Cleveland's Job Bank Queen Kelly Blazek: Can This Career Be Saved?

What advice would YOU give to the house mother?

Can Kelly Blazek's career be saved?
Unless you've been basking under a beach umbrella at St. Bart's, you've probably heard about the Cleveland Job Bank founder whose nasty emails to job searchers went public. Read the first report here. And the recent update here. The Internet erupted when one of the recipients gamely posted Kelly Blazek's email and asked several social sites to "please help call this lady out." Help they did, igniting a social wildfire that eventually yielded several more examples of Blazek's abusive email style.

Massive media frenzy plus two apologies later, Blazek's Cleveland Jobs Bank site has gone poof, along with her Twitter and blog. There's even talk of revoking an award she received in 2013 from a prominent northern Ohio business organization.

Job searchers in Cleveland have lost a key tool and Blazek's career has flipped from sizzling to almost Art Modell. (In the meantime, jobseekers. Please do search on AOL Jobs! We've got lots of Cleveland opportunities.)

So here's my question to you- and I mean this sincerely: I want to hear from you. Tell us: Can Kelly Blazek's career be saved? Could an Extreme Makeover work?

Please add your ideas and thoughts to the Comments section below.

Next week, a seasoned Career Guru will weigh in on the scandal and offer tips.

But first. You. Can this career be saved?

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Guglielmo Ventura

When the housing market boomed there were lots of people that had never had that kind of money and they misused it do to inexperience, false egos and the sudden unexpected perceived power (of money that is). In the end, as well know most failed and either went broke or lost the homes and jobs. In short It all went to hell, fast.

Kelly did the same thing with her 5 minutes of unexpected internet job board fame. This lady got powerful in her mind - sure the job board was a good thing but that is just one of a million GREAT things out there. The problem is she became tyrannical due to the unexpected "fame" of the board (and I use the word fame lightly) so much so she felt untouchable - wrong.

She also felt inclined to talk down to anyone she saw fit to abuse. Suuuure the folks that she berated and insulted missed a few steps in her rather elementary entry process but don't we all from time to time? This would have never been an issue had she sorted these folks out and send a mass email re-explaining the process and asking them to re-submit. Simple. But nope Kelly felt she was too good for that so she took the time to not only degrade these people but "seal their employment fate" as it were in their job hunt. Why do that?
It's a devastating ONE - TWO PUNCH to someone that little or no income and maybe children?? Lots of folks lately have been killing themselves(and some entire families) because of this harsh financial mess the country is in - why be part of the negative? Why not just do the right thing and help if you are able? You thought yourself a Senior Executive, really? By proxy maybe, but honestly you were no corporate giant by any means. True story.

Kelly, this is all bad stuff, can you see that now? I bet you can, why only because you got caught that I am sure of. These actions you took were nothing new and were in fact getting worse with every successive rejection email. You had to get caught to save yourself from totally destroying everyone around. Now you can learn from this.

If it were me I would try another field OR lay low for a long while. The public is fickle and we have a short memory. Just hope they forget about you, and they probably will. Ya just gotta give it time.

On a positive note if Mike Vic can make a comeback after what he did MAYBE you can too. You just have to be sincere. Something I've not seen in anything you have done since this got out.


April 01 2014 at 2:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sure her career is salvageable, but her follow up needs to be thorough, thoughtful and genuine. She needs to realize that her approach on this and previous occasions was not helpful and didn't portray a "pay it forward" attitude. Which, BTW, is something that anyone with experience, contacts and resources OWES to the generations that precede her. A generous, charitable and mentoring hand is important. Give back the teachings that helped make you successful. It is interesting to see how that comes back in a positive way. So if Kelly Blazek takes to heart the advice she is being given, recognizes the errors in her ways and that she needs to be more generous, she will be guided to the stakeholders that will help revive her reputation and career. Yes to young entrepreneur groups. Yes to speaking to graduating students. Yes to conducting workshops on how to network and jobseek. yes to opening up her "carefully curated" network to see if it can offer young people access to employment. 'nuff said.

March 27 2014 at 12:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

She'll probably end up as a human resources VP at a larGe internet company.

March 15 2014 at 7:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rebecca Waters

Not a chance. Her career is done. And I hope she finds herself jobless, searching for income anywhere she can find it, with "senior professionals" slamming the door in her face the entire way...

March 06 2014 at 5:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Senior Housing Forum

The short answer is Absolutely!

It is a fascinating question and honestly not only could she save her career, but she could turn this whole thing into a career booster. It would take something like this:

1. She needs to demonstrate that she really gets it. That takes saying sorry over and over again.
2. She needs to talk about the paths she traveled to be a jerk and be very specific about when and where she went wrong.
3. She needs to stay visible which means putting her blog back up, reopening her twitter account and reestablishing her listserve.
4. She needs to be transparent and accountable.
5. She needs to take some meaningful steps to be specifically helpful to those groups of people she has been so dismissive of.

In my little world I have considerable influence. I get a couple of dozen linkedIn invites a week and accept them if they are from my industry. If it is clear they aren't no big deal. I reject them and never DKN. If I can't tell if they are a part of my industry I send them a short polite email and I hear back or I don't. Almost always if I hear back the connection is make.

I make myself very accessible to my thousands of readers each month and I can count on the finger of one hand the number of times it has been problematic and even then only barely.

I honestly just don't understand the meanness. I even more don't understand why she would close up shop on everything except that it would seem to suggest she is a terrible communicator and that she has no real remorse which of course is much much sadder than what she has done to others, because everyone else will move on and she will have to live with being a unrepentant jerk.

Steve Moran
Publisher, Senior Housing Forum

March 06 2014 at 12:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tamar Alexia Fleishm

No, and here's why: it wasn't a one-off letter. I've seen a good half dozen or so vitriolic letters by Kelly Blazek. She's toxic! I'm sure ALL of her personal relationships are in the crapper, too. I'd lay money on it.

Congrats on the young people who had the giddyup to try and network on LinkedIn! She should have taken the opportunity to be a mentor. That's what truly successful, professionals who aren't threatened by rising stars do. She really reminds me of the Evil Queen in Snow White, maybe as satirized by Carol Burnett, who's afraid of younger, more attractive women AND men . . . demanding of the mirror in a panic: "Who's the fairest of them all?!"

I hope she reads this, too.

I can't imagine that "the goods" -- her contact list - is so unique, anyway. She seems pretty much like everyone else in this barter economy: working out of home, "consultant", trying to make a living where jobs have evaporated for many. In other words, Kelly, get over yourself. You're simply not that great. I've written letters to Queen Elizabeth and received courteous replies. She gets many times many more letters. And you, madam, are NO queen, except maybe the Evil Queen.

March 04 2014 at 8:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I sense absolutely no sincerity in her apologies. She is crude, uncaring, untactful and she needs to be taken down off of her high horses. She has become a success (monetarily) but she appears to have no moral values. People are what made her successful. Has she forgotten that?? She has seemed to have forgotten how she got started...someone gave her a chance. I am willing to bet she is not a "god-fearing" person and probably hasn't thanked God for anything she has achieved thus far and with that she will quickly learn that it can all be taken away from her as easily as she attained it. It's not the world that's a terrible place, it's the people in it and she does not rate "worthy" enough to be considered a constructive, positive, connect for anyone other than those that she claims she knows personally. She obviously doesn't realize that she owns nothing and nothing entitles her to behave in the manner she has. I do not wish any bad luck on anyone, but her "so-called" empire will crumble. It would be interesting to see how many of her "worthy" connects will lend her a hand to help pull her out of the gutter she has created??? She doesn't need connects, she needs prayer!

March 04 2014 at 9:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sharon Jones

I've read similar advice from prominent thought leaders. They were lucky. No one drew attention to their ungracious feedback for a young professional.

My advice? She should approach the local Young Professionals organization, Cleveland 20/30 Club, and offer advice that IS helpful. That's assuming she has had a change of heart and wants to reach out.

March 03 2014 at 3:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What a wise and thoughtful reply. I hope Kelly reads Joseph Campbell, and your insightful Comment.

March 02 2014 at 1:02 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Nathaniel Hansen

Of course, her career can be saved. In general, the people who have encountered a large fall into darkness discover incredible lessons and can return to society to help in the exact location where the fall occurred. Read this quote from Joseph Campbell, "It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure." She can return and build a network that truly services the seeker once she has gone through this deeply humbling experience. She will have a fresh perspective on how doors get closed, having had many close on her. She will have a fresh perspective on how to open closed doors (through a peaceful and diplomatic and friendly manner). This could be the start of an incredible and flourishing next phase of her career.

March 02 2014 at 9:57 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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