Support and accountability are important parts of a successful job search. One way to get both is to have a job search buddy. So many things in life are easier or more fun when you have a partner that is either doing the same thing, or is there to support you on your journey. Here are some ways to structure a job search buddy relationship to boost your job search:
- Have regular weekly meetings
- Celebrate progress
- Troubleshoot sticking spots
- Brainstorm solutions to problems
- Set goals
- Provide accountability
Because job search tends to be solitary and self-paced, the accountability supplied by another person can make a huge difference for a job seeker. It really drives progress when you have someone looking over your shoulder and prodding you a bit.
Pairing with a fellow job seeker
Partnering with someone else who is also looking for work has some advantages:
- You can compare notes
- You may uncover job leads for one another
- You understand the emotional and psychological challenges of job search and can offer one another excellent support
- You may be tackling similar tasks such as resume writing and can share insights
- You can go to networking events together
- The relationship is reciprocal as you each seek to help the other
Be sure you are committed to one another and that the person who gets a job first will continue to buddy with the other until he or she finds a job.
Buddying with a non-job seeker
There are also good reasons to pair up with a person who is not looking for work:
- He or she may be more objective, less emotional about job search
- A person who is currently working may provide new perspective from the work world
- A buddy who is not distracted by his or her own job search may be more committed to the job seeker
- The relationship is not completely reciprocal meaning the buddy is fully invested in helping the job seeker without expectations of help back from the job seeker
Although in this scenario, the relationship may seem to be one-sided (the buddy is there to help you), job seekers often stumble upon ways to give back to their buddy. Be open to that possibility.
Lining up a buddy
Your job search buddy may be a friend, someone you met at a job search group or a former colleague. It’s helpful to explicitly ask the person to partner with you and to set expectations such as how often you will meet. You should have a clear understanding of what level of support and accountability you expect to receive and give. Be sure to thank your buddy regularly. He or she is making an investment in your success. When you get hired, plan a special celebration with your job search buddy.