Usually, the job search is a solo affair. Not everyone is comfortable asking for help from family and friends when it comes to job hunting – after all, isn’t it hard enough without wrestling with fear of judgment?
If you have been at it for months – hunting for a job – it can be emotionally draining and stressful. But you know what’s even worse? Giving up. Little do you know, your greatest asset might be one that’s been close to home the whole time: your family, friends and colleagues who you groan with at the end of the day might just be the same people who can offer the moral support that can get you through your quest for the perfect gig.
Enter: the “job search buddy” – a trusted confidant who can maintain morale and provide encouragement. With a job search buddy, you can maximize your job search, and – maybe – open yourself up to more opportunities than you even knew you had in the first place.
When finding the perfect buddy, look for someone you can talk to on a professional level, even if that person is your friend. There’s nothing wrong with that person being your oldest or newest friend, but maintaining a relationship that can double as a professional one will ensure your productivity is at its peak while you’re on the hunt. This person isn’t only there to help you search for jobs, prepare for interviews, and proofread your resume and cover letter–they can provide lasting moral support that will give you the edge you need when the big interview finally comes around. On top of all that, you’ll have someone to celebrate with when you finally get the phone call telling you: “You’re hired.”
Benefits of a Job Search Buddy:
Generating New Ideas
When you have a partner, brainstorming is a lot easier and natural because you have someone with whom you can exchange ideas. You can combine your experience and knowledge and increase the chances of getting hired.
Sometimes, it takes a person from the outside to help you see the other side of things.
Whether you need to vent out your frustration or celebrate a success, your job search buddy will be there to listen to you and monitor your progress. Sharing the ups and downs with someone can make the whole process easier.
Who to Trust? Look Within Your Circle of Contacts
Find the right job search buddy within your network. You can ask family, friends, and colleagues if they are available and are willing to partner with you as you search for a job. The job search buddy doesn’t necessarily have to be a job seeker like you; he or she can be someone who is willing to recommend job ads for you and check your job applications, and mentor you during your job hunt.
A Buddy Holds You Accountable
When you get the help of a job search buddy, it has to be someone to whom you are accountable, and trust is a big part of that. A person who will ask you about your progress with your applications and remind you about job search stuff is a person who will keep you at your best. It’s also a person you report to – preferably on a weekly basis. This way, you can be motivated into job-hunting, even if you are not in the mood. Who better to light the fire under you than your most trusted friends?
Plan With Your Buddy
Planning is everything. The same goes with job searches. One of the most important tasks you have to do with your buddy is planning out the hunt. It’s important to set objectives and goals, so this plan must contain the companies you want to apply to, the right people to contact, and the types of jobs that you are going to reach out to. Having a plan can keep you on track and organized.
Your Buddy as PR
The majority of jobs are found via networking. Part of your buddy’s duty will be to spread the word to everyone in their circle that you are looking for a job. The more people who know about you, the higher the chance you will find a job that suits your skills.
Your Buddy as a Useful Resource
To be successful in a job search, you need to have a wider network, so your job search buddy is a vital resource as you go job-hunting: If he or she is a fellow job seeker, share notes and keep each other in check. Use your buddy to reach your maximum potential.
Know When to Let Go
Sometimes, your best friend may not be a good match. Always be ready to keep the friendship, but don’t hesitate to find someone else who might be able to keep you more accountable. That doesn’t mean you can’t still be friends – it might just mean that a better person is suited to keeping you on the track to your goals.
Don’t Forget to Factor In The Fun
We get it – the job search can be exhausting. So don’t be too focused on finding a job that you take the fun out of life (and don’t forget that your buddy is still your friend, too!). Have fun with your buddy once in a while. Who knows? Opportunities have a way of knocking in the most unusual of places.