When you face a job search or career challenge that has you puzzled–even concerned–about what to do next, you might want to consider whether you’ve been trying to solve the problem all by yourself instead of reaching out for help. Sometimes the solution involves identifying a support team of people who are willing and able to help you succeed. To quote Helen Keller: “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”
You can overcome a lot of obstacles if you have the backing of people who will clue you in to actions you might want to take or even give you a head-start on making a good career decision.
If you have a mentor, that’s a great beginning, but don’t stop there. Your support team should nearly always be more than one person. One function it can perform is to point out to you when you’re about to make a mistake. On the other hand, team members might offer excellent guidance on smart moves you can make. Both approaches provide potentially good value for your career success.
Perhaps the first step in building a strong support team for your job search or career challenge is to make sure you know where you need the most help.
For example, if you want to move to a new geographical location and find a new job or career focus there, you might want to include in your support team someone who has experience doing or managing relocations–that is, he or she has done it successfully and maybe more than once. What can that person share with you that could keep you from having to find things out the hard way?
If you’re already strong in one aspect of your challenging situation, you don’t really need to include on your support team someone who offers strength in that aspect. Focus instead on finding people for those areas where you might lack the expertise or skill needed.
As another example: Consider whether you’re weak in areas such as networking or building a network of contacts. In that case, you’ll probably want someone on your support team who has demonstrated the ability to network effectively to achieve personal or professional goals. Such a person could have the savvy outlook you need to move past your own particular roadblock in that area.
Pull together your carefully chosen support team and identify which areas each of them is best suited to help you with. Make sure you don’t overwhelm your team members with too-frequent requests for help–especially if the request involves something you actually could, and should, do for yourself.
Recognize that each team member is performing a service to help you get where you need and want to go–and don’t be slow to let them know how much you appreciate their support.