Looking for a job can be a lonely process, even when it is clear that no unemployed job seeker is alone. All you need to do is read or listen to the news to know that you are in good company if you’ve been laid off of your job. However, knowing that you’re not alone isn’t usually enough to help keep job hunters motivated and on track. In anything, the negative news may just send more people to bury their heads under their pillows to escape the incessent bad news
My colleague Alexandra Levit recently wrote about how job seekers are turning to “accountability groups,” teams of job seekers whose goal is to help each other stay motivated and on track.
She shared information from a New York Times article that reported on one such group in suburban Chicago. The article notes what we all recognize: being out of work and job hunting can be difficult and demoralizing. It may be a very lonely process, especially for those unaccustomed to job hunting and for job seekers who don’t know how to conduct a successful search.
The benefit of an accountability group is that job seekers encourage and support each other, network and keep each other motivated and on task in what might otherwise become a very unstructured time.
According to the Times, membership in various networking organizations across the country for unemployed executives and other professionals has ballooned in recent months as the recession has continued its march, sparing not even the highly educated and skilled. Providing a spur as well as solace, the groups offer transition assistance for people who previously led comfortable lives in the middle and upper-middle class.
One thing that struck me about the group described in the New York Times article was that it was organized and run by the job seekers themselves. “Seven of nine members have been out of steady work for six months or longer; the other two are approaching the six-month mark.” The organizer of the group lost his job 16 months ago, struggled to get interviews and wondered if he was “spending too much time applying for jobs online.” The article quotes him as saying, “I’m not doing something right yet.”
Honestly, reading about this group breaks my heart! Clearly, these job seekers could benefit from some professional job hunting advice. What if they knew how much time to spend sending out online applications and had expert feedback about their resumes and other job search correspondence? I am sure they could benefit from up-to-date information about using online tools and social networks. I wonder how different their stories might be if they had engaged the services of a coach before things began to look so glum?
I am happy to announce that I will be facilitating “virtual” accountability groups to help job seekers succeed in this difficult and competitive market. Help is just a phone call away! Participants will benefit from targeted professional coaching, an understanding team of other job seekers for networking and support and a structured program to help keep their job hunt on track.
Please CONTACT ME if you are interested in learning more about these groups.