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Job Search Tool: The Job Seeker Newsletter

August 14th, 2020

Years ago I wrote about a very awesome tactic for networking and personal branding, with an emphasis on helping your network help you in your job search.

In most of my on-stage presentations I talk about it, and in a few of my Pluralsight courses I talk about it. This was not a flash-in-the-pan, whimsical suggestion. I think a regular newsletter for your network can be a super powerful tool.

JibberJobber Job Search Newsletter Typing Email

In the April 5th (2012) post I talk about the three things that go into your newsletter. This is seriously three SHORT paragraphs. Each paragraph has a very important purpose. At the end is a very specific call to action. This post, How to write a job search newsletter (1 of 2), is the nuts and bolts. Don’t let the simplicity trick you into thinking it isn’t a super powerful tool.

The next day, April 6th, I wrote How to write a job search newsletter (2 of 2). This is an important follow up where I talk about how to keep track of WHAT you have sent to WHO. I talk about how you would use JibberJobber to (a) figure out who you would email (and quickly get an email list for those you want to send the newsletter to) and (b) how to track, in JibberJobber, what you sent and who you sent it to.

Please consider including the job search newsletter in your job search strategy. It doesn’t take much time or effort, but could result in some great conversations, leads, and introductions.  The two links above are to short but important blog posts!

JibberJobber Job Search Newsletter at symbol

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Project Hope: The Job Search Program #InformationalInterviews

July 29th, 2020

In 2006 I lost my job. It was a devastating experience for me and my family. It drilled into the core of who I was, and how I valued myself. I was afraid of not being able to provide for my family. The stress had long-term impacts on how I think about money, the future, “job security,” etc.

Now, 14 years later, I have created a tool for job seekers to help them organize their job search. It is a great tool that I’ve invested 14 years and gobs of money into. Last year, though, I came out with what I think will be my biggest value to those in job search. It is a six-week program focused on helping job seekers get into interviews. You can learn more here: https://www.jibberjobber.com/hope

We called it, internally, Project Hope. As a job seeker I had lost hope. I was in a dark place. The discouragement was heavy. In Project Hope (aka, the Job Search Program) I tap into the brilliance of Mark LeBlanc’s decades of study and systems to help small businesses get more clients. With his permission I adapted some of his systems and teachings for job seekers. I created a six-week program that walks you through simple but important tasks to work on every day for 6 weeks. The program is simple, and forgiving, but there is work to do.

If you know someone who is in a job search, please share this with them. Proper actions can overpower despair. Results can bring someone out of hopelessness. Traction can lead them to their next role. The “introductory” price right now is $197. The feedback has been very favorable. And getting a “thank you” from people who have used this program and landed a job has been so rewarding. Here’s the link to share: https://www.jibberjobber.com/hope

 

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What Is JibberJobber (in videos)? A Job Search CRM…

July 13th, 2020

I was recently asked for some video explainers for JibberJobber, prior to doing a presentation to a job club. This is what I sent:

This 4 minute overview explains what JibberJobber is and how to not be overwhelmed (or, to focus on the most important parts of JibberJobber):

The one minute video on the homepage gives a conceptual overview:

This 4 minute introduction video gives a quick overview of JibberJobber, and emphasizes the Getting Started videos:

If nothing else, go through the Getting Started Videos table of content page to see what topics you might be interested in

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The Job Search and Career Seminar Series

June 22nd, 2020

Last week I finished my three week six session series on job search and career stuff, sponsored by Pluralsight. I posted the entire series here… you can watch each of the six sessions as well as download the slides (nothing special there) and see what Pluralsight courses and other resources I talked about.

Feel free to share this… lots of people should be needing this stuff pretty soon…

Pluralsight Free Seminar Series: Job Search and Career Sessions

Here are the individual YouTube videos:

The Interview Process

Personal Branding While in Transition

Job Search Processes and Systems

Networking with Humans

Onboarding Yourself in Your Next Job

Personal Finances for Job Seekers

Enjoy, and share!

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Updated Informational Interviews Course on Pluralsight!

February 25th, 2020

Look what I got in my email Friday night:

Pluralsight Informational Interviews

Go to the Informational Interviews course

I’m counting this as my 36th course, even thought it replaces one I did back in 2012 (or was it 2013?).

After doing my first course with Pluralsight, in 2012, I pitched them a course on informational interviews. By that time I had been speaking a lot on stage and was passionate about informational interviews as the best tool/tactic/strategy for job seekers.

Here we are in 2020 and I continue to believe (and) say that. I can’t imagine a more important way for you to spend your time, especially the time you have control over (quiet time, time when no one is reaching out to you, which I had in abundance in my job search).

Beyond being the best tactic for job seekers, it is an excellent tactic/strategy for people who are ready to really, seriously, and strategically network. It’s an super tactic/strategy for small business owners who are looking for partners, customers, investors, etc.

A friend of mine is a professional speaker. He asked “could I use this to get more speaking business?” ABSOLUTELY.

Informational interviews is simply strategic, purposeful networking. It is networking with a system instead of accidental networking.

I believe in informational interviews so much I created a 6 week job search program that focuses on using informational interviews to find leads, and get you closer to job interviews.

Otherwise, for a hour+ course, click on this link to the Pluralsight Informational Interviews course. Need a 30 day pass? Hit me up :)

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Podcast: “I’m a leader, how do I communicate that to employers?”

February 6th, 2020

Don Jones, one of my friends from Pluralsight, invited me to an interesting conversation he was going to have with a job seeker. This guy had plenty of leadership skills but wasn’t quite sure how to best communicate that in his job search.

Listen here:

Jjason Alba Don Jones Job Search Podcast

This conversation was only 39 minutes… and I got a chance to talk through job search strategy and tactics. We talked about personal branding, of course, and a bunch of things that I think will help you in your job search.

You can either play it in your browser, or on a podcast service, or just download it from Don’s page, here:

LISTEN: HOW DO YOU DEMONSTRATE A SKILL LIKE LEADERSHIP ON A JOB HUNT?

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That Time I Networked With Randy

January 9th, 2020

JibberJobber Network Clubs

A hundred years ago, in 2006, I forced myself to get to a network meeting for job seekers.

When I say forced, I really didn’t want to go. I didn’t want to take the time, which I thought was not as productive as sitting on my laptop monitoring Monster job postings, and hoping to be one of the first to apply. I didn’t want to network with people who didn’t have a job because, frankly, I judged them to be broken, or unhireable, or whatever. Yes, I was that much of a jerk. I know some of you have the same thoughts, though.

But really… what good would networking with people who didn’t have a job be? How could those who needed, and couldn’t give, help me?

I was a short-sighted dork.

But on that fateful morning, after a couple of false starts and fake attempts, I walked through the doors and experienced something that would be life changing.

As we went around the room so everyone could introduce themselves, I listened in awe. You see, I was expecting broken people with bad careers and having made poor career choices. But I heard person after person share their 30 second pitch, and was shocked that the people in the room were accomplished professionals. They were well spoken, well dressed, and really cool people.

Why were they there, then? Every person had their own story (which they didn’t share in their 30 second pitch). I learned about company mergers and acquisitions, I learned that I wasn’t the only one who had a toxic boss, I learned about discrimination, and other things that go into downsizing. Of course, some people were there because of their own doing… but it was there that I looked around and realized:

I was not alone.

For about six weeks I had been alone. Very alone. And lonely.

But going to a network meeting with job seekers was exactly what I needed to start to heal. Instead of sitting on Monster waiting for a new posting to apply to, judging myself and wondering what was wrong with me, I could talk to, listen to, and learn from people who had great careers and were also unemployed.

It really was an epic moment for me.

And then there was Randy. Randy was at least ten years older than I was. He was, in my mind, an executive. When he did his 30 second pitch I thought “oh my, that is almost exactly my pitch!” Project management, product management, general manager. The difference was that I was coming out of a tiny company with little-to-no mentoring, and very small-scale experience. I guessed that Randy had 20 years of REAL general manager experience. He was the real deal.

Randy came, a few weeks later, to say he landed a job, and thanks for everything. He then pulled me aside and told me about how LinkedIn was so critical to his job search. I was hesitant… I was already looking at job boards all day and felt like I had too many accounts elsewhere… did I really need to get on LinkedIn, too?

Laughable, I know.

Randy made a huge impression on me. I saw in him what I could be in the next 10 or 20 years in my career. I saw a strong, self-confident professional who was at a not fun part of his career, but held his chin up and moved forward, optimistic that he would land well.

He gave me hope for the future. His example encouraged me to move forward. He helped me understand that job clubs were not full of broken people or losers.

Whether you go to job clubs to learn about job search techniques (mine were outdated), to network with others (job seekers make some of the best networkers), to get your name out there (stand in front of 30 or 60+ people and give a good 30 second pitch and you’ll start this process), or just to be around other humans… I don’t care why you go. Just go. Go so that it can be your lifeline.

You never know, maybe YOU will be someone else’s lifeline.

Here are some other posts I’ve written about job clubs over the years:

10 Reasons to Frequent Job Clubs

The Power of Job Clubs

The Power of Job Clubs and Job Ministries

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Podcast: Jason Alba and Valerie Sokolosky

December 16th, 2019

I met Valerie Sokolosky years ago through the Reach personal branding training. A few weeks ago I was honored to be her guest on her podcast series talking about my story. Our conversation includes job search (of course, that was the beginning), networking, branding, multiple income streams… you know, all of the stuff I like to talk about :)

Check it out here on Youtube:

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Depression Sucks: Darkness in the Job Search (Tips From the Arctic)

November 18th, 2019

JibberJobber Depression Arctic Darkness

Depression clouds thinking. Depression can cloud everything. My most-commented on post was, I thought, a throw-away that no one would comment on.

But depression is too real, and the post connected with people. Check out the post, and the comments, here.

I live in a valley surrounded by mountains. Sounds charming, but there’s way too many people who live here to make it as charming as a Hallmark setting. Instead, and unfortunately, the mountain/valley arrangement gives us what they call an “inversion,” where we get air trapped over our valley for a while. When I say “air,” think dark, yucky pollution.

Winter here is an issue. It can be dark, gray, cold, unwelcoming, and then you have the inversion. Seasonal depression… that’s what they call it.

I think some people get career seasonal depression. I did, when I was in my job search (exhibit A). Many people I talk to are discouraged and depressed, anxious and on-edge. It just comes with the circumstances. I continue to look for anything to help myself and others who tend to go down that path, and was really quite interested in this article on Fast Company titled

I live in 24 hours of darkness each winter. Here’s how I stay sane

Please take the four minutes they say it will take to read this article. I think the entire article is fascinating.. Below the article are related links… explore those, too. I’ll list the five things the author lists to do, but please read the entire article for context. I don’t want you to brush over this list and think it’s a good idea… I want you to internalize the ideas.

Whether you live in the Arctic and won’t see the sun for a while or you live in sunny Florida and see the sun as much as you want, if you are in a job search you might be in your own darkness. These tips can be a part of your remedy.

  1. Keep a routine. Just make sure that what you have in your routine is actually working. Ditch the tactics that aren’t getting you anywhere.
  2. Plan excuses to be social. Job clubs, anyone??
  3. Opt for a technical solution. I might suggest, for job seekers, turn this around and opt for a non-technical solution – that is, TALK TO (MORE) PEOPLE!!
  4. Find things to look forward to. This is why, in my Job Search Program, I talk about vision so much. You will land a job, you won’t be unemployed forever.
  5. Don’t fight the darkness. Recognize that the job search sucks, and accept it, but don’t accept defeat. Know your enemy, as Sun Tzu would say.

Here’s the article:

Fast Company Depression

 

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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

Unemployed.

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.

Slowly.

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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