by Kristine Goodrich
Gaye Lindfors advises job hunters to play with a yo-yo, and wear a tweed hunting cap while smoking a pipe.
As owner of Significant Solutions Inc., Lindfors helps businesses and people in transition. A former corporate human resources executive, the Vadnais Heights resident now works as a business and personal consultant. She might help a company downsize or reorganize or help a laid-off worker maintain a sense of purpose while finding his next job.
“I’m a self-described ‘transitions expert,’” she said. “I help you move from point A to point B.”
Lindfors’ prior career experience included organizational and human resources management at businesses and nonprofits large and small, she said, including PiperJaffray and Augsburg College.
As director of human resources for Northwest Airlines, Lindfors had a charge of approximately 12,000 employees and aided with “massive downsizing” following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
In 2002, she said she decided to give up the premium salary, free flights and other perks and start her own business that would allow her to better “interact and engage with individuals.”
About 80 percent of her work is with small companies and organizations. She must keep most of her clients confidential, she said, but clients she can name include Renovations Systems, Tunheim Partners, Saint Mary’s University and Minnesota Private College Council.
Lindfors said she helps clients “create an atmosphere where employees want to come to work.”
That starts with “hiring good people,” she said, and then inspiring them “to do their best” by granting them freedom while holding them accountable.
“I want to change the way we work, one small business at a time,” she said.
In addition to consulting, Lindfors gives workshops for businesses, church groups and other organizations. Topics range from job hunting to “living your life with purpose in the real world.”
Lindfors also is a job search advisor. Along with working with individuals, she’s an author and often-cited expert in local media. She writes blogs with job search tips and last year she penned a book titled “Find a Job: The Little Book for Big Success.” The 90-page, $10 pocket book is published by Expert Publishing Inc. She’s working on two more books, a follow-up to be titled “Keeping a Job: The Little Book for Big Success” and a broader themed book titled “‘Living With Purpose in a World That Demands So Much.”
The biggest misstep job hunters make, Lindfors said, is “spending too much time in front of the computer instead of talking to people.” The Internet “is the least effective way to find a job,” she said, and “networking is the most important part of a job search strategy.”
The yo-yo, cap and pipe are symbols for some of her many additional job tips.
The garments represent Sherlock Holmes. “This is the opportunity for you to play the starring role in your own detective series,” Lindfors writes. “Research, research, research. Find out what’s happening in your industry.”
Yo-yoing is a skill that comes back quickly. “I bet you have other skills you’ve forgotten about. Make a list of every skill you’ve demonstrated on any job,” she writes. “Package them to align with what your future employer is looking for.”
Access more job tips and contact Lindfors at significantsolutionsinc.com.
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