Create a Self-Directed Job Search Group for Accountability and Peer Support!

NSCN Member Alizeta shares her experience with creating a Self-Directed Job Search Group.

Following NSCN's advice, three of us got together and created a job search work team for accountability purposes and to support each other, which is very important after looking for work for a while. We meet weekly, and with time, we have gotten to know each other more. Since we are in the same Project Management industry, we can assist each other better. We are all three certified PMPs who met at a PMINJ event. I invited them to PSGCNJ in Somerville, where I volunteer, and after meeting regularly on Mondays, we decided to create the group.  
We meet on the same day of the week, at the same time, and we meet online using free conference calls where we can share and edit documents. After a few meetings, we decided to share an agenda before the meeting and to take notes with action items.
During the week, we're still in touch to complete action items before the next meeting and when one of us has a specific need, like preparing for an interview, they can reach out for additional support. We also share information and resources. We truly benefit from the power of three rather than one.
Each member is using the group to stay motivated in tasks they have a hard time completing on their own. Together we committed to and created not only a job search plan for our Plan A, but created a weekly job search plan on Excel and came up with metrics to measure our progress.
Each member is responsible for reaching their weekly goals before the next meeting, and if that doesn't happen, at the meeting you will explain why, and what worked and what didn't. The group is also a great resource as we are pulling together information gathered by each one of us, and we can use everyone's strengths and give advice. Since we started meeting, having the weekly plan, and holding each other accountable, our daily job search activities have increased, and we are more motivated, focused, and effective.
Alizeta suggests the following tips for success to those considering creating their own Self-Directed Group
  • Find team members who are already motivated but need more guidance and additional support to stay motivated and resilient--people who are able to keep going even after hard times (like being passed over after final rounds of interviews). Members who consistently do not follow up on their actions items should be dropped. No babysitting here.
  • Be in the same industry umbrella (like project management) but from different specializations/fields/sectors so you will have similar interests but still be able to openly refer each other for positions and forward jobs that you come across that are not suited to your own expertise.
  • Value the relationship you have with your team members. They become your friends, and even if you're not landing, you're still friends.
Thanks to Alizeta and her team for sharing this info!