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Why I’m Writing My 4th Book

January 19th, 2018

“I will never do that again.”

I thought that, and I’m pretty sure I said this to my wife, after I finished I’m on LinkedIn – Now What???

Writing a book is a big, time-consuming process. It taxes you mentally and is challenging. Making the time, week after week, to keep writing is hard. Second-guessing your ideas is common (but good).

When I wrote my LinkedIn book I honestly had no idea what the benefits would be (they were great, both financial and as it relates to my career and marketing of JibberJobber).

I coauthored my second book on Facebook, which was a different kind of hard.  Then my third book (51 Alternatives to a Real Job) was self-published… and I needed to write it but haven’t marketed it. It was THE book that most people asked about at the end of my presentations, though. Everyone was interested in alternatives to a traditional job.

I’ve really enjoyed the time off, but there has been another book that’s been nagging me. It started, I think, when Susan Joyce (owner of Job-Hunt.org) was with me during some presentations in the Boston area. She said “I know what the title of your next book should be!”

“My next book?! I was a retired author,” I thought.

But once you get the author bug, it’s hard to shake it. Like mono, you have it for life. Many times over the years I have thought “man, I could write a book about this.” Worse, sometimes I have thought “I should write a book about this!”

This fourth book is different from the rest. It is a collection of ideas, thoughts, observations, and suggestions that I’ve accumulated over the last twelve years. It includes brilliant ideas I’ve had (I figure I have a brilliant idea every 18 months), tactics and tips for job seekers I’ve come across, and strategy and thoughts for professionals interested in career management (that is, taking a bigger role in managing their own careers).

As I’ve been working on this book it’s one that I have thought my future generations might read and think “huh… great-great-great-grandpa was kind of cool.” Or at least “really interesting.” Unlike my first three books (which are too technical and will be irrelevant in a hundred years, the third is money making ideas that are good now but probably won’t be in a hundred years) this book is more principal-based… and principals can last for centuries. This book would be, as they say, evergreen.

So, why am I writing this book, and what does it have to do with you? Think about the “why” below, and realize that while I’m doing this as owner of JibberJobber, you are the owner of Me, Inc. (and should consider your own big project, whether it’s a book or not):

It’s a brand and marketing play. This book keeps me relevant as an expert in this space. It gives me something to talk about (self-promotion) and it gives others a reason to talk about me (and JibberJobber). I’ve learned that if I stop making things, people stop having reasons to think and talk about me. A key principal in marketing is to create new things and stay relevant. How can YOU, as a job seeker, apply this principal to your marketing strategy?

It’s to monetize: No secret here, I hope to sell a lot of these. I’ll market this book mostly through JibberJobber, to people who sign up for the system. This is a perfect book for them. I hope that somehow it gets bigger than just my immediate audience though. I think it’s a super relevant book for the whole world. I could write pages and pages on this topic, but the idea is to create another passive revenue stream (passive because once I write the book and get the right systems in place for marketing and delivering it, I don’t plan on spending hardly any time on it, but I do expect it to create a revenue stream worth hundreds of dollars per month for a long time).

It’s to help me rethink and challenge my expertise: I sit at my home office and interact with a handful of people every day. I am not on stage nearly as much as I was a few years ago. I’ve found that when I was on stage I got challenged regularly… either by myself or by others. I had ideas and I put them out there to audiences that would help me refine my thoughts. But sitting alone in an office doesn’t force you to challenge and refine your thoughts. Writing a book does, though. As you write you think and rethink and second-guess. This is an excellent way to really figure out where you are at and what you think and what you champion. I learned it’s even better (for this purpose) than writing a blog. You see, I can edit a blog post any time… but once your book is printed, the idea is out there. It’s way more permanent, and so you are more careful as you write down what will be definitive statements and positions.

It’s the right thing to do. The ideas in this book have been building over the twelve years I’ve been doing JibberJobber. And, for a few years before that, as I immersed myself into corporate America. The thoughts have been nagging at me. I just feel like it’s what I’m supposed to do. Apparently writing is what I do, and authoring books is what I do (it’s taken years to be at peace with this).

As you think about my journey, and my decision, I hope you will implement some of this in your own journey. Whether you do “that thing” (might not be writing a book) because it’s nagging at you, or it will refine you, or it will be a new revenue stream for you, one thing I know is that you have to START, and consistently follow through. I want you to be a FINISHER, and finish your projects.

Can you do that?

Here’s a relevant quote I saw on my friend Wendy Terwelp’s Facebook feed:

jibberjobber-blog-louislamour-quote

 

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Book Recommendation: Learn How The Experts Do It

January 17th, 2018

There are a few reasons I am recommending this book, none of which have to do with the fact that I know the author Steve Thomas and his awesome wife Kris. I want to share this book because Steve has built a really cool company and is helping a lot of people. He is also a brilliant communicator, and if you have anything to do with fundraising, or non-profits, or marketing, you should learn from him.  If you are a job seeker, you can learn from his email (below) as far as formatting and message, and from his book on how to communicate with people and ask for things when you are uncomfortable.

The regular price is not a big deal (ten bucks), but for the next few days you can get this kindle book for only 99 cents.  What are you waiting for?  Here’s Steve’s email… go get this book!

Hi Jason,

My name’s Steve Thomas.

You and I are connected through Linked In. Our connection might not be any deeper than that. But I suspect you do understand the opportunities that come from some of these connections.jibberjobber_donoricity_book

If you are a nonprofit professional or fundraiser or know someone who focuses on communicating with donors, you might find my 99 cent Kindle book promotion interesting. (On Monday, Amazon will reset the price back to $9.99).

About 4 years ago, I set out to write a book telling the secret to raising more dollars from donors. It took much longer than I expected. Candidly, it was really challenging to write what I know.

I own two advertising agencies that create powerful fundraising day in and day out for nonprofit clients, year after year. These strategies were born in the trenches of that fundraising work.

What’s very cool, is that not only do these strategies raise more money, donors will love what you’re doing.

I’m not a professor or ivory tower PhD who teaches the theory.  I raise money for a variety of nonprofit clients. And using these strategies we’ve been successfully raising money for years.

The book is:

Donoricity: Raise More Money for Your Nonprofit with Strategies Your Donors Crave

That’s right Donoricity.

You pronounce it like electricity, simplicity or felicity.

I’m pretty pleased with it, and I think you’ll love it if you live in the fundraising or donor development world.

Donoricity will help you if:

  • You’re feeling that your communications aren’t connecting with your donors.
  • You’re sick of fundraising that’s embarrassing.
  • You’re weary of programs and systems that don’t really fit you.
  • You’re wondering if there was something missing from your fundraising efforts.
  • You’re thinking that there just had to be a better way.

Donoricity was born in the trenches of fundraising and marketing. It’s real-world tested. It works.

The solutions you’ll find in Donoricity will help organizations from start-up to huge.

You can get the first chapter on audio, see my video and find out more at Donoricity.com.

As I mentioned, beginning today, I’m offering the Kindle version of Donoricity for just 99 centsMonday, January 22nd, the price goes up to $9.99.

So for 99 cents you can see for yourself and improve your donor relationships. It’s a good value. And I think you’ll find it refreshing.

Thanks for checking it out. Let me know what you think.

st

Did you get the book yet?

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Awesome Google Tips and Tricks Hacks from Job-Hunt!

January 15th, 2018

Susan Joyce loves to share ideas on how to optimize LinkedIn… she has a really good article on her site, Job-Hunt:

google-job-search-job-hunt

That post is really a reference page… don’t try to consume it all at once, but it would be good to bookmark it and come back to it.

Thanks Susan!

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Eric Shannon on Job Search Strategies and Tactics

January 5th, 2018

You probably haven’t heard of Eric Shannon. He’s a super cool guy, and really smart. He’s also been in the job board space for 20 years. Isn’t that crazy? I’ve had a few calls and emails with him over the years, and I respect everything he’s shared with me.  So now it’s my turn to share something awesome, from him, with you.

eric_shannon_linkedin

Eric wrote a post titled Use big-ticket sales techniques to get in the game – how to land the interview you want. This is one of the best posts I’ve ever seen. It’s deep, and kind of long, but it’s definitely a post I can stand behind.

As a bonus, his followup is a post on how to land the job offer. Great stuff!

 

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Not in a Job Search? Start Using JibberJobber Now…

August 16th, 2017

Most people who read my blog and use JibberJobber are job seekers.

I say most… but there are a few users who are not in a job search.

I have users who are “happily employed.” They are competent, they make good money, and like what they do.

Why would they use JibberJobber? We originally created it as a tool to organize and manage a job search

Because they know how easy it is for things to change.

You know what’s amazing? The tens of thousands of people at Enron who one day had a great job, the next day they were locked out of their building and their entire retirement fund was dried up. Ouch.

They were competent, they made good money, and some of them even liked what they did.

And then it dried up.

Can you imagine being forty and having to start preparing for retirement from the beginning?

Can you imagine being sixty four, months away from a great retirement, and then learning that NO, there is no money?  WHAT DO YOU DO??

Oh, but Enron is an example that is too dramatic, right? That just doesn’t happen to everyone, or many people, right?

I have a phrase I use in my presentations to job clubs: “getting Enroned.” It means you are doing your job, either well or extremely well, and all of the sudden, due to no fault of your own, you have no job (and none of the promises, like retirement). It goes away overnight.

Focus on this:

“no fault of your own

I’ve heard many reasons for this… including:

  • You loved your old boss, but you got a new one and you are like oil and water. There’s no way that you will both be employed for much longer.
  • You are part of the back office and the sales team just announced they lost their biggest contract, and sales will be down by millions.
  • The investors of the company you work for just pulled some funding off the table, and have demanded that the execs start trimming fat and cutting costs.
  • You were recreating on your own time and got poked in the eye with a branch, and now you have recurring medical conditions that have a serious impact on your performance. It was an accident, but you can’t do your job, so you are gone.
  • You love your job but one day go to the office and can’t get in. Turns out your boss was doing illegal stuff and not only is the company (including you) under investigation, the boss is IN JAIL.
  • You have done an excellent job and your company is getting acquired. The only problem is, the acquiring company already has someone who does your job, and they aren’t about to get let go. You are out.
  • Someone accuses you of something inappropriate and for some reason the investigation isn’t thorough, and before you know it you are on the street wondering what just happened.
  • The boss’s boss’s boss’s admin doesn’t like you… and you are done.

Any of these sound familiar?  These are not “with cause” reasons to lose your job, but the result is the same: you are out of a job! 

It’s kind of like being in an accident… even if it wasn’t your fault, and even if the insurance money comes your way, or you can sue for damages, you still lost something. It’s just rotten all around.

Losing your job, for whatever reason, can be unsettling. Sometimes it’s unfair, many times it sucks, and of course, sometimes it is a blessing in disguise. But you are still left jobless.

This is why some people who use JibberJobber to organize and manage contact relationships and target companies are happily employed. Because they know that something might happen, and they want to be as prepared as they can.

What does that mean? How do they use JibberJobber?

They are adding contacts, new and old, to their system. It’s a lot more fun to start a job search (and network) when you have a list of names than to be freshly laid-off, staring at a blank piece of paper trying to come up with your network.

They are logging conversations, or important information (like birthdays or contact info or who we met info). A name becomes a relationship once you start adding this additional information about your contacts.  This is real, meaty stuff you can use to take the relationship to the next level.

They are tracking companies they might be interested in working at. They might have customers or vendors or partners they work with, and have a company record and relevant contacts listed… what an awesome bit of intelligence they’ll have when it’s time to start networking into companies!

They are using it as a networking and follow-up tool, because networking is not just for job seekers! JibberJobber allows you to log and track conversations, emails, etc., and set up reminders to remind you to follow-up. Networking without follow-up is like eating without food!

Should you use JibberJobber? YEP! Start now… when you are in transition, you’ll be very grateful!

 

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Job Searching With Vocal Handicap #UserQuestions

April 21st, 2017

I got an interesting email from someone who has seen my Pluralsight courses… he says:

I’ve completed a couple of your courses on Pluralsight and have found them to be most helpful. Having been with the same IT consulting firm for almost 19 years, I’m doing a relatively “late career” networking/job search. Your courses (Build a Killer Brand, Career Management 2.0, Informational Interviews) have helped me jump-start a process that, frankly, has been difficult for me in the past.

One reason for the difficulty is because I am vocally handicapped, the result of a work accident 24 years ago. Networking in a crowded, noisy room such as at a conference is just plain difficult. Presently, I’m doing the informational interview thing and the one-on-ones are much easier than talking to someone at a large function. But I just can’t easily walk up to someone and strike up a conversation when there’s background noise.

I’m wondering if you have any tips for someone like me who cannot easily project his voice and, if I have to, tire very easily.

What a great question. I imagine that Charles feels unique, and at a disadvantage.  Here’s what I’ve learned: we all feel unique, and at a disadvantage.  Every single job seeker I’ve met feels that way.  

Well, not the ones who are Type A, and just starting their job search. But time has a way of wearing on you, and once you are at the third week, or the third month, you feel unique, and at a disadvantage.

I don’t say this to minimize Charles’ voice issues. Not at all. But I do want you (everyone) to know that everyone in this job search community feels inadequate, with challenges to overcome.  Well, maybe there are those who don’t feel that way, but they are the weirdos :p

Anyway, what is my recommendation for Charles?  I’ve had a couple of days to think about this, and here’s my advice:

Don’t worry about networking in groups.

That seems to be the crux of the “problem” from his email.  He has this idea that you, as a job seeker, are supposed to go to network meetings and … network.

Well, that’s true. You should. But let’s redefine network meetings and network:

Redefining network meetings

The high impact network meetings might be job clubs (or job ministries, depending on where you live), industry or professional luncheons, meetings sponsored by a company with a special speaker, conferences, etc.  These are places where there (a) are lots of people, and (b) is lots of background noise. You know who really has a hard time at these types of network meetings? Introverts.

But a network meeting doesn’t have to be a conference, event, etc. It could be much smaller, and more intimate.

When I read Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi I realized that networking doesn’t mean meet a ton of people at a place, shake a lot of hands, collect a lot of business cards, and have a lot of superficial conversations with people I’ll probably not talk to again, even though there were promises like “let’s have lunch sometime!”  Ah, sometime.  That time in the future that never happens.

Redefining networking 

What I learned from Ferrazzi is that networking doesn’t have to be big-crowd and superficial. The goal, actually, is to start relationships and nurture relationships. For me, that happens one-on-one, and over time.

I hated the idea of networking because I thought it was big crowd, pass business cards, smile a lot, ask them about themselves (a la How To Win Friends and Influence People), and maybe… just maybe, have a second meeting in a more intimate environment.

But Ferrazzi gave me permission to ignore the benefit of inefficiencies (that is, that you could get a bunch of connections in a large group) and rethink networking at a one-on-one exercise.  This realization was liberating.

How does this apply to Charles?  Let me suggest that if being in a crowd where his voice isn’t heard because he can’t project is not fun, nor productive, that he goes with a different purpose. I almost wrote “that he doesn’t even go there, and do other networking stuff.”  But really, if he can go to networking meetings and have face-time with people, he should. Having a physical presence is a good thing. But instead of thinking that you go to these big crowd networking events to talk to a lot of people, what if you went in with completely different goals?

When I go to a network meeting now, my goal is to talk to at least one person. But it has to be the right person.  Let me give you an example… a few years ago I went to a really big, really noisy networking event. It was where all of the Pluralsight “authors” (or, content producers like me) met, with a bunch of the Pluralsight staff.  The truth is, I have very little in common with the authors (except that we all spent a ton of time and energy making videos by ourselves… so there’s a camaraderie there), and really not much to talk about with the staff.  I was kind of a black sheep at Pluralsight, not offering technical training (which was their core), instead doing these weird courses on how to listen better… soft skills as they called it, professional development as I would come to call it.

So why go? Who do I talk with?  What is the reason to spend a couple of days out of my office and hang out with these guys?

I had ONE meeting that changed everything. It changed my relationship with Pluralsight. It changed the courses I would work on. It changed my enthusiasm for where they were heading. The meeting was so impactful that I realized I needed to get home, finish what I was working on, and then totally change directions with the content I was proposing.

That one meeting, with the right person, has impacted my work and my income every day for the last few years.

Instead of trying to meet as many people as I could, and “brand myself,” and get X number of business cards over the weekend conference, I went in with ONE question, and I wanted to ask someone who was in a position to answer the question with real knowledge (not just assumptions).

I found the person, asked the question, and the rest is history.

One question, one person.

How does this apply to Charles?

Let me suggest that when you go to network meetings, you fully understand the purpose of going. It is not for the food, it is not to get out of the house, it is not to be seen… it is to make the right one connection with the right one person.  If you make a great connection with more than one person, great! Bonus!! But don’t fall into the trap that this is a numbers game and if you come back with less than ten business cards then you failed.

What’s your one question?  Who’s the right connection?

If it were me, I would go in with the purpose of starting a relationship with someone who could help me move to the next level. I would probably try to eventually get an informational interview with that person, not then, but later, and then build that relationship. Or, get introductions from that person and have more informational interviews.

This is networking. Finding and building relationships over time. Networking is not being in a crowded room, competing for talk time. No matter what everyone tells you, you don’t have to go to networking events to network.

In fact, many of my JibberJobber users live in places where there aren’t appropriate network events they can go to. They might live in a town that doesn’t have any, or a city that has none of their peers or colleagues. They might be in such a specialized niche that there are only a few hundred, or a few thousand, people they should network with.

So what do they do?  Well, in the olden days (a few years ago) they would go to industry conferences. Expensive and time consuming, but great to meet the right people.  Today, a lot of what you need to do can be done online. While there are a number of sites to do this, LinkedIn is the 8,000 pound gorilla.  There’s really no compelling reason to go to another site, at least at the beginning of your online networking ventures.

Here’s what I suggest to Charles: (a) know what his questions are, and then (b) find the right people he should talk to about those questions. Find them on LinkedIn and reach out to them, and start the relationship.

It might be just an email or message at first, but eventually he should get to the point where he is on the phone, face-to-face, or simply just having deeper and more frequent emails.

That is networking. Nurturing relationships with regular communication. It’s not strutting around a conference room like a peacock, showing off or acting extroverted… it’s real, meaningful relationships.

My guess is that Charles already knows this… but if he was like me when I started my job search (and when I first started networking), I had assumptions of what was successful and what was failure. Staying home, unbathed and on the computer (I’m talking about me, not Charles :)), was failure, especially when there was a networking event I should have gone to.

Ferrazzi’s book, and learning about relationships, simply gave me permission to do what I already knew I should have been doing: finding and nurturing relationships, one-by-one.

Deep down, I knew what to do, I just needed permission to not do what I thought job seekers did.

If that’s you, I give you permission to do what is right for you. If that is going to lots of meetings, great. But for many of you, it’s sitting behind your computer, using LinkedIn as a tool, finding the right people, and then starting your professional relationship with them.

 

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Ten Dick Bolles Facts

April 6th, 2017

dick_bolles_job-hunters-bibleThese are ten things I found to be interesting about Dick Bolles:

Dick Bolles was really, really tall. I am about six foot tall and he seemed to tower over me. Maybe he was my height, but he seemed to be a giant of a man. However, he was so kind and gentle that I didn’t feel like he was physically imposing.

Dick Bolles was an ordained Episcopal minister… until he quit. I knew the first part, but only recently read about the last part. Apparently there’s a rule that you can’t get married to a fourth wife, after three divorces… Dick didn’t take this well and tried to fight it, then just renounced his ordination to marry the lovely Marci (who was at lunch with us).

Dick Bolles, for many years, did all of his own writing and editing. He told me one of his agreements with the publisher was that they would not touch his finished product at all…. that means no other editor would change anything. In our intervew (see yesterday’s post) he said that that had changed towards the end, but for many years it was 100% Dick Bolles.

Dick Bolles was super smart. He was mensa-level smart. He was an Harvard alumnus where he studied physics, and an MIT alumnus where he studied chemical engineering. He was literally a member of mensa. When I had lunch with him he was in his mid-eighties, and he was one of the sharpest people I had ever talked to. He was fast, and could talk about a breadth and depth of topics, without skipping a beat.

Dick Bolles’ brother was murdered in 1976. He was an investigative reporter and was investigating a very rough crowd: the mafia in Arizona. Shocking? Very sad, and I can imagine that it was devistating for Dick to go through. The legacy of his brother, Don Bolles, lives on amongst reporters. He was uncovering a nasty part of society, and paid with his life.

Dick Bolles stumbled onto helping others in job search… it’s not what he set out to do.  The title of his book came from a conversation he had with someone who said they were going to quit their job, and his response was “what color is your parachute?” Meaning, if you are going to do something so risky, what’s your plan? Have you even thought about the consequences of quitting?

Dick Bolles invited career experts to his home for multi-day retreats. These were small, intimate groups of career professionals, getting almost one-on-one attention from Dick. I wish I would have done one of those… I’ve only heard about them from some of my colleagues. To have someone of his status invite career experts to his home for so long, I thought, was really cool.

Dick Bolles personally updated his book every single year, for almost 50 years straight.  The dedication to this one book had been a life passion for him.  He passionately studied current events, reading papers, listening to experts and job seekers, and then would incorporate the latest and greatest in strategies, tactics, and tools into the next version of his book.  Almost 50 years… that’s really quite remarkable for someone who could have just outsourced it many decades ago.

Dick Bolles was an international speaker, and obviously highly sought after.  Again, he could have just rested, and enjoyed a comfortable lifestyle, but he got on plane after plane, even for very long flights.  He was a man who clearly believed in his mission of helping people.

Dick Bolles loved his wife and family. I only met Marci, and know nothing of his previous wives. But the way he treated her, listened to her, looked at her… it was love and respect.  At our lunch I learned about why and how they met, and how she literally saved his life… hearing him tell the story was like reading a romance novel (I assume… I’ve actually never read a romance novel).  His love was tangible. And so was hers. It was refreshing to witness their interactions.

BONUS: Dick Bolles was a Navy veteran.  Of course.  Service and action.

Dick Bolles, a great man who fulfilled a great mission, and really impacted the world.

 

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The End of a Legacy: Dick Bolles

April 4th, 2017

dick_bolles_headshotDick Bolles, author of What Color is Your Parachute, passed away on Friday, March 31, 2017. He had just celebrated his 90th birthday.

I saw Dick Bolles present at a few conferences, but didn’t talk to him. He was always talking to someone else, and I wanted more than a handshake and a smile.

My time came when I was speaking in his hometown, Danville, California. He and his wife, Marci, came and were in the audience.  I always have butterflies when I’m in front of an audience, but this was like an extra dose of butterflies.  THE GURU of job search… perhaps the father of modern day job search, was in the audience. He has flown around the world giving presentations, and in the decades since he penned the first edition of What Color is My Parachute, he’s seen, and done, it all.

I got a great introduction from Susan Joyce, owner of Job-Hunt.org, and had my first real, great, conversation with him, on the phone.  It was actually short, but it was real.  By the time we were in Danville our relationship progressed to the point where going out to lunch was only natural.

After my presentation he and Marci waited while I shook hands and said goodbye to individuals from the audience, and then we piled into his Buick (an Enclave, I think). I was wondering what this legend who had sold more than 10 million books drove… just a Buick. We drove about 15 minutes away to one of his favorite Asian restaurants, where we spent at least an hour in awesome, awesome conversation.  From that conversation I’ll never forget when he said:

“Jason, your message, and my message, are the same.”

I was immediately intrigued.  First, that he listened to my hour and a half presentation and paid enough attention to get “my message.”  Second, because he could concisely say what “my message” was (I would have been hard-pressed, at the time, to tell you what my message was). And third, because he, The Legend, said that it was the same as his message.  Awesome…!

“And what would you say our message is?”

“Our message,” he replied, “is a message of HOPE.  We show people that they have options, and when they have options, they have hope.  When they think they have run out of options, they are hopeless.”

I processed this and realized that he had, in one word, explained why I got on the road. Why I got up in front of audiences, even though it was uncomfortable. Why I would face the skeptics and the hecklers, and put my ideas in front of brilliant unemployed professionals so they could analyze and evaluate and question them.

Dick Bolles put my calling, passion, and purpose into perspective.

When he said “HOPE” I immediately got it. You see, I was a hopeless job seeker. I was at the end of my rope, with no hope.  It was a dark, depressing place to be.

Life without hope does not end well.  Dick said that we, in our own ways, gave hope.  We inspired hope.  We showed people options, and gave them a reason to keep trying, to keep doing, and to move closer to a job, where they didn’t need to worry about hope vs. despair.

You can believe that since that lunch, I’ve thought about hope every single day. I have taken his message, our message, to heart, and have understood the gravity of what we do.

What an honor to have Dick Bolles, the legend, the man who has touched millions of lives, even put in near himself in our quest to change the world, one job search at a time.

Thank you Dick Bolles, for the live you have lived and the legacy you have left.  There are many, many thousands of career professionals who have been influenced by you, your words, your mission, your example, and they are influencing others… sharing the message of HOPE.

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Five Purposes of Resume

March 31st, 2017

jacqui-barrett-poindexter_headshotJacqui Barrett-Poindexter, Master Resume Writer, wrote a great post titled I disagree with career experts who claim the resume has just one purpose.

I have heard, and have probably written about, the one purpose for a resume: to get you into an interview.  But Jacqui’s post brings up some great points.  She says the five functions of a resume, in addition to getting interviews, are:

  1. Equips interview conversations.
  2. Focuses your career message and saves you time.
  3. Conveys your value to interview committee members.
  4. Supports professional reputation.
  5. Spurs deeper interview conversations.

Check out her post for deeper thoughts on each of those.

One of the most important things to understand about a resume is that the resume writing process is a process of self-discovery, understanding what value you bring to potential companies, framing your value proposition(s) in appropriate and compelling ways, and even gaining self-confidence that is grounded in fact.

If you didn’t get any of that from your resume writing experience, you might want to call a resume professional.

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Two Rabbits = Too Many Distractions?

March 27th, 2017

My friend, resume writer Robert Dagnall, has posted this a couple of times recently on Facebook:

confusius_two_rabbits

The first time I saw it I didn’t think anything of it. But then, Friday morning it popped up again and I guess I was feeling a little philosophical.

What if, in a job search, you are chasing two different rabbits?  Well, maybe that’s a bad example. In a job search you are likely working on multiple job opportunities at the same time, and you should be. You can’t go after one for months, and ignore everything else that comes up.

But maybe the job opening isn’t the rabbit… maybe the rabbit is not focusing enough. “What are you looking for?” “Oh, I don’t know, anything really. I can do anything.”

Sounds kind of dumb, doesn’t it?  I hear that all too often. I’m not exaggerating.

But what if it’s true?

It usually is true.  

That is either a symptom of (a) not understanding the importance of focusing, and worrying about missing out on something we haven’t considered.  That is a real fear (Fear Of Missing Out, or FOMO). Or, it’s a symptom of (b) not understanding the incredible (and seemingly unintuitive) power of focusing on a niche.

I was at a business seminar with small business growth coach Mark LeBlanc. I don’t remember his exact words but he said something that was profound.  Something like “pick the line of revenue that it most important (or biggest, or whatever), and FOCUS on that one. Pretty much ignore the others (as far as marketing goes).  The growth you’ll see from your first revenue priority will increase the other revenue lines.”

As a business owner I thought: that is scary. That seems negligent. Irresponsible.

But, as I thought about it, I realized that not putting enough marketing focus in one area really amounted to spreading yourself too thin in all areas.  Giving a half-or-less effort on anything resulted in half-or-less results.  But 100% focus on the right thing helped the right thing grow, and that growth resulted in growth in other areas.

It’s an interesting concept.  It’s scary to think that you will focus on one and pretty much ignore others. The concept, though, is really encapsulated in the Confucius quote above… which rabbit do you chase? Which rabbit do you focus on?

This concept is so important that in 2011 I wrote something very similar: 2011 THEME: The Job Search Rabbit Hole.  Great complementary thoughts to Robert’s idea.

 

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