Seek Support During Your Search

by on April 18, 2012

Seek Support During Your Search

I meet many people in job search as part of my day to day life.  The way they approach their unemployment and subsequent job search varies by individual.  One who crossed my path is Mary.  At the beginning of 2012 Mary found herself let go from her position of 16 years.  She heard of a local Professionals in Transition group in her home town, which I help to facilitate, and was advised to check it out.

Mary came to the group with an open mind and a realization that job search techniques had changed since the last time she looked for work.  That first session she attended spoke of how to build your job search campaign for the coming year.  As a group we discussed many steps of job search.  We touched on assessment, research, targeting, interviewing and following up.  We spoke about the building of your two minute pitch and how you should present yourself to others.

Mary kept returning to subsequent sessions.  One introduced a new group opening up in town called “Neighbors Helping Neighbors”.  When starting up in our town it had already been successful in a number of towns around our state over the previous year.  As the title of the group indicates, it was made up of individuals in job search, helping each other move their searches forward.  Perhaps members would help each other with improving their resumés.  At other times if a member needed help in terms of how to approach an interview, their fellow attendees would offer suggestions.  The only rules were no whining or complaining, and basically to indicate what you had done the past week to move forward your search and what you would do in the coming weeks.

Ultimately Mary found four different groups that she both enjoyed attending and which were helpful in her search.  She also quickly learned that it wasn’t always about looking for what others can do for you, but in turn what you can do for them.  Mary became a frequent contributor to a yahoo group forum that coordinated many of the groups together, sharing potential openings with others that may not be right for her.  In working in this way, she found that people freely exchanged with each other, and she was receiving leads as often as she was giving them.

Mary reached out to me this past weekend.  She starts on Monday as a human resources manager for a food company.  In her note to me she pointed out that the success of her search went all the way back to those first meetings which were both welcoming and stressed the need to work with the support of others during your search.  In following up with her we agreed a proactive approach where a job seeker is taking accountability for their search, but constantly talking to others to help advance it, is the way for individuals to find the position that is meant for them in today’s world.  While Mary asked me to let her know if there was anything that she could do for the Transitions group I facilitate, I asked her to be free in sharing her story with others in job search because the approach she took is exactly what those in search should be doing.  It goes to show you that the process can indeed work.

Yes, not all people in search will find a new position as quickly as Mary did.  In some professions the openings are not as plentiful as others.  However, no matter what the field, the more people you are able to contact, let know you are in search and to share both what you are learning and be open to learning what others can teach you, the more successful your search is likely to be.  Are you actively and continually taking advantage of the resources which may be around you?  Do, you attend various job support groups?  Do you look to attend association meetings in your chosen field?  Are you looking as much to give information to others, as you are to receiving it from them?

Or, do you find yourself working your search by yourself?  Are you spending most of your day behind a computer screen hoping a job, any job will appear, you will apply for it, be asked in for an interview and get it?   You never know when applying through a computer who is on the other end of your application, or for that matter if it ever gets to a human being.  It is only when you continue meeting others, talking to others, sharing what it is you do, what it is you seek to do, that you make progress.

So, when you feel you can’t search anymore, remember the story of Mary.  Most likely you will find when you come upon others like Mary who indicate they have recently found a new job, their story is likely tied to how much they put themselves out there and both gave and received from others.

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