Sudden joblessness

images (2)

Lack of funds is the #1 struggle to having no job. Feeling unproductive and bored is a close second, especially if someone is used to working.

For some, life is going along just fine. They may like or even love their jobs. Out of nowhere, it ends. Most sudden job ends come from corporate layoffs or firings. Often there are pre-clues, but it can be sudden. Sometimes it’s wilder, and their stories are extremely interesting. People have come to work and found business doors locked and the place abandoned. Sometimes the company was raided by law enforcement. Management was caught in illegal situations, had used the business as a cover for smuggling goods or drugs, embezzled, stolen things and more. These people find themselves jobless, in shock, and may even struggle mentally for unwittingly taking part in something immoral (and sometimes experience a stigma by future employers).

Let’s say Monday, an employee wakes at 4:30am. Due to their job, health, family and household obligations, they move until 9pm. Tuesday they suddenly get laid off. The days that follow, they are shocked, confused, and find gaps in their schedule, including free time during the day (potentially for the first time ever). Spending job search days just doing the minimum makes searching more difficult and mentally tough. A person may feel bored, worthless, unproductive, and even start to become depressed. Having more time to think about the situation can also increase grief over the job loss. (I’ll touch on job loss grief—a real phenomenon–in a future blog).

volunteer-clipart-free-clip-art-images1Being productive is extremely important to finding a fabulous new job; as well as maintaining personal health, good relationships, a nice home, and spending time positively. So during a search I recommend staying as busy as possible, and using joblessness as a benefit. Know you don’t have a problem; you have a short-term OPPORTUNITY to see and enjoy the daytime world. I don’t mean getting hooked on a soap opera, but use this time to volunteer for places like schools, community centers, events, organizations, parks, care facilities, churches, etc., attend daytime Bible studies, join a hobby or craft organization, take a daytime or community education class. Enjoy items that may work better during the day like fishing, exercising, boating, visiting the library, or helping others with rides. Clean and do yardwork. Visit a lonely person; call them or take them to lunch. Make appointments with your insurance agents, financial planners, banks, dentists, doctors, salons and more. Finish projects that are hard to complete at night, like painting your deck or re-tarring your driveway. Try new dinner recipes. Plan and lead family events. Learn a trade or skill. Read up on information. Add this to a proactive job search where you determine several potential fields to try, research organizations and speak with potential hiring managers.

ae5f09f36ebeb22f30c3689e14f3f0aeRemember–you are God’s child, are important and special no matter your income, job title, or how you spend your days. However; we are often our own worst enemies. Make it easier to feel this in your heart by memorizing this Bible verse “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful” Proverbs 139:13, and by spending your time well.

Good luck job searching,

Beth Husom, GCDF

Advertisements

Joy by giving

download (1)Job seekers: during your search, it’s vital to be productive and give what we can, whether it’s money, goods, time, or even kind words. Most of us have more to give than we think. It’s a matter of discovering what we have and then sharing.

I could never open an antique or secondhand store. Used goods end up at the end of the driveway or at the local thrift store. 100% of my son Andrew’s plethora of items are donated. A neighborhood family of 5 with a homeschooling mother receives most; most recently, I brought 4 overstuffed garbage bags of his clothes, snow gear, boots and shoes, and dropped off 4 bags of my stuff to Salvation Army. I also give small amounts of money to organizations, church, Andrew’s school, and more. People wonder why I don’t sell items of value, including playground and sports equipment. As a small business owner, last year’s taxes were still at the poverty line. My lower income is part of the reason I don’t sell my items, but instead donate them.

Yesterday, neighbors went past my house screeching and laughing on Andrew’s old bike and never-used roller blades. 8 months after Christmas, he hadn’t tried out this gift and didn’t want to. I finally felt at peace. The neighbors often wear his clothes. I get 80% of his designer goods from my nephews, so it’s fabulous to see them getting so much use. The same sort of thing happened when I bought non-refundable running shoes worth over $200. Even on clearance, they cost over $50, never fit, and were a constant reminder in my closet of $50 wasted. I finally donated them to The Blessing Closet, a free clothing distribution event put on by a local church 4 times per year. Lines form before opening. The Blessing Closet is huge, but a group of teen girls ran to the shoe racks upon opening. They spoke Spanish, and when one spotted these running shoes they started jumping up and down in excitement. One put them on and then they were squealing, hugging and screaming. $50 was wasted no more.

When job searching, rid yourself of anything that is a negative reminder and anything you don’t need. If you are struggling with feeling non-productive, consider donating the unwanted items. I don’t mean you should donate family heirlooms or your house. In my experience, giving brings much more joy than $20 here or there would. Always remember: improve your environment and surroundings and improve your job hunt.

Good luck job searching,

Beth Husom, GCDF

Go be yourself! (and go Vikes)…

download (1)

It’s the first day of the 2019-2020 NFL season—100 years strong. People go nuts up here for the Vikings. We even blasted the game on a big screen at church during our Family Fun Fest. After watching the Vikings beat the Falcons (YES!!!), I’m reminded of an experience when I felt like a football player. People were fighting, yelling, and I thought they would start tackling each other. Was it a sports event? No; just a Resume workshop during a conference for Career Developers. As I’ve stated (it seems like) about 100,000 times, resumes are experience, strength and education snapshots, not biographies. Less is often more. Resumes need to show action, list specific accomplishments. They are fluid and should match the job for which you’re applying.

Resumes must be accurate and contain no lies. However, they aren’t legal documents, with hard and fast rules. Even resume and career development professionals disagree on certain aspects. In our workshop, participants were up in arms over the Volunteer section. The issue: is it committing career suicide to add volunteer experience that reveals “too much,” such as religious beliefs, political or social views, or other personal information? Some went to the extreme and were adamant not to even share information revealing parenthood. Reason: a potential employer would believe parents may miss too much time or be less flexible due to kids. As I’ve gained years of experience and gotten longer in the tooth, I’m either wiser or just don’t care what people think of me. 10 years ago I’d recommend putting something like “Minneapolis-based church volunteer” or “2000 MN State Senate candidate campaign head.”download (1)

Now I say: good potential employers aren’t looking for cookie cutters of themselves. More importantly, we are not to be ashamed of who we are or what we do. If you are, re-think your values. So today, if I were to create a personal resume, you’d see names like Mount Olivet Lutheran, St. John’s Lutheran, Zion Lutheran, Pregnancy Resource Center, and Community Bible Study, Operation Christmas Child, Feed my Starving Children, The Blessing Closet, Rotary, Northwinds Elementary, Little League Baseball and more. These are some organizations I’ve volunteer(ed) with. If my resume would be crumpled up due to them, I’d hope the reviewer could at least use it for a mini office basketball.

Good luck job hunting,

Beth Husom, GCDF

Nice on social media=nice job

151-1514776_media-computer-icons-clip-art-sociales-symbol

I’ve written about this several times and will not mince one word. Job seekers, business owners, and people on this earth—use social media to your advantage and to the advantage of others. Don’t use it to air dirty laundry, be rude, swear, cuss, rip on others or more. You sound like a kid on the playground who whines, complains, and fails to mention their errors or faults. Sure, maybe someone pulled their hair. However, upon further research, the teacher finds the complaining little kid first pushed them off the slide.

What you write or comment says a ton about your integrity. Companies want to know potential employees’ characters, so they research them on the Internet. For you can teach a person how to run a machine or work a software program. You can’t teach them how to treat customers. Recently, I read a completely rude message about a business. People added nasty comments that fed on each other. Pretty soon it wasn’t about the business but instead about the owner’s driving habits and attitude at a dinner party. The interesting thing—I was also at the event he talked about. My perception was completely different. It was the Facebook poster who had a bad attitude, wouldn’t say hi, and had his face stuck in his phone the whole time, so he couldn’t even observe what he talked about. Yet just like the playground kid complaining about their hair being pulled, he failed to mention he first pushed the someone off the slide.

Negative posts can also indirectly harm the poster. Maybe a small business supports their child’s soccer team. If enough people speak badly, the business could lose income or in extreme cases their company itself. Suddenly, the negative poster needs to donate to the soccer team.

It makes items worse when people post items using horrid grammar, misspellings, and poor writing. Companies understand all this and pay attention. So mark my words: don’t expect interviews and new jobs if you decide to use social media to rip on others, swear, use poor wording, or write items like “there” when “they’re” would be correct. Your brain appears limited and you seem mean—not a strong representative of a business.

Is this clear enough?

Good luck job searching,

Beth Husom, GCDF

Do you love the IDEA of your job?

download (2)I often discuss the fact Americans tend to leave jobs too early. However, there are definite legitimate reasons to move on, even if it means you need to go after an extremely short amount of time.

Think of this analogy: You’ve heard of Internet catfishes. I watched a Dr. Phil show on this topic. A woman was obsessed with someone she’d met online. She thought they’d married over the phone, as they’d never met in person. Her new husband was “stuck overseas.” He had a million sob stories where he needed money. She had sold her house, cashed in all savings and investments. While she had reverted to taking back bottles to get $12 for food, the catfishes were enjoying the almost $1M she sent.

Dr. Phil broke apart the lies, showed the US address provided was an abandoned factory, schools and church he claimed to have attended didn’t exist, and uncovered the Nigerian group behind the scam. He found whose pictures had been stolen were being fraudulently used. This shocked gentleman appeared on Dr. Phil. Even after this amazing amount of physical evidence, this woman wasn’t convinced, and planned to continue her relationship. Dr. Phil explained the woman was in love with the IDEA of being in love, and with whom she WISHED the person was. In reality, he didn’t exist.

How does this translate to employment? Sometimes, people have a “dream job.” Before being hired, they ignore signs, gut instincts, and glaring issues. They take a job they’ve always wanted or seems fabulous. But their real job isn’t like the one on paper. After being hired, some work at a place that harms them physically or emotionally, could cause tension with families or friends, goes against ethics, and more. Yet they have a blind eye because they have a certain wonderful-sounding title, are somewhere they’ve loved since age 6, are finally performing tasks that on the outside seemed fantastic., are getting paid well, etc. For instance; I once worked with a job seeker, looking for her first graphic design position. She took one against my warning. This company sold meat products and supported hunters and fishermen. Yet she was a vegetarian, against killing animals. I gave her a week. She lasted 1.5 days.

The vegetarian took the healthy route and quickly left a job. But some people stay way beyond what’s healthy. Like Dr. Phil’s catfished woman, they love the IDEA of a certain job or what they WISHED the job was. This isn’t the same as being a little bored wanting to get off at 3pm instead of 4pm. Very few people love 100% of their positions. These are the jobs that are detrimentally affecting you. If you fall into this category, be honest. A title isn’t worth your health. Additionally, it’s disrespectful to stay somewhere where you can’t give your all or perform the tasks well. Remember; a resume isn’t a biograph. Don’t include short term positions or ones that won’t help you move on.

Good luck job searching,

Beth Husom, GCDF

Job Hoarding

closet-clipart-hoarder-6The television show Hoarders intrigues me. While I feel best after unloading extra clothing, toys, paperwork and more, people who suffer from Hoarding hang on items even if useless, broken, or has no value. I watched an episode where a woman even kept what should be flushed down the toilet.

People leave jobs after about 2.5 years. I believe many leave too soon. However, in the next couple of posts, I’ll focus on when it’s time (or past time) to move on. Jobs shouldn’t negatively affect other aspects of your life. Think of Hoarders; severe hoarders can’t move around their homes, may not have access to heat, air conditioning, electricity, water and more, can’t cook, may sleep in a corner somewhere, rodents run rampant, some lose their children, friends, their homes are condemned, and they spend all their money and more. In the pursuit of everything, they end up with nothing.

If you are surrounded with negative influences, are expected to do anything that violates your integrity or values, your company doesn’t treat customers well (and you can’t fix it), if the stress is harming relationships with family and friends, and/or your health is suffering, stop and think. Would I be better somewhere else? Am I lowering my standards by working here? Are the people around me good folks or are they rats?

Sometimes, people are at organizations for so long that they don’t realize it’s been sliding, co-workers are bad influences, or their position is at the core of issues, especially if they are paid well, have good benefits, work nice hours, live close by, etc. Because there absolutely will be changes and they may not all be great—lower income, a longer commute, a start at the bottom, and more. I once had a client who worked from home and made six figures. But his company produced horrid products, cost too much, and the corporate heads were engaged in sketchy behavior. It was having a negative effect on his health and relationships. Without having another job, he left. A month later, he got a great new job, took a $40k income hit and had to commute 20 miles to work. But his health and relationships greatly improved, and he was so fulfilled. Just think of Hoarders. They may think broken containers, 10 year old newspapers, 50 chairs, 600 shirts, expired food, and even poop helps them feel whole, safe, and are needed for survival. But in actuality, clearing out physical items may actually help their health, relationships, and eliminate a dangerous environment.

Good luck job searching,

Beth Husom, GCDF

 

Perceived value

images (1)You may have about the man who tried to give away a refrigerator. He put it at the end of the driveway marked “Free”  with “works well,” and “high quality.” It sat unclaimed for over a week until he replaced “Free” with a $50 sign. Sure enough, the next morning it was gone. That $50 gave the refrigerator a higher perceived value and it was suddenly desirable.

We place perceived value on everything. Think of restaurants, hair salons, vehicles, and retail stores. The neighborhood barber or discount facility may do a better job than a high buck salon. But sometimes we feel we look better via a $30 haircut. People don’t normally go a dusty diner to celebrate a birthday or anniversary. And most don’t buy a dress at a thrift store for special events.

My company is called Words Matter because words are vital to job seeking, as well as to life. However, actions and appearance are also vital. Think of the refrigerator. Increase your perceived value. Conduct yourself highly in public and via social media. Don’t swear or cuss, speak only nice words of others, and don’t find yourself hammered at the end of the bar on a Friday night. Try to participate in life. Attend events, volunteer, and help your neighbors. Forgive people who have wronged you, especially if they haven’t done anything to warrant forgiveness.

I know it’s 2019, but go rogue. Stay off your phone in public. In addition to learning and growing, your respect among others increases—it shows you care about the real world.

Some could lead to potential new job leads, but a lot may not. But everything positive often helps increase happiness and lower stress. When you do garner an interview, dress well, look people in the eye, and shake hands. Additionally, look nice in all places you could run into potential hiring managers. You don’t need to wear suits, but just be clean and match. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on clothes, good looking cheap ones are available. A $5 shirt I bought at Wal Mart has gotten way more “wow that’s cutes” than any others in my closet.

Good luck job seeking,

Beth Husom, GCDF