What is a Career Contact Management System?

JibberJobber has been called a number of things, including a relationship manager, a career relationship manager, a job search organizer, etc.

Let’s break down a new one: Career Contact Management System

System: Since I’m from I.T., system means something with a database, which implies relationships (what is the relationship between the person you just met and your target company).  It also means there are systems or processes to follow.

Contact Management: the concept of contact management has been around a long time, and is very popular, even commonplace, among certain professions (like sales professionals).  I’ve heard it argued that you can’t MANAGE your CONTACTS.  Nor can you manage your relationships.  Indeed, a system like JibberJobber is not trying to manage human beings and relationships.  Instead, the purpose of a contact management system is to give you the right data and reference points and meta-data (ie, stuff you might find on LinkedIn, or a Google search), about your contact/prospect.

Career: While the concept of relationship management has been around a long time, I think it’s safe to say applying the concept and tools to an individual’s career is fairly new.  A couple of decades ago you might have networked within your own company, but with job security and retirement benefits and company loyalty the way they were, you didn’t count on changing jobs with any frequency.  In contrast, today we are happy if we are at one company for up to five years.  I’ve seen interest increase over the years, but I’m still met by apathy by people who think they are not going to need to manage their careers. Evenutally, even the apathetic figure out that long-term unemployment sucks, and they start to manage their careers differently than just sitting around hoping HR or their company will take care of them.

Are you ready for a career contact management system?  You should be 🙂

P.S.  This is not Facebook.  This is not LinkedIn.  This is not your Outlook address book.  To be longterm, it really should be a cloud-based solution that will be around for a long time.

4 thoughts on “What is a Career Contact Management System?”

  1. Maintaining contacts in JibberJobber is practical when I’m on an active job search, but otherwise my contact list associated with my email account is the one that stays current. That and a LinkedIn export at the beginning of a new search.

    Importing and merging duplicates works with JJ, but I’m wondering what others do to maintain their contact lists? I’m using fastmail.fm for my email account.

  2. David, I think most people are not maintaining contact lists. From my exposure to professionals, execs and students around the country/world (we have people from over 100 countries signed up on JibberJobber), people typically tend to let contacts fall off the radar… and only engage when they are in need (usually in a job search, join a MLM company, or start their own business).

    Students will say Facebook is their relationship tool, but there are flaws with that (what if you interview with someone, and they don’t “friend” you on FB? Now they are not in your CRM??). Similar issues with LinkedIn.

    JibberJobber is great, of course, and I’m biased, but if you don’t put in information, you can’t get it out later.

    Email is actually a really good supplement to the overall managing of relationships, but it can get unwieldy… and hard to search through.

    What I do is a combination of JibberJobber + my other stuff (email, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) and try to get better at putting relevant info into my JJ account…. six years later I still miss stuff, but I’m a lot more on-purpose about it than I was six years ago.

    As more people realize how unstable jobs are, and how they need to do more career management, they’ll have more incentive to actually do something like this.

  3. Thanks for the reply, Jason. I’ve been attaching emails forwarded to JJ (use that feature all the time) to jobs and companies now and somewhat less to contacts since I flush and update contacts periodically. Maybe I’ll come up with something better eventually.

    Part of the problem with importing a list from my email program (which tends to have the most current info) is that I have a bunch of extraneous email addresses that aren’t really contacts. Having a way to flag records as “not actual contacts” during import would be handy, but don’t have any brilliant ideas for how to implement that. So far I just export to a spreadsheet and edit there before import into JJ.

  4. David, that’s the way I would do it for now. In JJ, when you import, there are checkboxes where you can uncheck to NOT import a record/contact… but it’s really easier and quicker to do it on the spreadsheet…

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