A good accountability partner can make a major difference in one’s job search. I have seen many job seekers flounder because they launch their search efforts before they are totally prepared for the unique adventure ahead. The power of partnering comes in to play when two well prepared job seekers come together to hold each other accountable for the activities and time management involved in productive search efforts.
You can call this coincidence if you want, I did for a while until I saw it happening over and over, and the people using the accountability partner were giving them the credit for their success. Or you could call it peer pressure … but whatever you call the ‘fuel.’ The resultant energy cannot be denied… it works.
Too many times, we fall victim to distractions from the job search. The trap of sleeping late, watching TV, and playing on the Web can ensnare us. With no one but ourselves to hold us accountable for our job-search goals and plans, time can just slip away. It’s so easy to lose balance between personal needs and wants and our job search.
The other end of the spectrum is becoming a “job search-aholic.” For many of us, our identity is tied up tightly in our career, while others need a job right away just to make ends meet. No matter how great the need or desire for a new position, conducting a job search 24/7 non-stop can actually be a detriment to a successful campaign.
Once burnout sets in and enthusiasm begins to wane, how can you be at your best when you interview or even network? The buddy system is an ideal way to protect against burnout while keeping on track!
3 GREAT Reasons You Need An Accountability Partnership
A partnership can be you and one other person, like how we start at DFWCareerpilot…or it could be a group of 3 or more like minded individuals. We start with each grouping being facilitated by a skilled and experienced facilitator. Having had a lot of experience with facilitating accountability teams and partnerships over the years, I offer the following reasons why such activity will boost your individual job search efforts…
1) Someone to bounce around ideas with… It can be productive when you’re stuck and not sure how to proceed on an idea or maybe with a target organization—or an individual you’re having trouble connecting with. Sometimes you just need that extra little push. Connecting with someone who does understand is a big deal.
2) Someone to share accomplishments with… Did you research and identify a great opportunity? Land that big interview? Get your first offer? An accountability partner is the perfect person to share those exciting times with.
As Corporate citizens, we are used to being on productive teams, surrounded by resources, and encouraged to succeed. However, as job seekers, it is easy to lead a very isolated existence and appropriate resources are not always available.
3) Someone you can stay accountable to
Again, it’s really rewarding to have someone to tell when you have accomplished specific goals and/or tasks. Or on the flip side it’s nice to have someone there if you’re starting to feel overwhelmed and they can bring you back to reality. It’s great to know you have someone there that is counting on you to take action!
TOP TIPS: Creating EFFECTIVE Accountability Partnerships
1) Create a Goals Worksheet/ TEMPLATE… You’ve heard the cliché “What Gets Measured Gets DONE.” Very true for jobseekers who put themselves ‘out there’ on their own. Work SMART at your job search PLAN…
Specific time and activity goals for each process prep and implementation step.
Measurable goals so that progress can be analyzed and diagnosed
Actionable goals that allow you to ‘own’ your job search accomplishments
Realistic goals that are attainable on an average, weekly basis… and keep them
Timely. Have goals that are time-specific to keep you moving FORWARD!
2) Choose your PARTNER or TEAM Members wisely… your sense of accountability is built when you can be open and honest with each other during your scheduled sessions. There’s no room for negativity.
3) Have a set STRUCTURE of what will occur during each session. I encourage each meeting to start with a brief practice of verbal collateral, followed by a reporting of last week’s ‘numbers.’ Identify obstacles to your progress, requesting specific ‘help’ as appropriate. Commit to next week’s numbers. Close with an open and frank discussion aimed at removing obstacles… including action plans!
4) Keep your Group’s Membership and attendance consistent. Remember, these sessions can be effective with anywhere from 2 to 10 Members.
5) Create a hard copy binder with a tab for each Member… contents should be everyone’s tracking sheet, current resume, and a business card (several might be useful). Each Member is in this TOGETHER.
6) Generate a sense of TEAMSMANSHIP… Give yourselve’s a NAME. Create some sort of reward system for the week’s most contributive or successful Member.
7) Build EARLY SUCCESS by inviting a skilled and experienced facilitator for your first few meetings… then carry-on with a personal accomplishment of helping each other with resolution and action plans to overcome all obstacles.