I’m going to share with you an observation I have repeatedly noted when assisting unemployed people in their efforts to find a job. It may not seem like a might revelation, but the more I watch them go about their job searching, the more I am able to observe not only their strengths, but also their weaknesses. Big deal you say? It is.
See, here’s the thing: if you job search in isolation, no one can observe how you are going about looking for a job. If you get involved with a professional Employment Coach and meet with them personally every so often for an update, you can benefit from those chats somewhat. Ah, but if you are in an actual workshop where you are looking for work daily for 2 weeks or longer, then the person running that workshop can observe you, note your strengths and weaknesses and make some very critical recommendations. The more they see, the more they are able to share those observations.
Now lest you think I’m running an advertisement here disguised as a blog, let me assure you I’m not. In fact, the clients I work with on a daily basis get my services at no charge, and the people I help outside of my day job and on my personal time receive help at no charge. There’s no motive in my writings except to provide sound advice and sometimes observations and opinions on how to both get and keep a job or career.
My point today is that if you are looking for work, you really should get yourself into a structured job search group; the kind of group that’s going to meet on a daily basis. First of all, while you can job search on your own at home, there are too many distractions. There’s the laundry, the television and stereo, the backyard, a friend dropping by, little jobs here and there, the fridge, children, spouses, neighbours, the bed, the couch – all of these things and more are tempting or annoying distractions which will lure you easily away from a 5 or 6 hour job search on a daily basis.
When you are in a group and everyone is looking for work, you immediately get the benefit of group support. This small network can keep you on track, someone might share a job lead, and you find your attitude changes because you’ve got to get up, get dressed, get out the door and get somewhere on time. All of a sudden you find yourself with a routine again; and employers like people with healthy routines. Someone who is out of work for a long period develop what employers view as decidedly unhealthy routines, and often the body and mind go soft and are not prepared for the demands of showing up punctually for work when they are hired otherwise.
While in a group, the person or people running the job search group are watching and listening. Some of the things they can help you with come out of these two activities. Their observations can be of great benefit to you in pointing out constructively where you might be in need of help. So for example, how do you fit in with other people in a group? If you can’t get along with others, find them distracting or you are constantly disturbing them, maybe saying you are a great team player on your resume isn’t such a great idea at all. If you have a short attention span, become easily swayed from what you should be doing, your keyboarding and computer skills expose you as needing a keyboard tutorial; these things would never be known unless someone had a chance to observe you.
It’s not just about finding fault in how you work, it’s about finding areas where your skills need improving to make you competitive and helping you reach your end goal of financial independence. Let’s look at it this way; you’re unemployed and if you’ve been searching for work without success, something or some things need addressing. Not every unemployed person even knows where they are falling short or having a problem. A trained eye and ear working with you on a daily basis can spot perhaps what you yourself cannot. You’ll be doing yourself a big favour if you sign up, get some professional help and then stay open to the feedback you’ll get.
By the way, the kind of experience I’m talking about here can either be free or one you pay for. Unlike most things in life, just paying for the service does not guarantee it will be a more profitable experience for you. In your community, I’d suggest you start by looking up unemployed help centres and social service agencies. Most of these organizations are well aware of other service providers. If you’re looking for help finding a job and the one you call doesn’t offer that service, they will be able to point you in the right direction. Don’t give up after one call.
Look, it’s competitive out there and the number of people entering the job search market is growing on a daily basis. There are always jobs available and when you find the job that would be a great fit; you’ll want to make the best impression on them you possibly can. Why wouldn’t you want that kind of help especially if you could get it for free?