Today, I spoke to Jason Alba. Jason is a career management evangelist. After getting laid off in January 2006, having great credentials and in a job-seeker’s market, Jason could hardly get a job interview. He decided to step back and figure out the job search process and understand all of the available resources. Within a few months he designed JibberJobber.com, which helps professionals manage career and job search activities the same way a salesman manages prospects and customer data.
Read Jason’s award-winning blog at JibberJobber.com/blog, his first book, I’m on LinkedIn — Now What??? and latest book is called I’m on Facebook — Now What??? The good news is that Jason recorded a video called Twitter for Job Seekers.
Mohammed: We are seeing a lot of movement between countries/states to land the next job. What should new employees focus to engage fast in company’s culture? And what managers usually look in a new employed?
Jason: I like the idea of getting into a new company and just listening and digesting. I’ve seen people come in and contribute to early without understanding the culture. This can lead to saying the wrong things and becoming branded as someone who probably won’t fit in.
I’m not sure what all managers look for, as personalities will have a significant impact, but I looked for someone who was low-maintenance and resourceful. I was already busy doing my job and didn’t want to have to handhold or babysit for a few months. I understand that some think that is the job of a manager but the level of professional I hired needed to be, as a professor once said, “high speed, low drag.”
Mohammed: People start to realize that working in passion job are more secure and productive than temporary high paid jobs, for people who set a way from their specialization for 3+ years, how they can present a resume that reflect their main specialization and overcome the gabs that being spent on another major?
Jason: I think the issue you are presenting here is simply how to communicate your transferable skills. Today’s job search and career world is vastly different than what it was when I first started working. There used to be a recipe for job security… prescribed things to do or study or know. Now, with no loyalty from company to employee, and employee to company, and our current economic issues, changing jobs and industries regularly isn’t as bad as it used to be. Even though we feel horrible when forced into unemployment it’s important to understand the negative stigmas are decreasing as this is becoming the new norm.
Mohammed: If a job seeker approach you today and ask you, which websites you recommend to: search for a job, build an online profile and organize job search activities, what your advice will be?
Jason: Understand that I typically talk to professionals who are interested in a real, strong career… not people who need a job just to pay the bills. With that in mind, I subscribe to the #1 most common piece of advice to network into your next job. So the question is, where can you go to network? You don’t really network on job boards, although you can get some great information about companies to do further research. Use social sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, even Facebook to do research and network into contacts, as well as share your brand, etc.
Of course I recommend JibberJobber as a tool to organize and manage the relationships you find, whether online or offline.
For portfolios I think it’s critical to be found easily, so have a strong profile on LinkedIn but also consider your own website (perhaps on WordPress.com) or VisualCV.
Brand Word: My bit of advice is to OWN your career. No one cares about your career more than you do (or, more than you should), so stop relying on other people to manage it.
Spotlight: I recommend reading: Brag!: The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn without Blowing It