Yesterday JibberJobber quietly celebrated it’s 10 year anniversary. I’m not going to lie: I took a nice, rich nap 🙂
These last ten years have been a roller coaster, to say the least. It all started when I lost my job as general manager and became The Worst Job Seeker Ever. I really was pathetic, sitting on job boards and applying for up to 10 hours a day, 6 days a week, getting nowhere (except more frustrated and depressed).
Eventually, I got the idea for what would become JibberJobber, and started to put it together (with a dev team that I worked with in my prior job… one developer and one QA expert, both who are still with JibberJobber). We started development in March and launched two months later, on May 15th, 2006. I was still working my job search, hopeful that I would gain some level of income and place in society that I had enjoyed just a few months earlier, but I thought “let’s try this thing out.” Finally, in September of 2006 it was time to stop the job search… “burn the ships” as they say, and do JibberJobber full-time.
In the last 10 years we’ve grown, improved, learned, and enjoyed the journey. It definitely hasn’t been easy… I think the entrepreneurial journey is seldom easy. But it has been rewarding. I’ve grown and learned. I’ve been blessed to make some rich friendships spanning the globe… first, with my developers who have been with me from the beginning, and with many career coaches and resume writers and others in this space who’s own businesses have grown (or at least survived over the years). At conferences I’ve roomed with recruiters (hi Steve!) and resume writers, as well as other speakers… I’ve dined from San Diego to Boston, from Seattle to Orlando, and many places in-between, with amazing people who have helped me think differently. I feel like I’ve been with the who’s who of this industry, and it’s been really enjoyable.
I’ve also been blessed to talk, one on one, with many professionals in transition around the globe. The careers my users have had are sometimes intimidating… the people I’ve done LinkedIn profile critiques for are amazing… and somehow I’ve been invited into their world at a time of uncertainty, and I’ve been able to share some ideas and tips to help move them forward. This has been a humbling and honoring experience.
I’ve written three books, one of which launched a speaking career that put me face-to-face with greatness. I thought I was a great speaker, only to learn that it really takes at least a hundred presentations before you start to get unusually good (much less great or excellent). I was able to witness this growth, and remember when someone said “I saw you speak three years ago (when I thought I was really good), and wow, you’ve REALLY improved!” It was a compliment, for sure, but I thought I was the same as three years earlier, and I had to then wonder how bad I really was three years before!
Oh yeah, throw in 29 courses for Pluralsight (one is retired, and one I just delivered this morning, so if you look now you’ll only see 27 published courses). Doing a single course is a massive accomplishment, imo… doing 29 is nothing short of crazy.
My team has grown and shrunk, we’ve expanded and contracted, but my core team has always been there. I regularly say, with pride, that my original two hires are still with JibberJobber – I think in today’s world that is a major contribution that any employer would be proud of.
JibberJobber looks different than it used to, and there are more changes coming. But our core “promise,” to help you organize and manage your job search, and become a follow-up tool, will remain at the core of what we do. I can’t figure out whether we are just leaving our “awkward stage,” at ten years, or if we are just staring it. We’ll see how the next couple of years go 🙂
Finally, I would be remiss to not express gratitude to my wife (and kids). I try to keep them off my blog and out of my social life, because I don’t want any haters or harassers (yes, it has happened – there are weird people out there). My wife, from the beginning, has been supportive. Of course, there have been temptations elsewhere, like a steady paycheck, benefits, etc., but she has been a supporter of the vision to HELP PEOPLE and families, and feels, as I do, that this is my calling and contribution. And she has been supportive over the last ten years, even in the many lean times (hey, free JibberJobber ain’t paying anyone’s bills… not my mortgage, not my kid’s braces :p)… it hasn’t been easy for her, but she’s been a true entrepreneur’s supportive wife, and I’m grateful for that. Since we started JibberJobber we added two kids to our family, and she’s “held the fort down,” allowing me to keep moving forward.
So today’s a day of gratitude and reflection… thanks to each of you for your part, big or small.
Here’s to another 10 years!