Job Search Program: What a Job Search Strategy Looks Like (Part 1) #favoriteFriday

July 26th, 2019

jibberjobber-favorite-fridayOver the years I’ve had the opportunity to learn from people who are as passionate about I am about the job search, and helping people. Hannah Morgan is one of those people. Hannah hails from the beautiful city of Rochester, NY, and let me share her 6 steps to Job Search success.

In this favoriteFriday post, I introduce her job search program, and what a job search strategy looks like. This has definitely helped me conceptualize what job seekers should do, systematically, in their job search.

Check out today’s favoriteFriday here: What a Job Search Strategy Looks Like

You can also see links to the other 6 posts, which I’ll share over the next six Fridays.

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Project HOPE, or The Job Search Program, When Your Unemployment Rate is 100%

July 23rd, 2019

Last week while in Austin I saw this article: Utah unemployment rate dropped to 2.8% in June.

Well, isn’t that nice. This is an economic indicator that gives politicians warm fuzzies. “Our policies are clearly working!”

But last week I spoke to six job clubs, to over 300 people who’s personal unemployment rate was 100%. Some have been in the job search just a few weeks. Others have been in the job search almost (or over) a year.

I think it’s important to measure and track the unemployment rate. However, it’s also important to understand what it means, and what it doesn’t mean. Unfortunately, when you are unemployed, or long-term unemployed, the unemployment rate can mean very little. Or it can mean “what’s wrong with me, if it’s such a good economy… why can’t I get a job??”

That’s how my job search was in early 2006. The economy was amazing, but I was “that guy” who couldn’t land a job. I was 100% unemployed and felt like a 100% loser.

This is why I created The Job Search Program (internally named “Project HOPE”). This is a program designed to help job seekers, whether you are new to your job search, or have been looking for too long, get traction and make progress.


The program centers around informational interviews. I teach you what they are and how to do them. My emphasis is actually talking to humans. This is much more scary than applying to jobs online, or doing whatever non-human interaction you have been doing that is getting you nowhere.

It’s a little scary. But I start you off gently. Maybe too gently. One alpha tester said “slow down… this is too much too early.” But other alpha testers said ABSOLUTELY NOT, this is not too slow.

Look, you are on a countdown. I don’t want you to learn it all and then apply it. That could take days, weeks, or months before you start. I’ll teach you as you go. This is on the job training and I’ll help you each step of the way.

You start out gently, talking to people you are comfortable with (maybe close friends and family). It’s easy, and it’s a safe place. As you get better, as you practice, as you grow more comfortable, you start to talk to people in your industry or profession. Within a few weeks you are ONLY talking to people in your industry or profession, and getting referrals from people in your industry or profession.

When I was in my job search I didn’t want to learn for weeks and weeks. I wanted to END my job search. That’s what this program is designed to do.

Ready to stop spinning wheels? Ready to get serious about this “network into your next job?” Let me walk you, day by day, down this path.

This is the culmination of thirteen years of learning and thinking and observing… and I’m giving it to you for $197.

Still want to use a coach? GO FOR IT. I recognize that you may need more and customized help. But I bet that my program will be the most effective supplement to a job search coach.

Don’t have money to pay a coach? Then find $197 to invest into the Jason Alba Job Search Program. Get ready to invest yourself, your time, and ditch your ego and fears. Sound scary? It might be. But even scary is being unemployed for a year. That is ridiculous.

Let’s do the right things to get you the right job. Who knows, you might even have fun along the way.

The best way to start is to login to your JibberJobber account and then click the new icon in the top-right, and then choose the Job Search Program icon:


You’ll have to set up a Job Search Program account, pay $197, and then you are ready to start.

This JUST launched, and we already have a list of enhancements. We’d love any and all feedback. We are committed to enhancing this a lot over the next 6 months based on feedback. But more important than what we can fix or improve, make sure you work this program every day.

Let’s do this thing!

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The JibberJobber Job Journal #favoriteFriday

July 19th, 2019

jibberjobber-favorite-fridayA few years ago I wrote about a new feature that is, in my opinion, one of the most important features in JibberJobber. The Job Journal is a tool where you simply write down your career success stories.

Why is that so important?

Because it is all about what and how we brand ourselves. I’ve interviewed people who were not prepared with stories and examples, and people who were prepared. The contrast is huge.

I want you to think about your career wins, big and small, and figure out how those wins can become stories to demonstrate your capabilities.

Check out the entire post here: What is the Job Journal?

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Y’all! Job Search Courses on Pluralsight!

July 15th, 2019

pluralsight_transparentThis week I’m in the Dallas area giving four presentations, and two in Austin. I’m giving out Pluralsight 30 day passes (if you haven’t gotten one, message me), and encouraging professionals in transition to binge-watch and absorb anything they want… including any of my 32 soft skill and professional development courses, as well as Casey Ayers Business Analyst and Project Management (PMP) certification courses… and MORE.

As I was preparing a slide to suggest a few courses highly relevant to job seekers, I thought I’d share them here with you. These are just mine, there are plenty of other great courses in this library of over 6,000 courses. And these only represent about 20% of my courses…

Here are the courses I’d suggest for most job seekers:

A course on how to develop a killer personal brand. No matter what you think about personal branding, it’s important. Neglect your brand if you want, but you’ll still have one. I say: you be the author of what your brand is, and create the narrative the way you want it to be. Otherwise, others will create it for you, and you might not like that.

A course on informational interviews. I believe there are no silver bullets in the job search. But I have said, across the country, that if I were in a job search I would spend about 95% of my time on informational interviews. Seriously, 95%. Haven’t heard of them? Or, they aren’t working for you? Watch this course and learn how to do them well, and get your job search MOVING!

How about a course on working with, and understanding, different personalities? Look, in your job search you need to understand how to influence others, and why others act and speak the way they do. Working with others can be baffling… but the more you understand human nature, personalities, and why people are the way they are, the better you can work with, communicate, and persuade others. You might even learn something about yourself!

Becoming a better listener is one of my favorite courses. It’s about the most important aspect of communication… and I think we all have some room for improvement. Listening better will help you in your networking, your interviewing… in every aspect of your job search! This course has the most ratings and comments of any of my courses. Come on over and listen!

I have one course on optimizing your LinkedIn Profile, and another course on a proactive LinkedIn strategy. I wrote the book on LinkedIn over 10 years ago, updated it to multiple versions, and have done countless trainings and consultations on LinkedIn. In these courses we cut through the rhetoric and noise and get to the heart of optimizing your time on LinkedIn. No kool-aid drinking, just smart and doable actionables.

You can get all of these, and more, for free with a 30 day pass from Pluralsight. If you don’t know how, just reach out and I’ll hook you up!

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Are Job Boards a Waste of Time? Hint: NO. #favoriteFriday

July 12th, 2019

jibberjobber-favorite-fridayAbout a year and a half ago I wrote a post about job boards… I’ve been a little back and a little forth on them over the years. In my experience they were largely a waste of time. HOWEVER, they are not to be thrown out completely.

What I talked about back in January of 2018 still applies… these are TOOLS. Work them,  but don’t let them own you.

Read the whole thing here: New Thoughts on Job Boards for 2018

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What is JibberJobber? Intro to Career Management and Job Search Video

July 10th, 2019

In this short 4+ minute video I explain what JibberJobber is. There are plenty of features, but the core features match up with the most important things you are doing in your job search. Not using all of JibberJobber? That is okay! Use the core features, and stay on top of your job search!

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A Job Is Simply a Revenue Stream

July 8th, 2019

jibberjobber-revenue-streams-plant-treeOne of the greatest epiphanies I have had over the last few years is that a job is simply a revenue stream.

If it is your only revenue stream, you should start to worry.

Those are the two most important sentences of this entire post. Memorize them. Write them on your bathroom mirror. Look at them every day.

I have multiple revenue streams. I’ve been working on them for at least 13.5 years. I could argue I’ve been working on them since I was a little kid.

They have never mattered more to me than in October when I had what was my dream job and my boss (who has since left that company) laid me off. I loved that job (most aspects of it). I didn’t want to lose it. I was excited about building the awesome program I was hired to build. And then she took it all away from me.

Like in 2006, when a committee of people, persuaded by one (wrong) person, took it all away from me. Thank goodness, because that started me on my JibberJobber journey.

But, there is one HUGE difference.

In 2006 I had one revenue stream: my job. That committee took away 100% of my income.

In 2018 I had at least four significant revenue streams. And while I made very good money at that job, she didn’t even take away 50% of my income.

I say that not to brag. I say that because getting laid off from a job where you walk away and can still pay your bills, where they weren’t able to destroy your income, where you could refocus on other streams, and you even have some breathing room, is FREAKING AWESOME.

I want YOU to experience that.

But you won’t, if your job is 100% of your income.

Something important to note is that I got laid off at the beginning of 2006, and then the end of 2018. That gave me 13 years to build up multiple revenue streams. This idea of building other revenue streams can take time.

Best time to plant a tree? 20 years ago. Second best time to plant a tree? RIGHT NOW.

Best time to work on multiple revenue streams? 20 years ago. Second best time to work on multiple revenue streams? RIGHT NOW.

The JibberJobber theme for 2019 is financial freedom through multiple income streams.

I have empowered you with a networking and follow-up tool. I have empowered you with motivation, tips, stories, and ideas on my blog. I have empowered you with my book 51 Alternatives to a Real Job. If we ever talk, this will be my message to you.

Please, get on the path to multiple revenue streams. It is WORTH IT. You may fail sometimes. But as you learn, and some of them work out, and they grow, and you experience the sweet freedom that multiple income streams provide, you’ll never look back.

When I started JibberJobber my goal was this: to create $100 a month in income. Why? So that when I got laid off the next time, the person who did it would not be able to take away 100% of my income. And 13 years later, sitting in that room, I couldn’t help but think that I was losing less than half of my income, and it didn’t financially hurt.

That is freedom and independence. And I want that for you.

Join me?

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Freedom and Independence. The Battle Continues.

July 4th, 2019

jibberjobber-freedom-independenceToday in the U.S. we celebrate the 4th of July. The theme is freedom and independence.

Since day one, at JibberJobber, our theme has also been freedom and independence.

But, from what?

Today, we celebrate freedom from the drudgery of being out of control in your career.

We celebrate independence from financial bonds that force our hand and make us make bad decisions.

We fight to be free so we can have the life, and lifestyle, we want.

This fight, though, requires smart work.

Smart because we can’t do the status quo things. We have to be wise and purposeful about how we approach our own career management.

Work because we will do hard things… sometimes even picking up the phone, or (gasp!) networking with humans!

The fight is worth it though. The taste of freedom from crappy bosses, suffocating politics, and hopelessness is worth the fight.

Won’t you join me?

Let’s be real, and purposeful, about our own freedom and independence, and not just take what’s given to us. There is so much opportunity out there waiting for us!

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Joy In Unemployment? … uh….

July 2nd, 2019

jibberjobber-jason-alba-life-is-hardThis morning I woke up to an email showing I was tagged in a LinkedIn post. Thank you Suja Joseph for sharing this. It’s really cool to know that something I wrote long ago (I can’t find the post) is being shared in job search workshops, and even made into real image that can be shared… wow!

You have to know that most of the time I write blog posts to myself, and think that maybe one or two people might read and/or appreciate them.

As I read through her LinkedIn post, I was into all of it until the end.

Yes, life is hard an complicated.

Unemployment definitely doesn’t help make it easier or less complicated!

Yes, we can definitely get through unemployment. I’ve seen it thousands of times since I started JibberJobber.

Many of us survive it, although we come out a little (or a lot) battleworn. That’s okay because before we didn’t take care of our personal career management, and now we flinch just thinking of being in that situation again, unprepared.

But then, the last one:

“We can even find joy in unemployment.

What the heck was I thinking? Why did I write that? Sounds a bit pollyannaish and naive, doesn’t it?

I don’t know why I wrote that because I can’t find my original post.

Here’s why I bet I wrote it back then, and why I would say the same thing today:

I’m reminded by the lawyer who found himself out of a job, having just left a crappy firm and partner, and months into unemployment. He went from working way too much and neglecting himself, his physical health, and his family, to having time to slow down. Not flush with cash, and definitely not enjoying that part of unemployment, but he was able to take care of himself and the things that mattered, get regrounded, and pointed in the right direction. Today, he’s doing just fine. If he kept the pace and the neglect he had before he left that bad situation, he might have driven himself and his marriage into the ground.

The statement makes me think about the executive who was making the company he worked for an enormous amount of money, and enjoying some of the financial rewards, but he was completely and utterly unfulfilled. He had the title, the prestige, the salary, but he was not (in his mind) making a difference in the world. He needed more, but he didn’t have time to do anymore. Surprisingly, this scenario can be depressing. A job change led to months and months of unemployment, where he was able to find himself, discover what he really loved, and find opportunities to help others in a way that was very fulfilling.

Finding joy in unemployment makes me think of the dozens of career professionals… coaches and resume writers, who I’ve met over the years who have come out of unemployment only to create their own businesses helping others. These people got a taste of entrepreneurship, and realized they do have significant value to offer. Helping people in a job search, land on their feet, get their confidence back… wow, there’s a lot of joy in that. But to get to that joy, these entrepreneurs had to go through their own journey that felt like the opposite of joy.

Considering the dismal stats that say that too many of us are not happy at work, I see unemployment as a bit of a recalibration to our careers. I’m not saying I hope that we all go through it, because it is very, very hard to go through. The way things work today, we don’t have to hope too long for it. At some point it touches just about everyone. Instead of letting it drag you down completely, I encourage you to find your own silver lining, your own joy, in whatever the situation is.

For me, I went from an extremely toxic go-nowhere environment where I had no chance at winning to starting my own business, and getting on a path to financial independence and freedom. I went from being under multiple thumbs in dumb situations and being unappreciated to being the master creator of my own career. Has it been easy? No (just ask my wife). Have there been times I wished to go back to “the good old days?” Many times. Even just last year I took a job, my dream job, for nine months.

I needed my unemployment experience back in 2006. And I needed my work and layoff experience from 2018.

One thing I’ve realized, multiple times over the years, is that my life is a journey, and I need to enjoy the journey or I’ll never appreciate the destination as much as I could.

Your unemployment experience is just a bump in the road. But it might be a bump that gets you out of a yucky rut and puts you where you need to be.

In that, we can find joy in unemployment.

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What To Do When Your New Job Sucks

July 1st, 2019

JibberJobber Job Search FreedomA friend of mine just asked me this question:

“My new job is not going well. The culture is not good, the expectations are different than what I was led to believe. I’m at a loss! What should I do?”

Here’s some background: My friend is a professional with some great experience and a solid resume, but has just ended a too-long job search. It was stressful, and we all know how a long job search takes a toll on our psyche, not to mention or finances. A long job search is just something that needs to end.

So… woohoo! He ended it! BUT… what seemed like a great job is turning out to be a lemon. What should he do?

Below are some of my thoughts. I’d love to hear your thoughts (leave a comment so we can all see them).

My first question to him was: “Are you in danger of losing your job?” 

I’m not an opportunist, nor do I think you should take advantage of a company or person. But, you were hired to do a job. If you can do the job, and get whatever fulfillment you can elsewhere (from your family, hobbies, netflix, etc.), then maybe reconsider what a “job” is to and for you. The basic premise of a job, maybe even the social/job contract, is that you sell something (time, expertise, etc.) for something (money and maybe benefits).

If you think that your job will give you money (see part of the social/job contract ) AND fulfillment, you might be asking too much.

I’m absolutely not saying that you should not be fulfilled in life, but looking at your employer to give you fulfillment the way you want/need it is, in my opinion, unfair to the employer.

The reason I asked this question is to understand your urgency. If you are going to lose your job, you have a high level of urgency. But if you have a few months, and can weather the storm, then stick with it, keep your paychecks and benefits, and do the stuff below.

If you are in danger of losing your job, my advice might be a little different than if you weren’t in danger… hence, my first question. That brings me to…

My first bit of advice was: “Look for another job. ALWAYS be looking for another job!”

I’ve been doing JibberJobber for 13.5 years. I’ve seen all kinds of people out of work. Highly educated, high performances, engineers, sales professionals, dentists… hardly anyone is immune to unemployment. Even those in super high demand are not immune to job changes (horrible bosses, toxic cultures, companies closing, companies not paying (run out of money)), etc.

Years ago my friend Ash said that he got daily Monster alerts with new job opportunities. Ash was happily and well employed, and I was surprised to learn that he had his ear to the ground as much as he did. I asked him why and he said you never know what might come up. He wasn’t looking, but he sure had a good idea of who was hiring for what, and what his Plan B, Plan C, Plan etc. would be.

I think we all need to adopt this mindset. That is why I cringe when my JibberJobber users delete their account (and all of their data!) when they find a job. “Congrats on the new gig,” I think, “but see you back in two to five years.”

I don’t care how much you love your job, how new you are there, how secure (cough cough) your job is… you should always do something for your career. So, starting yesterday, look for a new job!

Next, fix your finances.

I believe that we have an unhealthy relationship with money. I see this manifested in three different ways:

Too much debt. Way, way too much debt. Debt is a harsh master. Even if you get a low interest rate, it is money that hangs over your head like a dark cloud. I know that some debt seems unavoidable, but our unhealthy relationship and the debt we carry are related.

Not living with a budget. I know, this is hard. But financial winners do it. It’s like a money diet. I’m not saying it has to be restrictive or horrible, but it’s watching what we earn and what we spend (calories in, calories out) and knowing where our money is at and being in control. We generally don’t do that, so when we have a change in our income or expenses, it can be jarring. When you have the control over your money that a budget gives you, losing your job is still hard, but it’s not too shocking to your finances (as it would be if THEY were in control of you).

Fear of actually having or earning money. This is a weird phenomena that I see too often: people who have a problem with actually earning a decent living. It’s like having money, or having wealth (*shudder*), is a bad thing. Heaven forbid we earn what we are worth. Heaven forbid we are valued by someone for being awesome at something. I want to be valued for what I’m worth (and maybe 25% more :p)… why shouldn’t you be valued for what you are worth?

I know there are lots of ideas on money and budgeting and debt… learn about it. Master it. Be in control of it, and plan for the future while you can enjoy the present. When you are out of control with your money, a job change can be a devastating blow. Note that this is definitely a marathon, so when I say “fix your finances,” I’m not saying fix them today, but get on the right path, and continue on that path making progress.


This is the job search of the working person. You should always be networking. You should network with people at your company, people at industry lunches, you should go to monthly meetups with people in your industry or profession, you should network with them on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or wherever they network.

You should also be very kind and helpful to job seekers. Job seekers are networkers on steroids. They should be talking with (or at least know about) many professionals and companies in your space. Be kind to them. It’s the right thing to do, and building your network of job seekers might be beneficial to your career one day.

Networking is career management. You should never stop doing it. Ever.

Personal Branding.

Your personal brand is your reputation. It’s how others talk about you. It’s how others think about you. It could be tied to your competencies, or it could be tied to your likability.

Your personal brand is at risk of being harmful if you don’t (a) know what it is and (b) work to make it be what you want it to be, on purpose. If you let others decide your brand, and you kind of don’t care, that may bite you later. I encourage you to be very purposeful about your personal brand. I have a Pluralsight course on how to “develop a killer personal brand.” This course came from years of learning about branding, and from many of my presentations. I can get you a 30 day pass… just message me.

I’m sorry that you don’t like your job. You got sold one thing and you ended up with another. That recently happened to me. It sucks. But, you are empowered to take control over what you have. You don’t have to take what an employer gives you, and you should always practice wise career management!

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