Even though "Good Morning America" put me in the hot seat this morning, the people who are in the real hot seat are the millions of people out of work and eager to land their next position.
For the last few months I've traveled the country to visit job fairs, career workshops and job clubs.
Even though the headlines that come out of such events focus on the record volume of attendees and the long lines, I know those people aren't numbers or statistics. These are wives and husbands, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters and ordinary people like you and me who share one goal: to earn a paycheck and provide for ourselves and our loved ones.
If you have a question for me, the very best way to send it is through Twitter. Because the message is limited to 140 characters, I'm able to read and respond the same day. By comparison, when I receive hundreds of very long messages every day, there aren't enough hours to get back to everyone instantly.
Visit Twitter.com/ToryJohnson to follow me and to post your question. You may also hear from others with advice and ideas to help you too.
You'll also find extensive videos and articles at the "GMA" Job Club web site.
Here's a small sampling of some of the recent questions and answers.
I've been in the work force over 20 years. I have an MBA. I'm not finding things in the range of responsibilities that I'd like to find. Do you have any suggestions?
Many people are frustrated by being overqualified for the positions they see advertised. An immediate option is to pursue consulting or freelance work. You won't find these opportunities on job boards. Instead you should bypass HR and go straight to the head of the department you'd likely work for.
If this is a marketing project, go to that department to offer your services, which would be paid from a different budget than salaries. Also small businesses might not be able to afford you full time, but could potentially benefit from your services on a project basis.
Come up with a list of companies you'd like to work for and try to bring specific ideas to the decision makers. You can also send an e-mail to everyone in your address book announcing your willingness to offer your expertise on an affordable contract basis — and explain three to five key skills you offer. Ask for their leads or their willingness to share your e-mail with their contacts.
All the while you should continue to search for that full-time role, too. Pay particular attention to industries where there are six-figure jobs right now. Medical services, biotech, civil and structural engineering, aerospace and defense are among those hiring.
As a newly graduated person, is there something I should be doing? I keep applying for jobs and nothing. Am I doing something wrong?
If you're relying exclusively on the Internet — applying and then waiting for the phone to ring — it's going to take forever. Get in the habit of networking and use your social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn to connect with as many people as possible in your desired line of work.
Spend time with your career services office. Even if you've already left the campus, schedule an appointment with the office to ask for leads and advice. Ask your favorite professors for leads too. Connect with alumni who graduated from your program to find out how they've put their degrees to work.