Key Ways to Incorporate Friends into Your Job Hunt
April 20, 2010
Mention being out of work to a friend and they’ll be the first to emphasize that you do have a full-time job — looking for a job, that is. And they’re right. Looking for a new job can be just as time consuming as working nine to five. But there is one major difference and that’s making the transition from working with coworkers and bosses to going it alone. This can leave even the most productive people unable to resist staying in their pajamas until noon or wasting the day surfing the web for viral videos and celebrity gossip.
Don’t let this happen to you!
The solution? Instead of going it alone, enlist a gaggle of friends to be your job seeker posse. And no, this doesn’t mean you now have a bunch of people in charge of finding you a new career while you play golf or take up a new hobby. Nor does it imply that they’ll be responsible for maintaining your intense TV-watching schedule. Instead, think of this group as the motivating force behind your job search. Pick friends you feel will help you get through the process and come out ahead, just by doing what friends do best — being there.
What do you need to do? Know how to manage your new team. Here are a few ways to integrate your pals into getting your next gig.
You know that friend who tells it like it is? We all have one. And while it might seem annoying somtimes, this friend is just what you need right now. From cover letter and interview outfit advice, to being that person who tells you to snap out of feeling sorry for yourself, the right person can give honest criticism that’s still friendly.
In the past you may have relied on bosses, coworkers, and deadlines to stay efficient and motivated. Why not assemble a team to do the same thing in your non-working present? Everyone needs structure and this is where friends can really help. From listening to your unemployment woes to helping you construct a daily routine that includes researching, networking, and contacting potential employers, friends can be just what you need to keep motivated and on-task.
Bottom line: Good friends want their friends to succeed. They also want to be there and lend an ear when things aren’t ideal. And, like any idea, concept, or plan, most times it’s just plain helpful to sit down and work out the details with another human being — even if that person is just listening. A good brainstorming coffee date with a friend might be just what you need in order to make better sense of what you want out of your job search.
Friends of Friends.
Yes, even friends of friends can help you find the career you want. Research has shown that job seekers who employ friends as well as friends of friends to spread the word to potential employers (or keep their eyes peeled for job openings) were more apt to secure a position than those who did not. Moreover, those who got these same groups to go a step further and introduce them to beneficial networking contacts or folks in the industry found more suitable jobs, faster.
When you’re looking for a job, quality and quantity of friendships go hand-in-hand. This being said, even though you may not deem everyone in your social networking communities to be an actual “friend,” in the sense that maybe you won’t be in their wedding, that doesn’t mean they’re not open to helping you in your job search. Use your status to post a quick blurb or write a private message to a friend you know who’s presently in the your field of interest. Hey, you’re already on TheApple, that’s one giant step in the right direction!
Don’t Isolate and Fixate.
It’s easy to get so bogged down in your job search that you forget the world around you. Remember that, just like when you have a full-time job, it’s advantageous to strike a good work/life balance when you’re unemployed. Take time to network with people, but also know when to turn off your job seeker mode and just be a friend.