.

Job Search is Not a Numbers Game

Enter the Job Search Program. This is a six week self-guided kind of coaching program where every single day I give you three tasks to do. And then you work on them. They are not fake tasks… they are intentionally designed to get you closer to having the right conversation with the right person. Every day builds on previous days. You start out kind of slow, setting up a good foundation, and then as you learn and practice and gain confidence and practice more, you find yourself having conversations with people in your target industries, then target companies, then target departments within your target industries, and next thing you know you are talking to decision-makers about opportunities just for you.

This program is unlike anything I’ve seen. It might seem very simple but the premise is that you are doing the right things and getting real traction, instead of hoping that in the numbers game model you are getting closer to the right number. I played that game and it sucked.

Here’s part of an email I got from Noah, who is in week one:

I am really enjoying the process so far! The messaging and advice is very clear and the overarching theme of self-empowerment through provided prompts/benchmarks seems well crafted. I especially appreciate the built-in daily accountability, which is critical for anyone who is serious about putting in the effort to achieve the goal they want.

Ready to stop doing stuff that isn’t getting you anywhere? Check out the Job Search Program here. The normal price is $497 but right now we have an introductory price of $197.

JibberJobber Job Search Program

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