Care and Feeding Advice for Job Hunters |

Niels Reib knows firsthand how important self-care is in a job search. Too few people take care of themselves and then go through various forms of implosion. We want to head that off.

You may also find “Don’t Be an Amateur: Prepare for Your Job Interviews” helpful

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so my guest today is neil schreib which
is spelled neil with an s reib who's a
career strategist and mentor who helps
career driven professionals attract the
work and career they want and deserve
through authentic career branding
he focuses on personal leadership in
creating an outstanding online presence
and thus helps his clients unleash their
full potential by doing what they love
with less stress in their life and more
to give to the most important people
around them like us i'm just kidding
i and i know he's inspiring and help
people showcase their skills worldwide
with his mix of scandinavian humility
and american confidence
well thank you jeff such a pleasure to
be here
you're very welcome
where in the world are you today
well i'm in copenhagen denmark so uh
i guess we're about six hours apart i'm
in the middle of the afternoon here and
you're in the morning over there in the
and that's the way my interviews have
been running in recent times i've been
speaking to more people globally and it
is a pleasure because frankly folks for
those of you who are u.s centric if you
think he doesn't have material for you
you're wrong hang in there enjoy this
interview it will help you
so let me just start by asking we're
going to be doing a show related on
karen feeding for the job hunter
supporting them through what's a very
stressful time
what makes you an expert at this
i've been there and i've um
my experience as a job seeker
went from
losing my job due to the financial
crisis back in 2000
uh late nine
starting fresh looking for a new
industry to be in i i thought i was
try to
get into a field where i could combine
healthy hobby of
loving wine
to with a job um so i was trying to get
a job selling wine um
fairly quickly i got into you know i got
in interviews and stuff like that but i
found out that hey a
networking was something
that played a big part in
getting that job and actually
landing the job because
it was lack of network
within that field
that kind of made me come in second for
those jobs that i went to interview for
so after a couple of months without
landing a job
kind of downhill
um the couch got
harder and harder to get out of
uh looking for jobs and having that as
my sole priority
whenever i got up in the morning was not
a healthy thing for me and it's not for
many people actually
uh so
from there on
six months in
i went completely
you know
i hit rock bottom
and uh i went from having a relationship
to having
no relationship i got hospitalized i
went into the hospital with a depression
i was registered as a homeless person
for a while
uh so you know i
didn't have much to look forward to i
and uh thankfully with the right kind of
help i uh got back on my feet
and uh
dove in deep looked inside figured out
okay what is what is it that i want what
is it that
sense in my life
how can i
create value
and how can i serve
people being in that situation and i
felt like hey if
my experiences
with job seeking
could help other people not go through
what i went through then it would be
worth sharing that
and uh
so i started the blog
and started writing about not job search
per se but more about
well-being as a job seeker how to
structure your day so that you
have other stuff to
that gets you out of bed in the morning
than job seeking stuff that gives your
energy to you know
go get through that period of time uh as
a job seeker because
i have this
feeling and i believe strongly that if
we don't
take care of ourselves if we're not
mentally healthy
and feel great
then we're not producing our best work
and that's no matter whether you're
working in communication whether you're
a ceo or cfo or a job seeker
if we're not
taking care of ourselves
to the best of our ability then we're
not going to perform
and the thing is if you're a job seeker
and you're down it's going to show and
come through in your applications and at
it's like being desperate when you're
you know when you're dating and you're
i'll simply say the other person can
smell the desperation
and with that
no one likes desperate people
no one wants to hire someone who's in a
funk no one wants to hire someone who's
depressed they want a higher
passion enthusiastic individual and the
disconnect between the two
leaks out no matter what you think
you're doing to hide it
you may have the biggest goofiest smile
but your voice may link it out
your body language may leak it out and
folks you just got to be aware that what
he's going to talk about today
is designed to have you become alert to
the signals
so that in this way you can get some
support to pull yourself out of it or to
help you pull yourself out of it because
as has happened with niels uh he shares
he needed help
and so many job seekers do and don't
attend to it
yeah and the unfortunate thing here is
being a job seeker you don't have
you know maybe the the resources to go
out and hire a coach
and i tried to figure things out on my
it wasn't until afterwards when i got
out on the other side that i you know
and spent
the better part of a year i think
just working on myself
doing the inner work
to to set the direction afterwards
to figure out what it was that i wanted
out of life
that's when it kind of
dawned on me that hey the best thing you
can do for yourself being in a situation
as a job seeker
is to take care of yourself
that's the main
you know your main goal is to take care
of yourself your second goal is to get
that job of course because you gotta
you know provide for yourself
but your main goal is to to take care of
make sure that you get out of bed in the
have something
other than just you know search to look
for that could be go for a walk in the
that could be
go for a run
read a book something that gives you
energy and the stamina to push through
that situation that you're in
i um
after i started my blog sharing
all these
uh things that i learned
and and that that i lacked before i i
really hit bottom rock bottom there
those things have helped thousands of
people here in denmark just reading my
my danish blog that i launched back then
and and just to hear people
meeting people at talks that i went out
and did uh saying that they came just
because you know they they wanted to
hear my story they wanted to talk to me
and thank me for for what they read on
my blog
um and you know it's it's just been
amazing to to know that
putting in simple structures in your day
can help
gain that energy back
that will help you in your job search
i used to say you know it's it's
it'll drain you like nothing else
if you're putting yourself in front of
your computer looking for jobs all day
and if if you send out applications you
know by the dozens
and get rejected
over and over again don't you feel great
that was the one thing that got me down
you know getting rejected over and over
again uh just getting slapped in the
face uh
and it just tore me about apart
my suggestion to job seekers are to
structure your days fill it with things
that gives your energy and that could be
anything i had this this one lady come
up to me at one of my talks and saying
it wasn't after until after i i used to
have this download on my website about
you know plan your week plan the time
schedule for your job search
uh so you can look for jobs on monday on
wednesday and friday or whatever suits
your schedule
but make sure to put in
the things that gives your energy and
she was like at first she used that that
show her husband she used to note down
what she did that day because then he
wouldn't ask her when he got home from
work what did you do today
he could she could just give her that
piece of paper where she written down
what she did that day
and she put it in his office
and that way that was you know she did
he didn't have to ask
and she didn't have to answer
um but then over time after a little
while she actually started using that
month or that weekly schedule and and
filling it out as she was supposed to
and she found out that doing garden work
this was in the spring
um was where she gained energy
with this mentality of hey you gotta
have energy in order to apply for jobs
she always she always allowed herself to
do the garden work you know she's what
she did was she went on and looked at
you know the job postings during the
then she went in the garden for a couple
of hours she might even start a an
application in the morning
went into the garden did some garden
work for a couple of hours
went back and looked at the the
application she was doing
and then
you know with a fresh mind
and renewed energy
and it helped her actually land jobs or
a couple of interviews
by doing that
after a drought
it doesn't surprise me
you know
companies want to believe that they're
hiring a winner
and if you're arriving in i use the term
before funk
where you're off your game you're not
presenting yourself at your best
and that's what firms want to see
now you know i have this thing about
they always want to hire someone who
and they have no capacity to assess fit
but they think they can
and thus they believe that that
energetic passionate person
their eyes twinkle as they speak they've
got a smile on their face they speak
with energy and maybe they use their
hands as they talk and this is a u.s
central example i'm giving
but still you know whatever expresses
energy and excellence
becomes what they like to see
for those of you who are struggling
they don't care about your struggle
it's on you to solve that
for the interview and for all your
conversations with people
and do i have that one right
yeah i mean
one of the worst things you can ask a a
job seeker about is you know how's it
going you know
or what are you doing
you know
and and um
after a while you you just get sick of
it and i know people mean it in you know
in a nice way you know that they're the
show interest in in your
your journey um but you just reach a
point as a job seeker where you just get
fed up with those questions and
when i
again got out on the other side and
started blogging about well-being and
structuring your days as a job seeker
and and having a more proactive approach
to job see to job search
that's what i started talking about when
people ask me what i did and and and uh
how it was going you know
and then we got into all this you know
the conversation about that instead of
me not having a job which has a negative
you know uh
energy to it
so you know
our insides
yeah it does
you know it's like
they're well meaning i don't believe
they're trying to to be encouraging i
believe what they're trying to do is
they've got this mental note in their
mind that you're unemployed and they're
trying to go for the next chapter it's
as though you have a disease
and they're hoping it's cured by now so
that way they can treat you like a
normal person and all they want to hear
is hey i'm close to something i got an
offer i'm getting an offer you know yeah
you know what the funny thing is when i
i launched my blog and this was back in
uh my danish blog
it took
a month or maybe two months and i
started to to get
requests from
journalists to interview me based on the
content that i
put on my blog
and and one of the requests were to
be part of an article
talking about
being laid off shouldn't be such a taboo
because at least here in denmark it
happens to at least 50 of us during our
and for those 50
50 of those it happens to more than once
so why is it that it's such a taboo to
you know get laid off and and you know
it happens to so many people
and and it's it's it is like a disease
you know people don't want to talk about
and it it can really um be a really
it's a tough situation to be in
if if
you go too long
without landing that next job one of the
lies we've been trained to believe
is that the reason we get laid off is we
weren't good enough and thus we are a
that's the message we take
from the
laid off part
even though most of the time at least
certainly in the period of time since
2001 where the us had that experience
with 9 11.
certainly since then
the reason people get laid off is
economic it has nothing to do with the
individual's performance a firm is
trying to survive
and the nature of layoffs these days
and the economy is far more extreme
so firms are taking more extreme action
to remedy a crisis that could put them
out of business but we think it's our
we're afraid other people are going to
think it's our fault and when we can't
get a job quickly
what's wrong with you
that's what we keep telling ourselves
that's how everyone's question sounds to
us or how we interpret it
and it's not us
it's the economy
and we're impacted by it certainly if
you gotta lay it off though in covid
come on what are you blaming yourself
yeah you played no part in that you know
zero but i've been out of work for six
i've been responding to people now for a
while who in one way or another have
been adversely impacted by the disease
talk about you know we can't find people
they make it harder
to hire in the u.s
and it's complicated
by a variety of things but now
i've heard you talk about so far
that structuring one's day
you know if they're calendaring it
so that you have a plan for your day
you know
energy creating time
is a big part of how someone can
from the depression that often
accompanies a job search
what other ways can people work on that
to pull themselves out or get support
with moving forward
well first of all it's if if you have a
partner be
honest about how you feel
and hopefully you have a an
understanding partner
i uh what i did before i i crashed i um
i used to go to the gym
like six times a week
i did that for less than an hour
those six days a week
one day my my then girlfriend she was
she told me that hey if if you did
do as much with your job search as you
do with your gym time you would get a
job faster
which resulted in me not going to the
gym anymore
and the gym was the one thing
that i felt like i had going for me
and and and that was probably the worst
decision i've ever made
was to quit going to the gym
because i i've you know i i felt like
she kind of attacked me a little bit you
know um i did you know sit on the couch
i ended up on the couch with my laptop
and and looking for jobs and that was
devastating what that did to me and um
it's so important that you're
keep socializing
when you're you're a job seeker you
gotta work that network you know uh
you don't disappear off the the face of
the planet because of your your
situation uh have meetings with with
people even you know that could be
virtual it could be in a coffee shop
but meet people get new insights read
that can you know keep you
on top of your game
study online courses
during that time as well
that'll show
a future employer that you haven't given
up you're you're still developing even
though you're out of a job
if not they're not giving up you know i
never really thought about it until you
just mentioned it
and it's true
folks give up
and it shows in lots of ways
employers smell it
and thus the idea that you're doing
courses whether it's online or at school
makes no difference
you're learning new stuff
and whether you do linkedin learning
to take those courses or you go through
a formal program you seek certification
whatever it is
doing things that demonstrate you still
in the game you're not on the couch
and yeah exactly
and and
it's it's it's so vital that that you
stay in the game like that and that's
one thing that
i kind of want to you know take it into
the branding type you know sure
direction now because what happened when
i started sharing my story and all those
uh advice about structuring your days
and being proactive as a job seeker what
happened was that i started attracting
people from an entirely new industry to
my network
via linkedin
and and which gave me opportunities to
go out and do workshops
in you know doing this
helping job seekers
face to face instead of just
you know sharing my my experiences
through the blog
and and that's the power of of branding
as i see it
is sharing your knowledge
yeah and the fun thing with branding
folks i know you don't think of yourself
like a detergent or a hamburger from a
fast food restaurant i know that
one of the things that has changed over
the course of
my career at search is that an
individual can create a brand a rep for
themselves a reputation
that allows people to see them as an
so they get to know like trust and
respect you
and thus want to reach you which best of
all allows you to move to the head of
the line
it's like in a nightclub you know
there's a bouncer at the door
and they've got a list of who they're
going to let in
i personally believe there's a side door
and a back door but if you want to get
on the
list that's a great way to do is by
building a reputation for yourself so
they see your name on the oh okay come
on in
they're ahead of them
and the other people who is that guy who
is that woman but they're letting them
and that
advantages you and that's the power of
the brand of the reputation
yeah and and
i'm a
little you know um
my my way to to talk when i talk about
branding i
tend to or prefer to talk about having
your personal website
uh simply because if you build a brand
on social media it's it's like building
a house on a rented lot you don't own
your your profiles on linkedin or
anywhere else
and we we just saw it a couple of weeks
ago i think when linkedin went down for
a small amount of time and people just
panicked you know um at least those who
are on there
they noticed it um
but it just comes to show that you're
vulnerable if you
brand your you base your brand on a
social you know media network
that's why i'm
very very
having a personal website because you
own the content there
and it's a great knowledge base that you
can build up and refer
employers to
when you look for a job
i'm not sure i know of any
hiring professional that wouldn't click
a link
in a resume
that goes to a personal website of a job
uh to find out more and more about them
because they are all they are going to
google you anyway so you might as well
help them help them out by providing the
links that they they need to uh to find
and then if you have your website
you know you can put everything on there
about the courses that you're taking
about the books that you're reading your
takeaways from conferences from
whatever it is that you're doing put
that on your website because it'll give
hiring professionals a much better idea
about who you are as a person it shows
that you're you know have a growth
mindset it shows that you're taking
responsibility about your your career
it shows that um
you're proactive
and you're a thought leader
and it sets you apart
and as such
everything that you do to stand out in a
good way
is an advantage for you
it allows people
to see you beyond the resume that
everyone else is sending them
and there's texture
this new conversation people can have
other than simply oh i see you did this
two years ago
and then being quiet and you have to now
babble about that
they can have a discussion with you
about what they read
on your website in the blog there they
can ask you questions about your
thinking about something i know there's
someone i worked with a year ago
who spent a lot of time in risk
and we had a strategy for him
developing his blog and cultivating
articles and the context started coming
one of which led to an introduction for
to collaborate on a book
and through that collaboration with a
thought a more advanced thought leader
a huge rep a huge advance for him
i'm not talking about the financial
advance but it was a big advance for him
in terms of his reputation and
opportunity started to come to him as a
and that's exactly what i'm talking
about once you start putting your your
your knowledge out there and and your
your thoughts and and everything like
that on your website you're never gonna
what kind of opportunities will come
your way you know when i first pushed or
clicked that publish button back in 2012
i had no idea that i would end up doing
this today i had no idea that i would
attract that many people from the from
that you know industry here in denmark
that takes care of job seekers to my
i had never thought that i would go out
and do my second talk i ever did
was in front of 500 job seekers
you know
i've never liked standing in front of a
speaking but you know
with an opportunity an opportunity like
that you know shows up
you better do it
you know because again
just one other person could gain
something valuable from what i have to
then it's worth sharing
um and and that's that's been my
approach ever since you know um and
that's the approach that
anyone could take
just share your your knowledge share
your thinking
share your take on whatever goes on in
your industry
that will help set you apart from i'd
say about 95 or 96 of all other job
seekers if you have a website
focusing on your career
you're so right
and the same content can wind up on
linkedin you can wind up on medium
with a link back which helps with your
own seo his backlinks you know help with
that sort of stuff it does
always link it back to your blog even if
it's to say originally published at or
and a link back to the original article
it makes a difference for you folks so
don't sell yourself short as so many of
you tend to do
by thinking oh i've got nothing to say
you've got a lot to say we all do
we all have something to share and as i
say you know it
you shouldn't do it to
you know become the next uh i don't know
vaynerchuk or whatever you know it it
should just be your platform your
knowledge base
that is focused on your career where you
share your takeaways
and and the things that
you're passionate about professionally
you know
because when you you put that on your
website chances are a future employer
will match and align with your values
and give you a job that you know fulfill
yeah it's it's it's a powerful thing and
it there's no need to over complicate it
today it's it's been it's it's much
simpler today than than it was
ten years ago to set up a website
and and it's
yeah it's it's something that you many
people will have to overcome i i had to
myself you know it was scary clicking
that publish button the first time
um but then as time went on you know it
was like okay i haven't published
anything in a week that's weird um
and it just became a habit
and but it's it's like with everything
else that's outside of our comfort zone
you know we just need to push it a
little bit
and um
and it will pay off this you know
having a website for your career is
long-term thinking
and and it's it's something that you
know you and i we're both content
creators and and i know you've got a
bunch of content on on your website and
it's built over
a decade a decade or more
and it it's everything you put put out
is a door in google
you know people if they google your name
you're gonna show up because you want
your website to be your or
you know um but it's also gonna be a
to the content that you create so people
will find you based on the content as
well um
so it's it
you you won't know and you can never
guess what kind of opportunities
will will
find you
when you start sharing your what you're
passionate about professionally
amen brother and folks i encourage you
it's not hard to create a website these
now when
we started back in the stone ages
when dinosaurs roamed the earth
much harder wordpress was difficult
there were things like wix
or some of the other platforms available
it was hard i remember my first website
was built on a technology that doesn't
exist anymore
same here
and i had to have a developer do it
now you can learn a lot from youtube
to be able to do this
it isn't that hard and they are very
inexpensive like most of
most hosting can be as little as 2.95
per month
which is nothing
it's not it's a small investment in in
something that can really you know set
your part in your career
how can people find out more about your
this is going to
come as a surprise to to a lot of people
probably but i have a website
and it's it's it's um
and uh there people can
can yeah i've got different i got a
brand test that people can take
yeah so so that people can actually
uh get a sense of
how their online presence is and then
get the next action steps based on their
and they can sign up on my website they
uh then they can
get weekly action steps to help them
build an online presence i think there's
content there in that sense in that
sequence alone if you start at the
it sounds bad to say the bottom but if
you're building an online presence from
bottom up
then there's content for a year that'll
help you
thank you and folks we'll be back soon
with more i'm jeff open the big game
hunter as neil says told you i've got a
ton at my website go to the blog at the
big game hunter dot u s i took a look
today there's over 11 000 posts there
that you can watch listen to and read
will help you with your job search
hiring more effectively improve your
management and leadership and help you
resolve workplace related issues
in addition connect with me on linkedin
at forward slash i n
forward slash the big game hunter
mention that you saw the interview
because it does help other people
and it lets me know that this is
worthwhile for you is helpful for you it
makes me feel good too
and i'll simply say you can also
schedule time at my website
for a free discovery call schedule time
for coaching i'd love to help you
hope you have a terrific day and most
be great
take care


Jeff Altman, The Big Game HunterJeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2200 episodes.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? Schedule a discovery call at my website,

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