If you have read this blog for any time at all you have probably seen me mention the Nashville based career groups that I am and have been a part of over the past eight years. One of them in particular, the Career Transition Support Group, is a particularly large group with an average of about 100 participants a week (we meet about 45 weeks out of the year).
During my time as a volunteer and leader within the group I have noticed that many people who look for work go at it alone and have no one to share their joys and frustrations with.
To help combat that we (the volunteer leaders of the Career Transition Support Group) are really pushing hard for people to join and/or form their own mini job-search networking / accountability groups that will meet once a week to share successes, failures, ideas, and leads.
Here is our thinking. If you have someone in your life that really gets where you are at in your search, knows what you are looking for, knows what you are needing, and can help feed you with new information then you will be much more succesful in finding a new opportunity.
According to Dick Bolles in his 2011 version of ‘What Color Is Your Parachute‘ (actually page 42) 84% of those in groups like the ones described above will find success. So, for every 100 people who try just this method, 84 will get lucky and find a job. Small team focused networking groups have a success rate 11 times higher than just sending out resumes. (A BIG thanks to my very good friend Bill Karlson for providing that information! If you have not already done so you need to get his book ‘Get Top $$ In A Job You Love’ – it’s really good!)
If I was looking for work right now it would make sense to me to have a few of this meetings going on every week. Here is what they would look like:
- Geography based group (ie all within 5-10 miles of home)
- Job-function based group (everyone in the group is in the SAME job function that you are, ie IT, HR, sales, etc)
- Job-function based group that allows only ONE person per job function (ie only ONE IT person, only ONE HR person, etc)
- Special interest group that requires everyone must be a fan of the same sports team, went to the same school, or worked for the same employer at one time or another
In my opinion one of the biggest plusses to groups like this is that they get you off of the couch (ie away from Oprah), off the computer, and off of job-boards and give you some real life human interaction.
What do you think? Good idea, bad idea? Are you willing to try forming a group or join one? I look forward to your thoughts.
Until next time, good hunting and good luck!