Updated Pluralsight Course: Effective Email Communication

March 26th, 2020

As they say, “out with the old, in with the new.”

In late 2013 I created the Effective Email Communication course on Pluralsight. I was pretty sure no one would watch it because, well, everyone knows how to do emails. Who doesn’t know how to do email?

Pluralsight Effective Email Communication

Apparently, enough people needed this course that it did pretty well. If you didn’t know, Pluralsight authors are compensated based on course views. That means if you watch my course, or any part of my course, I get credit (payment) for that. Whether you are on the 30 day pass, or your company pays for your account, or you bought an account, it’s all the same to me.

Grabbed this before it changed...

Grabbed this before it changed…

When I created this course in 2013 the world was a different place. Of course, we didn’t have Coronavirus, shutting down pretty much everything (except toilet paper manufacturing plants). No, really. Things were different then. And so here we are, in 2020. Quarantined in our houses, away from our colleagues, trying to figure out how to work from home.

With changes in our work, communication, and technology, it was time to udpate this course. Perhaps the most important change is that this course is no longer 1 hour and 33 minutes (it is now 1 hour and 1 minute!! Woot woot!). But what hasn’t changed is email (and written communication) etiquette.

Without further ado, I’ll stop writing so you can go check this course out. You can find it here: Effective Email Communication. If you like it, rate it :) Then, click the Related Courses tab, to see a host of other soft skills and professional development courses (you have to be logged into Pluralsight to see those… below the image I’ll put the links to each course):

JibberJobber Effective Email Communication Related Courses

Creative Problem Solving and Decision Making Techniques (Milena Pajic)

Working and Communicating with Different Personalities (Jason Alba)

Working on a Team (Jason Alba)

Writing in the Workplace: Email, Memos, Reports, and Social Messaging (Alan Ackmann)

Becoming a Better Listener (Jason Alba)

Communications: How to Talk, Write, Present, and Get Ahead! (Paul Randal)

Introduction to Emotional Intelligence (Jason Edleman)

Avoiding Common Writing Mistakes (Casey Ayers)

Being a Better Communicator: Grammar, De-jargoning, and Articulation (Alan Ackmann)

Effective Phone Skills (Jason Alba)

Always a good idea to click on Related Courses, once you find a topic you like!

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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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EQ vs. IQ Podcast Conversation with Pluralsight

February 21st, 2020

Jeremy Morgan invited me to the Pluralsight podcast to talk about career stuff as well as one of my newest course topics: emotional intelligence.

I tweeted a few weeks ago that this course, Leading with Emotional Intelligence, might be the most important course I have created. I believe that if we, the whole world, worked to improve our emotional intelligence, everything would change. Work would be better, cultures would be better, people would be more kind (to themselves and others), etc.

Check out my Pluralsight podcast interview here (click the image):

Pluralsight Podcast Jason Alba Emotional Intelligence

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Feedback on “Get Your Next Promotion” Pluralsight Course from Heather MacDonald

January 29th, 2020

Heather MacDonald Program ManagerOne of the most rewarding parts of creating stuff (in this case, soft skills courses for Pluralsight) is hearing what others think about it. Well, not hearing anything… I don’t need to hear that I’m a dolt. But I do love to hear how anything I’ve created has helped you think differently, or inspired you to do something (anything!).

Mark LeBlanc said one of his objectives as a speaker is to impact and inspire. As soon as he said that it became my objective, as a creator.

I was delighted to get tagged in this LinkedIn post by Heather MacDonald, who is working every day to make the world and her work environment a better place (link here). Just looking at Heather’s LinkedIn profile shows me that she strives to help and build others – it is inspiring!

Here’s what she wrote, in case you can’t access her post:

Heather MacDonald Program Manager

Another Pluralsight course I finished recently was How to Get Your Next Promotion by Jason Alba, Product Manager. I am fully aware I’ve only been in my current role for a short time but I am always thinking about what I can do to better support my future plans for my life.

I loved and recommend this course because:

1. It gives tangible steps to figure out what your plan is and how to follow up and get there

2. I love that it talks about soft skills and that it touched on the “cultural fit” issue in applying for new jobs

3. The course talks through how you can take control of your career path so you can truly own your own growth (I have fallen into the trap of believing that if I do a good job people will notice and promote me but I know that’s not typically true.)

There are so many great pieces to this course depending on where you are in your career and what you want to do. I recommend watching the course and understanding where you’re going and what’s next that you can work on.

Where are you on your career path? What’s next for you? What do you need to work on to be ready to move into your next role? Share what you have going on! You never know who else can help you achieve your dream.

#career #lifelonglearning #goals

Thank you Heather, for this very kind review!

If anyone you want a 30 day pass to Pluralsight, to check out this and any of my other soft skills courses, or any of the around-7,000 courses from amazing people from around the world, just let me know. I’ll see if I can find some.

The course she is talking about is here:

Pluralsight How To Get Your Next Promotion



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Soft Skills Deliver Hard Results: WOW!

January 22nd, 2020

Pluralsight Soft Skills MatterNOTE: not sure why the bunny pictures. But I figured “soft”… and bunnies are cute. And that is just the mood I’m in right now :p 

Check out this awesome post from HealthLeadersMedia titled Soft Skills That Deliver Hard Results. There are some super quotes in here… which I’ll include below.

I am a champion of soft skills. I generally like people, and want people to have rich and fulfilling lives. As long as I can remember I’ve cared about how people get that fulfillment, and have enjoyed learning about and from people.

JibberJobber is a tool to help people get back to fulfillment. I love talking to my users, and meeting job seekers when I present.

In 2012 I was asked to create a course for Pluralsight, which lead to me working on over 30 courses, many of which are soft skills courses. As I’ve been able to spend time and brain cells on soft skills I’ve fallen in love with the topics, which go broad and deep. From communication to listening to empathy to emotional intelligence to personality assessments to communicating up (and down)… I’ve been blessed to have my head in this space for a long time.

A few weeks ago my 16 year old daughter was chatting with me about my courses and she said something like: “It’s really cool that you can teach soft skills to programmers, who have really good hard skills, because when you have soft skills and hard skills… wow!”

Out of the mouths of babes, #amIRight? (<– Don’t judge too hard on that, I hear “am I right daily from my 10 year old son :p”)

Anyway, back to soft skills. I have always taken the position that the work I do on soft skills courses, along with my colleagues who talk about teams, HR stuff, project management, and other soft skills, add a very important and complementary line of thinking and training for people who are excelling in their hard skills.

Here are my Pluralsight courses. Did you know that if you watch my courses I give you upgrades on JibberJobber? If you don’t, ask us how… it’s easy.

Jason Alba Pluralsight Courses

Having said all of that, let me share some quotes from the article, which you need to read. It really is awesome. Read it here.

“It’s time to think about incorporating a culture of joy and love into your [work/company/team] to turn things around.”

“‘Soft” skills’ used in work environments are the new “‘hard” skills.'”

“if implemented well, softer skills can help healthcare organizations reap hard results in employee engagement, patient safety, and nurse retention and recruitment.” This article is for healthcare professionals, but the point is transferable to your industry. Soft skills can have a real impact on your culture and your bottom line, and other things: ” ‘hard’ issues like financial goals, patient outcomes, and patient experience that healthcare organizations are eager to achieve.”

“The American Medical Association estimates physician burnout costs range from $500,000 to more than $1 million per physician.” How much does burnout cost you, and your employer?

Culture. Empathy. Love. Joy. Resilience.

These are all words used more than once in this article.

Can you imagine working in an environment where those things are prevalent? Can you change your own environment by focusing on those things?

This is why I love the courses I get to work on at Pluralsight. Soft skills matter.

You can find my soft skills courses here:

Jason Alba’s soft skills courses on Pluralsight

Job Search Soft Skills

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Pluralsight Course: Leading With Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

January 10th, 2020

Pluralsight Leading With Emotional Intelligence

My latest course on Pluralsight is live, and I honestly think this is my most important course that I may do, ever.

Leading with Emotional Intelligence 

If you need a 30 day pass, let me know. I’ll see if I have any left.

I think if everyone in the world works on the five principles of emotional intelligence (EQ) with the proper intent (not to manipulate others). Of course, working on emotional intelligence means working on social skills (that’s the fifth of the five main pillars of EQ)… so better listening, better communication, etc. But the other pillars add perspective and context to EQ.

This course has explanations of EQ, as well as specific exercises you can work on right now to start improving your EQ. However, I had to keep this course close to an hour. If I had eight hours I would have used them up.

My ask is that you view this course as a beginning. It’s not a PhD level course. It’s not a masters level course. It is meaty, but there is much more to talk about. Let it be the catalyst to ask yourself the right questions (What do I do with this information? Where do I go from here? Do I agree with it all? Are there exceptions for me?).

Leading With Emotional Intelligence Pluralsight Intro Slide

I try to answer the questions in the discussion section. I am also happy to answer questions via email or on Twitter or whatever. I want this to be the beginning of a discussion. Want more? Then let’s talk it through!

I hope you enjoy this course, and use it as a launching pad on a serious personal journey. I know I think differently now, after having spent time on the topic, and thinking through the elements of emotional intelligence.

Need a 30 day pass on Pluralsight? I might just be able to hook you up… let me know and I’ll see if I can get you a code to redeem. 

Leading With Emotional Intelligence Title Slide


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Cyber Monday Means Pluralsight’s Biggest Sale Yet (40% off)

December 2nd, 2019

That’s right: for $179 instead of $299 you get a year of Pluralsight. This is freaking awesome.

When people ask me what Pluralsight is I say “have you heard of LinkedIn Learning? That used to be Lynda? Anyway…. Pluralsight is like that, but they focus more on developers and technologists.”

Not a techie? Bear with me… it gets good for you, too…

First, for techies. Pluralsight finds the best of the best to teach technical courses. These are people who are flown around the world and paid bank to speak at conferences or do corporate training. They are deep into their fields of expertise, and are either passionate about teaching or they are learning teaching skills. Pluralsight then works with these content producers (aka “Pluralsight Authors”) to ensure they have quality audio, video, and visuals. You won’t see the scratchy audio or video quality you might see on one of the bazillion Youtube tutorials. A few years ago at the Author conference the CEO stressed again and again (and again) QUALITY in our courses. They want it, and they help us create quality.

I just counted around 300 “Learning Paths” that Pluralsight curates. Hundreds of them are for programmers and technologists. Here are some not-so-technical learning paths that you might find interesting. Remember, for the next few hours (until midnight tonight) you get ALL of this for $179 instead of $299! 40% off!

Pluralsight Learning Path Managing Projects PMP

Pluralsight Learning Path Adobe Video and Audio Production

Pluralsight Learning Path Being A Technology Manager

Pluralsight Learning Path Business Analysis

Pluralsight Learning Path Data Analytics Literacy

Pluralsight Learning Path Graphic Design

Pluralsight Learning Path Leadership Management for Project Managers

Pluralsight Learning Path Program Management Professional

Pluralsight Learning Path Project Management Professional

Pluralsight Learning Path Scrum Framework

I’ll continue to tell you when Pluralsight has sales. But be forewarned… I’ve never seen a discount like this before. Do it now, before time runs out:



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Biggest Pluralsight Discount Yet: Black Friday/Cyber Monday of 2019

November 29th, 2019

The last few Pluralsight discounts I’ve shared were pretty great: 33% off of $299. And then I saw this:

This weekend, for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, 40% off! 

From $299 (the list price), the 33% off meant you got a whole year of Pluralsight courses for $199. But this weekend it’s better than that. 40% off means you only pay $179.


$179 breaks down to about $15 a month.

For $15 a month you get full and unfettered access to around 6,000 or 7,000 online courses (I’ve heard both numbers).

Yes, these have been designed for technologists. Yes, I know many technologists who are on Pluralsight all the time. Whether they are senior or junior, they use Pluralsight as their learning mechanism to stay up on technologies.

In addition to tech courses (there are even starter courses for those who are looking at a career change into tech), there are courses for product managers, project managers, business analysts, UX designers, and graphics artists.

Get that? Even if you aren’t technical, you can get value from the product manager, project manager, business analyst, etc. courses. That alone is worth a lot more than $179 for a year.

Let’s say that none of that interests you. Check out the Job Search Learning Path below … that is 20 hours of courses/learning for anyone in or preparing for a transition. My most important suggestions will be on personal branding and informational interviews.  Get it for those two courses, and then enjoy the rest, which can only help with your career.

Job Seeker Learning Path Course Sequence:

Course Duration
Designing a Killer Job Search Strategy 1h 43m
Developing a Killer Personal Brand 2h 00m
Resumes and Self-marketing for Software Developers 1h 40m
Relationship Management and Tracking for Your Career 1h 47m
Informational Interviews 1h 45m
LinkedIn Strategy: Optimize Your Profile 1h 55m
LinkedIn: Proactive Strategies 1h 29m
Effective Email Communication 1h 33m
Effective Phone Skills 1h 19m
Becoming a Better Listener 1h 36m
Onboard Yourself: What to Do After You Land Your Dream Job 1h 20m

This ends on Monday night… don’t wait though. Invest in yourself and learn all year.

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PMI Certification Prep: PMP (Project Manager) and PgMP (Program Manager) on Pluralsight

November 6th, 2019

“But Jason, I’m not in tech!”

Oh yeah? What industry today doesn’t have tech?

And what career path would not benefit from tech-related certifications?

Jeremy Jarrell PluralsightCheck out the Pluralsight learning path titled Program Management Professional – PMI-PgMP® Exam Prep. There are six courses by Jeremy Jarrell, who teaches you how to prepare for the PMI Program Management Professional certification. You can actually get this prep for Pluralsight’s low $299/year price… considerably lower than taking a year of university classes. I know having a PMI certification specializing in program management would be helpful for me to land a program manager job!

You think project management is cooler than program management?

casey-ayers-pluralsightPerhaps it is… for you. Why don’t you go over to Casey Ayers‘ learning path titled Project Management Professional – PMI-PMP® Exam Prep, which has FOURTEEN (14)!! courses to prep you to become a certified project management professional. Think that won’t open some career doors? Holy cow. Again, the super low price of Pluralsight to get you PMP exam prep blows my mind.

Invest in yourself. Invest in your education. These are two great learning paths that easily justify the price of a full year membership on Pluralsight (right now it’s only $299/year). In addition to those learning paths you get access to EVERYTHING on Pluralsight. Crazy.

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Get More Out of Mentoring (Pluralsight Courses)

October 25th, 2019

pluralsight_transparentI have two courses on mentoring on Pluralsight. One is for the mentee and one is for the mentor. On the mentee course (How to Be a Great Mentee: Get More out of Mentoring) I responded to a question from Joseph, and I wanted to share that response with you. Joseph asked if I had any recommended reading (about mentoring). I responded with this:

This might come as a surprise but the first book that comes to mind is one of the best books on deep interpersonal relationships and I think is required reading: How to Win Friends and Influence People. I strongly recommend this as an excellent book for mentors and mentees alike.

The second “book” is actually a category of books that I find so inspirational: biographies and autobiographies. I find inspiration in learning about the journeys that others have… what challenges they had, who impacted them, what advice they have picked up along the way, what principles they live by, etc. As I read those I can get a better perspective of my own journey. When I have a random conversation with someone now I can go up 30,000 feet and think “this might be one of those profound moments or people along MY OWN journey.” This perspective, I think, will help us become better learners and mentees.

Probably not what you expected, but those are the two that came to mind first and strongest :)

In our discussion I followed up with this link, and think that John Maxwell’s Mentoring 101 would be an excellent read.

I’m sure it’s very good. But I still think my best recommendations are the Friends book and any biographies.

What do you think?


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