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Top ten career tips

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Recently I was a guest at the School of Management Spring Networking Dinner. Along with the other faculty and staff present I was asked to stand up and offer a career tip, one piece of advice to the assembled undergraduates, of whom there were probably 75 or so.

I offered my comments but it got me thinking afterward. I was not really prepared to offer just one piece of advice, and I realized I had never really stopped to condense my thinking in response to this question. Next time, I said to myself, I'll be ready.  
 
So what follows here, after a bit of reflection, are my "Top Ten" career tips: 

Know thyself - There is much wisdom in this ancient Greek aphorism, often attributed to Socrates. A true knowledge of self is the necessary foundation upon which one's career lies. If you are not aware of what you are good at, what you like and don't like, your strengths and your weakeness, you can be pulled in any number of directions, which can lead to less than optimal work experiences. In the CEC you will hear us talk about VIPS - your Values, Interests, Personality, and Skills. Knowing these, knowing yourself, can act as a sure compass to help guide you in the right direction "out there" in the real world. 

Do what you love (with caveats) - Be honest with yourself about your talent level and whether the market will pay you for what you have to offer. Many of us may know what we love to do, but do we have the ability for it? How painful is it to watch those candidates on American Idol who love to sing and desperately want to be a star, but, sadly, have no singing talent? Even if you do have the ability, ask yourself if there is a market for it. Can you do this work and live in the manner you would like? If you are not sure, do more research, ask questions, and find out.
 
Experience is the best teacher - A phrase not written by me but oh so true. The more experience you have -- the more jobs, volunteer work, and different activities you engage in in and out of school -- the more you will come to know about yourself and the opportunities available to you out there. Listen to the feedback the world gives you and come to know what you like and where you can potentially thrive. A corollary here is that even a bad experience can have a positive outcome. If life deals you a lemon, make lemonade: "That internship was horrible! Now I know I don't want to do that for the rest of my life!"

You are the product - In my role at Simmons, representing the college to the world of employment, Simmons is my brand, the five schools and academic majors are my product lines, and each and every individual student is my product. In the world of work, this is how you need to see yourself, and if you are the product, then you need to learn how to market yourself. In your elevator pitch, resume, portfolio, personal presentation -- these are all components of your self-markering mix. And remember to sell your total package, not just your major and GPA but all your experiences outside the classroom as well, leadership, service, study abroad, travel, summer experiences - all provide transferable skills and demonstrate qualities that appeal to those who will want to bring you on board in the workplace.

We all have two jobs now - In the pre-industrial era eveyone had a defined job. You started out as an apprentice, worked your way up, and stuck at the same work your entire life. In the industrial era and later in the 20th century corporate era, large organizations emerged and were more likely to hire you on and manage your career across your entire working life, till retirement, a handshake, and the gold watch. Those days are pretty much gone. The workplace has changed. Today's workers can expect a lifetime of transitions in their work, much more the norm than before, not just between jobs but between careers as well. While it may seem daunting, it is also liberating -- now you are in charge, the master of your own fate. You can go where you want and do what you want to do. But only you can manage yourself. Only you can look out for #1. Thus, we all have two jobs now: the job you are currently in, and managing your career.  

Be open to opportunities - While you can have a career plan and a path in mind, unexpected things (aka, life) happen. You meet somebody on a train and they wind up offering you a job (true story). Be open to opportunities as they arise. Then, with your evolving knowledge of self and base of experience, evaluate each one. Is it a good fit for me? Think two steps ahead: where can I go after that? Does it lead where I want to go? Career theorist John Krumboltz calls these opportunities "happenstance", the unexpected twists and turns that can have a profound impact not just on your work but your life. Be ready for them.   

Go where you are celebrated, not tolerated - This remark was delivered by a keynote speaker at a large HR conference I attended a number of years ago, and it has stuck with me ever since. Despite your best efforts and hard work, despite their having hired you in the first place, you may find that after some time in an organization you are seen only for what you are doing, not what you could do. You become part of the woodwork, taken for granted, not recognized any longer nor your true value appreciated. But you want to grow and prove that you can offer more, have ideas, have energy that is not being tapped. Then you have to do something about it, create or find a better siutation. Explore both internal and external opportunities. Helen Keller phrased it this way: "One can never consent to creep when one feels the impulse to soar".

Maintain your network - When you are first starting out in your career, networking may seem like a foreign and daunting concept - how do I do "networking" and do I even have a network? You will also think of networking as something that benefits you, a tool that can help lead to job and internship possibliites, or provide a connection in a new city if you decide to relocate. But as you spend more time in the workforce, you will realize that you become part of other people's networks, too, and that you can be just as valuable to them. The message here is that networking is a two-way street: yes, you can be helped, and you always want to be sure to show your appreciation and keep your network informed and up to date. But you can also reciprocate, be an aid to others, and then you are a member of a truly valuable network.  

Seek a higher purpose - I will echo the evening's keynote speaker, Mary Finlay, Professor of Practice in the SOM and former Partners Healthcare CIO. While there is a necessity to manage your own career and meet certain financial and other personal exigencies, if your work is solely for yourself you will burn out and become disillusioned very quickly. Simmons' core purpose of "Transformative learning that links passion with lifelong purpose" is not a hollow phrase. Working for a larger purpose, something that provides lasting benefits and is of value to others, provides a deeper and sustaining motivation. Being engaged in something larger than yourself can get you up in the morning and keep you going, not just for days and weeks but months and years. Taking an even broader view, the world faces many complex challenges in multiple arenas, some on a truly massive scale and of an unprecedented nature. We need all the dedicated talent we can get to face these challenges.    

It's a marathon, not a sprint - For most, the first several years out of college are a time of continued exploration and learning, albeit in the worplace versus the classroom. You will try on different occupational roles and see what fits (see "Know thyself" and "Experience is the best teacher"). Some of your peers may seem to have it all together (usually they don't) and some may actually have a clear and defined path early on, what I call the "lucky few." But most use the defining decade of the twenties to sort things out before eventually finding their path. You do not have to have everything figured out all at once. Be patient. Let things unfold, and learn as you go. As American poet Walt Whitman said: "All truths wait in all things / They neither hasten their own delivery nor resist it."

Your job is not your life - While income and how you spend your working hours are clearly central, and Gallup studies show that career well-being is the most reliable predictor of overall well-being, don't freight your job with fulfilling every aspect of your life. Other dimensions of your life  -- personal, family, physical fitness, involvement in community, activities of interest (music, rock collecting, reading, travel, whatever) -- are also important and should not be neglected. Whitman again: "Of course I contradict myself - I contain multitudes." Embrace the multitudes and pay attention to those aspects of yourself too. Or, put another way, "All work and no play make Jack a dull boy" (or Jill a dull girl).

Sometimes you need help - Have you ever seen a boxing match? When the bell rings to end the round the boxer goes back to his corner, slumps onto his stool, and gets attended to by his trainer and manager. That's what a career coach can do for you. They are in your corner. They help you take a break, step back from the action, work out a strategy, and get refreshed before you head back into the ring. While a lawyer attends to your legal needs and a doctor to your medical needs, a career advisor can help with your career needs. While at Simmons and as an alum, you can make us of the career coaching expertise on staff in the CEC.     
 
Be mindful of retirement - The "R" word may mean little or nothing to you now, but at some point, way out there on the horizon, your everyday working life will come to an end. And as the current run of Prudential TV ads is reminding us, many of us will be living far longer than previous generations, into our 90's and beyond, so we better be prepared not to outlive our retirement income. Plan now, save now, and you will thank yourself later.  

My final word on this is that there is no final word. While the foregoing are deeply held beliefs I might add another one here or there over time. And OK, for those counting there are more than ten tips here, which is the point. A career is a complex, organic, growing and evolving thing, and you can't boil it down to just ten immutable pearls of wisdom. It is an ongoing challenge, but one that Simmons grads are both prepared for and up to.

So what was the one tip I gave at the Networking Dinner? "Eisenhart's Theorem": We all have two jobs now.

Mind the (skills) gap

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Blog Post Photo_Mind The Gap_4.17.14.jpg

A regular topic of discussion that comes up amongst career coaches and career service professionals is whether employers of recent college graduates more favorably value hard skills (such as subject area and technical expertise) or soft skills (such as critical thinking, communication, and generalized problem solving).  The answer, according to a recent article in Forbes, is often that both types of skills are needed to succeed in the job market, and a gap has emerged between the skills employers expect to see in new employees in entry-level positions and the skills that candidates present on their resumes and in interviews. This connects the post-recession employment crisis to what appears to be a skills crisis in college graduates.

So, how does one acquire the needed skills to succeed on the job market?  Hard skills can be developed in college through experiential learning, most notably in internships and other employer-based experiences in your field.  You can search CareerLink for internship opportunities that have been posted specifically for Simmons students. 

In terms of soft skills, a liberal arts education has likely provided you with much of the knowledge and abilities you will need, but often students and recent graduates can have trouble translating classroom learning and experiences into examples of proficieny in job-applicable skills.  For help making this leap, please contact our office to set up a meeting with one of our career coaches.  They will be happy to review your academic experiences with you and guide you towards seeing how those experiences reflect job-ready soft skills that you already have.

By using the resources available at the Career Education Center, Simmons College students can be sure to make the jump over the skills gap.

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons, Author: WillMcC

Woman on computer Afro 2.jpgMake your resume stand out from the crowd by following these 10 tips!

  1. Be clear on what your job search objective is so that you can tailor your resume to the job.  A "one size fits all" resume is less effective.
  2. Treat your resume as a marketing piece, not just a list of your "job duties." Spot light your strengths  and accomplishments
  3. Use bulleted sentences of one to three lines so the reader can quickly scan your resume and see your main points. 
  4. Order your bullets by importance to the employer to ensure that those most interesting will be spotted when your resume is scanned quickly.
  5. Use strong action verbs to begin each bullet, such as, analyzed, led, trained, and planned. Avoid weak verbs. such as, worked, oversaw, handled and helped.
  6. Quantify when possible, as #'s,$'s and %'s jump from the page. Indicate scope. Instead of "Taught students social skills," use "Taught a group of 10 students."
  7. Use "key words" from the job posting in your bullets, so they are easy to spot. 
  8. Focus on job skills that support your objective. Leave off irrelevant information so the reader focuses on what is relevant.
  9. Make your resume easy to read:  one or two pages in length; 11 or 12 point font, such as, Aerial or Times New Roman; margins between a half and one inch. 
  10. Ask two friends to review your resume to ensure there are no errors or anything confusing to the reader.

For more resume pointers, you may visit the "Write a Resume" section in the CEC Career Toolkit, check out the CEC Career Spots video on Make Your Resume Pop and set an appointment to meet with a Career Coach.

reference-check.jpgHave you started your job search?  If so, you'll want to start thinking about your references.  Who are the people who can best attest to your skills, experience, knowledge and personal strengths? Be sure that your references can speak to all the qualities that your potential employer is looking for in a new hire.  

Possible references include supervisors and colleagues from former jobs, internships and volunteer work, as well as professors and coaches.  While it's time to compile this list of references, you won't provide this information to employers unless specifically requested to do so.  Most employers ask for references during the interview process if you are a finalist for a position.
 
The way employers check references for potential hires has changed over the years.  Once, letters of recommendation were the requested norm; now, with the exception of certain industries like Education, employers usually ask for a list of references and their contact information. 

Some employers will call your references and personally ask a series of questions to determine your abilities, motivation and personal "fit" for a position.  Others, especially larger organizations, have opted for an automated approach, and use customized software to ask these same questions about how you match with the success factors for the job.  In the latter, your references are emailed a link to a comprehensive survey with multiple choice questions customized for that particular position/organization.   References are asked to rank you on a scale of low to high in such areas as professional competence, interpersonal and problem solving skills, and adaptability.  Just like in telephone inquiries, there are opened ended questions as well.  These typically include questions about your strengths and an area in which you could improve.   References are also usually asked, "Would you hire or work with this person again?"
 
Now that you know the process, how can you best manage your references?
Follow these three steps:
1. Ask
     Always ask your contacts if they are willing to provide you with a good a reference.   If a contact expresses any reservations at all, politely express your understanding of the situation, and then ask someone else.

2. Prepare
     Prepare your references in advance.   Offer to provide any information they might find helpful in fulfilling this role.  Send an email to thank them for agreeing to be a reference and let them know the type of positions and organizations you are targeting in your job search.  Explain why you're interested in pursuing these opportunities and the strengths and experience you have that make you a good candidate.   Attach a copy of your resume for their information.

Some references, especially instructors who are asked to write references by many students, may ask you to complete a form or provide other information that can help them in their reference role.  Respond promptly if you are asked to do this.

3. Keep in Touch
     Keep your references informed of your job search progress.  Let them know immediately if an employer has asked you for your references, and provide information about the job and organization where you're now a serious candidate.

If your area of interest changes, let your references know.  If a reference is prepared to extol your enthusiasm for pediatric nursing, she may be caught unaware by a reference request for position working with substance abuse patients.

Be sure to let your references know when you do land a position and thank them for their help.

     For more information about references, check out the CEC's References: Guides and Format.
About.com also has some helpful information about references as well. 

 

Photo compliments of culprit.com

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We're in the heart of career fair season here on the Simmons campus, and the next big event is coming up on Wednesday, March 26: the annual Spring Career & Internship Fair.

This year over 40 employers have registered to attend, representing a range of industries that align with Simmons' academic programs and student interests. A sampling of exhibitors includes:

  • Accufile
  • Autism Bridges
  • Boston Neighborhood Network TV
  • The Bridge of Central Massachusetts
  • Bright Horizons
  • Federal Reserve Bank of Boston  
  • Forbes House Museum
  • Gateways Community Services
  • Horizons for Homeless Children
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Mullen
  • Museum of Fine Arts
  • Peace Corps
  • Pearson Education
  • Prudential Financial
  • Radio Disney
  • South Bay Mental Health Center
  • State Street Corporation
  • WGBH

. . .and many more!

Come meet dozens of leading employers and discuss with them your interest in an internship or full-time job. On your to-do list:   

Check out the Spring Career & Internship Fair page to learn more about each of the attending employers and watch a couple of short videos to get you prepped for the event.

You'll also want to check out the other upcoming CEC events for seniors (Mock Inteviews and Lunch and Learn) and all students (Your Personal Brand presentation) on the CEC events page.     

Questions? Let us know. And see you there!

AW-Cropped Head Shot.jpgI recently had the opportunity with the support of our Provost to participate in an accreditation program on Emotional Intelligence sponsored by the Hay Group and designed by world expert, Daniel Goleman. The training program was for coaching professionals to help their clients become more effective as leaders by using the Emotional and Social Competency Inventory tool.

I first learned about EI after being inspired by Daniel Goleman's ground breaking booked called "Working with Emotional Intelligence," which provides case examples that link success in business leadership with emotional intelligence.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Goleman defines Emotional Intelligence as:

" Recognizing our own feelings and those of others, motivating ourselves, managing emotions well in ourselves and our relationships."

Although many people thought this was a management fad, EI has endured because the qualities to help strengthen leadership effectiveness are even more important for today's changing workplace.

Daniel Goleman together with Richard Boyatsis conducted decades of global research on what differentiates outstanding performance.  Because they found that 80-90% of the characteristics were emotional and social in nature, they developed the Emotional and Social Competency Inventory (ESCI).  Their view was that while abilities and personality traits are fairly fixed, that behavioral competencies can be developed to improve personal effectiveness, develop leaders and create more effective organizations.

They defined a competency as a measurable characteristic beyond knowledge and skills that is necessary for top performance. It included the following:

4 Competency Clusters:

Self-awareness: Recognizing and understanding our own emotions, abilities, strengths and weaknesses

Self-management: Effectively managing ourselves: emotional self-control, motivating ourselves

Social-awareness: Recognizing and understanding the emotions of others: empathy, organizational awareness

Relationship-management: Applying emotional understanding in our dealings with others: influence, inspirational leadership, coach and mentor, conflict management, teamwork


In my work as Director of the Career Education Center and as a career management coach, assessment is a critical first step in the coaching process.  In the CEC, Assessment is the first step in our developmental model and includes identifying a student's values, interests, personality and strengths with use tools such as the MBTI and Career Driver to uncover strengths and ingredients of a good career fit. In our academic programs at Simmons, we know that students develop knowledge and skills in the classroom with opportunities to apply them through experiential learning opportunities.  Yet, we also know that employers today are seeking even more-- academics plus.  Many are the behavioral competencies of Emotional Intelligence that can make a difference in a person's career and leadership success.

Can EI be learned?

Yes, these behavioral competencies can be taught and developed over time with self-awareness as the core foundation of personal development and effectiveness.  Students can learn how to recognize, evaluate, and improve their behaviors by incorporating feedback and through continued practice.  By increasing self-awareness, students can better manage their independent and group learning, and ultimately their employability.

With a focus on leadership, I believe that Simmons can build on its inherent strengths and to teach and be known for developing knowledge, skills and the EI competencies for successful personal, career and leadership development.

Andrea Wolf is Director of the Simmons Career Education Center.

Mary Shapiro Head Shot.jpgThere's been a lot of press about the importance of personal branding lately.  "You've probably heard the old adage around how to get a job or promotion:  it's all about who you know.  But that's only half the story.  It's also what they know about you.  That's your reputation.  That's also your brand, says Mary Shapiro, Professor of Practice at the School of Management (SOM). She points out the power a person's reputation can have.  It determines who gets the job, who gets promoted, who gets a "yes" to a special request, and who keeps their job and who gets downsized. 

Professor Shapiro will address the Simmons community as part of the CEC March Career events and Senior Series. She explains that her topic, Your Personal Brand: Your Reputation, Your Future "will help you think about the brand or reputation you want to have in the 'marketplace' of life."  Participants will through a fun exercise, she says, "create what you want people to think of when they think your name, and then analyze what you are currently doing to promote that brand....and what you may need to do differently going forward to be all you can be."  Her presentation, which is co-sponsored by the SGA, is open to the Simmons Community, and will be held on March 20 from 4:00 to 5:00 pm in the SOM Building, M223. 

For information on additional CEC March Career Events, including Senior Mock Interview Day on March 19, Senior Lunch and Learn, co-sponsored with the Class of 2014 Council on March 24, and the Spring Career and Internship Fair on March 26, visit the Events Page on the CEC website.  

skype3.jpgAccording to research conducted by the Aberdeen Group, a market research company, 32 percent of companies used video interviews for recruiting last year.  Given their increased use by employers, your chances of having a video interview are greater than ever before.  While this technology has provided the expected convenience and cost savings for companies, video conferencing for job interviews has been shown to have negative consequences for both the candidate and employer.  A study from McMaster University De Groote School of Business reported that job applicants are viewed as less likeable by interviewers,  and interviewers are seen as less competent by candidates, when this technology is used .

Willie Weisener, associate professor, Human Resources, at DeGroote, and co-author of the study says, "These findings suggest that using video conferencing can adversely affect both applicant reactions and interviewer judgments.  Video conferencing places technological barriers between applicants and interviewers."   Consequently, the researchers recommend that video conferencing be used only for preliminary screening interviews.

So what do you do if you have a Skype interview with a potential employer?  How can you minimize the negative effect of that technological barrier?

First, remember that a Skype interview is still an interview.  Prepare for a Skype interview the same way you would prepare for an interview conducted in-person:

  • Research the organization, the job and the interviewer.
  • Prepare to answer typical interview questions and prepare questions to ask.
  • Analyze the job description so you can speak to how your skills and experience are a good match. For example, if the job requirements mention criteria like "organizational skills" or "collaboration with team members", be ready to give examples of how you have demonstrated these behaviors in the past.
  • Practice aloud the answers to interview questions as you would for any interview.

Then review these ten additional tips to help you prepare and overcome the technological barrier that the Skype interview presents:

  1. Create a professional Skype profile.  The first thing the interviewer will see is your Skype username and picture.

  2. Be sure your technology is working perfectly. Check the audio to be sure you can hear and be heard. Close other windows and programs on your computer.

  3. Secure a quiet private space where you'll have no interruptions and be sure your surroundings are neutral. Remove anything distracting behind you so you will be the focal point.

  4. Test the lightening in the room to ensure it doesn't appear harsh or cast a shadow on your face.

  5. Do a Skype run through with a friend who will be able to give you feedback about both technical and presentation issues.

  6.  Dress professionally as you would for an in-person interview.  It's expected, even if you feel awkward all dressed up and talking to a computer.   

  7. Look at the camera not at the screen image or you will be looking away from your interviewer.                                                                                                                                                                         

  8. Position yourself correctly so that your screen image is of your face and upper shoulders.  

  9. If you find the small image of yourself on screen distracting, cover it with a post-it note.

  10. Watch your body language: sit up straight and remember to smile appropriately to demonstrate your enthusiasm and interest. 

For more information about interviewing and a list of typical questions, check out the CEC's Prepare to Interview webpage.  Then get ready for your close up by viewing this TIME video, How to Ace a Job Interview on Skype

 

 

 

Photo compliments of usatodayeducate.com

 

 

 

 

When you first matriculate as a college student you are usually somewhere between the ages of 17 and 19 years old. These years are defined by exploration and growth, a growing knowledge of yourself and the world of opportunities around you.

When you graduate -- in most cases, we hope, four years later -- you're in your early twenties. And that's what The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most of them Now, is all about. Slate.com said of the book: "Any recent college grad. . .dazed by the freedom of post-collegiate existence should consider it required reading."

The author's view  

The author, Meg Jay, is a clinical psychologist and professor at the University of Virginia. She also has a private practice and focuses her practice, research, and writing on adult development and twentysomethings.


Meg Jay-author.jpgJay sees several trends for today's twentysomethings -- entry-level jobs going overseas; many out of work, working part-time, or underemployed; earnings lower than those of the previous generation; debt racked up in the college years; many moving back home.

But, Jay says, despite these and other pressures on this age group, the twenties are the critical foundational period for one's later adult life. "With about 80 percent of life's most significant events taking place by age thirty-five," she writes, "as thirtysomethings and beyond we largely either continue with, or correct for, the moves we made during our twentysomething years."

In separate sections titled "Work," "Love," and "The Brain and the Body" the author addresses the critical tasks facing individuals in their twenties, deftly interwoven with actual case studies of clients from her practice that resonate with authenticity.    

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Identity capital

The author also introduces a new concept in her section on work: identity capital, which she defines as follows:
 
"Identity capital is our collection of personal assets. It is the repertoire of individual resources we assemble over time. These are the investments we make in ourselves, the things we do well enough, or long enough, that they become a part of who we are. Some identity capital goes on a resume, such as degrees, jobs, test scores, and clubs. Other identity capital is more personal, such as how we speak, where we are from, how we solve problems, how we look. Identity capital is how we build ourselves -- bit by bit, over time. Most important, identity capital is what we bring to the adult marketplace. It is the currency we use to metaphorically purchase jobs and relationships and other things we want."  

For Jay, identity capital is largely positive, a way to value one's attributes and experiences and look at them as the glass half full, not empty, and as a platform for moving forward.

Implications for college students 

The twenties will always be a time of further exploration, of trying on occupational and personal roles and relationships, of learning more about oneself and one's place in the world. 

You can perceive the twenties as a time of continued learning in a real-world setting, a setting that your years in college have prepared you for. The variety of experiences you have had both in and out of the classroom have supplied you with your own identity capital, to review, assess, and present to the world as you take your own next steps.

For more information

This is just a brief glimpse into Jay's work, a well-researched, well-written, and compelling case for continuing to explore and move forward with one's life, not to wait, during one's twenties. For Jay, thirty is definitely not the new twenty - far from it, as her book makes abundantly clear.    

To learn more about The Defining Decade (now available in paperback) and author Jay and her work, visit her website. You can also screen her 15 min. TED talk, "Why 30 is Not the New 20." 

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It's an exciting time with graduation approaching, but don't forget to set aside some time to start gearing up for your job search! You will soon encounter many challenges as you begin seeking job opportunities and there's so much to be mindful of---your strategy, networking, resume, interviewing, leads, and an elevator speech, the list goes on and on!  It can be a difficult road to travel alone, so why not get resourceful and find a job search buddy to make the process a little easier? 

Why a job search buddy?  The benefits are many:    

  •  Built in accountability.  Someone who will check in regularly to report out on progress, help set goals and plan action steps.  
  •  New perspectives and ideas.  Put your heads together to solve problems that come up. Brainstorm and evaluate possible solutions to create a plan of action. Use your buddy as a sounding  board. They won't hand you solutions to your challenges, but a buddy can broaden your thinking.
  •  Spotting new opportunities.  Keep each other in mind as you make new discoveries and meet new people. Share any opportunities you uncover.
  •  Support!  Just being connected with someone who cares about your progress, shares in your successes, listens to you vent, and gets you moving again when you are stuck, can make the  job hunting process so much easier 

 Tips on structuring a buddy system relationship to help you reach your goals:  

  • Set up regular check-in times in person, by phone or email, perhaps on a weekly basis.
  • Define a set length of time to converse, such as half an hour. 
  • Always commit to next steps by documenting what you and your buddy will accomplish before your next meeting. 
  • Keep the relationship reciprocal. When collaborating, make sure each of you gets a similar amount of time. 

In the shortrun, it is very likely that pairing up with a buddy will make the job search seem more manageable and in the longrun actually result in a more focused effective job campaign.

For additions resources and services to assist with seeking employment, review Manage Your Job Search in the CEC Career Toolkit, and set an appointment with a career coach.