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Leadership For Those Who Don’t Have The Title

May 3rd, 2019

Pluralsight Course: Leadership for Non-managersI just released my 33rd Pluralsight course (my course count is 32 because one of my courses was retired/replaced). This course, titled Leadership for Non-managers, is on one of my favorite topics: personal development, specifically with leadership. I believe that everyone could and should develop leadership qualities. I think you should get ready for opportunities that will come your way. Now is the time to start, not when you get the opportunity.

In this very short (1 hour and five minutes) course I talk about what leadership really is, and discuss an epiphany that I had that helped me rethink and reframe leadership. The epiphany helped me better understand the answer to “what makes a great leader?” I talk about leadership styles, which helps you understand why different leaders seem different, and I give solid examples of leadership characteristics.

My favorite module is the last one. It is only 14 minutes long but I have what I think is my best “how do I actually implement these ideas? How do I make progress?” discussions. I give a seven step plan that you can implement to become a leader, regardless of your current title.

JibberJobber users can get double the JibberJobber upgrade when they self-report for watching this course. Just click the button twice for every one time you watch it.

Enjoy!

 

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Pluralsight Channel: Jason Alba’s Career Management Courses

April 23rd, 2019

Another Pluralsight channel I recently created is called Jason Alba’s Career Management Courses. Again, if you need a 30 day pass, just let me know. Once you are logged in to Pluralsight, you’ll be able to see the channel (click the image below to get there, once logged in).

JibberJobber Pluralsight Channel: Jason Alba's Career Management Courses

The courses in this channel include:

Designing a Killer Job Search Strategy

Developing a Killer Personal Brand

Informational Interviews

LinkedIn Strategy: Optimize Your Profile

LinkedIn: Proactive Strategies

Effective Email Communication

Effective Phone Skills

Presenting to the Boss(es)

Prioritizing Time and Managing Time for Greater Productivity

Building and Managing Your Career Plan

Becoming a Better Listener

Career Management 2.0

Writing and Marketing a Book

How to Get Your Next Promotion

Onboard Yourself: What to Do After You Land Your Dream Job

I hope this helps you with your career and job search goals!

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Pluralsight Channel: Jason Alba’s Path to Management

April 19th, 2019

I just created a “channel” on Pluralsight called “Jason Alba’s Path to Management.” This is a collection of currently 13 Jason Alba courses, which are listed below. To get to the channel, you have to login on Pluralsight (want a 30 day pass? Ask me…), then click the link for the channel (here).

jibberjobber-pluralsight-channel-jaon-alba-path-to-management

The courses there now, which will be added to as I do more courses, include:

Management 101

Leadership: Getting Started

Becoming a Better Listener

How to Have Difficult Conversations

Creating and Leading Effective Teams for Managers

How to Speak to Business Leaders

Prioritizing Tasks and Managing Time for Greater Productivity

How to Be a Great Mentor: Ge More out of Mentoring

Presenting to the Boss(es)

Working on a Team

Effective Email Communication

Working and Communicating with Different Personalities

Boosting Innovation: How Leaders Can Create Innovative Teams

Whew… that is a lot of learning! If you need a 30 day pass to Pluralsight, ask me.

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Two New Pluralsight Courses Added to the Tracker

April 17th, 2019

The last two courses I did were just added to the Pluralsight Tracker in JibberJobber. These were the courses I did after over a two year break. The first How to Have Difficult Conversations, which I was inspired to do because of my work at BambooHR. This was a big theme at that company, and they talked about it a lot. The course is one hour, thirty six minutes.

The second course is titled Boosting Innovation: How Leaders Can Create Innovative Teams, which is one hour, forty five minutes. This was a fun course to work on because I love the idea of innovation and creativity, and I love the idea of creating an environment where they are fostered and nurtured.

Once you watch those, or any other Jason Alba course, go into the Tracker (Videos, Pluralsight Videos, then it’s under Step 3), and click the plus button to show you watched it. You can do this as many times as you watch a course, even if it’s the same course over and over.

jibberjobber-pluralsight-two-new-courses

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Hacking Pluralsight to Learn More, Faster

April 12th, 2019

Pluralsight is a superb library of thousands of in-depth technical training courses designed for programmers, IT professionals, and anyone in the tech space. I have over 30 soft skill and professional development courses in Pluralsight. Watching any of my courses qualifies you to get free JibberJobber upgrades. I can get you a 30 day pass to the entire Pluralsight library! (to get your 30 day pass, first get a JibberJobber account, then click Videos from the top menu)

pluralsight-jason-alba

Some of my courses are designed for job seekers (Designing a Killer Job Search Strategy, Informational Interviews, a course on your LinkedIn Profile and another course on a proactive strategy for LinkedIn, etc.), some are designed to help you be a better communicator (Becoming a Better Listener, Presenting to the Bosses, Working and Communicating with Different Personalities, Effective Phone Skills, Effective Email Communication, etc.), some are designed to help you in your career (Career Management 2.0, Building and Managing Your Career Plan, etc.)… you get the point. See all of my courses here.

Disclaimer: as a “Pluralsight author” I get compensated for every minute… indeed, for every second that anyone watches any of my courses. Whether you are a paying member or use the 30 day pass and don’t spend a dime (you don’t even give them your credit card on the 30 day pass!), if you watch my course, I get compensated.

So, you got your 30 day pass… you have access to thousands of courses (there are over 100 soft skills courses, 30+ of which are from me, and tons of courses on everything from database design, game design, UX, project management, and of course, a plethora of programming courses)… how do you get the MOST out of your Pluralsight experience? Here are two hacks to get more out of your Pluralsight experience:

Change the Video Speed

This is my top tip. The default speed is, of course, 1x. You can go up to 2x, in .1x increments… Is 1.5x good enough for you? Do whatever feels comfortable… 1.3x, 1.5x, etc. It’s up to you. Here’s the deal: if you listen to a one hour video at 1.5x, it takes 40 minutes to go through it. You save 20 minutes! (Did you think it was 45 minutes? Here’s an easy explanation of how that math works – intriguing, I know :p)

To change the video speed, start to play a video, then in the lower-right area of the video player click on this button, to see the speed options.  Only do it as fast as you are comfortable… but if you can do more than 1x, you’ll finish a course faster, and be able to watch more courses!

Pluralsight Playback Speed to listen to more courses

Watch a Course on Your Mobile, Even When Offline

When you are on your mobile device, you can choose courses to watch while you are offline. This will download the course and allow you to play it from anywhere (think: while 30,000 feet in the air, while your phone is on airplane mode!). This means you can learn while you work out, while you are on the subway, while you are on vacation in the mountains (I know, I know)… anywhere. Once you get back online, the app communicates to the Pluralsight server and shows that you have watched the course. Remember, you still need to go into the Pluralsight Tracker on JibberJobber if you want to report having watched the course and get JibberJobber premium upgrades.

Here are the instructions to get and use the Pluralsight mobile app (you probably don’t really need instructions, but here they are).

Pluralsight Mobile App

Watch Jason Alba Courses while you do dishes

I put a lot of work into each course. I had fun doing the visuals, and spent hours agonizing over how things looked. I also realized that my courses did not require visuals to learn about the topics… the visuals were a nice complement but not necessary. I’m not saying don’t pay attention to the visuals, but if you want to just listen to my courses, as you work around the house, or drive to work, go for it! Think of my courses as something of a podcast, or audio booklet. If you feel like you are missing out on a certain visual, you can always switch back over to your mobile or PC and watch them.

Remember, after you watch any Jason Alba course on Pluralsight, go to Tracker in JibberJobber and report them to get free JibberJobber upgrades! There’s no limit on this.

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Pluralsight #32: Boosting Innovation: How Leaders Can Create Innovative Teams

February 7th, 2019

My 32nd course on Pluralsight is now live. You’ll only see 31 because I had one course retire (it was replaced by a more updated version). This course is pretty fun, it is titled Boosting Innovation: How Leaders Can Create Innovative Teams.

pluralsight_course_boosting_innovation

This course is one hour and forty five minutes. The meat is in the second and third modules, where I give dozens of ideas for leaders to create and nurture innovation on a team.

Some of the ideas you might wholeheartedly agree with. Others you might think are crazy (or, won’t work for your team). Others might be something you’ve never thought about before.

My hope with this course is that you take ideas that you can implement and work, one idea at a time, to create an innovative environment.

For JibberJobber users who are reporting back on the Course Tracker, go ahead and click twice for each view of this course for the next week. That’s right, double the JibberJobber upgrade each time you watch this course.

Enjoy!

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2019 Career Resolutions for 2019 for Technologists

December 20th, 2018

A couple of weeks ago I was interviewed by a dice.com writer, asking what my recommendations for career resolutions could be for technologists. I had three things I shared that I thought were pretty darn good. You can see her article here: Career Resolutions Every Tech Pro Needs to Make for 2019

First, and I think the most important bit of advice, is to work on your soft skills. 

I was not the only one surprised by the results of Google’s study of what made their top workers so successful, where the FIRST seven of ten things were soft skills.

Isn’t that mind-boggling? The top seven most important characteristics of successful Google employees do not include technology skills!  I’m still shocked.

But I’m not surprised. Soft skills are so critical in today’s world, especially where there is a certain assumption of technical abilities.

I have 30 (and counting) Pluralsight courses that you can access that will help you with soft skills. You can see my soft skills courses on Pluralsight here.

While the primary audience of Pluralsight has been programmers, my soft skill courses are applicable to anyone. Want to become a better listener? Want to learn about leadership, management, even career management (of course)? I have that, and more.

I can offer you a 30 day pass on Pluralsight. Just get a JibberJobber account and then use the contact us to ask for more information.

Pluralsight costs around $300 a year, which is a steal considering what it would take to, for example, go to school or sign up for a boot camp. Many professionals around the world use Pluralsight to keep their skills up-to-date.  Sometimes they have special offers…

My main point is, for your career growth, work on your soft skills!

Second, help others.

When you help others, whether you need help as a desperate job seeker or you are totally comfortable in your day job, you are creating great value in your network.

I told the author of the dice article about an opportunity that I had… what would have been a sure job offer through the brother of a close friend. It would have been awesome. I was at a networking event a few days earlier and met someone who would have been the perfect hire. In my conversation with the hiring manager I said that I’d be happy to pursue this, but they really should have the other guy come in, too.

Long story short: the other guy was offered the job. And I felt awesome, for the small part I had in his success.

Helping others can be as dramatic as that, or it can be as simple as saying “yes, I would be happy to meet with you for 30 minutes.” Helping others means you make introductions, or make calls on behalf of the other person. It means you remember someone’s name, or just greet someone kindly. It means you speak kindly of others. There are hundreds of ways you can help others…. I hope that this can be a career goal for you in 2019 and for years to come.

Third, do The Thing you know you need to do.

When the writer of that article asked me (in an email) what every technology professional should have as a career resolution in 2019, the first and second things mentioned above came to mind first. As we were talking, I had another idea. It’s hard to say “all technologists should do this.” We’re talking about tens of millions, hundreds of millions of people.

My idea was the one at the bottom of the article, the one where I was cited. It was that you already know what you should do. There is, I’m sure, at least one thing that you should work on. I’m not sure if it’s to get better at a certain hard skill, or to expand your network, or to get ready for a a leadership role or to branch out as an entrepreneur… I don’t know. But I bet you know.

So my suggestion is to work on the thing that you know to do. I don’t have a silver bullet answer for you… you already have the answer.

So work on that.

Happy 2019!

 

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Epic News: My Next Pluralsight Course is Live (How to Have Difficult Conversations)

December 6th, 2018

For the last three years my time spent on Pluralsight courses was winded down significantly. I went from creating about twelve courses in a year (which was no easy task) to zero… I found that stopping that revenue stream left a significant void in my schedule and my income… which is one reason why I went to work for BambooHR.

Miracle of miracles, in October I was on a call with my main contact and we were talking about starting up again. And so we did… and today I get to announce that my 31st course is live! This one is on How to Have Difficult Conversations.

difficult_conversations_jason_alba

I’m proud of this course for various reasons. I think I did a really good job on the course, in general. With the help of Pluralsight and a peer reviewer, I think this is my most visually appealing course (although I make my courses so that you could listen to them on a treadmill, or without visuals).

The idea for this course came from listening to conversations at BambooHR. One of their unspoken themes is around having difficult, or crucial, conversations. In fact, they recently sent everyone the book Crucial Conversations. If that doesn’t tell you it’s on their mind, then what does?

Difficult conversations… with a colleague, a boss, a subordinate (I don’t like that word :/), a spouse, a neighbor, a loved one… with whoever. They are a part of our world. We may try to avoid them but we won’t avoid all of them.

An executive at Bamboo asked me to have a difficult conversation with someone, and said something like: Every time someone has a difficult conversation, good comes out of it. Every single time.

Avoid them if you must, but you are avoiding personal growth. You are avoiding better relationships and a better work or home environment. Avoiding difficult conversations will stunt progress.

Having difficult conversations, with planning and purpose, and do wonders.

Spend 94 minutes on my course, and you should be on your way to having better difficult conversations!

Want free access to my course? Want 30 days of full Pluralsight access, at no cost to you? Leave a comment or message me and I’ll tell you how. No obligation… 

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Soft Skills Pluralsight Review Thoughts by Steven McEvoy

June 7th, 2016

stevenMcEvoy_headshotSteven McEvoy is a senior systems analyst and DevOps professional in Canada.  Earlier this year he wrote a really cool blog post (Jason Alba – Pluralsight, JibberJobber, Author and more) just about my courses… here are some of my favorite parts:

Okay, that title is pretty cool.  I work in a home office (with a distributed team, of course) and sometimes it’s easy to feel alone and not remember some of the things I’ve accomplished. Just seeing those three major accomplishments is pretty cool.  For job seekers: when you feel lonely, alone, or unaccomplished, start listing (aka brainstorming) ANY accomplishment you’ve ever had. EVER. Big, small, everything. This could be a running list that will grow.  You might be surprised at all the cool things you’ve ever done, but have forgotten. Need a pickmeup?  That is it!

“I am very impressed with Jason’s presenting style. He is engaging, entertaining and honest. His courses are great.”  Here’s a bit of the backstory: When I sat down to do my first Pluralsight course I was quite lost.  I was just finishing a run of speaking for a few years in person. Probably hundreds of presentations on a stage, and I don’t know how many dozens of webinars. From a stage I feed off of the audience’s energy. The first laugh I get is all I need to keep going.  In a webinar, I get way less feedback, but I do monitor the chat window, and sometimes there are others who are talking.  I had trained my presentations skills to be optimized for a live audience.  But doing a recording course? WAY different. In my live course I like to have very few words on a slide.  In a record course, I don’t have eye contact, I can’t gauge engagement, and one word slides, I think, weren’t going to work.  Anyway, this is too long to say: it took me a while to find and hone my style.  And I’m really grateful that it’s appreciated. For job seekers: sometimes (many times?) we just have to get out of our comfort zone, whether we want to or not.

“He teaches on a wide range of skills and competencies that will help you grow, but not just in your abilities at work these skills can transfer to all areas of your life.” Yes….  my hope is that your soft/people skills will improve and you will have richer relationships, at work, and outside of work. Imagine improving ourselves so we are better in all of our relationships, not just the ones at work. For job seekers: you can tell an employer the obvious (that you are good at your job) but can you illustrate the benefits they will get from your job well-done?

“I will warn you once you start learning with Jason or Pluralsight you won’t want to stop you might become hooked…” That is pretty nice to say :)  For job seekers: What are you doing, or what can you do, to have employers and network contacts “hooked” on you?

I recently submitted the proposal for my 30th Pluralsight course.  30 is a lot… I don’t know how many authors have that many courses.  I’m glad to offer a 30 day pass to JibberJobber users, where they can watch all of my courses (or any of the almost 5,000 courses) at no cost.  After 30 days, a monthly subscription is a low $29.  Bonus: Every time yoiu watch a Jason Alba course, report back and we’ll upgrade you on JibberJobber for a few days. There is no limit to this bonus. Learn how here.

 

 

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New Course: Building and Managing Your Career Plan

May 26th, 2016

This is my 29th Pluralsight course: Building and Managing Your Career Plan.

This course is a good complement to Career Management 2.0, which I did in 2013. The Career Plan course is all about figuring out where you want to go, and creating and working a plan to get there. Career Management is more about rethinking job security and your role in your career path.

This new course is only 95 minutes long. Every time you watch it you can a few days of premium JibberJobber . Just turn on the course tracker in JibberJobber and let us know you’ve watched it there.

Not a Pluralsight user?  That’s okay… I can hook you up with a 30 day unlimited trial. Each time you watch a Jason Alba (that’s me!) course, you can self-report and get a few days of JibberJobber upgrade.  Watch a course, get a JibberJobber upgrade… again, and again, and again.

Pluralsight is an awesome library of learning content, mostly for IT professionals (developers, server admins, SQL pros, graphics designers, etc.).  There are over 100 soft skills and professional development courses in the library,  and almost 30 of them were done by me :)

Get started in just a minute or two with these instructions, and then self-report for JibberJobber upgrades.

ps_building-managing-career-plan

 

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