In the past (20th century up to 2008), we could muddle through a job search on our own. It wasn't easy or fun, but it was do-able.
Not any more! Too many things have changed for "muddling through" to be good enough for today's job market.
Good quality, low-cost or free help is available, as you'll learn below. Use it! Getting help with understanding the new rules of today's job search is the key to your success and the shortest job search for you.
1. How to Find Help and Support for Your Job Search
Fortunately, most of us don't need to do a job search often enough to be really good at it. Since job hunting has changed a lot in the last couple of years, getting help understanding how it works now is very important to your success. So is just the knowledge that you're not alone in your job search frustrations and the problems you face.
are definitely better than one - the old cliché is absolutely
true, so avoid doing your job search alone.
Benefits of a group:
- A solitary job
search can be demoralizing - you think you're the only one getting ignored or being unsuccessful
- A solitary job search can be an uninformed job search - MUCH has changed, and another set of eyes looking at the resume or helping you practice your interview answers can lead to major improvements and success.
- A solitary job search can also be more difficult
because you'll only have access to what you find by yourself, and even if you do know thousands of people personally, it will be difficult to reach them all effectively. That's why networking works so well.
- Groups have many benefits, even for introverts. You will be helping others, which is a morale boost, and you'll be able to leverage the experience, expertise, and network of friends and
colleagues in a job search support group. So, you will all be more successful.
Many sources of help exist, and more are developing.
If you are lucky (?) enough to be part of a mass layoff, you could have some help from outplacement
counselors. Don't ignore help from that service if you have access to it!
If you weren't part of a mass layoff, or if your outplacement services have expired, you still have many options for finding help:
- Check with your school or college's career center or placement
office, even if you graduated many years or decades ago, or didn't graduate at all. Many will help you regardless of your graduation status or years since you attended classes. It won't hurt to ask, and it might help you a great deal to get current professional advice.
- Check with members of your church (or temple or where ever you practice
your religion) or a church or temple near you to see if they offer support for job seekers. Often the religious element of the support is very small or non-existent, and your religion (or lack) doesn't matter if you need help.
- Former co-workers can be a wonderful source of support and important connections. With the advent of LinkedIn Groups, employer "alumni" groups have become more popular and also easier to find, too.
- If you are looking for
a job in the U.S., check out the Job-Hunt's Job
Search Networking (by state).
- Also check the Networking & Support Groups listings in RileyGuide.com for a group near you..
- Check the Career OneStops in the U.S. to find free local assistance near you (by state)
- Check MeetUp.com to see if any groups focused on job search or your industry or profession meet near you.
- To stay in touch and share resources, set up your own group on Google Groups or Yahoo
Groups (they are free, but be sure to read their current privacy
- Or start your
own group. Barbara Sher's wonderful Wishcraft book is available for free in PDF format from Wishcraft.com and has excellent support for setting up "success teams" - self-help groups. Used copies of Wishcraft are available from Amazon if you must have the original book, or just use the free PDF version.
© Copyright, 1998 - 2012, Susan P. Joyce. All rights reserved.
About the author...
Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. Susan is a two-time layoff "graduate" who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. In 1998, her company, NETability, Inc. purchased Job-Hunt.org, and Susan has been editor and publisher of Job-Hunt since then. Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and on Google+
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