When I learned my good friend, Ryan Money, CEO at HireVue, was having lunch with JibberJobberâ€™s Jason Alba, I smiled. This guy, Jason, is meeting all the right people and making all the right moves with a great idea. What was even more enthralling was that he had a story everyone could relate to, we will all eventually be job seekers seeking career advancement. I decided Six Degrees had to introduce a new profile to itâ€™s audience.
Listen to Peter Clayton Podcast and you’ll learn that Jason Alba was inspired by a temporary set-back. An out-of-work Internet application design expert with an MBA, he was frustrated that there were very limited tools to benefit his job search, and an over-abundance of often useless or fragmented information. Jason found a maze without a roadmap to guide him through his job search that would effectively meet his expectations and achieve successful results. He observed the job board space, convoluted â€“ identifying over 40,000+ boards. He was frustrated that HR and recruiters and everyone else in this space had access to powerful tools but the job seeker had nothing of significance. The state unemployment department didnâ€™t make his journey any easier. To qualify for unemployment, Jason learned that he had to contact (read: apply to) 2 or 3 new employers every week. He found an essential component missing in the state unemployment requirements, — it utterly failed to account for a job seekerâ€™s networking efforts.
Jason didnâ€™t bemoan the experience simply by enjoying an enforced diet of happy hours to cut expenses he took initiative above and beyond the job seekers usual destination of actual employment. He employed himself to create something new. Jason was determined to apply the lessons of his search as a job seeker to develop a new tool set to help job seekers not only keep track of, but manage all those different versions of their resume, cover letters, interviews, recruiters, leads, contacts, action items, follow-ups. Jason came well equipped to the task: He combined his Internet design skills with standard tools that salespeople use to organize their prospects to give job seekers free tools to use for the rest of their career. Simply stated, Jason automated all the complex and often frustrating process of finding a job and furthering your career into a solution platform, and he named it, JibberJobber! (Jason has a flair for creativity in every respect you see)
As Jason puts it, â€œALL of my my previous experience (design, development, marketing, sales, management, customer support, etc.) â€“ including his frustration based upon actual experience as a job seeker – has contributed significantly to launching JibberJobber, and it has been a blast!â€ Hmmm, interesting, finally a talent tool designed by IT that is actually user-friendly â€“ behold!
WHAT IS JIBBERJOBBER?!!
JibberJobber is a set of tools that anyone with an interest in managing their own career should embrace. Basically it takes principles that career coaches preach (organize your job search, keep track of where you send your resume, prepare an elevator pitch for your interviews, track your expenses (which may be tax deductible), etc.) and networking experts talk about (take your network from a phone list to a relationship management level, like a CRM application would) to give you a long-term toolset to manage those 9 – 10 job changes in your career.
There are a few underlying philosophies, such as provide as much content and functionality for free because the last thing a job seeker needs to do is pay for something when they have no income. Also, provide a useful tool for active job seekers and passive job seekers alike. Provide a tool that is congruent with the idea that YOU are the only one that really cares about your long-term career. The ability to share information (see recruiter and coach interface, which are free) at the discretion of the user (job seeker). That’s where JibberJobber came from. (Still scratching my head on the Jibber part, but thatâ€™s besides the point, the guyâ€™s creative, right?)
ALBA-ISMS: THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE MISSION
Jason, addresses issues we can all relate to:
Good Thing 1: a job search is something that requires collaboration between “the person looking for the job” and professionals, such as recruiters and coaches (professional, or mentor-like non-paid buddies). That is why there is an interface to allow the job seeker to share certain data (aka, grant access) to recruiters and coaches. More people need to understand this idea of building and using resources, as opposed to going it alone.
Good Thing 2: I sense that we are on a huge wave that we’re riding with amazing transparency in processes and reality, as you can pick out through bloggers in this space. It is fluid, so there is opportunity for different types of orgs to create business. The awesome thing is there is no one “right answer” and job seekers can benefit (once they get through the confusion of it all). The job seeker seems more empowered than ever.
Good Thing 3: Job seekers are beginning to do things like create their own personal branding (like my monthly award winner – http://www.jibberjobber.com/blog/?cat=18 ). I love the power that a person can have individually. And seekers are seeing the changes in the space and realizing that certain things are noise, and there are other ways to find the job. I think the info on the recruiter blogs is awesome, and adds to this empowerment.
Bad Thing 1: Too many people focus on a job search and not realizing that they need to manage their career. Even if you have a track record of keeping within the stats (changing jobs every 3 – 5 years), you still ignore the idea of tactics and techniques to ride all the rest of the job changes that are coming. Is this the big pink elephant that everyone ignores? Not fun to think about, but you have to have a paradigm shift, and understand that you aren’t making these changes because you are a loser, rather that is the way it is, and you have to figure out how to navigate it!
Bad Thing 2: Some companies/organizations are empowered by having totally dependent job seekers support them. I went to a staffing agency and showed a high-level manager JibberJobber. He realized how cool it is for personal career management, but he also realized that if he led people to JibberJobber he may be losing his business (I think his logic was flawed – if he would bring me a real, valuable tool as a job seeker, I’d recommend everyone to him, and I would have increased trust in his services to me). I don’t get this sense from recruiters (especially those that give it more than a 10 second glance and think “oh, this is like LinkedIn” (IT’S NOT)), although I think that lots of recruiter have their own issues and haven’t realized how cool this would be to recommend to job seekers.
Bad Thing 3: There is a lot of talk about “new ways” to do things, and you can see that from H3 and ItzBig and folks like that. But I honestly don’t see the main processes and mentalities of this space changing any time soon. I’m not very visionary, so I will get slammed for saying this, but I don’t see job boards going away. I don’t see all of the lame things (including lame things that happen to recruiters (people that don’t keep the recruiter informed on the status, etc.) changing. People need to network and that is how jobs are generally found, but so many people don’t put the right amount of time and effort into it. So, the worst part, I think, is this paradigm shifting that I have gone through but so many others don’t (until they are deep into unemployment).
TALK OF THE TOWN
The good news for Jason Alba is that he is the talk of the town among some very significant organizations that are looking at JibberJobber as a huge supplement to what they already offer, and, not surprisingly, he doesnâ€™t mind the attention. He created it and lived the story that is fun because itâ€™s inspiring â€“ how many of us actually do more than complain and actually devise something new that benefits others? Ultimately, JibberJobber is a job seeker’s (or, professional’s) tool, not someone else’s tool that the job seeker can use and it puts all of us as potential lookie-loos in the driverâ€™s helm of our next career opportunity.
Interesting â€“ personal initiative, self-empowerment, and a vehicle from which to direct our energies to achieve our personal goals. Create a tool, and supply the demand. Duly noted. Hmmmm, Me likey!
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