Teamwork: There is no “I” in “Job Search”

April 2, 2013



Searching for a job is probably not at the top of one’s list of enjoyable things to do; in fact, to most, it can be downright dreadful. Why? The process is almost always performed independently. Job seekers prepare their marketing tools independently, look at newspaper ads independently, make calls to companies independently, get turned down independently, wonder if they are ever going to find a job…independently. It seems there is a rallying cry of teamwork, teamwork, teamwork when doing a job, yet this goes unheard or unpracticed when searching for the job. So why not use teamwork when job searching?

Let’s face it – for most people, looking for a job can be uncomfortable, de-esteeming discouraging. It can be so easy to become discouraged when you are not getting offers. With rejections, or simply receiving no word about your applications or progress, one starts a downward spiral of emotions and self-esteem when facing the job search alone. For others, when they are successful at finding employment, they find themselves settling for a job they really aren’t happy with because they believe that there are no alternatives out there. There are jobs out there!! You just have to find them. It becomes very easy to feel that you are all alone and that this is not happening to anyone else. So, it either becomes a problem with your methods of job search or a problem with the job market. You can’t control the job market very easily, but you can control your job search methods.

Why do we make the job search such a lonely practice? Not everyone is lucky enough to have individual career transition and job searching consultation services, and so, many must go it alone – or so they think. We simply have to look at the latest research to realize that in most cases, teams outperform and “out-achieve” individuals. So why not have teammates or partners when job searching? Someone who is thinking and feeling and experiencing the same things that you are, and who can provide encouragement, support, and even resources and information to you as you are conducting your search.

Going it alone can be a real problem. How can you possibly stay motivated when you don’t receive feedback about your search? Who will tell you that you will get that job if you persist in the hunt? Rejection can be devastating to anyone’s esteem, but especially to a job seeker who may be worried about making the next mortgage payment. So how can you avoid this isolation and the negativity that can build up around an independent job search? Find a team, form a team, or hire a job coach.

With a team, you have support. With a team you receive praise and motivating influences. With a team, you can keep going. You don’t have to know these people well. It is the shared experiences that will bond you. It will make a significant and positive difference when job searching with the support of people who share common experiences, who will not pre-judge, who know and share the do’s and don’ts of job search from experience, and who do not know your shortcomings or fears or lack of certain skills. Your teammates can provide you with the strength and motivation to make that next cold call, to reconnect with past applications, to go into the interview with a positive attitude rather than with fear and discomfort.

Structured job clubs or search teams through professional resume services, career and success coaches, employment agencies, some college employment services, even churches, and professional organizations can all provide support to those conducting a job search. However, you can also form your own group if you know of other job seekers or work with a career coach to match you with team members. You can be in control of your own destiny, but you do not have to do it alone. Remember – there is no “I” in team, nor is there one in “job search”. The team concept works and will not only keep you motivated but will help you network for job leads, expand your contact list, and uncover many new possibilities that you might not have yet considered in conducting a successful job search.