Welp. Are people on unemployment lazy scammers?

May 7th, 2021

I just saw this tweet by Liz Wheeler, a “political commentator”:

I don’t care what your political affiliation is. This tweet kind or raised my hairs a bit, as it did the tons of commenters on Twitter. The messages I’m reading in this tweet are dangerous. Let’s break it down:

“should have to show proof”

What does that mean? How do you “show proof,” and how in the world are underfunded government workers going to actually validate any proof that comes their way?

I live in Utah. In 2006 I had to call an automated phone system and declare I made contact with two or three (I can’t remember) new-to-me employers in a week in order to get unemployment for that week. The phone call was impersonal, never talking to a human, just pushing 1 for yes or 2 for no (or something similar, it’s now a distant, fuzzy memory). My point is, people collecting unemployment have definitely had to somehow declare they are meeting requirements for unemployment checks.

What proof do you want? Do you think a job seeker should get some kind of confirmation that they reached out to, applied at, or talked with someone at a company that might hire them? Does that mean hiring managers, recruiters, etc. will need to fill out government forms? Or is a simple email exchange good enough? This can get real messy real quick.

The reality is showing proof, or even the current honor system in most (all?) states in the U.S. is really quite flawed. Either it creates a ton of work and paperwork, which would require hiring tons of people to validate and check and follow-up, and enforce, or we stay with “I promise I did this this week.” Will there be abuse? YES. There is. I have seen it. But I’m not sure there is a way to address it by going to the users of the system… it might be the actual system that needs a complete overhaul.

I think it would be great to study (not that I’m advocating for millions of dollars to go towards more research) how other countries handle unemployment issues.

Look, we can’t even agree on wearing masks, and the media has been much more of a hinderance than a help on getting any kind of good or accurate information out there. Why in the world would we ask the media to solve this problem, with a solution like “should have to show proof”??

“they are actively looking for a job.”

I’m not a rich person hater. I love that people can accumulate wealth. I’m glad Liz is worth over $10M and, according to a google search, makes more than $500k a year. I’m guessing she is worth more, and makes more, but my point is she’s rich. And I’m happy for her.

But I do not like what I’m reading into here, the “they”… they… the unemployed, the scammers, the lazy people. They, the people who the rich support with their taxes. They. Why not “us?” I thought unemployed people were “they” too until I become one of them. And then it was “we” and “us.”

Anyone who feels like “they” is a bunch of lazy scammers is one good layoff away from becoming a part of they.

But I digress. I don’t want to focus on the haves and the have-nots.  I want to focus on what “actively looking for a job” means. Since 2006, when I became immersed in this world, I learned that the government felt I was “actively looking for a job” if I made contact with two or three new-to-me companies that might hire me.

That was a horribly loose definition of a successful job search. Who in the government decided that is the best way to find a job? What does making contact with? Having a real conversation or interview, or just saying “hi, I’m here!” What does a company that might hire me mean? And why in the world do statistics say that 65% or 85% or whatever number you want but definitely more than 50% of jobs are found through networking, but we aren’t “rewarded” (if you call UI a reward) for doing effective job search tactics?

Furthermore, what is a job? If I get a minimum wage job then I’m hired. I’m a success, no longer qualified for UI. The metrics and tracking aren’t accounting for underemployment, or career paths, or training, or anything like that.

This government solution is a one-size-fits-nobody solution, and just wanting to enforce it more is going to hurt more people, the economy, and the strength of any nation more than figuring out real solutions to unemployment.

Hey listen, I’m not an economist. I got a D in my Finance class in college. I’ve never been the sharpest tool in the shed, and I have a brother who wonders about my future because “I can’t keep a job.” I’m not getting paid to entertain on TV, nor am I smart enough to be an elected official. So take my post with a grain of salt, but I’m here to tell you, the system is messed up, and what Liz is calling for won’t fix it, it will make it way worse, and perhaps easier to scam.

I think the government could do a LOT better job of educating us on how jobs are found. Tell us the real numbers on job boards, who is hiring, what tactics work, etc. And please, please have different advice for different people. Industry, role, and level all matter. Advice for a kid out of high school is not the same as advice for an executive looking to replace a $500,000 job. If the government is going to be involved, they should do it right, instead of treating everyone the same prescribing job search tactics that boil down to “it’s a numbers game.” It kind of is, if done right, but if done wrong, the numbers game mentality will really suck.

“Too many people are refusing to work & living on unemployment”

I agree there are people who refuse to work. If they are collecting unemployment then they are likely scamming the system.

But what does “refuse to work” mean? Does that mean they refuse to work at $10 or $15 an hour? I remember hearing, in my job search, to NOT take a low paying job which will take too much of my time and energy when I should be dedicating said time and energy to finding the right job for me, with the right compensation. This is not pride, this is logistics. But if I refuse this low paying job and that low paying job I fall into the “refuse to work.”

I have travelled the country and have met thousands of people who are looking for work. None of them that I’ve talked to refuse to work. They wouldn’t have come to my seminars if they refused to work, would they? But they want the right work for where they are at in their career. For someone who is worth ten(s) of millions of dollars, making almost a million a year, to generalize job seekers in this way is offensive.

Speaking of money.. “living on unemployment.” I’m here to tell you, there aren’t many people who are really living on unemployment. Do you know how much unemployment is? NOT MUCH.

Okay, sure, there are people who are paying their bills on unemployment. Most people, I think, don’t want to make a career out of it. There is no dignity in it. When my wife and I received unemployment we were treated, by the people who administered it, as crooks. They questioned every thing we did, every form we turned in. I could tell their jobs had shifted from “helping people out” to “identifying who is scamming the tax payers.” The power trips and the degrading conversations were horrible. We got off as soon as we could. It might have been the most motivating factor in my job search, to distance myself from those people.

I hope your experience with your UI contacts is much better and more dignified than mine was.

If I were Liz I’d worry a lot more about the entire system, and address root issues, than the symptom of people who are living on unemployment (and taking advantage of other welfare programs). Please address root problems without attacking symptoms that were created by a bad system.

The end.

I don’t have any faith that this problem, the root problems, are going to get fixed anytime soon. I know there are stories of employers reaching out to their old staff, who have been on unemployment, and the staff said “no way, we make more doing nothing than coming to work in your store.” I know there’s a shortage of talent, and the pandemic really tested our already problem-laden system. I know companies have grown, shrunk, or even gone away because of it.

I also know that generally, we as humans want dignity. We want to contribute, add value, create, help, build, serve, etc. We don’t want to sit at home, sucking from society and adding nothing. We can only binge-watch so many shows, play so many games. We want to feel whole again. In part, this comes through the work we do.

I don’t have solutions, I just needed to rant. If you want to seem more ranting, from different perspectives, click her tweet above and look at the comments. It gets fiery.

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Why Hiring Stalls And Recruiters Don’t Communicate With You

April 30th, 2021

About a month ago I was asked by the CEO of a company I work with to find a front end developer. That is someone who specializes in making a website beautiful and delightful… not necessarily on optimizing database stuff or some of the behind-the-scenes work. This type of person is in demand…. which is important to this whole story.

Disclaimer: I am not a trained or full-time recruiter. I’m not speaking for recruiters, I’m just sharing my recent experience.

So I worked with the CEO and lead developer to create a job description, posted it on a special board, and got about twelve applications right away. I went through them, scored them based on qualifications, and presented a short list to the team. We talked about it, and reached out to I think five people to set up interviews.

We heard from one person.

Remember, these are people who reached out to us, responding to the job posting.

That was okay. The one person who replied was on our short-short list. We had a good interview, and then… I (being the main contact) was ghosted.


Hiring Ghosted

I value good communication, and ghosting someone is not what I would call good communication. The longer I was ghosted the less interested I was in this short-listed candidate.

Communication…. lol. I said I value good communication, and I was upset that i wasn’t hearing from this candidate. All the while, there were new applicants I wasn’t hearing from. Oopsie. This is such a two-way road, and throw in the human factor and we have the perfect storm for misunderstandings and such. Instead of saying what all the candidates I reached out to did wrong, I’ll share why I did not communicate well (from the job seeker’s perspective). These are going to sound like excuses, but that’s not my intention. My intention with this post is to paint a bit more of the landscape of finding the right hire, and sharing why the “candidate experience” can suck.

I’m Busy Doing Other Things

I’m sorry to say this but you aren’t my first priority. And, this task (of finding a front end) might not be my first priority this hour, or today. I have things going on. I’m not a recruiter, but recruiters can have multiple, even dozens of “open recs” they are trying to fill. As we focus on what is most urgent to us right now we might be letting you, the important stuff, get paused. Not great, I know, but this is a reality you need to understand.

Just a couple of months after I launched JibberJobber, in July of 2006, I wrote Sense of Urgency, a frustrating take on how the job seeker’s sense of urgency is “I need a job now, today!” while an employer’s sense of urgency might mean, “We need you now… well, maybe next quarter!”

I’m Busy Working With Other Candidates

When I narrowed down on “the short list,” and then started responding to people from that short list, I was focused on them. We already talked about who we wanted to focus on, which meant not talking much (or at all) with others. We needed to focus on what we chose to focus on, which might not mean you. This is the root of me ghosting others. It’s lame but it is why you might not hear from me.

Does it mean you are a “no?” Not necessarily. That depends on what happens with my shortlist. Again, not making excuses, just sharing why I’m not communicating with you.

My Customer (the Hiring Manager) Changed My Direction

This actually happened… there were some pretty important changes with my customer, who is the person making the hiring decision (not you, the job seeker). They brought in another candidate, and we spent time with that top candidate while even putting the short list on hold. Then there were some strategic and customers things that came up that might have changed our entire direction, and put this position on hold…

Uncertainty sucks. Years ago I was in serious conversations with an outplacement company about a relationship that would have been very good for JibberJobber (lots of moola!!), but then all of the sudden I heard nothing from my contact for months. It was so frustrating from being super close to signing on the dotted line to getting ghosted for months. Did I mention “for months?” Talk about frustrating. Anyway, I found out that company was getting acquired, and there was a moratorium on communication which impacted me in a huge way. It sucked but we couldn’t do anything about it.

Strategies, direction, budgets, interests, etc. change. And those changes impact our lives.

I’ve Focused My Communication On People Who Have Paid Attention

This one really got under my skin. I sent messages out to the shortlist asking when we could talk, and requesting they get one other bit of information. I think out of ten people I asked for one more bit of information, TWO got it back to me. TWO. It was as if the others didn’t read my email.

Well, front end developer is a technical role. If you can’t pay attention to my short email, read the specs, and respond with what I’m asking for, what does that mean for your “attention to detail?” I didn’t do this as a test, to see who has attention to detail. I did this as a legitimate request. Not for fun, but for real. I needed that information. 20% actually got it back to me.

If you don’t hear back from me it could be because I have seen some red or yellow flags from the first time we communicated, including you missing something I’ve asked for.

Now, if I were your boss I’d coach you through it. But I don’t need to give unsolicited information/feedback to 8 people I don’t know, who didn’t even read my short email in the first place. If I ask for something, take it seriously.

I’m Waiting to Hear Back From My Top Picks

My top pics, the short list of the short list, should be in communication with me. But that might take a few days, then I reply, then I wait a day or two, then I reply, then a day or two later I hear back from them. This means a week, or weeks, could go by while I’m in that mode… and not communicating with you. I’d like to communicate with you but I don’t really have anything to say. “I’m waiting to hear back from my #1 pick… I’ll let you know if something changes.” Or, “I’m waiting to hear if they say yes, and if they don’t I’ll come talk to you.” That sounds kind of dumb, and I don’t want you to think you are bottom of the barrel or last choice. So I just don’t reach out and update you, especially if I haven’t heard from you for a while.

I’m Human

I make mistakes. I might have reached out to everyone and thought I included you, but I might have missed you. Or missed your last email. I’m not a robot and I’ll make mistakes and miss things. The saying “slip through the cracks” is common because it commonly happens. I bet you have it happen to (which is why I recommend JibberJobber as a job search tracker and organizer).

I’m Making This Up As I Go

I mentioned above that I’m not a trained or full-time recruiter. I know a lot of recruiters, and I reach out and chat with them, but they have years, decades of experience that I don’t have. I’ll make mistakes. That might mean I overcommunicate, maybe giving too much hope. I do this a few times a year, not a few times a week… so I’ll never be amazing at it. But that’s okay. It’s one of my job opportunities, not my chosen career. I am pretty good at parts of it, I think, but a lot of it is stuff I *think* is right, and I’ll just make mistakes.

Again, I’m not writing this post as an apology, and to offer excuses. I want my job seekers on JibberJobber to really understand why they may be getting ghosted by the recruiter or hiring manager.

So, what can you do about it?


Instead of waiting to hear back, which could take a while because of the reasons I’ve listed above, get back on my mind and in front of my eyeballs by communicating with me. I know this can be uncomfortable, and perhaps doing it might annoy the person on the other end. But what do you have to lose? I’d rather you reach out and show interested and sell yourself (not hard, but genuinely and passionately).

Be tactful, be professional, and be hopeful. But don’t sit back and assume I have my stuff completely together and just wait to hear from me. If you are really interested, communicate with me.

What Else Can You Do?

As I work through my top pics, and for whatever reason they get selected out (they are too expensive, they are bad communicators, we interviewed them and there is clearly a technical or cultural deficiency, etc.) the next round of candidates starts to move up to top spot. This is a fluid process and who looked great at first might be a no-go, leaving room for my second picks.

Don’t get offended at being a second pick. I might have to weed through what I thought was awesome to find you, who happens to be the best and right hire. Work with me, communicate with me, make sure you don’t fall off because of bad branding or communication, and we might start a beautiful professional relationship.

But don’t get discouraged to the point where you are mad, bitter, or non-communicative. Those people end up on another list I keep… a list of  “I would never hire these people because they burned bridges.”

The job search is hard and grueling. I know it is. It sucks. It feels demoralizing. But it is also riddled with human error… so fill in those gaps with your proactive and positive strategies and tactics.

You can do this. We can do this together.

UPDATE: The position was put on hold for a bit, and not it is not on hold. Those who stuck with me and communicated with me are in the running… hang in there!

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Five Life Changes to Become More Supportive

April 5th, 2021

Last week I had an eye opening chat with one of my favorite people, Shelley Benhoff. You can watch it on YouTube here.

Pluralsight YouTube Shelley Benhoff

I asked Shelley about her advice for girls and women who are interested in a STEM/tech career. I also asked her for advice to guys who work with women in STEM, and how they can be more supportive. This has really been on my mind lately (as I was getting ready to talk to her about it), and I just can’t stop thinking about it. I recently woke up with some very specific ideas I think will help people be more supportive of women, and really, anyone, at work.

I have to say, I think most of us are trying to make work a better place. If that is you, think about these five ideas. I know they have helped me think about how I can support others.

First, nurture an abundance mentality.

I hate hearing people are mad that someone else got a job or promotion because of reasons outside of performance. Of course, this happens. And no, it is not fair. But you need to change your focus from disgust and hate and jealousy to thinking “okay, how can we make this pie bigger?”

Abundance mentality is so powerful. Instead of thinking “they got that job, and so there is no other opportunity for anyone else,” think “they got that job, and we are doing really well, and soon there will be more opportunities.” Abundance mentality is the opposite of zero-sum game theory. Zero-sum game says “if they get something, I don’t.” But during my entire career I’ve never seen where someone gets an opportunity and that shuts doors for everyone else.

Please, I beg you, start thinking about abundance mentality. There is an abundance of opportunity. We just need to find or create it. When you start to believe in abundance mentality it becomes a lot easier to support others, even when we think they got something we thought we deserved.

Second, celebrate wins of others.

When my wife and I bought our first house we were over-the-moon excited. The house was really nice for us, and where we were at. I had just gotten my first real (big) job, and we had a couple of kids. The house was big enough for us to grow into. And it had a (very old but functional) hot tub under a covered patio!

We had friends and family come over… you know how that is. People are curious to see how others are doing, so they come see your new digs. My wife was shocked when some people made comments that expressed jealousy, or other negative feelings. She really thought others would be as excited for as as we were, and was disheartened to hear comments that were less than supportive. We had a few conversations and she taught me an important lesson: Instead of comparing our lives and wins and accomplishments with others, we need to celebrate with them.

Is this easy to do? Not always. When you feel like you have worked harder, are smarter, etc., and you deserve goodness, and then you see someone else get what you thought you deserve before you get it, it’s hard. Shakespeare wrote plenty about jealousy. The old religious books write about jealousy. This is nothing new. Recognize that jealousy is not good, nor is it healthy. Work through the jealous feelings and get to a point where you genuinely care about others to the point of being happy for their wins.

This goes hand in hand with abundance mentality thinking. If you think the pie is a limited size it’s easier to be jealous. When you shift to an abundance mentality you can think “they got goodness, and we can all get goodness!”

Third, recognize your colleague has a whole world outside of work.

It’s critical that we think about people as humans. They have a mother, father, aunt, spouse, kids, even neighbors and other friends, outside of work. When you have jealous, unsupportive feelings about others you are discounting the goodness that others see in them. Maybe they donate their time or resources to good causes. Your lack of support impacts their ability to function and contribute to their other circles.

I think too often we see one another at work as a title, a role, and sometimes a competitor. We worry about what they’ll take from us, not realizing that when they get a raise, promotion, bonus, or even just recognition, that might carry over into how they parent, or their outside relationships. Why shouldn’t we be happy for, and supportive of them, as they have professional accomplishments?

Many times when we think about our own accomplishments we think about how that will change our home life, or our future. We need to think of our colleagues as humans, and afford them the same benefits.

Fourth, admit that you can’t possibly do it alone.

Funny story: When I was in college I had finally settled on a major. It wasn’t computer science… it was the business college alternative (computer information systems). I had two programming classes, and a handful of other tech classes. I looked at others in the college of business, especially marketing and management, and thought “well, good luck getting a job or having a meaningful career.”

Yes, I was immature, short-sighted, and dumb.

Anyway, at my low point in this thinking I remember walking through the liberal arts building with the English and history majors. I remember thinking they made some really, really bad decisions. They chose easy majors to get through school, and would pay for it later when they tried to have a meaningful career. I regret that line of thinking.

Fast forward a bit and I had an epiphany: while I might be the one to create cool technology, or lead teams that created cool technology, without people who knew how to write and communicate and do other things, I would not be able to see the success I wanted. I needed other people. I needed their diverse skills and thinking.

Since then I’ve worked with some brilliant non-technologists. Wordsmiths, presenters, negotiators, leaders, etc. My thinking was so myopic I couldn’t understand why I’d need others around me. And then, when I had them around me, and I could see their brilliance, I realized I was probably the least important around.

No… even that is wrong thinking. We all contribute. We are all needed. We all add value.  Please, appreciate what others can bring, when they feel safe. Think about what you can bring when you feel safe! Appreciating this can help you move past the feelings of jealousy and into a place where you are supportive of others.

Fifth, remember others supported you, even when they maybe shouldn’t have.

At some point in your career you were wrong. You were new, stupid, immature, and probably made plenty of mistakes. I’m not saying that “marginalized people” are stupid or immature or full of mistakes, but I want you to remember that when you were a dork, or an expensive investment, someone took a chance on you. Whether that was hiring you in the first place, sending you to training, giving you a promotion, letting you work on a hard project or with a key customer, you have likely been the beneficiary of someone giving you a chance.

The reality is that someone supported you. I’m not saying they put you on easy street. I’m sure you have worked hard and taken advantage of opportunities. But I’m sure that some people thought, “Maybe I’ll give this person a chance and see what they can do.” I beg you to give this same opportunity to others. Help them with a chance, and then mentoring and coaching. Some of the most rewarding parts of my career have been when I’ve done that, and seen people step up, grow, and deliver.

Bonus, do all of this without any expectations.

I know how disheartening it is to support someone, to go to bat for them, and get nothing in return. Not acknowledgement, not a thank you, not even a head nod. Maybe, you support someone, and it bites you later.

Please support others without expecting or hoping that you’ll get anything more than self-fulfillment. The more you expect in return, the higher the chances people feel your intentions are not genuine. I’m not saying to give everything away and hope for nothing, but if you were to give and support because it is the right thing to do, goodness will come back to you. It might be through wealth and friendships, but it might just be through a peace of mind you get from a clean conscience, and knowing you have lived a good and noble path.

This is our life.

Our life is too short to be a jerk, harbor unfounded hatred, and be jealous. Sure, you could do that, but you’ll live in a level of miserable that you don’t need to. Doing the things above have allowed me to have more joy and happiness than when I don’t.

Let’s all work for an more enriching, meaningful life. Supporting others is a great way to get there.

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30 days of Jason Alba courses on Pluralsight

April 2nd, 2021
Pluralsight is free ALL MONTH (APRIL 2021). No credit card required. Go to to get your free account.
And, they have thousands of courses.
Put your email address in below to get 30 days of very short emails with daily suggestions for Jason Alba soft skills courses. It’s easy to unsubscribe if it gets to be too much.

Pluralsight FreeApril 2021

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Pluralsight’s #FreeApril is back! Check this out!

April 1st, 2021

Last year, during quarantine, Pluralsight opened their entire library of courses to the entire world. I was anxiously waiting to hear whether they would do it again this year and was delighted to see that this morning, April 1 (this is not an April Fools joke!) they did it again!

Over 8,000 Pluralsight Courses

I want to share some ideas on how you can best take advantage of this. First, go sign up. No credit card required (THANK YOU PLURALSIGHT!). That means you don’t have to worry about getting billed next month, or having to cancel anything. Just get your account and get free access.

This can be a bit overwhelming, I know. Who is going to watch 8,000 courses in a lifetime? Nobody. Who is going to watch 80 courses (1% of the library) this month? Probably NO ONE.

Don’t let this be a Netflix moment, where you spend hours scrolling through the entire library and not figuring out what you should watch. Instead, make a plan, make a list, and then schedule time each day to watch a course.

30 Days of Soft Skills Courses (an email reminder)

I just created a new 30 day email drip series. Sign up below and I’ll send you a VERY SHORT email with a course suggestion every day. 

It’s hard to sift through thousands of courses. This 30 day drip will send you very short emails with daily suggestions for Jason Alba soft skills courses. Easy to sign up, easy to unsubscribe.
Pluralsight is free during all of April 2021. No credit card required. Go to to get your free account.

In addition to my own soft skill courses, there are plenty of other amazing courses. You can pick topics, like project management or product management, leadership or management, communication or teams, and use the search box to find relevant courses.

Or, you could look through the cultivated learning paths, like these:

Agile Business Management

Introduction to Professional Scrum

AWS Machine Learning / AI

Becoming a Business Analyst

Communications for Project Managers

Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers

Embracing and Managing Change

While it’s true that Pluralsight was designed for developers, and goes very deep into most aspects of technology, there are plenty of non-techie courses. I have 36 of them here.

Figure out your topic.

Then make a list of courses to watch.

Schedule time on your calendar… and take full advantage of a free and open library during the month of April!


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Massive Changes in JibberJobber for Better Job Tracking

March 17th, 2021

For many months we have been working on some massive changes. Looking back on the history of JibberJobber I can’t remember a project that was bigger than this one. Although maybe I’m just forgetting the other big ones because they were so big I wanted to move on from them :p

Anyway, we are undergoing a change in the foundational code of JibberJobber that should do a few things. These are important to us because they give us more flexibility. They are important to you because you might notice some changes and think “huh, that is cool.” Hopefully they make your experience more delightful.

Better User Experience / User Interface

The reason we implemented this change was to update the look and feel of JibberJobber. What we hope you see in the next month or so is Phase I of this. We basically changed the entire UI architecture. In the test environment I can see some changes, but to be honest it’s not like it’s night and day. Sometimes I can’t tell what has changed. But here’s the cool thing: Since we are on a new infrastructure we’ll be able to make some really cool and noticeable changes easily and faster. JibberJobber launched in 2006 and a LOT has changed in online everything since then. We’re just upgrading what’s under the hood so we can easily make changes to the UX and UI later.

If you do notice some changes, congrats. I think they will be fairly subtle… or at least subtle for what I have in mind.

Faster… Just Plain Faster

Because we are using newer technologies things are loaded faster. In some cases, A LOT faster. We hope you notice this as you navigate through JibberJobber. And this is just another step to making things faster… we have some other optimizations planned. Hopefully you see the speed increases… but you might just see a website that is as fast as it should have been in the first place.

Will Be More Responsive

Responsive means the site “responds” to the screen or device you are on. We’ve had some issues where a smaller screen looks weird, or a bigger screen looks weird. The new UI changes should be fully optimized for devices of different sizes. This wasn’t a primary purpose of this massive update but it was definitely a nice little bonus.

Mobile is Changing

So we’ve had a love/hate relationship with mobile from the beginning. Actually, in the beginning there wasn’t really such a thing as mobile. Mobile phones in 2006 were… weak and slow. No one expected a good mobile experience, especially for a system as complex as JibberJobber, basically a CRM for job seekers. A few years later that changed and we eventually developed native mobile apps for both Android and Apple products. To be honest, they were a massive pain. The experience was different. But the real pain was submitting things to the Google or Apple stores. Seriously, a massive pain. We had to pay to be a member (or whatever), which was nominal but lame. When we submitted our app they would review it, sometimes taking weeks to get back to us. Many times they would kick it back for some super minor reason, only delaying us updating the app. I could go on and on, but the bottom line is the native mobile experience we delivered was painful for everyone… our users and my developers and me.

I found out that the new UI changes would take us in a whole new direction. I won’t go into the technical aspects of it here but basically UI has advanced to the point where it is closer and closer to replacing what native apps could and should do. It’s supposedly the future of mobile. Once we go live with these new changes we’ll retire the native apps, and you should have a more streamlined JibberJobber experience with an updated mobile experience. I’m really hopeful that this is the right direction. If it is I’ll be more than happy to let my accounts on the mobile app delivery services lapse.


We’ve been testing this for months. We’ve been testing with so many different scenarios and technologies and browsers and devices it makes my head spin. Our QA objectives are to find any issues before you do, but that is kind of impossible. We have so many smart, clever users that you somehow find things we didn’t even conceptualize. If you have ANY issues after we release, please let us know. There’s a Contact Us link at the bottom of every page… we want to hear from you.

We watch everything you report because we realize once there is an issue reported by one person it’s only a matter of time before everyone sees it. We try to find and fix as soon as possible so no one notices. Anything you find, send it in, no matter how small it seems. We’ll be watching for your messages.


JibberJobber launched in May of 2006 with some really modest goals. The mission, though, was to help job seekers around the world with one part of their job search: staying organized, and tracking jobs and contacts and follow up.

We’ve had thousands of people use JibberJobber since 2006. We’ve been a part of many job searches. And my hope is we’ve been a part of providing some calm and peace to an otherwise crazy time in your life. Thank you for using JibberJobber, for upgrading, and for telling your friends about us.


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How To Use a Job Tracker App?

March 15th, 2021

JibberJobber has been called a lot of things, but what we specialize in is how to track jobs in your job search. Since 2006 we have been on a mission to help people who outgrow the job search spreadsheet (which is a great job tracker for about the first two weeks of a serious job search) use an online and more sophisticated job tracker to keep track of all of the stuff that comes your way. Here are the steps to use a job tracker app to manage your job search:

  1. Track new contacts you make while in your job search
  2. Track everyone you send a resume to
  3. Track who who you have interviewed with
  4. Track every target company
  5. Track conversations or touchpoints you have with everyone
  6. Track any follow up you need to do
  7. Track every job you have applied to, or been interested in

I realize each of these might seem like overkill but let me go back to the “spreadsheet is good for about two weeks” idea. A job search is HARD for many reasons. It can be one of the most emotionally taxing things you go through. You can do everything you should and find that hiring managers and recruiters put you off for months, and networking goes south. There’s nothing linear about a long, hard job search. The last thing you need is to be so disorganized that you can’t communicate well with people, your forget follow up opportunities… you even forget that you have applied to certain jobs at certain companies (I’ve done all three).

Let’s go into each of steps to track a job search listed above:

Use a job tracker app to track new contacts

A job seeker should network. Period. No ifs-ands-or-buts about it. You should talk to people, hopefully getting introductions to more people. Then you talk to them and get more introductions. Supposedly most jobs are found because of networking. This happens when people know and trust you… and when they know about you. Getting known, and sharing what your brand is, should be a significant part of your job search. I started to make traction only when I got out and talked with people, not when I spent hours and hours and hours applying to jobs online.

JibberJobber is a great replacement to the job search spreadsheet to track jobs.

Use a job tracker app to track where you send resumes

Regardless of how much networking you do you will send your resume, or fill in an online application. I’ve gone through the job offer process and been asked, after accepting the job, “will you fill this out so we have you in our HR system?” If you find a job posting that is PERFECT for you, apply for it! I’m not going to tell you to not apply for jobs online. But once you apply for it, figure out how you can network into that job, or the decision maker for that job. Tracking who gets your resume might seem easy but then consider which version of which resume you sent to who? I might give someone two or three different resumes, depending on the job I’m applying to. Fun fact: it was when I had applied to six different jobs at eBay, which was just a few miles from my house, that my spreadsheet blew up. It was too confusing to track so much complexity with a spreadsheet (as opposed to a relational database).

Use a job tracker app to track who you have interviewed with

I know you won’t forget who you interview with… for a day or two. But once you start having a lot of conversations with people, and more and more interviews, and let’s throw in some panel interviews just to multiply the number of interviewers… it gets confusing! If there is anyone you SHOULD NOT forget, and definitely SHOULD foll0w up with, it is the person/people who interviewed you! These are the main influencers and decision makers you need to have conversations with!

In JibberJobber you should keep track of every person you interview with and then try to network with them, when the time is right. Look, there’s so much volatility in our careers that we really need to be open to to expanding our professional networks, even with people who don’t choose us to work with them on a particular job or project. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll be on the other side of the table from them!

Use a job tracker app to keep track of your target companies

Target companies… I thought this was such a boring part of the job search. My target company was any company that would actually hire me. The more desperate I got the less targeted I got. I’ve come to realize that having a list of target companies is critical. Knowing your target companies can help you have a more focused job search, better conversations, and make decisions on where to spend your time. Tracking who is at your target company, and what conversations you have with them, is a critical part of networking.

Having a current list of target companies will help you in many more ways than just knowing what your target companies are. I thought this was a data point but soon came to realize your target companies are central to a successful job search strategy. (Speaking of job search strategy, check out the Job Search Program)

Use a job tracker app to log important and relevant conversations

Alright.. we’ve talked about resumes, companies, people… those generally don’t change much. Names and numbers and email addresses generally don’t change. But here’s what does: where you are at with each of them. We track this in JibberJobber with “log entries,” which is basically any touchpoint, even any thought, that is relevant. Did you talk to a recruiter after an interview and get good information? That should go into a log entry. Did you email someone, have a phone call, or talk to someone at a networking event who could help you in your job search? That should go into a log entry. Not just that it happened but any details around the conversation.

Have you learned something about a job or target company that you want to keep track of? Put it into a log entry. It’s easy to think you’ll remember all these details but putting these things in a log entry can give you a peace of mind that you need in your job search. This can help you with interviews, networking, and how you position yourself.

Use a job tracker app to track any and all follow up

Follow up is one of the secret weapons of effective job seekers. Imagine the opposite: you talk to people, you interview, you send your resume… and you wait around for people to get back with you. Look, here’s the deal: people are busy! I’m busy! This morning I made a little to do list to get a bunch of ideas out of my mind and make sure I do certain things by end of day. I probably listed about 20 things on that list! I guarantee the people you are talking with… that friend who said they’d introduce you to their boss, or someone on a panel interview that said they’d get back to you on something… are busy! They want to. They have the best of intentions of helping you! But they are busy. Don’t sit around waiting for them to get to you. Instead, keep a list of your follow-up opportunities, and YOU work your list.

Can you imagine a salesperson just sitting around waiting for everyone to get back to them? Nope. Good salespeople will be proactive and reach out. As a job seeker, you need to get really good at the art of follow up.

Use a job tracker app to track jobs you find and/or apply to

Here’s another thing I didn’t realize was so important to keep track of. Tracking jobs you like, and especially jobs you apply to, is critical. These jobs can show you patterns of hiring at companies an in industries. If you record the job descriptions you’ll have some great information on words and phrases you could use in job interviews. Learning about the trends in a company or industry can help you have the right language when networking or in an interview. Oh yeah… do I even need to mention that you should keep the job description you apply to because by the time you interview you might not be able to find it online? That would be awkward… you want to know the exact title and the points in the description so you have a better interview.

Tracking your job search can feel tedious at first. But the more you track, and the more details you add, the better your job search should go when you have a lot of activity. The alternative is feeling like you are constantly confused, missing things, and wondering if you have follow up you should do.

Ready to get started? JibberJobber has pioneered online job search tracking since 2006. Sign up here

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Advice for High Schoolers Getting Ready to Go Into the “Real World”

March 12th, 2021

High school. The greatest time of your life that really doesn’t matter.

Forget High School Musical and all the other shows that show high school as the peak of existence. One of my pet peeves in school, including college, was when teachers/professors would say “when you get out into the real world…”

The real world? What is this? A safe simulation where nothing matters? Sorry kids, you are already in the real world. If your life is different than what you see in the shows, welcome to the real world. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

A friend reached out and asked me to share some of my career advice for high schoolers preparing for life after high school. If you have any advice for high schoolers reading this feel free to leave a comment below. Here are some specific topics he asked me to comment on…

What do you need to know about finances?

Financewhat? Finances, not fiancés. A word you probably have heard that will now have a lot more meaning to you than before. Many of you will be blindsided by what finances are.

(1) I remember working at Taco Bell in the 1900s. First check… I calculated what I should have gotten by multiplying (yes, you’ll use real math as an adult) my hourly pay times the hours I worked. I actually saw that number on my check! Awesome! But then there were these things called “deductions”… minus this and minus that and minus something else. What I got in my paycheck was a little more than half of what I thought I was going to get.

I felt deceived. Welcome to being an adult.

You need to know the difference between gross and net pay. Here’s how I keep track of them: Gross… the amount I thought I was going to get but I didn’t… this is gross. Net… think of all the money going to deductions slipping through the holes in a net. What you have left over is your net pay. I’m sorry… not my system, just how things are.

(2) Old boring people talk about spending less than you earn. How lame. How can you get a nice car, a TV for your apartment, a game system, nice clothes, or eat out if you spend less than you make? I mean, maybe just this one time I’ll get a loan to buy that thing I really need. After all, getting a loan is EASY.

This is a quick path to regret, and feeling like you are never getting ahead. Seriously, go without. Figure out how to live without the needed TV or the needed clothes or the needed nicer car or the needed constant eating out. One of the problems kids have when they leave their house is they think they need to maintain the lifestyle they had when living with parents… who have decades of getting their finances in order (hopefully), getting raises (hopefully), etc. You want to skip the hard parts of sacrifice and waiting… steps your parents likely didn’t skip.

How do you spend less than you earn? Make a budget. I know, I know. BORING. LAME.  Guess what? It’s how you get ahead financially. A budget is an intentional activity to help you spend less than you make and prepare for the future. This is a healthy habit that can help you with your marriage relationships. Want to be rich? Want to retire early? Want to enjoy regular vacations? Your budget is the key. Why not start now, while you have just a few items to put on your budget, rather than wait until you have poor habits and have to do some correcting? Budget monthly.

(3) Find healthy financial mentors. I believe that most of us have a bad relationship with money because of conversations we’ve had or heard at home. Money is a funny thing. I say “the more you have, the funnier it is!” But if you don’t have any it’s not funny at all. Bad money habits can ruin relationships, even marriages. Good money habits can enhance relationships. You can have a better, funner marriage when you have great money habits, and the enhanced communication that comes with it. You can find mentoring in books and articles. There are plenty of people out there that have principle-based ideas on money. Just be careful to not stray into the get-rich-quick thinking that is so toxic… and as unrealistic for most of us as being in High School Musical. By the way, my money mentor is Dave Ramsey. I listen to his short clips on YouTube.

(4) Shovels and holes. Speaking of Dave Ramsey, when people call in with their issues he’ll regularly talk about their debt as a hole and their income as a shovel. Someone with $200,000 in debt and an income of $30,000/year has a massive, huge hole and a tiny, spoon-sized shovel. The goal is to get rid of the hole, but filling a huge hole with a tiny spoon is nearly impossible. In a call like that he’ll talk about how to get a bigger shovel. You seriously need to stay out of debt (keeping your debt “hole” as small as possible) while figuring out how to get a bigger shovel. I think about this analogy regularly.

(5) Wealth vs. Peace. Speaking of getting rich quick, listen to Ramsey’s millionaire hour calls. These are only a few minutes long. Dave asks each person how they became a millionaire. I’m not saying you have to take your whole life to get there, but it’s really interesting to learn about his studies showing how people achieve wealth. If you were like me, coming out of high school, I was not interested in waiting years. But I’ve learned being that 20 year old rich guy on YouTube is… hard. So have a principal-based plan that benefits from the path many other wealthy people have had. But here’s a mindset change: is wealth what you are after? I was. Honestly, I still am. But I also want financial peace. Dave’s programs are all about “financial peace,” not getting rich. Can you get rich on his program? YES. But his principles and teachings are first geared towards helping you have financial peace. At my old, old age, I can attest that this is a more important lesson than wealth.

How Do I prepare for employment opportunities?

I couldn’t wait to get in the “real world” and start making my own way. I loved my family, and living at home, but I was so excited to figure out how to be a great success. It was scary, of course, but it was just plain exciting. The early part of my career went as well as I could have hoped. I worked my way through school with an okay job. It wasn’t a career job but it was good enough. Then, I took a risk for a lower paying job with NO benefits, but in a field I knew could be a real career. I forwent income to get experience. The sacrifice was 100% worth it.

My wife and I also tried to stay out of debt as much as possible. Instead of living off of student loans, which is so tempting (so you could enjoy college more), we hustled, working and schooling. I am NOT a morning person, and my brain shuts down around 9pm, but a regular day Monday through Friday was getting up around 6am (ouch!) and getting home around 10pm (ouch!). It was hard for both of us but it was worth it to leave school with a very small student loan that was paid off pretty quickly. I got my MBA while working full time and, if I remember correctly, had only $3,000 to pay off from that loan, which was also paid off quickly. I am pushing 50 now (which is crazy, I don’t feel this old) and I know people my age who are still decades away from paying off their student loan. There’s no financial peace in having this loan hanging out for decades, haunting you.

So, speaking of college:

What about college?

College is a funny topic. In the mid 1900’s getting a degree was really important. It was also more valuable because not as many people had one. Today, it’s pretty easy to get a college degree. I have three questions for you:

(1) What do you want to be when you grow up? If you want to work in a machine shop, or some other blue collar job, you need to figure out the path to success in that field. When I was graduating from college (I got a degree in Computer Information Systems… commonly referred to as CIS or BIS or MIS, depending on the college) I heard that pipe fitters (aka, plumbers) were making $250,000 a year in Las Vegas. Not sure how true that was, but I think I read it in a newspaper.

Um… excuse me, what?? People coming out of my program were looking at $30k to $50k/year starting out, and whatever debt they had accumulated.

Look, there are a million ways to make a living. You can get old aunt Ethel’s secret family BBQ sauce recipe and actually make it big. You can open a deli, and then expand. You can start a landscaping business and end up a millionaire. There’s no shame in blue collar when you have financial peace and the lifestyle you want. I started my full time tech career at Varsity Contractors, a few blocks down from ISU. Read about Don and Arlo, the founders. There are stories of Don walking across Pocatello with a bucket and a sponge to clean someone’s house. No, he didn’t drive. I’m guessing he didn’t get paid a lot. But he and Arlo built that company into a massive industry leading organization that, I think, did over $300 million dollars a year. I imagine they did pretty well along the way.

The other company I worked for in Pocatello was Simplot. Have you studied J.R. Simplot? He has a fascinating story. He had a sixth grade education, but started buying farms and growing potatoes. Who can be successful without having even gone to seventh grade, and growing potatoes? He was one of Idaho’s few billionaires. Like I said, there are millions of ways to make a living.

(2) How will you finance your education? If you choose to go to school, think about how to finance it. Ramsey has a lot to say about this, helping you find alternatives to very expensive schools, or at least choosing a degree where you will be able to get a job (instead of some of the ridiculous, unmarketable degrees that just burden you with debt and don’t prepare you for a career).  Like I said, I worked full time while going to school. We lived in some bad places. We kept our expenses low knowing that we were in a phase of life that would not be forever.

You can get loans but if you do, please don’t spend them on jewelry or other treats. Get a job (see “get an internship” below) and pay for your expenses as best you can. It might not be as fun as hanging out with the college kids but you can save yourself decades of pain trying to pay the stupid thing off. Be creative, go to a less expensive school, etc. You really can get out of school without a massive debt holding you back from financial peace.

(3) Why are you going to college? Years ago there was a debate about why go to college. The person asking the question is someone I have a lot of respect for. However, we disagreed on why college. His answer was to learn, of course. We need to gain knowledge to improve our lives, circumstances, the world, etc. Ignorance won’t lead us to progress, and college is the path to get out of ignorance. My answer was that, no, we don’t go to college to learn. I don’t think I knew anyone who spent tens of thousands of dollars and years of their life just to “learn.” We were all there to get a degree. A degree meant a career. Sure, I learned stuff. But I felt like the learning process was painfully slow. I also knew that learning could happen without a professor and tests. I could learn with books from the library, or online with courses, articles, blogs, etc.

If you want to go to college to learn you’ll likely be a little disappointed. Just realize that your education is a life-long adventure. You could, and should, strive to learn for the rest of your life.

So, why college? Want to be a programmer? Get online courses (I do courses for Pluralsight, the leading tech course library that costs around $300/year… compare THAT to college expenses!) and read articles. Join the #100daysofcode movement. But do it. Don’t take it easy… put some SERIOUS time into learning and building your skills.

Want to work in construction, welding, plumbing, etc.? Find the right trade school for you (ask others who are in your desired trade what they would recommend) and give it your all.

Want to own a landscaping business? START ONE. Seriously, you don’t need to take history and English classes in college to help you learn how to own and run a business. I have a business undergraduate and an MBA and I’ll be the first to tell you that you DO NOT need a degree to start a business. Oh, but the entrepreneurship degree… um. No. You DO NOT NEED IT to start and run a successful business. If you are an entrepreneur you’d have been doing entrepreneurial stuff since elementary or middle school.

There are plenty of good alternatives to a traditional college education. Most alternatives will get you what you need at a fraction of the cost, and get you earning money in your chosen profession much sooner than a 4+ year degree.

In case you think I’m a college hater, I’m not. I think it’s a great alternative for some people. But it’s not the only alternative, and it certainly doesn’t mean people who choose something else are lesser than those who have gone to college (many of which call Dave Ramsey and ask how to get out from a ton of debt).

What professions should you look at?

Which of the million professions should you look at? I have no idea. I don’t know you. Here are some thought processes to go through:

What is your risk level? If you have a high risk level you are open to doing some weird, unproven things to create income. Realize that if you are in a family or household that depends on your income you might have to consider the risk level of others. High risk might mean trying and building and failing and trying again. Low risk means you get a “steady” job, which, by the way, is usually more socially acceptable. Being an entrepreneur is hard for many reasons, including not knowing when you will get paid and being different than your peers.

What kind of lifestyle do you want? You have to figure out if you need the big house on the hill or a decent and clean house in an okay neighborhood. Of course, most of us would love to live in a castle in Genovia, but I’m guessing you weren’t born into royalty. What you get will come from what you earn. Want to shop at thrift stores or do you want expensive clothes from expensive retailers? I don’t care what your answer is… that’s your preference. But you have to consider the lifestyle you want as you choose your career. Working at a job for $16/hour might seem like an amazing job while in high school but it’s hardly enough to live on your own with your own little family. Going back to the shovel concept, you need to figure out how big your shovel needs to be in order to finance the lifestyle you want, and then do what you need to do to be able to earn that shovel.

Do you want your earning to be capped? If you want unlimited income then either own your own business or go into sales (only in a company that doesn’t cap commissions). This can be such an exciting world, but it can also be really stressful. Maybe talk to people who look like they have a lifestyle you want and ask them for career advice. You might find that a career you were really interested in is too limiting, while something you never considered actually looks fun and can earn you what you want.

How important is stability and security? cough cough… I have a news flash for you: NOTHING is secure. Not a government job, not a big, bureaucratic  job. Your income security has to do with your ability to learn, your soft skills, your ingenuity, your ability to manage change, your network, and your brand. But if you want an illusion of security, consider this as a part of the career fields you look at. Talk to people who have been in that field for decades and ask them what it’s like (see “informational interviewing” below)

Do you want to travel? There are some jobs where you are travelling all the time. Sounds fun, right? It is… the first time you get on a plane. But it can get really old after that. I know people who HATE travelling. Business travel is not the same as vacation travel.

What jobs will be great stepping stones to your desired career? There are early jobs you can work in for a few years that will really propel your career. Plenty of people get an accounting degree, work in one of the grueling Big 4 companies for a few years, and then go to work for a company as a CFO with decent pay and much better hours. Sometimes you need to think about your job as a stepping stone to get you closer and closer to what you really want. That could be because you are learning your craft, or expanding your network… don’t discount the early years of your career. They might not feel rewarding, but they can be an important part of your journey. I wish I would have enjoyed those years a lot more than I did, understanding that it was temporary and a great learning opportunity.

Get an internship (or, experience)

I was lucky to get a programming internship, during my junior year of ISU, at Simplot. I was luckier that my boss treated me like a full time programmer, which meant she gave me real jobs instead of little time-wasting jobs. This was the job I was saying I took for less money and no benefits. It seemed backwards and more than one person pulled me aside to tell me I was making a big mistake. It was no mistake. The value I got working as a programmer helped me get on a fast track when I graduated.

The value was so significant I would have done it even if they didn’t pay me.

That is a very unpopular opinion, and I’m not here to debate it, but I’ve thought about it for years, and it’s true. I would have loved to have an unpaid programming internship, even working another job just to pay my bills. Getting experience I got in my internship was invaluable.

My internship was about 18 months long (then I graduated). You can look for summer internships but if you can let me advise you to find a role that you want to be in so you learn the skills for as long as you can. Great if you can get paid for it… definitely look for someone who pays you to train you, but do anything you can to get experience.

Job Search Skills

Alright let’s jump into what I think John was asking for when he sent me a request for this blog post :) If you read through my blog here on JibberJobber you’ll see that job search is what I do. I’ve travelled the world and have done countless webinars on how to find a job. I’m all about high impact activities that will get you closer to the right job. I’ll share three ideas:

Networking: This scares some people but you need to get over it. Talk to people. You don’t have to go to networking events and mingle. For a lot of people that is intimidating. For me it is largely unfruitful. I encourage you to talk one-on-one with people. Maybe talk to your friends’ parents, or neighbors, or other adults about careers. Most adults would be happy to give you their opinions. We tend to want to help people transitioning out of school, who have a lot of decisions to make. Heck, look at this super long blog post, and I don’t even know you. But I want to share some ideas that I wish I would have heard when I was getting out of school.

Use your status as “student” or “recently graduated” to your advantage. “Hey, I’m looking at some career options and am really interested in what you do for a living. What would you advise me to do right now?” People generally love talking about themselves and giving advice, and that’s exactly what you want. Just soak it up. Learn from everyone. Don’t discount anyone.

Informational Interviews: This is easily the most powerful job search tactic I’ve come across. Most people do them wrong, and I haven’t talked to a career counselor who knows how to really do them. It’s such a powerful tactic that I created the Job Search Program. This isn’t free but it’s a powerful job search strategy where I help you, daily, for six+ weeks. Informational interviews is “networking on steroids.” It is “having the right conversations with the right people.” It is one of the fastest ways to the job you want.

Personal branding. I had no idea what this was when I started my big, first job search. Your brand has been “high school kid.” Maybe it was punk or band nerd or geek or jock or quiet one. Whatever it has been, once you graduate, things change. Your brand might become “graduated and has since lived in his mom’s basement playing video games for the last three years.” Think anyone wants to create that brand on purpose? No, except maybe a few youtubers. But that brand happens. I invite you to think about what your brand could, or should be, and figure out how to create it.

I have courses on career management, informational interviews, personal branding, etc. but you can get some good info from your own research. One of my messages is to be intentional in your career. Have goals, and plans, and get to work.

Feeling overwhelmed?

You should. But you should also feel excited. The world is literally at your feet. You have a lot of choices, and that can be scary, but you get to write your own story. Most people your age are sick of living at home and want to do things better… their way. This is natural. Realize you’ll get beat up a bit, and life will be harder than you thought. You’ll learn that your parents weren’t as dumb as you thought, and some people who seemed to have made bad choices didn’t really have other options.

You’ll also learn you are more resilient and smarter than you might have thought. You can do this. Billions of people before you have done it. Listen a lot, and do things on purpose.

Good luck!

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5 Warning Signs You Are in a Toxic Workplace

March 11th, 2021

Julie Walraven Design ResumesAlmost two years ago when we launched the Job Search Program we signed up some affiliates to resell it for us. Affiliates on the internet are a tricky business. I have turned down a lot of internet affiliate “opportunities” because they don’t know or care about the job search space. But I’m happy to have career coaches and resume writers be affiliates because they really care. If you are a career professional and want to learn about the Job Search Program affiliate program, reach out here!

Julie Walraven, owner of Design Resumes, is a friend and colleague I’ve known since… maybe 2006, when I first launched JibberJobber. We’ve only met once in person, at a conference, but we’ve communicated online and on the phone quite a bit over the years. She’s a really cool person and loves helping people in the job search. She was also one of the first affiliates to sign up for the Job Search Program, and has been bundling this six week system with her services because she knows how important it is to work a system.

Julie wrote this blog post (below). I’ll be sharing other content from our affiliates… and I’m excited for you to meet them! Without further ado, here’s Julie!

Sometimes when people finally reach out to work with me, they have been working in a toxic workplace for far too long. At this point, it is imperative that they change jobs but often they feel like they have no value.

The 5 warning signs you are in a toxic workplace

You hate going to work

When you hate going to work every single day, it is a clear sign that something is wrong. When your self-esteem takes a daily hit, the motivation for going to work even when you need the income is at zero.

Your health is being compromised

If you are otherwise healthy but now are experiencing health issues like high blood pressure or migraine headaches, it is a sign that the work environment may be affecting your health.

You hate the people you work with

While you can find yourself upset with someone on occasion, if you find this is a daily occurrence, you may be in a toxic workplace.

You feel overwhelmed daily

If your workload keeps escalating way beyond your job description and you are taking on more functions with no more compensation, this is also a toxic workplace.

You never feel appreciated

While no one should expect a high five for everything you do, if you never hear a thank you for the above and beyond work you do, you may be in a toxic workplace.

9 things you should not do when you are in a toxic workplace

  1. Lash out – No matter how frustrated you are, don’t lash out at others in the workplace or your boss. It won’t help and it could make it tougher on you.
  2. Do inferior work – The temptation to sabotage projects or just do less than you are required is there but continue to do your job.
  3. Pile on more work – this may sound like a direct contradiction of the point above, but you don’t have to take on work outside your job description. It may seem a compliment when someone asks you to take over quality control but unless you have clearly redefined your responsibilities, you may end up in a jumbo job with no end in sight.
  4. Skip work – A pattern of sick days or tardiness ends up hurting your job record. Not going to work because you don’t feel like it isn’t the answer.
  5. Start drinking – Sometimes people take up substances, such as alcohol or drugs, to cope with tough circumstances. This is only going to make things worse.
  6. Take it out on your family – Your family already knows there is something wrong, but they did not create the problem and you can’t be attacking them. Make every effort to keep the peace at
  7. Burn Bridges – As tempting as it is to bash your employer or company, keep those conversations in a safe place – not on social media or at the office gathering and certainly not when in
    conversation with potential employers.
  8. Go into hiding – Going into hiding whether physical or virtual is a bad idea. It just gives the toxic situation more power over you. By giving up things that make you happy, you won’t be happier.
  9. Vent on social media – While I passionately believe you should not go into hiding, saying I hate my job or trash-talking your company on social media is not going to help and it could stop you from moving forward in the job search or life.

What should you do when you are in a toxic workplace?

Recognize that it is happening. You often feel like it is your fault and as if you have no value. The negativity skyrockets and invades your entire mindset. It makes it difficult for you to be happy at home.

  1. Health comes first – Act by scheduling an appointment with your primary physician to double-check symptoms. While many people want to avoid medications or medical treatment, you are better off knowing and having expert advice.
  2. Make exercise a habit – the endorphins generated by exercise interact with the receptors in your brain that trigger a positive feeling in the body, leading to an energizing outlook on life. Exercise is proven to reduce stress, ward off anxiety and feelings of depression, and boost self-esteem.
  3. Start the process of finding a new job – It is tempting to stay in a role or with a company. Sometimes people think that longevity with a company is critical. While you don’t want to be a job hopper, companies are actually less willing to hire people who stay with a company for more than 10 years. Changing a job is a strategic move that should benefit you from multiple perspectives.
  4. Hire help in job search – While you might be very willing to hire an expert mechanic, lawyer, accountant, physician, plumber, contractor, or hairstylist, some people struggle with investing in expert help in their career journey. They assume they should be able to do it themselves. But ultimately, a career expert can guide you in the right direction and prepare you to make a strategic move.

If you are stuck in a toxic workplace and hate your job, let me help you start your career journey with a solid strategy aimed at helping you once again enjoy your work. Review my services and take that first step today.

Thank you Julie! 

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Personal Branding Course Updated for 2021

March 8th, 2021

Last week my newest course update went live. It is called Developing Your Personal Brand.

Pluralsight Developing Your Personal Brand Header

This course is about 2 and a half hours. I talk about what personal branding actually is, who has a brand, and what you can do to create the branding you want. I share specific tactics, tools, ideas, etc. In the last module I share examples.

When I got certified as a personal branding strategist a hundred years ago I had already written my book on LinkedIn, and I think I had written my book on Facebook. I had been blogging for years, and had been actively doing the personal branding tactics I was learning about. I was doing personal branding online and offline. I didn’t learn much in the strategy certification program because it was geared more towards people who hadn’t been thinking about personal branding… but it was good to make sure I was aligned with the best practices being taught to career leaders.

In my Career Management 2.0 course and on-stage presentations I talk about the two major components to career management: your network and your personal brand. I’ve been forced, on stage, to keep this to 45 minutes. That is really hard. Once, in Maryland, I went for almost three hours, which seems long but no one left and there were still questions after.

Personal branding got on my radar when my 2006 job search sucked and I realized part of it was my branding was non-existent. It hurt me to not have an intentional brand. So, I did a deep dive and came up with a structured approach to creating, developing, communicating, and influencing your brand.

That’s what this course is about. It’s for the active job seeker, the passive job seeker, the entrepreneur, and even the person who’s sat in the same chair for 30 years, getting close to retirement. Check it out here:

Developing Your Personal Brand


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