Yesterday I wrote a post on JibberJobber as a job search tracking tool. That’s where the idea came from, and for the first few weeks we were branded as a job search tool. However, I realized early on that I wanted JibberJobber to be a long-term career management tool.
What does this mean? And why is our tagline “Career Management 2.0?”
The cradle-to-grave job mentality is gone. There is no employer who will employ you from the beginning of your career until the end (some 40-odd years). You will likely have more than 10 job changes in your career. Penelope Trunk says in her book, Brazen Careerist, that Gen Y will have 10 job changes before they turn 30! WOW!
You need to get good at finding that next job. And the next one. Don’t treat the idea that you’ll be in transition as a pink elephant. Embrace it. Changing jobs, and being a job seeker on a regular basis, is part of your career path.
Whether you work for one company for a long time or not, relationships are key. Sorry, but corporate politics are not going away. You need to manage relationships at work, while employed. Managing customer relationships, vendor relationships, peer relationships, boss relationships…. all of this is critical. Perhaps it will help you get a promotion. Perhaps it will help you just keep your job. Ignore relationships (and corporate politics) at the risk of your future income.
You need to live networking’s Giver’s Gain. You should not “eat alone.” You should help people. You should proactively nurture relationships. It’s hard to proactively nurture relationships, especially when you are dealing with lots of contacts, and a growing number of contacts.
As an employed, or self-employed, professional, you need to be able to answer the question “tell me about yourself.” This is something job seekers are told to do, commonly referred to as a “me in 30 seconds” statement, or a commercial. When you are employed people still ask you the question, and you should know how to answer it. You might have different answers based on who’s asking it. JibberJobber has a place where you can put in as many 30 second commercials as you want, for different situations.
You should keep track of important career documents. You better have an updated resume (or multiple versions of resumes), as well as collect reference letters. Go ahead and put them on your PC… and hope it doesn’t crash, or you don’t switch computers (I think I had switched computers four times between my last resume update and when I really needed my resume). In JibberJobber you can store it all in one place, and have it whenever you need.
You should, have to, need to, track your professional accomplishments. One of the purposes of the post “Depression Clouds Everything” was to say “when you most need a clear mind, it will be clouded by emotions (including depression), and you won’t remember all the great things you’ve ever accomplished!” I know my career had a lot of professional accomplishments, but I don’t have all of them logged. JibberJobber allows you to track all of these things… as an employed professional, you can log all of your accomplishments into the Job Journal (premium feature).
… there’s more, of course.
Whether you are unemployed, happily employed, unhappily employed, see the writing-on-the-wall, or own your own business, you NEED to have a relationship management tool. JibberJobber is a great place to start!
5 thoughts on “Not Just A Job Search Tracker – Why Professionals Need JibberJobber”
I like the Job Journal feature because when you are employed, the only person responsible for your performance evaluation is you. Your boss is probably supposed to be keeping track of your performance each month/quarter and making notes about how you are doing. The thought is that then the annual performance review is a snap. Guess what? He/she probably isn’t doing it – they are to busy with their own overflowing work schedule! Use the Job Journal to do it yourself -then be able to provide accomplishments to your boss when they are in review writing season. That way, the annual performance review won’t look like a review of what happened over the last 60 days. And your boss will probably really appreciate the information and your initiative. It may even impress them that you are serious enough about your career to take a few minutes each week and jot down your accomplishments, or at least progress toward accomplishments. That may land you in the next leadership training class, or get that extra 0.25% discretionary raise (I’m not kidding, that’s all some managers have) or make them remember you when they are stack ranking their employees from 1 to 50 so they can lay off the bottom 10. And you are serious about your career, right?
EXCELLENT post Jason! The only thing constant is change is the best realization for all of us to have – nothing stays the same, in good times or bad times … my favorite book on this concept is “Who Moved My Cheese?”
Again, you ROCK my friend with all your wisdom and advice. I’m listening!
I think there is actually more steps towards integration from “job search” to “career planning” to “career.” I agree that it’s necessary to move away from the mental image of little segments of business-as-usual punctuated by frantic job searches, and towards planning and integrating the process into one’s work habits. But this still has that feel of discontinuity: you’re either in transition or preparing for the next transition.
I was already in that career planning paradigm, more or less, when I recently had to look for a new job. Now a little bit further than that, I’ve grown to think that I need tools that help me do my work very well, because that IS my career. I’m an engineer who happens to work for company A, B or C at any given time; but what I *do*, the type and quality of my work, that’s my own. That’s my career.
So I collect tools that help me accomplish my work; some of these tools can ALSO be put to use when I’m in one of those transitions. For example, a good network is not just something to build for the day I need to look for a job; it’s something that helps me do my job too. JJ’s tools are useful to me to keep track of clients, projects, leads, business relationships, etc.; not just so I can be ready for the next move.
Yes, there are other professional programs dedicated to some of these tasks, but I don’t know any right now that does all the things JibberJobber does in as convenient, personalized and accessible a form.
Jason, Your ability to capture the essence of a topic and make it fun to read always amazes me… Pretty soon I am going to need a binder for the Jason Alba and JibberJobber handouts I give my clients! And thank you for propelling me into the world of blogging! Of course that means that I now have even less time! 🙂
One of the best models I have seen for career planning is choosing each new job to prepare for the second job out. Use it as a training opportunity for the step that will get you to the next step. In order to do that you have to have an end goal in mind (ala Stephen Covey). If you have planned your career backwards then you have all the steps you need to take and it simplifies the process. There really is no transition in this model because you already know the incremental job adjustments you need to make.
It is like planning a college degree program. Once you know your major you can study the catalog for upper division courses and their prerequisites. Each quarter, or semester, paves the way for classes offered the next period and the following period. You may miss a class because it is full but you can look elsewhere for an equivalent to keep on track. Keeping on top of catalog changes is essential. That aline can help avoid nasty surprises in your senior year. e.g. missing credits you will have to wait two quarters to take!
Likewise you want to keep up on the changes in your career field to be sure you are positioning yourself for the next step. JibberJobber looks like a very useful tool for orchestrating and chronicling the journey.
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