“What is your greatest weakness?

images (1)“I tend to work too hard.” “I often take on a lot of extra work.” “I am a perfectionist and hard on myself if I am not the best at something.”

What are these? The normal, rehearsed answers to the dreaded “What is your greatest weakness?” interview question. People want to seem that no one will be as amazing as they are. Instead, be you. No one is perfect. Employers hire people who are imperfect but honest, know themselves, recognize their imperfections, try to better themselves, and whose imperfections won’t hinder their performance.

Think of these.  “Looking at instructions, it’s hard figuring out how to put products together. For example, my neighbor just saw and with all the pieces for a new bike in the yard, was reading a diagram and looked perplexed. He put it together and had a great ride that afternoon. A couple of years ago, during medical strengths testing, my brain tested above average for communications, writing, and service, but below average for technical matters like this. On a good note, it brings humor to holiday functions. My family wonders how I can read ingredients and make such yummy food when I can’t assemble most toys Santa brings!”

Or, “In the last few years, I’ve found it easier to text, email, and take care of everything possible online. Last year, I looked around and saw 10 people nearby. Everyone was on their phones. I thought; ‘no more.’ People are more valuable than technology. My phone stays in my purse on public, I call more than text or email, closed my Facebook account, took a recent customer service course in person and even started mailing my electric bills. The Internet is convenient, so I still use it. But I work to maintain a healthy balance and be a good example for those around me.”  

These are real. Of course a construction worker wouldn’t tell interviewers they couldn’t read blueprints. If assembly isn’t needed, interviewers may like to hear a person is neighborly, tested highly in areas, accepts help, is active, and likes their family. Many relate to the overuse of technology. So they may like to know someone recognizes the problem, is working on it, took a recent customer service course, and wants to be a good example.

I just used two examples of my weaknesses. Show interviewers you know where you don’t shine. Recognize it, overcome through yourself or by asking for help, and care for others. These sound more real and ARE more real. Interviewers are hiring a person—not an actor with rehearsed lines.

Good luck job searching,

Beth Husom, GCDF

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Career success=tolerance needed

images (1)images (2) images (1)I watched a Packers/Cowboys game. President Bush sitting next to Ellen DeGeneres. They seemed to be enjoying each other. I thought, “Awesome. It’s a perfect example of how people with different beliefs can get along. I bet her fans will be excited.”

I was part right. Her fans did go crazy, but in a completely opposite way. Some said hateful, nasty comments, called her names, a traitor, indicated she was selling her soul to the devil, blah, blah, blah. Ellen addressed this. I saw a subsequent video. She is friends with President Bush. She said we need to be kind to others, even with people with whom we have differences, and should make friendships with them. Thank you Ellen!

Somewhere along the line, Tolerance, which is defined as “The ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with,” lost its meaning. It was replaced with the belief that differences must divide. However, this doesn’t work, especially in one’s career. In a person’s profession, most regularly interact, consult, and depend on people of all different backgrounds.

To experience career success, you need to embrace and follow Ellen’s words. It’s why my son Andrew has a great time playing with both his conservative homeschooled neighbors, as well as the ones with a Pride sign in their yard (and we fittingly live in the middle). They’re all awesome high-class people. So if you find yourself looking at people with differences with disdain, I recommend you do some soul searching. Maybe even see a counselor. Because until you change your beliefs to the core, your career will stall, and you won’t be happy. The good news? Change is possible. The great news? You may be able to fly further than you’ve ever dreamed. The awesomely-wonderful news? Maybe one day, you’ll sit in the middle of a former president and a liberal talk show host at a football game, enjoying everyone’s company.

Good luck job searching,

Beth Husom, GCDF

Forgiveness leads to career joy

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People don’t normally job hunt because all is perfect. Something went south. I promise: forgiveness will be key to moving on and soaring in a new career.

You may have had bad bosses, coworkers, been falsely blamed for events, not given a fair shake, etc. Maybe a family situation forced you to quit something you love. Perhaps you failed to perform. Without forgiveness, you search with a troubled heart. You miss opportunities. Potential employers see this.

The dictionary defines Forgiveness as “To cease to feel resentment against (an offender): Pardon.” It’s a conscious choice, has nothing to do with the other party, doesn’t mean what happened was right, and is for our growth. Holding on to hurt, pain, and anger harms us far more than the offender. It frees us to move on without the urge for revenge. Forgiving means we can speak of past jobs without grinding our teeth, don’t mention unfair situations, and speak in love. We look for new jobs with fresh eyes and excitement. We open our minds and broaden our horizons.

A person who lied about us isn’t happy. Sure, they could have taken our jobs and be drawing a great salary. Your car is repossessed; they drive to work in a new BMW, honking and swearing at someone that cuts them off. Their heart is sad. Revenge may be “fair” but is empty and fleeting. Meanwhile, we bike to an interview with inner joy and peace, (and get much needed exercise).

images (1)We all need forgiveness; look to God. When we repent, God forgives and remembers sins no more. No actions are beyond forgiving. It may take hard work, researching, therapy and more. It’s discussed in depth in the Bible. I suggest you read the passages and spend time working to forgive. Move on–you’ll reach new levels of happiness and success, serve as a terrific example, and the love you ooze is contagious.

Good luck job hunting,

Beth Husom, GCDF

Branding yourself

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Before I moved into career management, my school and work experience rested largely around Business Communications, Marketing, and PR, largely as a writer and Brand Specialist. “Branding” is defined as “Creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.” Almost 15 years ago, a corporate client asked me to brand her husband. He needed a new job and needed to stand out. I helped him—and my new career was born as well.

Branding yourself is a great idea, even if you have a job. In this way, you direct people how to be remembered. As people, we tend to categorize and label others, associating them with a personality trait, strength, association, memory, belief, etc. Often we don’t verbalize these brands and many even happen in our subconscious or unconscious. I look to one of my favorite shows, Friends, for examples. Think of Joey and his famous “How you doin’?” By repeating it in scene after scene, along with actions, Joey Tribiani is a total ladies’ man.

Think—what do you want people to know about you, and what do you want to highlight? Find a phrase and keep voicing it. Consider the following: a woman wanted a job in a field that will require a lot of detailed organization. She started telling friends, family and coworkers how she loves categorizing her grocery lists. She planted the seed and repeated it often to many folks in many environments. Later, when a company had an opening, HR folks asked their employees: “We have an open position, totally don’t want to advertise for it (80% of open jobs aren’t published). Does anyone know a person who is (blah, blah, blah….and is majorly organized?)” The light clicked on. One had a friend who “even loves to categorize her grocery lists.” Low and behold, Ms. Detail got an exciting phone call, and it led to an exciting new job.

More about branding and ideas to come soon.

Good luck job hunting,

Beth Husom, GCDF

From independent contractor to corporate employee

photo-1542865763-0339b28c4a34I haven’t checked 2019 records, but in recent years’ past, more people worked as Independent Contractors or sole proprietors (professions like IT professionals, electricians, graphic designers, daycare providers, etc.), in Minnesota than worked for other companies. Some combine this with a part- or full-time outside job. My guess is we’re not the only state in this situation. Many people in the USA own their own businesses. Working for yourself can be great—flexibility, your own rules, branding niche, level of integrity, some decision on money and more. However, it’s not easy. You are responsible for 100% of the operations, and money isn’t guaranteed.

Due to circumstances, there often comes a time to get an outside job. But how do they get one? Some express difficulty, especially if they’ve been self employed a long time. I could detail reasons, but blogs aren’t books. In a nutshell, employers may wonder if a person could handle a boss, team, and rules well, and/or would go back to self-employment when possible. Some self-employed job seekers aren’t searching well/in the right places.

If you are self-employed and job seeking, understand relationships are key. You’ll often be hired by someone you know who respects you as a person and sees you are responsible and effective. You’ve been EVERYTHING at your own company, so realize you can do a lot. Expand your horizons. Volunteer for nonprofits, especially where there are timelines and events. Employers can see you have served on teams and followed timelines and rules. Have clients write letters of recommendation. Maybe consider smaller businesses where employees tend to have more duties. Closely monitor social media so nothing negative is associated with your name. Be honest about why you are looking to move into a stable environment, but don’t go into major details. Employers understand needed and desired changes. We all go through them. If your business isn’t doing well, it usually isn’t due to your ability to effectively perform your job duties, so try not to get hung up on negatives.

You have a TON to offer and WILL succeed. Show potential employers your excitement for working with them, excitement at making this change, and willingness for flexibility.

Good luck job seeking,

Beth Husom, GCDF

Fix a screwed up search?

imagesMy 8 year-old has been a little snarky lately-lying about video games, etc., so I read a Parenting book. Like similar books I’ve read, afterward I was convinced my parenting skills suck. My intelligent, athletic, friendly and kind son will end up with zero self-esteem, maybe in prison or become a homeless drug addict. Per the child behavioral expert and book author, It seems about 90% of my actions and inactions are wrong. I mean; I still pick out his clothes, don’t use correct terminology, and always use my debit card instead of giving him the money to pay cashiers at the grocery store for goodness sakes!

Job seekers—can you relate? A plethora of job seeking information exists. Maybe you read books and Internet articles about career management, watch YouTube videos and speak with certified professionals. Suddenly, you panic. You realize all your actions and inactions are wrong, like your resume, cover letters, social media profiles and activities, and application processes.

images (2)Try to relax. People share what they know, what’s worked for past clients, their trainings, research, and experiences. Like parenthood, job seeking is a soft science. What works for many, does not work for all. We’re often hardest on ourselves, because we know our capabilities and our inner workings. What you think is terrible may be not noticed or even be seen as awesome by others. Like parenthood, all is not lost. Armed with new information, you can improve a search. It’s not over. Just as I have to recognize I haven’t ruined my son Andrew, you need to recognize a dream job is quite possible and WILL happen.  

At a Bible study yesterday, we talked a lot about past mistakes. God forgets them, and each day is a new day. Tomorrow as you wake up, think this: “Though your beginning was insignificant, yet your end will increase greatly.”—Job 8:7

Good luck job searching,

Beth Husom, GCDF

Your company is closing-leave now?

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St. Paul’s Ford Plant gave 1 year’s notice it was closing in 2010. I offered my job seeking services to an employee-friend who replied, “And miss their year of severance and then a year of Unemployment? There are tons of jobs. Plus, lots will be leaving and they’ll need people to help close them down.” He was excited, but many feel torn. They may feel guilt jumping ship before the end. They are staring at free time. They could collect Unemployment. It’s a healthy job market.  I just spoke with two business owners. “A pulse” was pretty much their only requirement for new hires, and one joked that was even negotiable. This won’t always be the case.

If your job is ending, what should you do? Was my friend being smart? It’s your decision, but I believe it’s better to consider the following. Think “bird in the hand.” Think “it’s easier to find a job while having a job.” Think “better choices and fun changes.” Think “the world can be my oyster.”

images (5)There’s no guilt needed. Think: the Titanic is sinking; get on a lifeboat. Don’t sink with the ship.” When your job’s ending, it’s the perfect time to research, determine your strengths, make contacts, and find a position and company that fits your strengths and ethics.

Good luck job hunting,

Beth Husom, GCDF