The 2020 Twilight Zone

Who’s ready to move on from 2020 craziness?

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(I can imagine many hands are raised).

COVID-19 has changed the planet. With unemployment levels sky-high, other businesses tanking, social, family, educational, governmental and medical unrest, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc.,……………… is different for 100% of people. I have all but stopped blogging, but really want to restart. However, I wonder if I know ANYTHING about career development. Rules have gone out the window. I have told job seekers for years to visit others, attend events, reach out, reach out, study and pursue strengths, and more.

Now, my suggestions are a little different. #1: Check to see what’s open. #2: Call and apply. Try temp services, real estate offices and contractors, home-based businesses, social service organizations, online operations, delivery services, or companies that make products such as toilet paper, toys, technology devices, and more. If you need, work for a restaurant or retail operation. Because here’s the deal: The Twilight Zone won’t last. Places will open, people will start to go back to work, social distancing won’t always be necessary, we may not always need masks.

However, here’s the other deal.  Life won’t be the same. Certain changes will last long after we’ve received a COVID 19 vaccine. Online and distance buying, meetings, working, school, and more will never go away. Robots and technology will replace certain positions and alter others. Different safety rules will last.

These wheels were set in motion long before 2020. Just think: in 1900, jobs like canal digger, horse shoer, lighthouse worker, telephone operator and the like were popular. Life changes. We need to change with it. In these upcoming months, flexibility, a willingness to change, and to learn will be vital for survival.

So keep your eyes and ears open. Speak with people, see what they do, and be willing to throw “Successful Job Seeking” books out the window. I will continue to research and work hard to keep up with changes, and apprise readers of what I know and learn.

A13usaonutL._AC_CLa_2140,2000_61bX3Ok665L.png_0,0,2140,2000+0.0,0.0,2140.0,2000.0_SX569._SX._UX._SY._UY_Also note: it’s OK to feel monster struggling. Based on your strengths, you may be having a very tough time with social distancing and staying at home. I know I am: this is going to be my new shirt!





Good Luck Job Seeking,

Beth Husom, GCDF

Back in the Saddle

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I took a major blog break. Per the COVID19 rules, people couldn’t leave their houses. Instead of writing for small businesses and job seekers, I became an elementary school teacher and house remodeler for the home we bought for its location on a lake. I suck in both roles.

images (2)It’s time to get back to blogging. Looking around, I wonder if I know ANYTHING about job seeking and career development. Sure, I am certified and educated with over 15 years of experience. In a way, I feel like my experience ended when the world shut down. Three months ago, I was a job seeking expert, but now in some ways I feel like a rookie. This is not unusual. Businesses are beginning to open and some are getting back to work, but jobs differ.

Last year, I worked with a local company looking to franchise. They operate a certain way, but not all was written. I helped rewrite job descriptions, company regulations, expectations and more, so everything was clearly laid out for new franchisees. For years, I’ve spoken with job seekers about this. I recommend COMPANY searching, not JOB searching. In today’s world, this is vital. A couple of paragraphs can’t adequately explain what a person will do on a job. I feel there could be a market for similar projects in the future–post COVID job descriptions and company operations will probably look different than pre COVID ones. Before taking a job, get a sense of what you’ll actually do-not what it says on a job description.

So let’s try this blog again, and we can maneuver this new world together.

Good luck job searching,

Beth Husom, GCDF


Birds Chirping

beautiful bird bloom blossom
Photo by Pixabay on

I normally take a walk in the morning. Today, I realized something had been missing—birds singing and cheeping. Now the robins, chickadees, nuthatches and more are back from their southern winter vacations. It’s an awesome sound that increased my experience, mood, and relaxation level. In July, I’ll be used to the chirping. It will still be nice (when I pay attention), but probably won’t seem as special as those first days of Spring; the reminder snow is leaving and warm days are ahead.

Job seeking can be stressful; lots of rejection and confusion. Finances may be tight. But understand that brighter days are ahead. When I hear a client say they’ve made phone calls, talked to potential employers in person, and stepped outside that cozy “apply online” rut, it’s almost as beautiful as hearing robins sing. Once you start doing this, Spring–aka a new job–will quickly follow.

Good luck job searching,

Beth Husom, GCDF

Job scammers

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Scammers may: Use posted resumes and tweak the contact info: They’ll try to get private information from companies before hire or even get hired-then steal company data, client sheets, bank account information, private documents, money and more. Some do it to get jobs they are unqualified for. If research is done, people find “Bob Thomas” has correct certifications and did work where the resume says. One problem—their name is “Benny Anderson” and they are a felon with some industry knowledge, but no degree. Usually they work for a while and go away.

Set up fake companies and/or use names of legitimate companies: They scam in many ways, usually to get information and then steal identities, but also try to get money up front. This is done pre-hire and “after an applicant lands a job.”

Scammers get new hires’ bank accounts for paycheck direct deposits. Before hire, they’ll need Social Security numbers to run background checks, send job seekers applications that require Driver’s License numbers, and/or copies of picture IDs.

For money: They’ll require applicants pay for background checks, drug tests, start-up kits, training, software program, etc. They’ll promise reimbursement after employment for a set amount of time. They may give fake websites or give the applicant class times at a local school or appointment times at a local clinic for drug tests. Schools and clinics have never heard of the applicant, and items never come. Sometimes the company “pays for things up front” and sends a cashier’s check. The applicant needs deposit it and then buy something online or send a check via Western Union to a “software company, product company, etc.,” that same day (before the fake cashier’s check bounces).

In what I consider wildly detailed scamming situations (writing all would require I turn this from a blog to a chapter book). In general, applicants start a job. After some time, the new hire realizes they have been a pawn in helping carry out some scam or scheme. Often these involve money laundering, identity theft, fake sales, etc.

Be vigilant. Before applying to jobs you find online, ensure it’s both a legitimate company and posting. Apply to jobs via company website when possible. If you don’t see a similar opening, call to ensure they are hiring. If it’s a scam, you’ll alert the company.

Offers that sound too good to be true are usually a warning sign. Don’t give personal information before they even set up an interview and never dish out money.

When possible, ask for in-person interviews. It could look like a real company is calling you when it’s really a scammer. For phone interviews call THEM. Many have gotten calls looking like real people or local companies, yet it’s a scammer from far away.

If you have a suspicion about a posting or company, or find fraud, also contact the BBB, law enforcement, and the job board itself.

Good luck job searching,

Elizabeth Husom, GCDF

Don’t be a Job-Seeking Smartwatch


Yesterday I both helped remodel a house we bought and shoveled snow for 3 hours. This morning, in relation to activity levels, my smartwatch said, “You closed one ring yesterday Elizabeth. Try for all 3 today.” This means I stood for 12 hours but didn’t get enough exercise or burn enough calories. It said I walked up 2 flights of stairs. However, I easily did 20-30 flights. My smartwatch is pretty dumb. I was ripping up linoleum the other day and got several reminders to stand.  Smartwatches recognize certain movements. However, we all know walking isn’t the only way to get fit.

Like smartwatches, some people think they are successfully job seeking if they are handing out 30 resumes a day in response to open jobs from job boards. Not true.

Sending resumes is not the only way to land a new job. Most career developers agree it takes a variety of methods to get an awesome new position, and job seekers don’t always see the fruits of their actions right away.  But it doesn’t mean what you’ve done isn’t valuable. Quite the contrary. If you are making calls, keeping up a solid LinkedIn profile, learning and focusing on your strengths, researching companies, contacting hiring managers and people you know, shaking hands, opening your mind to new possibilities, and getting out in the community, it will pay off.

All activity is important. However, many exercises and activities not recognized via a smartwatch may even help you drop those pounds or cholesterol levels faster than leisurely walks around the block. Likewise, calling 10 people may help you get a job faster than blindly emailing 10 resumes.

Keep it up. Take chances. Don’t limit yourself. My two words of advice when it comes to job searching—BE PROACTIVE. I exercised yesterday, even though my smartwatch disagreed. Remind yourself; if you spent the day performing a variety of job seeking methods and planted seeds with several people, you successfully worked on improving your future.

Good luck job searching,

Elizabeth Husom, GCDF

My job search hero

photo-1535355164057-a94503a066e0I have a new job seeking hero. A few weeks ago, Dave lost his high-ranking sales job with a flooring company. He immediately started calling contacts. If someone liked his or her company, Dave asked if they’d recommend him to a hiring manager. Several did, and he had a number of subsequent conversations with HR Reps and company owners. Nothing panned out, but Dave made some great contacts that could be useful in the future.

images (2)Before leaving his past company, Dave had planned on attending a large builder’s conference / product fair in Las Vegas as their representative.  Now, he bought his own plane ticket. This conference was for contractors-not a hiring festival. However, Dave indicated it was a perfect place to meet potential new supervisors in person. One day later, he had a new sales job with a new flooring company. There will be a lot less traveling than at his previous job, he can work from home quite a bit as well as a satellite office, the pay is good, and the environment is a lot more positive than at his last gig. He said the manager originally hadn’t wanted to hire a guy from Minnesota; this company is based in Atlanta, and they wanted someone closer to home base. But after meeting Dave and building rapport, the man hired Dave on the spot.

images (3)Being proactive, using all your resources, making calls and shaking hands is the best way to get a job. Take advantage of professional conferences, industry conventions, community events, trade shows, exhibitions, business expos and product fairs to meet folks in person. If it works, don’t limit yourself to trade shows that fit your field or experience. For instance; I can’t pound in a nail, but I can write about it and help market their products. So if I was looking for a marketing position, it may behoove me to attend a large builder’s conference. Persevere if the first 10 people don’t have a job for you. And stay off your computer 12 hours a day, emailing resumes to “” in response to job board openings, and then never following through. Instead of a 3 week successful job search, you’ll end up with a 3 month plus job search and end up at a place you may or may not like.

Good luck job searching.

Elizabeth Husom, GCDF

Answer 5 certain questions–Get a new job.

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If job seekers, can answer the following questions on resumes, on LinkedIn profiles, in discussions, and via interviews, they have a great chance of getting new positions.

At prior jobs, how have you:

  1. Saved your company money
  2. Made your company money
  3. Increased efficiency / saved time
  4. Improved internal and/or customer relations
  5. Solved problem(s)

Additional great information to share include: Thank yous or appreciation received / awards won / promotions or raises / specific times you went above required duties / ideas shared that were picked up and successful / times when you were a good advocate for your company / extra training and education you took without being required.

Of course executive-level applicants are most likely going to expect to have to need to answer and prove the above. Most will have examples (often because they are required parts of past jobs). However; these above questions are important for lower-level applicants as well. If you think hard, most will have examples. This doesn’t mean you need to have made or saved millions of dollars, increased you customer base by 200%, etc. It’s also worthwhile to share if you were behind items like: Found a new better and cheaper office product to buy, which ended up saving $1,000 each year. Worked with an upset client who not only continued to use the company but also recommended 3 others and gave them 5 stars on Facebook. Created and ran a work picnic that improved coworker relationships…These types of items.

Good luck job searching.

Elizabeth Husom, GCDF

LinkedIn Says These Are the 5 Biggest Mistakes People Always Make in the First 90 Days of Their New Job – posting —


By: Peter Economy The Leadership Guy The first few weeks of a new job can be – at the same time – exciting and scary. Here are some tips to help out with this very important time in your professional life. The first day at a new job. The first week. The first month. Starting […]

via LinkedIn Says These Are the 5 Biggest Mistakes People Always Make in the First 90 Days of Their New Job – posting —

Purple hair?


d3917eccca4c3a7d863b7cef38eeed7eAs my son got a haircut at Fantastic Sams last night I was reminded how stressful high-level customer service positions—teachers, nurses, cosmetologists, retail, etc.,–can be. The front desk person came to a nearby stylist and said quietly, “Lorene is here again. She said her hair is purple. I don’t see it, but she said you need to fix it right away.” I could see Lorene, an older woman. Her hair looked normal—the puffy, curly, short style worn by many elderly women. I didn’t see purple. She mentioned several times her back was a little shorter as well than she liked.

She was ranting, indicating if they didn’t fix it she’d report them to the franchise and never come again. The front desk stylist was looking at Lorene’s records which includes colors used. When Lorene took a breath, she said there were no tones used that would cause a purple tint. But Lorene held up a flashlight and asked if she could see it then. With the flashlight, I saw this 256286bc0759e9fa8888cae9a6d840c6, but it sounds like she saw this.a24c403f67d250d24c195e16bddf0a3c

Customer service professionals sometimes need to help people who can’t be helped.

I work with people in tough life and job situations; medical issues, addictions, divorce, family death, etc. Sometimes going back to a high-level customer service job almost grips them with fear and they end up not searching. It’s then that I suggest taking a little break from these jobs.

I just worked with a nurse getting out of rehab. She is a single mother to 4 kids. Caring for people 24/7 was more than she could fathom and caused strong urges for wine. We got her a job cleaning houses; it pays less but allows calming hours where she is alone, physically active, can see immediate results of her actions, and can clear her mind. It’s helping while she stays in therapy and AA, rebuilds relationships and trust with her family. Later, she may be at a place where nursing can be part of her life again. But for now, it wouldn’t work. Waiting for my son at the end of the day, I sometimes see the custodian, almost whistling while he works. Cleaning an elementary school wouldn’t be physically easy, but he gets to school around noon and works long after the kids have left. He’s given a list of projects, and if he completes them, life is good.

There are many work from home administrative jobs, short term tax jobs, and positions in areas like landscaping, painting, cooking, production and cleaning.

On the other hand, sometimes tough life situations can be alleviated a little by focusing on other people. So based on your situation, you have to decide what’s best. What type of job will allow me to best take care of myself and my family. This can be a short-term change while you work through issues. It’s better and healthier than sitting at home, scared, doing nothing.

Good luck job searching,

Elizabeth Husom, GCDF

Why should we hire you?

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“Why should we hire you?”

“Because you have a job opening and I am broke.”  (NOT THE BEST ANSWER)

Why should we hire you is a common interview question that can be pretty easy–even energizing– to answer if you do proper pre-interview homework.

Before applying for a position or as soon as you’re recruited, ask yourself “Why should I work here?” Then research. Check products, services, growth, employees, ratings, media postings and more. Memorize their mission. This research should give you some valuable information.

This way, you can confidently tell a company why they should hire you. Use specifics how you’ve made a positive difference. It’s great if you can find a problem and give an example of how you’ve fixed a similar problem in the past, you see they are on a certain road and you can help them stay on the road, and more. Don’t say something like, “Because I would work hard to help you succeed,” which is “Blah, blah, blah.”

A huge mistake people make when taking a job is that they know nothing about a company beforehand. People in an ill-fitting job often realize they’d rather clean toilets for a company they appreciate than serve as an executive for a company with clashing value. So research, review, and arm yourself with facts.

Good luck job seeking,

Elizabeth Husom, GCDF