I remember my grandmother saying that many hands make the work light. It was her way of getting my sisters and me to clean something. It was a job no one wanted to do, but it had to be done. If we all pitched in and helped, the work would be over sooner and we wouldn’t have to do as much. Not to mention having company while working. I think of this saying often when it comes to the job market.
Today’s job market is complex and can take a long time. With an extra pair of hands or two, the job search can be lightened. Job searching with a buddy can make the work light. Having a buddy or two will keep you accountable for your job search activities. As your unemployment drags on and rejections pile up, slacking off the job search happens for some people. Having someone to report your activities to will keep you on task.
A job search buddy is someone who you can practice your elevator pitch and interviewing skills. Your job search buddy can be a extra pair of eyes when it comes to finding open positions, proofreading your résumé, or learning about new job search strategies. This is someone who can go with you to networking meetings if you don’t want to go alone. By going with a buddy, you can cover more ground. If it’s a large group, you can separate and meet as many people as you can, remembering your buddy’s needs. At some point reconnect and compare notes then you can connect with people your buddy has found for you and vice versa.
The best thing about a job search buddy is the support you give each other. You can share your frustrations and encourage each other because you both understand the emotions and challenges of the job search. And you can have more than one buddy, but keep the group small so that it stays manageable.
Suggestions for a successful job search buddy system:
- Select someone in your industry but not competing for the same job title.
- Select someone who is positive, you need someone who will lift you up not bring you down.
- Select someone who is also unemployed or has only recently obtained a job.
- Select someone you trust and are comfortable with.
- Schedule a time and day to connect and keep it.
- Set the ground rules of what can and can’t be done and said.
- Share resources—tips, leads, contacts, new job search strategies, and anything else needed for a successful job search.
- Stay focused on the matter at hand, limit time for complaining and move on.
- Split the time equally, don’t use all the time on one person.
- State the activities you want to do for the next meeting.
- Share what you have accomplished during the previous week and get feedback.
- Share your successes, if one of your buddies gets a job, find a new buddy to join the group.
Having a buddy on your job search will make the journey more bearable to know there is someone you can count on for support and accountability. When more than one person is looking for tips and leads, results can come quicker.