Pandemic Unemployment and Thanksgiving

We must be grateful for our health, family and our jobs as unemployment continues to rise in numerous sectors of our economy.

During this Thanksgiving Holiday let us remember the millions of good folks who are adversely affected by our unemployment numbers as this pandemic spreads wildly across our country and the world.

Over the past decades the personal painful histories that I have witnessed, due to no job or meaningful work, continues to be heart wrenching and today with the health crises all around us this pain is experienced by way to many good people.

During this day of thanks, I encourage each of you as HR professionals to lend a hand, take a phone call, review a resume, coach an interview or pass on some advice to a challenged job-seeker.  We all have a special gift of knowledge and compassion that can only help the unemployed.

As president of our organization I assure you that we continue our community out-reach program to assist all job-seekers with their efforts to gain solid employment. Our programs during the past 12 years have assisted numerous individuals.  My wish is by Thanksgiving 2021 that we are all be healthy and the need for unemployment  service will return to more acceptable levels.

We at Berman Larson Kane, thank each of you for your business support during our forty year history.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and take a moment to please be thankful for your job and take a moment to coach a less fortunate job-seeker.

Making Yourself Indispensable

Bob Larson, CPC

April – June 2020 – Career Report –  Issue 241

Making Yourself Indispensable During and After the Shut-Down

Your company, like most others, will go through many transitions during this pandemic shut-down.  If you have managed to survive or have been furloughed until the isolation is lifted; your company viewed you as a well-regarded employee who possesses skills and knowledge that make you an important member of its team. But now you want to do more than just hold on. You want to become an indispensable employee. In the following Q&A article from The New York Times during the 2008-09 recession, careers columnist Eilene Zimmerman offers a variety of ideas to help you to succeed.

Q. How can you make yourself more valuable to your company and improve your chances of a future promotion?

You can enhance your odds of a promotion by suggesting ways to solve problems, taking the initiative on projects, sharpening your skills and showing a willingness to help others. Find ways that the company can earn more money and spend less, said Larry Myler, chief executive of the consulting firm More or Less Inc., in Provo, Utah. When you see ways to cut costs or streamline processes, develop a plan and write a proposal, Myler said.

Presenting that to your manager “shows you’re taking initiative, which makes you more valuable,” he told the newspaper. “You will be seen as a person who is mindful of the company’s bottom line and who has the ability to do something about it. That’s huge.”

Q. How do you carve out a niche for yourself in the company–one that sets you apart as an expert in a specific area and how do you manage to do that while handling your usual job responsibilities?

To create that niche, focus on what you already know, rather than picking a new area and then trying to learn all about it, said Vaughan Evans, a career strategist in London. “Let’s say you are very proficient with numbers, quantitative work and using the Excel program,” Evans said. “Why not become a master at Excel so that within the origination, you are the go-to person for that program?”

Building on your strengths – and letting your weaknesses go – will enable you to carve out a niche. Keep in mind, though, that your area of expertise needs to be important to the organization, Evans added.

Q. Should you ask your manager whether the company would be willing to pay for additional training?

Some career experts say that during challenging economic times, employees should be cautious about asking their companies to cover costs for training, conferences or additional education. Myler suggested that if you do ask, be frugal about it. “Asking your company to cover the cost of attendance at a pricey conference probably won’t go over well,” he said. “Instead, ask if they will pay for the conference notes—usually a nominal cost—and do self-study instead.”

Ingrid Stabb, co-author of “The Career With You,” suggested checking with human resources to see whether tuition reimbursement is among your benefits. That money can be used to pay for a variety of courses that further your expertise in a particular area, she said. If the company won’t pay, you might want to consider footing the bill yourself for evening or weekend classes or for online courses.

Q. What’s the best way to make management aware of steps you are taking to enhance your skills and expertise, without sounding obnoxious about it?

Show your strengths in a way that benefits your boss and everyone in your department. Stabb said: “If your strength is organizing data, for example, and you know there is all this data your boss has but hasn’t organized, create a spreadsheet table that makes it easier for the department to access the information, and then offer to lead a brown-bag lunch presentation to explain how to read it.

Being helpful toward and protective of others is another way to showcase your knowledge – in a nonthreatening way. This applies to both colleagues and managers. For example, when you have information that can be useful to others, share it, said Sandra Naiman, owner of the executive coaching firm SNM Partners in Denver and author of “High Achievers Secret Codebook: The Unwritten Rules for Success at Work.” This could include articles in trade journals, information on the company’s intranet and relevant online sources.

When others go out of their way to help you in a similar manner, always give them credit by sending an e-mail message to their boss to describe the help, she told the newspaper.

“The bottom line is you want to be known and relied upon by many people in the organization as possible,” Naiman said. “The more people who depend upon you for their success, the more valuable you become.”


Like the rest of the world we at BLK are scrambling to establish a new normal as the business world is on hold and have continued our virtual model.  Our talent discovery team is devoting its time to a few medical clients that are adjusting to the changing demands put onto the healthcare system.  Other members of our team are putting energies into building talent ques so we are prepared for staffing demands once the non-essential business ban is lifted.

April 1st was BLK’s  40th Anniversary of assisting  job seekers and employers with their hiring challenges.  That’s right “April Fools Day”  I so wish this was a dream that we are experiencing.  As president of Berman Larson Kane for the past 40 years I have no doubt that a new and better normal will emerge as we all return to good health.  Having weathered numerous unanticipated economic storms, recessions, world events and work restructurings I have no doubt that ”this too shall pass”.

Stay healthy. Keep your social distance and virus FREE.

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.

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.


Be Alert for Signs of a Bad Boss-to-Be

Bob Larson, CPC

Career Report
February, 2019 — Issue 228

Full Feature Stories

Be Alert for Signs of a Bad Boss-to-Be

Many job applicants ignore warning signs about their boss-to-be. Yet recognizing the type of person you will be working for is one of the most important factors that should be considered when deciding whether to accept an offer, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal.

In today’s buoyant job market, “you have the choice of picking your boss as much as your boss has the choice of picking you,” observed Beverly Kaye, a retention consultant in Sherman Oaks, Calif. So keep a sharp outlook during a company’s courtship for hints that your hiring manager will morph into Ivan the Terrible Boss. According to the article, here are some common warning signs:

Easily Distracted: He arrives late for your twice-postponed interview. He can’t find your resume in his huge pile. He frequently interrupts you to take calls, check email or glance at his watch. Clearly, you or your coveted position isn’t his highest priority.

Poor Interaction: She offers a limp handshake, scant eye contact and shallow answers to your detailed questions about business. She stays seated behind a huge desk, arms folded cross her chest, and relegates you to a lower couch. This isn’t exactly someone committed to collaboration.

Me, Me, Me: The hiring manager talks solely about herself, giving current and former associates no credit for their accomplishments. The head of one major Philadelphia non-profit group spent much of his 30 minutes with a prospective fund-raising manager bragging about his feats there. When the newly-hired employee began work at the organization, she found the boss abusive. “He would scream at me in the middle of meetings in front of board members,” she told the newspaper. “I went into a very bad depression while I was working there.”

Negative Buzz: The fund-raising manager had checked out her would-be-boss with other community groups, but ignored their hesitant responses. She now believes that “if references aren’t effusive, that’s a warning sign.” It also helps just to look around the office. If no one appears happy, think twice before pursuing the job any further.

Wrong Line of Inquiry: Your interviewer wants to know your marital status, but he doesn’t ask much about your relevant skills. Intrusive personal questions could signal problems ahead with discrimination or workplace harassment. Meanwhile, a lack of serious talk might mean an aloof boss.

Stress Overload: How well a boss-to-be copes with stress during your interview speaks volumes about what it would be like on the job. Melissa Payner once turned down a middle management post with a New York retailer because the frazzled hiring manager repeatedly barked orders to his assistant, the article noted. “I felt as if he was looking to me to be the solution to his stress—almost to be his savior,” recalled Payner, president and CEO of, an online fashion, accessories and home furnishings concern in New York.

Melissa Dantz, an advertising professional, missed signs twice that a hiring manager would be a bad boss. She accepted a job at a Boston-based ad agency, even though the owners failed to divulge their marriage to each other until after her job interview. She left after nine months, largely because she was expected to cover for the owners when they fabricated staffer names to show potential clients the tiny agency was larger than it was.

The following year, Dantz took a job with a suburban Boston event-production firm even though the officer interviewing her disparaged the prior incumbent. At work, that supervisor acted condescending toward everyone. Dantz quit after seven months. “The toll on my self confidence from the bad boss experiences was tremendous, and in retrospect avoidable,” she told the newspaper.

Despite the difficulty at times in recognizing bad-boss types, there are ways to hone your bad-boss detective radar. If job seekers “were just a little more attentive, they could save themselves a lot of grief,” suggested Dory Hollander, president of an executive-coaching firm in Arlington, Va. The Wall Street Journal article offered the following guidance issue:

  First and foremost, prepare a list of ideal traits you would want in your next supervisor, and a second list of what bothers you most about your current one. Keep both in mind while quizzing present and past staffers about the boss-to-be. During your hiring interviews, ask direct questions about the boss’s leadership style and philosophy.

  Trust your gut. If your stomach aches throughout the interview with your boss-to-be, share your feelings afterward with a coach or friend so you can separate bad-boss anxiety from routine job jitters.

  And finally, don’t let job-hunt desperation cloud your radar screen. Melissa Dantz, now an international marketing manager for a shoe manufacturer, vows to never again let financial pressure “dictate the necessity of accepting any job offer.”


Hopefully the robust job market of January 2019 will continue for the remainder of  1st quarter and for the rest of the year.  Clients are adding to head count and ramping up their technical staff.

This heated hiring pace has increase the competition for top talent and increasing the need to dig into the passive job market.  We at Berman Larson Kane have experienced a downturn in unsolicited job applications as the general market remains at full employment.

Our talent acquisition team strategies have pointed us to direct competition recruiting efforts to service our growing client’s needs.  We are very pleased to have an ATS which allows us to match and discover hidden talent deep within the talent pool.

As president of Berman Larson Kane I thank everyone for their business as we work diligently to offer the “Best Staffing Options” and celebrate our 39 year.




Stephen Covey Wonderful 2019 Principles

Bob Larson, CPC

Career Report
January, 2019 — Issue 227

Stephen Covey Wonderful 2019 Principles 

Author and self-help pioneer Stephen Covey left us with a wealth of ideas and resources for changing and improving behaviors. As we begin a new year and look forward to the days and months ahead, we would be wise to regularly keep in mind Covey’s timeless principles such as “Be proactive,” “Think win-win,” and “Begin with an end in mind,” to name a few.

All part of his groundbreaking book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” these concepts still sound so simple, yet they made Covey a force of human nature and have been woven into the emotional well-being of millions in almost any walk of life, from self-help to corner offices of Corporate America. Former President Bill Clinton once cited “7 Habits” as one of the three books every worker should read to help boost productivity and Chief Executive magazine chose it as the most influential book of the 20th Century.

Covey once told USA Today that he developed the “7 Habits” after studying hundreds of books and essays on success written since 1776. He said he noticed that the literature of the 20th century was dominated by gimmicks or “social Band-Aids” to improve the personality. In contrast, the writings of Abraham Lincoln and Benjamin Franklin, for example, were based on character and principles such as integrity, courage and patience.

Here from an article published by is a summary of Covey’s “7 Habits,” presented with the hope that they contribute not only to improving your success in the workplace but in your personal life as well:

Be Proactive — As human beings, we are responsible for our own lives. We have the independent will to make our own choices and decisions, and the responsibility to make the right choices. You have the freedom to choose your own fate and path, so having the independent will, imagination and self-awareness to make the right move make you a proactive, and not a reactive, person.

Begin With The End In Mind – Mental visualization is extremely important. Covey said that all things are created twice: first, the mental conceptualization and visualization and then the physical actual creation. Becoming your own creator means to plan and visualize what you’re going to do and what you’re setting out to accomplish and then go out and creating it. Identifying your personal statement and your principles will help.

Put First Things First — With your power of independent will, you can create the ending you want to have. Part of that comes with effective time management, starting with matters of importance. Then tasks should be completed based on urgency after you deal with all of the important matters. If you deal with crisis, pressing problems and deadline-driven projects first, your life will be a lot easier.

Think Win/Win – If you believe in a better way to accomplish goals that are mutually beneficial to all sides, that’s a win/win situation. “All parties feel good about the decision and feel committed to the action plan,” Covey wrote. “One person’s success is not achieved at the expense or exclusion of the success of others.” If you have integrity and maturity, there’s no reason win/win situations can’t happen all the time.

Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood – If you’re a good listener and you take the time to understand a concept, it will help you convey your opinions, plans and goals to others. It starts with communication and strong listening skills, followed by diagnosing the situation and then communicating your solution to others.

Synergize – Synergistic communication, according to Covey, is “opening your mind and heart to new possibilities, new alternatives, new options.” This applies to the classroom, the business world and wherever you could apply openness and communication. It’s all about building cooperation and trust.

Sharpen The Saw – Last but not least, sometimes you’re working so hard on the other six habits that you forget about re-energizing and renewing yourself to sharpen yourself for the tasks in front of you. Some sharpening techniques can include exercise and nutrition, reading, planning and writing, service and empathy, and study and meditation. Indeed, taking the time to focus on some of them can be a big help as you plan for achieving future goals and objectives.

News from BLK

As we enter into 2019, we would like to wish everyone a very Happy and Prosperous New Year. We are pleased to report that our office is buzzing with activity and we are busy matching qualified candidates with new job orders. We are optimistic that the activity level will continue at this fast pace throughout the year.



Bob Larson, CPC

Career Repot

December  2018 Issue 226


Many job seekers are tempted to slow down their search for a new position (or pause it altogether) during the winter holiday season. But according to an article published by, career experts say that taking a break from your holiday job search is a mistake — because hiring doesn’t stop.

At the end of the year, some companies rush to fill job openings that might otherwise be removed from next year’s budget, the article pointed out. Still other organizations will be looking ahead. “Jobs that might have been on hold until budgets are in place will become available in January,” said career expert Kimberly Bishop.

Roy Cohen, an executive coach agreed. “There’s a belief that recruiting shuts down during the holidays,” he said. “That’s a myth — so when other people take off from their job-searching during the holidays, you’re at an advantage should an opportunity surface. It’s all about numbers and odds.”

In fact, the holidays provide some distinct advantages and special opportunities for proactive job seekers. Here according to the article are some ways to make the most of your holiday-seasonal job search:

  • Be Flexible — Judi Perkins of recalled: “When I was a recruiter, the holidays were one of my busiest times, and I was often on the phone either side of Christmas day.” This means that you should be prepared to interview at unusual times, to allow for a recruiter’s or hiring manager’s busy holiday schedule.
  •  Do Volunteer Work — All sorts of philanthropic organizations ramp up activities during the holidays – and volunteering can be a great way to network, gain skills and fill the gap that unemployment might otherwise leave on your resume. “You’ll meet other volunteers — great people who, by nature, will want to help,” Cohen added. “You’ll feel good, too.”
  • Look into Temporary Positions — Many companies have end-of-year crunches — at the same time that many workers want to take time off — so they look to staffing agencies to fill gaps. A temporary position can be a great way to get your foot in the door at a new company.
  •  Use Holiday Social Events to Network —You don’t want to make every conversation about your job search — but letting people know how they can help you is crucial. “Have your pitch — who you are, what you want and why — ready and perfect,” Cohen advised. And try to keep things positive. When you tell people you’re looking for work, also tell them how you’ve been productive with your time off.
  • Reach Out to Your Contacts — The holidays are a great reason to reach out to friends and acquaintances as well as to reconnect with people. “Send out a holiday greeting, but add a little extra in your message,” Cohen suggested. “Email or snail mail the card to everyone in your job search universe. It should be upbeat — that you continue and are committed to search for a great job and know that it is only a matter of time and timing.” Be sure to express your gratitude to those you reach out to and if you don’t know which holidays a contact celebrates, “Happy New Year” is a safe sentiment.
  • Help People in Your Network — Remember that the holidays are a time for giving, so find ways to help the people in your network. They’ll be likelier to help you in the future.
  • Recommit to Your Job Search — Lastly, start the year off right: Make an appointment with yourself to determine your goals for the coming year. Then schedule some time to update your resume, practice your interview skills and polish up on your personal brand.


We would like to thank all our clients for their business and wish all a joyous holiday season.  With the new year on the horizon we at Berman Larson Kane are looking forward to a continuing expanding economy with solid job creation.  Our predictions are a continuing increasing competition for top talent as baby boomers retire from the work force creating a gap for experience workers.  Some niches will continue to expand while others constrict as the businesses restructure for the rapidly changing world demands.  The one sure thing is that will unplanned changes will emerge and the job market continues to evolve to changing technologies and consumer demands.

Wishing all a healthy and happy holiday season and a prosperous New Year .