March 2020 Career Report Issue 240


Bob Larson, CPC

March 2020 – Career Report –  Issue 240


Successfully recruiting new employees to your team can be a grueling process. It can take months to find someone who’s the perfect fit for both the position and company culture – and sometimes, when the going’s really rough, it can be tempting to settle on someone who’s good…but not great.

But according to an article published by the blog, bad hiring decisions are not only frustrating for you and your team, they can also jeopardize the longevity of other valuable employees, slow down productivity, and cost your company money.

So what should hiring managers look for in candidates to ensure they aren’t setting themselves up for failure?

According to the article, when looking for prospective employees, focus on those who you feel possess the following six qualities:

  • Values Match the Company’s Message – Knowing what values the individual is looking for in a company helps better understand whether or not they will fit the organization office culture.
  • A Desire to Learn – Hiring managers want individuals on their team who want to continue learning. During the interview process, look for candidates who show excitement towards growth.
  • Long-term Potential – With turnover being extremely costly, look for new hires that show a long-term interest in the company and aspire to work their way up the corporate ladder.
  • Enthusiasm For the Position –For a new hire, you want someone who is assertive in performing necessary responsibilities, portrays excitement for daily tasks and is inspired to contribute to the company.
  • Good Communications Skills – It is necessary to have employees who can respectfully communicate and articulate the company’s message clearly to business professionals and clients so that the organization’s reputation remains positive.
  • Trustworthiness and Responsibility — An employer needs to be able to put full trust in their employee’s ability to perform and complete tasks accurately in order to maintain a positive and productive office culture. Look for employees who are good with taking direction and take responsibility for their work.

By staying focused on these six qualities, you’ll be weeding out those who can have a negative impact on your business and enhance your chances of hiring someone who can contribute to your organization’s growth and success.


Coronavirus, Primary Elections, Global Warming and Stock Market Gyrations?  How does one predict the effects on the job market?  We have no idea.  Good news is February’s job creation numbers are predicted to be in the high one hundred thousands.  So short term we are ok ….long term is a wild card.

As for this moment we are witnessing shortages in several niches with big data candidates leading the shortage.  Based on the recent past we are assuming healthcare’s climb will continue on a rapid upward path with some retraction in many of the service jobs including retail and hospitality.

As president of Berman Larson Kane we thank all for their business and look forward to celebrating our 40th anniversary on April 1st.  It has been a long and wild ride for 4 decades and the future appears to continue to generate extreme ups and downs.

Maintain a Positive Online Identity

Bob Larson, CPC

You may never know for sure why you weren’t hired for a position, but be aware that background checks, including Internet searches, can make or break a job application. According to an article in The New York Times, in this data-rich world in which so much information is now available online, the person with the fewest red flags is the person who may have the best chance of getting the job.

Research has been done on how hiring managers use the Internet to vet applicants. You should assume that they are at least looking you up on search engines, even if you have a great résumé and your references have raved about you. So it’s wise to review the results of a quick search of your name. And although it is very hard to remove anything questionable about yourself from a search engine, you can at least push it lower by adding positive entries, said Barbara Safani, owner of Career Solvers, a career management business in New York.

Safani told the newspaper that she aims to help clients create a positive professional identity on the Internet through Google profiles, LinkedIn and others, for example, as these tend to be among the first to appear in search results. Adding such entries can also help people who have little or no presence online, as that can be viewed with suspicion these days, she said.

Job seekers should also give their Facebook page a close look. “How private is your Facebook page, really?” said Lewis Maltby, founder of the National Workplace Rights Institute, an advocacy group. Despite private settings, he said, it’s not inconceivable that a potential employer could become a friend of one of your friends and thereby gain access to your page.

If you are showing or saying anything you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see, “take it down,” Maltby told the newspaper. The same goes for friends’ posts that mention or “tag” you.

Maltby said he started his group “to extend protection for civil liberties to the world of employment because it doesn’t exist there.” But, he said, he also once ran a human resources department, and “you can’t blame H.R. people for looking at social network sites because hiring the wrong person is a very expensive mistake.”

His concern is that some hiring managers may be disqualifying candidates “for ridiculous reasons that have nothing to do with the job – for example, pictures of them drinking beer. Chances are that employers wouldn’t tell you that a Facebook picture of you with a lampshade on your head was the reason you weren’t hired. But even if they did, they can generally refuse to hire you for any reason that isn’t specifically excluded by federal or state law, Maltby said. Such reasons include race, religion, disability or age.

And other online dangers may be lurking, the article pointed out. You may continually be dropped from contention for jobs because of something about you on the Internet databases, said Michael Fertik, founder and chief executive of Reputation Defender in Redwood, Calif.

Without question, more data than ever is available on individuals. Hiring managers, if they were so inclined, might be able to learn about your political leanings, buying habits, hobbies and interests. But would they bother to do so? And would they hold that against you even if it had no bearing on the job?

Mike Aitken, director of government affairs at the Society for Human Resource Management, a professional association, is skeptical that many hiring managers have the time or inclination to investigate applicants on the Internet in any serious way—except, perhaps, when filling very high-level positions. Employers could even open themselves up to litigation by doing so, because candidates might contend that they were rejected for a job for a reason like religion that was revealed on a social network, he said. He also noted that such searches are costly.

Most employers contract background checks to other companies, he said, and these usually focus on things like whether a résumé is accurate, Aitken told the newspaper. For certain positions, employers may also perform criminal and credit checks, he added.

Employers must obtain permission to check your credit, though, but turning then down doesn’t bode well for your application, Maltby said. And if the employer rejects you for the job, offering some credible reason, he said, who’s to say it wasn’t actually because of the credit report? That’s a strong argument for checking your credit report for mistakes, and developing a good explanation if your credit score is genuinely poor (as it may well be if you’ve been out of work for a while.

Clearly, it can’t hurt to do a little research on yourself before sending applications because what you learn may surprise you. As Sanfani said, “Taking control of the situation is always a better strategy than sitting back and seeing what they find.”


We at Berman Larson Kane are very excited to start 2020 since it will make our 40th year in business.  We are very appreciative of the many clients and job-seekers that have put their trust in our ability to “Offer the Best Employment Options” over the past 4 decades.

As the New Year begins we are very excited by the low unemployment numbers and the solid  job creation numbers as the market remains strong, transitioning, changing and growing.  This will be an exciting year and hopefully a wonderful decade.  Looking forward to celebrating our anniversary in April. 

If you have any employment challenges either job-seeking or hiring our pleasure to listen to you challenge and see if we can be of assistance.  Thanks again for all your support.

Turning a Temp Job Into a Permanent Position

Bob Larson, CPC

Career Report

October 2019 – Issue 236

Turning a Temp Job Into a Permanent Position

For workers interested in making a temporary job permanent, here are some tips from author Karen Burns from an article published by U.S. News & World Report:

Treat the temp job like a long job interview. Do your best work. Always be punctual, cheerful, enthusiastic, and conscientious. This is your chance to prove you’re a star.

Temp where you want to work. Not only will you be an obvious choice when the company thinks of hiring permanently, you’ll also hone the skills you’ll need in that full-time position.

Adopt the company’s culture. You want to show that you already work there (for real). If you look and act like a temp, employers are going to think of you as a temp.

Be a team player. Offer to work overtime if needed. Be willing to do tasks outside your job description. Make friends with the permanent workers.

Dress the part. Even though you’re a temp, you don’t need to look like one. If you dress as though you take yourself seriously, others will take you seriously.

Keep your résumé on hand. Make sure it’s up to date at all times, in both paper and electronic formats. You never know when someone may ask to see it.

Make sure your employer knows about your skills. A temp job can be quite specialized. Look for ways to let your employer and your co-workers know that you can do so much more.

Learn as much as you can about the company. Temps often aren’t given in-depth instruction. Make an effort to learn about the company’s products, services and market.

Meet people. A temp job is great networking venue. Make yourself visible. Get out and about and meet department heads, HR employees, and anyone else with influence.

Be a self-starter. Pay attention, take notes, and anticipate needs. Bosses appreciate and value people who can work without supervision.

Let them know you’re interested in permanent work. A company may assume you’re happy as a temp. From time to time talk with supervisors about your goals and let your staffing agency know you’re interested in a full-time position. The agency has a good relationship with the company or you wouldn’t be there; the agency can be a strong advocate for you.

Make yourself indispensable. This is the key. The way to turn a temp assignment into a permanent job is to exceed expectations. Make yourself an employee the company can’t live without. If you’re such a stellar worker that employers start to “need” you, you’ll be on your way to a permanent paycheck


The 4th quarter is here and hiring not only remains strong but appears to be picking up steam.  We at Berman Larson Kane have new orders from clients that we have not heard from in many years.  This resurgent’s is being caused by companies need to get deeper into the talent pool to hire exceptional candidates.

As always it is our pleasure to assist these clients and continue to use our extensive ATS to isolate talent that is not listed in the public domains.

As for the remainder of the year, we are predicting continuous hiring strength from a wide assortment of industries and are very optimistic about the New Year.

We thank all for continuing to place their faith in Berman Larson Kane’s ability to staff challenging opportunities and look so forward to celebrating our 40 years of service in 2020.


Recharge Your Batteries and Love Your Job

Bob Larson, CPC

Career Report

September 2019 – Issue 235


Burnout is one of the biggest problems in the workplace, especially for older workers, and is a major reason many people retire earlier than they projected, according to an article in AARP The Magazine. But for people in their mid-to-late 50s and into their 60s, these are generally peak earning years, so staying on the job allows for continued retirement-account contributions and a delay in filing for Social Security benefits to qualify for a higher payout.

That said, with more people wanting—or needing—to work well past their 50s, generating new enthusiasm on the job is critical, the article pointed out.

“We are rewriting the map of life,” said Marc Freedman, the CEO of, a nonprofit organization that’s building a movement to tap the skills and experience of those in midlife and beyond. “In the past, if you were 56 or 57, it might be only a year or two before you were ready to slip into early retirement. Now you’re thinking about another 10- or 15-year working career. That changes the entire equation.”

Here from the article, adapted from the AARP book, Love Your Job: The New Rules of Career Happiness, are eight tips to help older workers reengage.

Seek Out New Duties — If you’re constantly doing the same set of tasks each day, the monotony alone can drag you down. Step things up. Scrutinize your current position to pinpoint a new responsibility you can add that will refresh your focus, and maybe even scare you a bit. Ask to be assigned a signature project you’ve always wanted to launch, or volunteer for a new role. At this stage, it’s easy to coast, but this is the time to try something different.

Get up to Speed — It’s easy to become complacent about staying current with the trends in your field. Set up a Google Alert to notify you when your employer is in the news or when a competitor is making waves or beginning a new venture. Follow industry thought-leader blogs, join relevant groups on Linked In, and participate in the discussion.

Connect with your coworkers — Subtle changes in your behavior each day can have a huge impact. For example, practice listening to coworkers and celebrate their successes. It’ll make you feel good and build esprit de corps. Reach out to new colleagues, or those you don’t know well, to grab lunch and learn about what they do and their backgrounds. Stop by someone’s office to talk about something unrelated to work. Instead of emailing a reply, have a face-to-face chat.

 Fine-tune your relationship with a difficult boss — Lots of people quit their bosses, not their jobs. No matter how impossible your supervisor is, keep your side of the street clean. If your unhappiness with him or her affects your productivity, this will come back to bite you, not your boss. Most supervisors do want you to succeed; this reflects on their performance, too. You might just need to gently show your boss, by demonstrating that you’re engaged in your job, how you can help each other.

Find joy around the edges — Many companies provide the opportunity to do volunteer work right within the organization. Find a volunteer gig that can help build relationships with coworkers (even your boss) and forge bonds across departments that you might never have had otherwise. Get involved with a mentoring program. Participate in employee activities. Join or organize a company team sport. Or create a walking, biking or running group.

 Clean up your office — When people feel sapped of energy, often they’re not clearing out as they go. Their in-box is overflowing, their desk is a disaster, and their file drawers are bursting. De-cluttering is liberating and empowering. You’re saying, “This is valuable; this is not.” It’s a physical way to be involved in making decisions about your life and what you want to do with it.

 Be happy in your work — A recent Gallup poll found that the more that employees use their strengths at work and are engaged in their jobs, the happier and more enthusiastic they are. You’ll discover that your enthusiasm will not only trickle down to the quality of your work but that people will want to have what you have. You’ll be the one they seek to have on their team. To quote Maya Angelou, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

 Upgrade your skills — This is especially true with new technology. Learn what computer programs your employer values, and take a class or a refresher course at your community college, or participate in a workplace workshop or training program. That hands-on approach can open doors to a promotion or lateral move. But more than that, it can ramp up your enthusiasm for your job and push it in new directions. Boredom is often at the root of unhappiness at work. If you persistently add worth to what you bring to the job, chances are your boss will notice and reward you for it, and that can do wonders for your attitude.


The summer is behind us and business and hiring should continue at a brisk pace for the immediate future.  As for 2020, although the US economy is strong,  projections and the likely hood of a recession linger in business leaders projections and world stock markets.  So 2020 hiring and unemployment is any one’s guess.   As for our local predictions, the aging of the workforce will keep unemployment low in the NJ/NY market place and the competition for top talent will not cool down.

We at Berman Larson Kane thank all for their continuous support and continue to honor the 40-year tradition of assisting hiring authorities and job-seeks with the best employment options.  Enjoy the cooler weather and hopefully not a cool down economy.


In Interviews Ask Questions

Bob Larson, CPC

Career Report
August, 2019 — Issue 234


In Interviews, Ask Enough Questions

When interviewing, many job candidates don’t realize that the questions they ask are just as important as how they present themselves and the answers they give. According to an article published by, failing to ask questions shows a lack of genuine interest in the job and asking foolish questions indicates that the candidate didn’t do enough research prior to the interview. Making either mistake can cost a candidate a job offer.

In the article, Heather Krasna, author of “Jobs That Matter: Find a Stable, Fulfilling Career in Public Service,” advises job seekers to prepare a list of questions before the interview, much like they’d create a list of talking points that address the value they offer the employer.

“Every interview is different” she told careers writer Selena Dehne who authored the article. “Some interviewers will only give you the chance to ask two or three questions. Others will ask again and again if you have any questions, so prepare more questions than you think you will need in case this happens.”

Developing a list of questions to ask can indeed be a challenge for many job seekers, the article noted. For guidance in the topic, Krasna offered the following suggested questions and explained why such questions can give candidates a much-needed edge:

What are you seeking in the ideal candidate for this position?

This question allows you to counter by adding any particular skills or qualities you have left out of the interview, but which the employer thinks is important.

Can you give me some examples of the types of projects I may be working on?

If the job description was a bit vague on the types of assignments you would be doing or if you are otherwise unclear on this point, this question is essential to ask.

What do you like best about working for this organization?

This question not only gives great insight into the culture of the organization, it also makes the person answering the question feel good. In addition, if the person answering can’t come up with something good to say, this is a red flag about the place you might be working.

How did this position become available?

This question is a bit pushy, but it is quite important if you do not know how the position opened. Is the organization expanding? Or did the last person leave, and can you subtly find out why?

What would you like to see happen six-to-12 months after you hire a new person for this position?

This question is akin to “How will I be evaluated?” or “How do you measure success in this role?” It can also clue you in on whether the expectations for the job are realistic.

What resources are available for this position?

This question addresses the technology, staff or budget resources you will have and gives many insights into whether the organization is being realistic about what you can accomplish given the resources available.

How would you describe your management style?

When you are being interviewed by a hiring manager to whom you would report, that is a great question for gathering insight into whether you might get along.

What is the next step in the process? May I have your business card?

The final question can help relieve your anxiety after the interview because you at least have some clue about how long it will be before the employer gets back to you. Ask for business cards from each person interviewing you so you can send thank-you notes.

Krasna added in the article that there are also questions candidates should steer clear of asking during the interview, such as inquiries about salary, scandals and office politics, and personal qualities about the interviewer.



As summer unwinds and we prepare for the fall season we at Berman Larson Kane have witnessed a steady job market with competition for top talent being extremely competitive.  Unemployment remains at record lows and employment numbers although lower for 2019 still are positive and strong.

So if you are a hiring authority or a job seeker we look forward to assisting you to meet these challenges.  We thank all the privilege of helping staffing needs and career goals for the past 39 years.  It is truly an honor.  Enjoy the final month of summer as we prepare for the anticipated after Labor Day acceleration of the job market.




Tips for Telephone Interviews

Bob Larson, CPC

Career Report

July 2019 – Issue 233

Tips for Telephone Interviews

A telephone interview is usually short — allowing just enough time for a recruiter to form a general impression of a job candidate — so the focus is on questions that help to evaluate someone quickly. The candidate’s goal is to turn the phone call into a face-to-face meeting, so answers to questions need to be concise. As a rule of thumb, keep answers to less than two minutes; if an interviewer wants to know more, he or she will ask.

Here are some are typical questions/discussion topics covered in telephone interviews, along with guidance and insight on making the interview successful:

  1. Tell me a little about yourself. Interviewers often pose this first. They don’t want your life story, but rather want to know if meeting you would be a good use of their time. Answer with a brief work history showing how each project and job helped prepare you for this job; then give a profile of the “professional you,” addressing your skills as they relate to doing this job well.
  2. What experience do you have?Make any discussion of your experience relevant to this job, and the specific skills you will bring to executing it well. At its core, everything you do professionally is concerned with the identification, prevention and solution of problems within your area of responsibility.

Your answers can show this awareness by saying that this is always part of your thinking and, by giving examples, of preventing or solving problems common to your area of responsibility.

  1. What are your strengths? Slant your answer toward the specific skill requirements of the job, your problem prevention and solution headset, and your possession of the transferable professional skills such as multi-tasking, critical thinking, and some key communication skills that can underlie success in every job.
  2. What are your weaknesses? You can safely, and honestly, say that your greatest weakness is finding time to stay current with all the new technologies/skills required in your work, because it’s a challenge everyone experiences. Then you can give an example(s) of how you have made time to develop an in-demand new skill.
  3. How much do you want? If the interviewer asks about money, say that at this point you don’t know enough about the company or the job to answer accurately, “I have no real understanding of the job, your company or the different benefits that could come from joining your team, so obviously my discussion of salary without this knowledge can’t be entirely accurate.

However, you can add that after an analysis of employment sites, salary calculators and talking with colleagues, you would be looking at a salary in a particular range (which you would provide).

The telephone interview comes to an end when you are asked whether you have any questions. The article pointed out that if you have not already been invited to meet the interviewer, now is the time to take the initiative by asking: “The most pressing question I have is when we can meet?”

In closing your conversation, take care to find out the correct spelling and pronunciation of the interviewer’s name for your follow-up email, which should ideally be sent the same day as the interview.


We are pleased to announce that our new phone systems has been implemented allowing for seamless communications for remote workers.  We thank all for your support during this transition.

As the stock market continues to lead in a positive direction, as international trade gyrates and as the job market continues to expand.  We are Berman Larson Kane continue to move positively as the market continues to improve for job-seekers.

We thank all for your support and having the confidence to allow us to assist wit h your hiring challenges and career enhancement programs.  Enjoy the Sumer Months.




It’s Important to Take a Vacation

Bob Larson, CPC

Career Report

June 2019 – Issue 232

It’s Important to Take a Vacation

If you’d like to take a vacation this summer but are concerned about a heavy workload or the prospect of falling behind, you should make every effort to get away from the office, even if it’s just for a short period. That’s the general advice from an article published by The New York Times, which points out that taking a vacation is usually like hitting the reset button — providing relief from stress, frustration and weariness that comes from any job and allowing you to become more creative and productive.

Careers columnist Eilene Zimmerman presents the following insight on the topic from the newspaper’s Q&A feature article, “Balancing a Vacation and a Busy Office”:

  1. You’d like to take some vacation time this summer, but you have a heavy workload and are worried about falling behind. Should you take time off anyway?

Generally, yes. Vacations are good for you, professionally and personally. The stress, frustration and weariness that come with any job, inevitably build over time. Because a balance between work and life is healthy, it’s important that work doesn’t always take precedence.

“We have day-to-day distractions and also longer-term, ongoing concerns that sap our creativity and efficiency, like paying the mortgage, career advancement and life goals,” said executive coach Jeffrey Cannon. Vacations help “sort through these and find solutions,” he told the newspaper.

Yet, the article does point out, that there are indeed times when it may be necessary, even if not ideal, to skip the vacation. Involvement in a time-sensitive project with a firm upcoming due date might be one example.

  1. You’ve decided that you want to go away for a week, but others in your department are also planning vacations. How can you get the week you want when others want it, too?

The further ahead you plan, the more likely you are to get your preferred week — though some workplaces have rules that grant time by seniority only.

Vacation planning is most effective when it’s a team effort, says Leslie A. Perlow, a professor of organizational behavior at Harvard Business School. Team planning should involve you, your colleagues, direct reports and your immediate manager working together to arrange vacation time. “The team commits to making it a shared responsibility,” said Perlow, author of “Sleeping with Your Smartphone: How to Break the 24/7 Habit and Change the Way You Work.”

If there is an important event that you feel you must attend, like a wedding or a college graduation, map out how your responsibilities will be covered during that time and then propose that to your boss, she added.

  1. How can you enjoy your vacation without worrying about the office?

Make a plan that covers what you intend to finish before you leave, as well as tasks that will be handled each day you are gone and by whom, so everyone knows their responsibilities, said Dawn Fay of the staffing firm Robert Half International. Make sure to inform customers that you will be away and give them a contact person in your absence.

If you are a manager, your vacation could actually be a boon for high-potential employees in your group. By letting them take on some of your duties, Fay added, they become more visible to your manager and have a chance to show they can handle more responsibility.

  1. Is it O.K. to disconnect electronically while on vacation?

If you do work that’s time-sensitive or where people must be able to contact you, make yourself available for a certain period a few times during the week or for a short time frame each day, Fay said. After all, it won’t be much of a vacation if you’re tied to your cell phone.

If everyone in your firm is reachable around the clock, you have to decide how much you’re willing to buck that trend, said Carol Sladek, a work-life consulting leader at the human resources consultancy Aon Hewitt. Limiting accessibility to specific periods during your vacation may be the best compromise.

  1. How can you make the post-vacation transition back to work less stressful?

Before leaving, schedule a transition meeting for the morning you return with those who covered for you, Fay said. They can tell you what happened in your absence. If you work in a fast-paced environment, Sladek added, it may be wise to clear voice mail and e-mail the night before you return: “This way, you are ready to dive back in first thing in the morning.”

News from BLK

June is an exciting month here at BLK as everyone is looking forward to Eric Larson  appears  as a contestant on Jeopardy Friday,  June 14th.  We are all looking forward to his appearance and wish him the best of luck.

We are also looking forward to a busy summer as clients’ plan to add to staff during the summer months.  As we enter the 2nd half of 2019 competition for top talent continues to be extremely heated.

Enjoy your summer and the warm weather …..GO ERIC!!!




Learn the Culture of a New Employer

Bob Larson, CPC

Career Report

May 2019 – Issue 231

Learn the Culture of a New Employer

Switching jobs can be exciting, but new hires must be prepared to learn the unwritten rules of a new corporate culture. According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, learning a workplace’s customs can indeed be a major challenge, and regardless of prior work experience, people often struggle to discern protocols, etiquette and culture when they change employers.

“It’s like going to a different country,” said Michael Kanazawa, chief executive of Dissero Partners, an Oakland, Calif., management consulting firm. “There are cultural norms of behavior that go way beyond what anybody would have the capability to write in a job description.”

One big issue is tolerance for questioning the boss, the article pointed. Some companies encourage it, believing that confrontation can generate sharp, creative thinking; others consider disagreement disrespectful. Even mundane issues, such as how to lean on administrative support, can present hazards.

Ben Dattner, a principal with Dattner Consulting, an organizational-effectiveness consulting firm, cautions that there can be lasting consequences to breaking unwritten rules. For example, co-workers may label the newcomer as an outsider who doesn’t fit into corporate culture and is “not meant to be taken seriously,” he said.

Career experts urge newcomers to take advantage of their “grace period” by asking lots of questions in their first months on the job. It may feel embarrassing, but it’s worse to remain ignorant a year later, according to the article.

Another good strategy is to watch others and follow their lead. Newcomers should also try to enlist a friend or office assistant from whom they can seek guidance. That’s what Lyria Charles did after discovering many unwritten rules at her new employer, a technology company in Virginia.

Her new post was a vice president job, directly supervising about 12 project managers. During her first week, she asked her assistant to set-up meet-and-greets with staffers. She was surprised to see that her assistant arranged the meetings at the subordinates’ cubicles – not Charles’ office. “That’s how it’s done,” Charles recalls her assistant telling her; she was grateful for the guidance. “If I had done the reverse and insisted they come to my office, that would have set a tone of, “You don’t really understand how things work here and you’re not a team player.’”

Charles learned other mores through careful observation, or trial and error. For example, she noticed that co-workers preferred to send instant messages to colleagues before calling them. She also learned she was supposed to check email over the weekend after missing an email about a project task.

Kevin Hall, a mortgage banker, said he learned cultural nuances partly by observing others. About three months into a new job, while finding himself bogged down making his own travel arrangements, he noticed some higher-up executives asking the receptionists if they could help with travel booking. So he approached some of the administrative staffers to ask for help too. “You feel your way as you go,” he told the newspaper. “I’m still learning new things, but the learning curve has slowed down.”

Here from are some additional tips for employees to consider during the first 90 days at a new job:

  • Do your homework. Learn all you can about your new employer and its industry through careful research. This way you’ll be knowledgeable in your initial assignments and in your daily contact with colleagues.
  • Know your strengths. By focusing on what you’re good at, you can use your strengths to quickly make an impact in your new position.
  • Say it right. It’s important to know what to say and how to say it. If you’re not a good speaker, practice or get a coach. With good speaking skills, you can seek out opportunities where you can gain visibility.
  • Get in shape. Because the early days of any new job can be a grind, it’s important to be physically prepared. Eat well, sleep well, exercise, do anything you can to keep your energy level up.
  • Get a mentor. Besides forming early relationships with a few knowledgeable co-workers who can help bring you up to speed, it’s vital to have an ongoing dialogue with somebody who knows the company very well and can help you navigate the organization.
  • Understand how things work. Find out about office policies, how to weave your way through politics that predate you, and how most communications occur in the company. Most importantly, though, find out how the company operates before you start trying to change things.


We have launched a new phone system during April and will continue with the 2nd phase during May.  We thank those who have lived with some of the disruptions and look so forward streaming lining the voice process.

As for the job market we continue to see an increase in hiring with some niches experiencing a real shortage of talent.  We at Berman Larson Kane continue to utilize our extensive ATS system to recruit the best talent and dig deep into the talent pool for our clients.

Enjoying this spring weather is so welcomed and we continue to enjoy assisting our clients with their growth plans and matching the jobs-seekers with these exciting opportunities.  Enjoy the good weather and job market and all the good times and celebrations that go with the season.



Staying Fit in the Job Search

Bob Larson, CPC

Career Report

April 2019 – Issue 230

Full Feature Stories

Staying Fit in the Job Search

Exercise is clearly a key for handling everyday stress, but many of us are working more, trying to find a job or shifting in a new career direction — often paying less attention to staying fit. Lifestyle experts say, though, that it doesn’t have to be this way, according to an article published by the McClatchy Newspapers.

“Fitness should be something that is a habit, something that can’t be negotiated,” Marta Montenegro, editor-in-chief of SOBeFiT Magazine, told the syndicated news organization. Here, according to the article, are some simple steps that experts say can help balance work and fitness and some examples of how people are keeping exercise and healthy lifestyles part of their daily routines:

Create new habits. Montenegro said people often are too ambitious in their fitness goals. She started out small, making one change at a time. Whenever she feels stressed, she takes a 10-minute walk around the office or her neighborhood. “In just 10 minutes you can break a pattern.”

To create a habit of eating healthier, start with breakfast, she said. “Instead of having a muffin at Starbucks, order oatmeal.” Or fill your desk drawer, purse and car with healthy snacks. It’s easy to give excuses about why you didn’t exercise or eat right, she added. “The key is to make it a habit, a priority.”

Get moving. Walking and stretching are the easiest ways to cram exercise into a busy schedule. Both are something you can do with your spouse, friends or children.

Donna Marie Seffer, a schoolteacher, wears a pedometer to work every day and aims for 5,000 steps. While teaching, she walks around the classroom. During breaks, she walks through the halls. When she gets home she walks around the block. “When I walk, it releases my stress because I can just put my mind somewhere else,” she said.

Take advantage of employer wellness programs. More companies are embracing the wellness trend, realizing it’s less expensive to prevent rather than treat most medical conditions. Even as employers cut benefits, a growing number are offering on-site yoga classes or weight loss programs — some even offering incentives to participate.

Learn to relax: David Posen, a stress management expert, said in his “Little Book of Stress Relief,” that unlike the stress reaction, which is involuntary and triggers automatically, the relaxation response has to be brought forth voluntarily and intentionally.

Jodi Cross, who works from home as a director of a women’s organization, starts her day triggering the relaxation response by reading for 30 minutes by a pond in her backyard. She alternates with walking for 45 minutes around the neighborhood. Cross admits it takes discipline: “If I don’t do it first thing in the morning, and just figure that I will read a few e-mails first, the next thing I know it’s late afternoon and I’m much more stressed.”

Stop sacrificing sleep: Karen Koffler is a busy working mom. She’s also the medical director at a luxury hotel and health spa. Koffler often gets up early and rides her bike to work. But she also makes sure she goes to bed early, tucking herself in by 9 p.m. Koffler believes adults should get seven to 10 hours of sleep a night. “If you are shaving time from sleeping to get things done, you’re going to be less efficient in your day-to-day life.”

Consider fitness part of your job description: Exercise helps you take a global view of a situation or conflict. It can spur creativity and even help you find solutions that wouldn’t occur to you when you’re in front of a computer. Tadd Schwartz knows this all too well. That’s why he makes sure he takes time to run, even though his clients want more of his time because of the economic downturn. As a reminder, he puts his running shoes next to his bed to ensure he uses them each morning instead of gravitating toward his computer.

Check out the deals: The upside of the recession is that fitness professionals and health clubs are responding to new budgets — offering discounts and showing more willingness to bargain. Some fitness centers are offering free classes and short-term memberships for the newly unemployed.

“The best anti-depressant is exercise,” Cheryl Patella, a fitness expert, told McClatchy. Patella has been working with small groups of women at parks who come to exercise with their children. “Just do whatever your time will allow you to do,” she advised.




To better serve hiring clients and job-seekers we are in the process this month of upgrading our phone system.  So if your calls are not routed properly or you experience difficulty reaching your contact please be patient.  Our new vendor assures us all will go smoothly so please standby.

As for the job market we have experienced some cross currents this past month.  We are experiencing for the first time in along time some caution by hiring clients.  Don’t get this wrong the market remains strong for job-seekers with record low unemployment numbers.  So as we enter the 2nd quarter we remain positive for job prospects.  As for the hiring  several niches remain challenged to fill job openings.  Enjoy the spring and we will keep you posted on developments.




The time-worn adage that nice guys finish last isn’t exactly true, according to an article in USA Today. In fact, growing research shows that likable employees may have more success on the job and that likability can even trump competence.

A study in the Harvard Business Review found that personal feelings toward an employee play a more important role in forming work relationships than is commonly acknowledged, the article pointed out. The study also indicated that this is even more important than how competent an employee is seen to be.

“We want to work with people that make us feel good to be around them,” said Tom Sanders, author of The Likeability Factor, which explores how having an appealing personality can positively influence life and careers. “Likability is the tiebreaker in almost anything.”

Likability is hard to define, but Sanders said people gravitate toward others who deliver psychological benefits. In other words, likability is the ability to produce a positive emotional experience in someone else, such as making co-workers feel good about themselves.

The Harvard Business Review study also found that employees don’t want to work with someone who is disliked, and it almost doesn’t matter how skilled they are. Indeed, co-workers who work with a likeable colleague are more comfortable with them, so work tends to be more collaborative.

“Organizations have traditionally focused on competencies and thinking ability of their staff,” Susan David, a psychologist and researcher at Yale University, told USA Today. “There is growing recognition, however, that job effectiveness can be undone if an employee is not likable. Being proficient at job tasks is of little comfort to the organization if an employee alienates clients or other staff.”

Research has also found that customers’ perceptions of the employees they deal with can influence their overall feelings toward a company. Nearly 60 percent of customers say that, when faced with rudeness, they take their business elsewhere, even if it means going out of their way or paying a higher price, according to a study by Eticon, a Columbia, S.C.-based provider of etiquette consulting for business.

Further, likable employees–especially those with skills in relationship building–are also more likely to get bigger pay raises and promotions, the article pointed out.

Some employees say likable employees are so important that they won’t hire anyone they think may have an attitude. Richard Laemer, chief executive of New York-based RLM Public Relations, said “no matter how experienced someone is, if they’re mean to people, they’re pretty much useless. I can’t work with someone who isn’t nice.”

But there can also be a downside, the article noted. Likable employees who lack skills or are seen as pushovers can lose out on management opportunities or can be seen as a liability, said Alexandra Levit, author of They Don’t Teach Corporate in College: A Twenty-Something’s Guide to the Business World.

For example, managers who are too likable can get too social with their subordinates, blurring the line between boss and friend. And younger Generation X or Generation Y employees can also try so hard to be liked that they come across as overly enthusiastic.

“There’s a tendency of young people, and even midcareer people, to say ‘yes’ all the time. In an effort to please, they do get pushed around. They get assigned too many tasks,” Levitt said. “Likability can be dangerous. Young people can be too enthusiastic, and it can irritate management. You can be too ‘rah rah.”

Overall, though, most employers agree that likability is a very important attribute and that it can clearly help employees when performance is lacking. “You can provide training to compensate for missing skills, but it’s almost impossible to compensate for personality,” added Tory Johnson, CEO of New York-based Women for Hire, which provides career fairs for women. “ It’s never worth hiring someone you dislike, or someone who’s likely to be disliked among staffers.”