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The Professional’s Job Search Creed – 1 of 10

November 17th, 2006

I came across this Creed in my weekly networking, where we were encouraged to actually read them outloud each morning at 7:55 am. There are 10 of these, and I’ll keep them summarized as we go (see the very bottom of this post), but I want to discuss each one as opposed to just listing them here.

First, I’m not a “read outloud kind of guy,” so if you are snickering, look past that part and check out the content. Second, the idea of 7:55 am is that you are dressed and ready to go. I’ve found that executive professionals (in the job search) are ready before that, and usually have at least one breakfast meeting to go to each week, but the point is, get out of bed and get ready to work!

So here is the first of ten:

1. I will get a job coach (not my spouse) to hold me accountable for my job search efforts. I will encourange him or her to be honest and indicate that feedback is the greatest gift that I could receive. I will ask for at least weekly contact.

Your job coach should not be your spouse! You want someone to hold your feet to the fire, and be accountable to. While this might sound like your spouse ;) the problem is two-fold (in my mind):

[1] your spouse is too close to the situation. This is an extremely stressful time and you need someone that is able to have a perspective that is not burdened by the emotions of the moment (like, are we going to be able to pay the mortgage this month?).

[2] perhaps your spouse doesn’t understand the workforce (my wife hasn’t worked outside of the home for over 10 years), or your particular profession, or is not up to par on current job search techniques. They might expect you to spend a lot of time in front of the computer applying to jobs on Monster, whereas a trained job coach would know that you should be spending the majority of your time elsewhere.

Also, you need to get honest feedback. Jim Collins refers to this, for business leaders, as “facing the brutal facts.” If I had a job coach early on I may have been able to avoid the problems I had in my resume, my approach, interview issues, and feeling really good about applying to bunches of jobs online. Even though I felt good at the end of each day or week (less all the emotional stress of not having a job), I was on the wrong path, and a job coach would have been able to tell me that.

Finally, you need at least weekly contact. This is not a “how you doing” e-mail, this is an accountability session. How is the plan, are you executing it well, what did you do last week, what do you have planned this week? Stuff like that. It should be candid, productive and building. You need to make sure the meetings happen! And don’t lie to the coach – it does nothing to help you or your relationship.

Now, I’m not a professional coach, never have been, and don’t think I ever will be :) I imagine that some of the things here are different in a professional, paid relationship. But whether you find an old buddy, boss or neighbor, or you find a real job/career coach, you need to get someone that you can be accountable to.

One last note. A job coach isn’t necessarily a mentor and vice versa. I recommend both ;)


Running List:

  1. I will get a job coach (not my spouse) to hold me accountable for my job search efforts. I will encourange him or her to be honest and indicate that feedback is the greatest gift that I could receive. I will ask for at least weekly contact
  2. (haven’t done yet)
  3. (haven’t done yet)
  4. (haven’t done yet)
  5. (haven’t done yet)
  6. (haven’t done yet)
  7. (haven’t done yet)
  8. (haven’t done yet)
  9. (haven’t done yet)
  10. (haven’t done yet)

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12 Responses to “The Professional’s Job Search Creed – 1 of 10”

  1. Marc Levitt says:

    I think your points are excellent. I have such a person, and, just now, assured her that she is much more valuable to me than any damn resume. (She was concerned about her boundaries being violated, being asked to read or edit too much.)

    I think it essential to have someone willing and able to be brutally honest, yet also willing and able to admit when he or she may have been wrong if something that is said or recommended to the party seeking the help, is something that, in retrospect, should not have been said. This sort of behavior – being willing to apologize – places the importance or value of the relationship above all else, and is vital to the continued success of anything that results from their “work” together.

    Since I do not live anywhere remotely close to California, I would hope that you will post each and every of these principles in ways that make them accessible and convenient to all, not to mention your comments about them, or analysis of same.

    I learned of your analysis of principle number one from a Google Alert, and would hope that Google Alerts continues to notify persons like myself of those times or occurences when you post responses or analyses of the other principles you suggest exist.

  2. Jason says:

    Hi Marc – great comments. I’ll try and pick through and respond in some logical fashion…

    Funny how my initial perception of “what’s important” changed as I went through the job search – sounds to me like this happened to you, and the value you put on a resume? Good coaches are worth more than their weight during the entire job search process.

    Having a coach is about having a relationship – especially if you don’t have a “professional” coach the last thing you want is a know-it-all that really doesn’t know what the job search is about. I imagine a professional coach will know when they googed and admit it – good point. It is a two-way relationship – but a “coachee” has to realize that their coach will have to be harsh, when needed.

    I’m not in California either. I’ll be blogging on the other 9 points over the next week or two. I would love see your responses.

    Good luck in your job search!

  3. [...] I will get a job coach (not my spouse) to hold me accountable for my job search efforts. I will encourange him or her to be honest and indicate that feedback is the greatest gift that I could receive. I will ask for at least weekly contact. (read the post here) [...]

  4. [...] I will get a job coach (not my spouse) to hold me accountable for my job search efforts. I will encourange him or her to be honest and indicate that feedback is the greatest gift that I could receive. I will ask for at least weekly contact. (read the post here) [...]

  5. [...] Please take notice that I have added a running list of links to each of the articles in the series so that it is easier to navigate from one to another in the series.  I stole the idea from my friend Jason Alba over at JibberJobber.  He has a great series going on the Job Seeker’s Creed, which is well worth checking out.  So from now on, when I run a series, you will be able to look forward and backward to articles by looking for the running list at the bottom of each article. [...]

  6. [...] I will get a job coach (not my spouse) to hold me accountable for my job search efforts. I will encourange him or her to be honest and indicate that feedback is the greatest gift that I could receive. I will ask for at least weekly contact. (read the post here) [...]

  7. [...] I will get a job coach (not my spouse) to hold me accountable for my job search efforts. I will encourange him or her to be honest and indicate that feedback is the greatest gift that I could receive. I will ask for at least weekly contact. (read the post here) [...]

  8. [...] I will get a job coach (not my spouse) to hold me accountable for my job search efforts. I will encourange him or her to be honest and indicate that feedback is the greatest gift that I could receive. I will ask for at least weekly contact. (read the post here) [...]

  9. [...] I will get a job coach (not my spouse) to hold me accountable for my job search efforts. I will encourange him or her to be honest and indicate that feedback is the greatest gift that I could receive. I will ask for at least weekly contact. (read the post here) [...]

  10. [...] I will get a job coach (not my spouse) to hold me accountable for my job search efforts. I will encourange him or her to be honest and indicate that feedback is the greatest gift that I could receive. I will ask for at least weekly contact. (read the post here) [...]

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