Do you think that conducting a successful job search means acting as a high-achieving “team of one”? Wrong! In fact, not even close.
Of course, there are times when going it alone makes good sense or in some cases is necessary. However, rarely, if ever, will you find that’s the case with your job search.
It nearly always helps your job search to have people who believe in your potential, care about your success, and are willing to put at least some effort into helping you achieve the career goal (new job) that you’re aiming for. Just as teamwork in a business environment tends to produce stronger results than several people working as uncoordinated individuals, so in a job search are cooperation and support likely to prove valuable.
If you’ve initiated a job search but haven’t already taken a look at who might be rooting for you, I recommend doing that ASAP. Worst case, you might find that virtually no one has yet gotten on board your “job-search train.” That will clearly indicate that you have some serious team-building work to do. At the other end of the scale, you might be fortunate to identify several key players who have already joined your job-search team. Many of you, I suspect, will land somewhere in the middle of this spectrum.
Whether or not you have an active support team at this point, you’ll benefit from evaluating what/who you need on it, because this can change over time. So who might you want or need on your team?
It could well be that you’ll want some people who will support you personally and others who will approach it from a professional angle. For example, family members and friends who “have your back” can provide enthusiasm and energy to help you keep going when the job-search situation proves challenging.
On the other hand, mentors, former bosses, professional peers, and other business people can add significant value to your job-search team. In most, if not all, cases, you’ll need at least a few of them to give you good advice, steer you toward useful resources, alert you to potential hazards (such as companies struggling to survive), and so on.
One critical point about building such a team: A relative or professional colleague might not necessarily be a good fit for your team just because he or she is willing to participate. If the individual doesn’t have a good grasp on who you are and what you need to achieve, the offered help could prove less than wonderful. You might want to start by subtly checking it out, before you reach out to that person for help.
When you’ve done your part well and built a strongly functioning job-search team, you’re much better prepared to conduct a successful job search than if you put all your effort into flying solo. Yes, it takes some work–and planning–but so does anything that’s really worth achieving.