How To Prepare for a Layoff Before it Happens

January 18th, 2019

In 2009 I wrote this post: Prepare For A Layoff Before It Happens. I think this was another great post (I was such a good blogger in those early days of JibberJobber!). Here are my points:

  1. Get your resume in order.
  2. Start getting your network in order.
  3. Start NETWORKING. (with three networking tips to do right now)
  4. Understand your finances.

I was pleasantly surprised to see some of my friends share their ideas… five from Twitter and six from Facebook… and of course, excellent comments.

Hey, happy new year! I’m not here to put a damper on things but if you aren’t planning for a layoff this year, you might get caught in a very sad and serious situation! Better to plan now than to be surprised later! Read how to prepare for a layoff before it happens here.

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For Job Seekers: When You Are Out of Money :(

January 11th, 2019

I’m having fun going through old blog posts and find what I consider gems. Here’s another one: When You Have No More Money, What Do You Do?

In the post I expanded on my six resources for you to consider, which are:

  1. Eliminate
  2. Family
  3. Government
  4. 401k
  5. Church
  6. Friends

This can be a humbling, and humiliating, experience. It can also be an experience to draw you closer to others, and to give them a chance to serve you. Did I mention humbling?

As with those older blog posts, there are some RICH comments in this post. Read through each of those! I miss the days of those kinds of comments (social media kind of ruined that).

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2019 Job Search Advice From The Experts

January 9th, 2019

Hannah Morgan asked a bunch of career professionals for 2019 job search and career advice. I’m in there somewhere, with my #1 piece of advice from doing this for 13 years.  Go check it out:


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Preparing for the Pink Slip (and some history)

January 8th, 2019

Years ago I spoke a lot… at least twice a month I was on the road. When I spoke I’d want to go to as many job clubs as I could. The record was, I think, 13 job club presentations in 3 days in the Minneapolis area. I was exhausted, as was my voice.

I created a business card that, on the one side, said “pink slip.” on the other side was a link to The page went through a few versions, and we finally settled on what you see there. This needs another UI update, but my top 10 tips remain solid.

Want to know what I tell people when they get a pink slip? Check it out:

pink slip business card

At the very top it says “Congrats, you got a pink slip!”

This was in jest, because the only people who went here were people who were at my presentation. But, when a friend tells me they got laid off, my wife and I will tell them congrats. Because in many cases, your life changes in a big way. And great things can happen.

Read more at my pink slip page!

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When Networking Doesn’t Work For You

January 4th, 2019

One of my favorite thought leaders in the career space was the late Mark Hovind, who unexpectedly passed away in 2012. Talking with Mark was almost intellectually overwhelming. I struggled just to keep up with his ideas. He has been missed in this space. First, because of the research and insight he did an provided in the career and job search space. Second, because he was a man of high integrity.

In 2008 I wrote a post about networking not working… and it’s definitely worth your time. I used some of Mark’s numbers on the effectiveness of networking, and then I had some ideas about what to do if  networking doesn’t seem to be working for you. My four main points are:

  • Most people do not have a real network.
  • Most people don’t know how to network.
  • Most people don’t follow up.
  • Most people think growing their network list is networking.

The comments are also very insightful.

Go spend a few minutes on that post, and get results out of your networking efforts!

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Layoff Prep: Move Your Career Assets To Your Personal Systems

January 3rd, 2019

I have written about this before but as I was spending a few minutes on Scot’s CubeRules blog I saw this post: Move your career assets to your personal systems

In the past I’ve heard people recommend that even if you use a CRM (if you are in sales, you should have a CRM), you should put your contacts into JibberJobber.

Why? Because let’s say you spend a year or more developing professional relationships. In the olden days, this would be referred to as you “book of business.” People get hired because of their book of business! It’s that valuable.

My argument is that you have spent weeks, months, maybe years on these relationships. They started out as professional relationships, but eventually you talk about the family, vacations, hobbies… and they become personal relationships.

When you leave your company, all of your contacts’ information stays in the company CRM, and it is their property.

But does that mean that you need to sever the relationships you’ve made?  Sometimes you’ll have a clause in your agreement to not reach out to them, or not sell them competitive stuff. But many times you should reach out to them… you just wont have their information.

Scot makes the case to make sure you get all of your career assets from your soon-to-be-old company before you don’t have access to those systems. I want to make the argument that, starting today, no matter when you leave your company, you should use JibberJobber. It is the networking and career management system to help you manage those contact relationships!

Read Scot’s post here.

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2019 Theme of the Year: Income Streams

January 1st, 2019

If you’ve followed my blog for the last few weeks you know I recently lost my dream job.

You also know that when I was told “your last day will be November 30th,” I was sad… really sad. But I was also thinking about my other income streams.

13 years ago, when I got laid off and catapulted towards a new career direction, I had no other income streams. A small committee at the company I worked at voted to lay me off. No big deal, just a business decision. But they took away 100% of my income. I vowed to not allow any one person to take away 100% of my income ever again.

My plan became to create JibberJobber, and hope to earn $100 a month. That’s not much money, but at least “they” wouldn’t be able to take away 100%, right?

And so there I was, sitting across the table from my boss, getting laid off. Weeks before Thanksgiving. Shortly before Christmas. Happy holidays to me!  But, I had accomplished what I had set out to do. This person, who left that meeting with her title and salary and benefits and ownership intact, could not, did not, take 100% of my income away. And for that I was deeply grateful that all the work I’d put in these almost-thirteen years paid off.

What I’ve been thinking about all weekend is that I want YOU to be as empowered as I was. I want YOU to be as prepared as I was. I want YOU to have multiple income streams. I don’t know what is right for YOU, and I warn you that it might take thirteen (or more) years for YOU to create even one decent income stream (which might come after a number of failed attempts).

Maybe you’ve heard this one: Q: “When is the best time to plant a tree in my yard?” A: “20 years ago. The second best time is NOW.”

Let’s shift that to income streams: Q:  “When is the best time to create another income stream?” A: “20 years ago. The second best time is NOW.”

How does a job fit into this?

I want you to get to the point where, instead of saying “I got a new job!” you say “I got a new income stream!

Yes, jobs are (can be) great. Yes, most everyone should have a job. But I want you to get to a point in your career where you see your job as an income stream.

Income streams are power. I want you to have that power. And that is why “income streams” is 2019’s theme of the year.

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When Job Search Advice Doesn’t Work For You

December 28th, 2018

In March 2018 I wrote this post about a JibberJobber user who was having problems with their job search. She had a great question… my advice is in the bottom half of the blog post and can be summarized in these three points:

  1. Think critically about the advice you get, and figure out how and what to apply to your situation
  2. Don’t go it alone
  3. Do something else, which can help with networking and create opportunities for other income streams

Go read the original post.

I am reminded of a time I was in San Francisco at an outplacement company speaking to their candidates. During my presentation a guy yelled out from the back “I’ve already done all that stuff, and it doesn’t work!”

Go back to my three points above. Each of them are equally important, but your implementation might look different than someone else’s.

Good luck!

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“Employee engagement is critical to company success… until it isn’t”

December 27th, 2018

My friend Scot from (if you are in Corporate America you need to subscribe to his blog) wrote about my layoff. I admire Scot a lot because he has the career that I always wanted… he did (and still does) the corporate gig very well. But, what I like about Scot so much is that he isn’t blinded, pollyanna-style, by the promise of Corporate America. He’s very pragmatic about career management.

We need more pragmatic thinking about career management!

Scott just wrote: My friend got laid off — from his dream job, and wrote some wisdom that even I hadn’t been able to communicate. One of the most important messages that everyone needs to understand is, in his words, this:

And companies WANT us to be invested in the work because almost every pundit out there will tell you employee engagement is critical to the success of the company.

Until it isn’t.

Please go read Scot’s post. I’m not writing this to disparage my former employer. Lots of good came out of that 9+ month gig. But what I learned is that even the best companies, even the dream job, can end so fast your head is spinning.

I was fortunate in that I have developed multiple income streams. No, it wasn’t easy. No, this wasn’t done overnight. But I have no regrets building those income streams over the years. They sure came in handy on November 30th.

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Stop Hiding and Start Your Job Search

December 21st, 2018

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.

They are also what I call hiding.

Check out this post I wrote in 2012 called Stop hiding and actually start your job search.

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