May 21, 2018

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Teamwork: The Secret to Job Search Success

Having to perform a job search is rarely at the top of a list of "fun" ways to spend ones time. Job search is generally regarded as dreary work at best. And why not? The process is almost always spent independently. Job seekers look at newspaper ads independently, make calls to companies independently, get turned down independently, wonder if they are ever going to find a job...independently. Now don't misunderstand me, I'm not suggesting you should take a friend to your next interview; I'm talking about building a support network.

Why do we make the job search such a lonely practice? So many studies have shown that teams can out-perform and out-achieve independent workers over and over. When you quit smoking through the American Lung Association, you do it with a buddy. Experts say that dieters with a diet buddy have a 45% higher chance of sticking to it. Why don't job seekers have buddies? No, not someone who will let you cry on their shoulder, who will empathize with you about how bad the job market is or someone who isn't in the job search mix at all, but another job seeker!!

Think about it. Without positive support in any new and uncomfortable situation, it's so easy to become discouraged, to start to believe negative hype. Many job seekers find themselves settling for a job they aren't happy with because they believe that there are no jobs out there. There are jobs out there!! You just have to find them. But how can you stay motivated to look when everywhere you turn for a job you get turned down? It becomes very easy to feel that you are all alone and that this is not happening to anyone else. So, it either becomes a problem with your methods of job search or a problem with the job market.

The real problem is isolation. How can you possibly stay motivated in a vacuum? Who will tell you that you will get that job? Hearing "no" is crushing to anyone's ego, especially a job seeker who may be worried about paying the next electric bill. So how can you avoid this isolation and the negativity that can build up around an independent job search? Find a team, form a team, or hire a career coach!!

With a team, you have people who are going through worse situations and make your problems seem insignificant. With a team, you have support. With a team you have praise. With a team, you can keep going. A team as they say, builds steam to keep it moving forward. Even with a background in the employment field and the knowledge of how to conduct a job search, when I relocated to Brevard I joined a job club. The difference the support of those strangers, who did not know my shortcomings or fears or lack of certain skills, made to the success of my job search was phenomenal. They gave me the strength and hope to go to my interview with pride and a positive attitude rather than fear and desperation. And, I got the job.

You can find structured job clubs or success teams through professional resume services, career and success coaches, state employment offices, some college employment offices, churches, and professional organizations. You can also form your own group if you know of other job seekers or work with a career coach to match you with team members. However you do it, do it!! The team concept works and will not only keep you motivated but will help you network for job leads, expand your contact list, and uncover many new possibilities that you might not have yet considered in conducting a successful job search.

-Laura DeCarlo, CPRW, JCTC
A Credentialed Career Master, Certified Professional Resume Writer, and Certified Job Search Coach.
A Competitive Edge Career Service

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