Developing Your Career

Developing Your Career

Job Search Work Teams Help Lighten the Load

By Greg Simpson on December 17, 2013

Job growth has picked up over the past few months, unemployment is at a five-year low and the economy continues to demonstrate renewed resiliency.  Nevertheless, in a recent LHH online poll  of job seekers, 75 percent of respondents rated today’s job market as fair or poor – while only 25 percent rated it good or excellent.  What accounts for this disconnect?  Some frustrations are related to local job markets, the number of opportunities in a specific industry or occupation, or the skills of individual job seekers.  However, outlook is often based simply on perception – how we think the market is performing rather the actual reality.

It’s easy to fall into the negativity trap if you’ve been struggling in your job search.  Still, job opportunities are out there – but landing one depends to a large degree on how you’re approaching your search.  Perceptions of a job market can seriously impact a job seeker’s confidence and productivity – for better or worse. 

Shaking off job search negativity is easier when you share the burden. After all, as legendary football coach Lou Holtz said, “It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.”  Here’s how working with a team can help you shoulder the load and achieve success:

  • Enhanced networking and intelligence.  Working with others in search provides peer networking, the sharing of relevant experiences, job search tactics, job leads, and helpful resources.  It also provides team members with socialization, accountability, confidence, and heightened focus on job search activities.
  • Brainstorming and support. A team dynamic offers candidates a safe forum for discussing their fears, uncertainties and questions.  Veteran team members gain a sense of purpose in helping the new members acclimate to the group and the search process.
  • Fresh viewpoints.  The diversity of a group (industries, functions, ages, geographic locations, etc.) helps members move beyond their comfort zone.  The input of team members who’ve had hiring responsibility can give other participants a glimpse “behind the curtain” and an understanding of corporate hiring practices and expectations.
  • Transfer of positivity.  Teams often develop strong bonds beyond the search process and adopt other healthy behaviors, e.g., meeting for early-morning check-ins, joining training programs or attending events.  

Reach out and uncover opportunities.  Build your own job search group or locate established teams by reaching out to your local unemployment office, community organizations, social media channels or networking contacts.  Just don’t let a negative perception become your reality.

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