Most of us spend a great deal of our time thinking about our professional lives. Our thoughts range from “what can I do to better myself in my current job?” to “what can I do to earn that next promotion?” Others ask the more basic question: “how do I just get my next job?” The job of the coaches at The Five O’Clock Club is to go beyond the answers to these questions and help people actually achieve their professional goals.
We start by having our members work on a few critical assessment exercises, then put together a resume that is to die for, craft a “slam dunk” Two-Minute Pitch, and plan out their job search strategy in phases and stages. We also remind them that if they are not currently employed they should be put in at least 35 hours a week on their search, or — if they are working — put in at least 15 hours a week – otherwise they are really not job searching. Whew! Some of you may already be saying “this job search thing takes a lot of work.”
Yes, job search does take a lot of work and it can definitely take its toll on those closest to us – our family, our friends, our trusted advisors. Oftentimes, family members feel shunned or neglected as a loved one toils away trying to land that next job. After all, they want to help! I often tell clients that your Stage 1 contacts (people you want to keep in touch with on an ongoing basis) should probably not include those closest to you because their idea of getting a job is simply to go online, answer a bunch of ads, and voila! — before you know it, you will have a job. One 5OCC member lamented that her husband kept disrupting her job search routine to the point where she turned to him and flat out said “if you want me to get a job, you now have one hour of my time each day.”
Those of you who have had to job search know the process is not that simple. It takes long hours, dedication, and hard work — much like taking a graduate course. However, it’s easy to lose sight of those who do care about us. While a close family member may not be the ideal Stage 1 contact, they may offer you something much more intangible in those precious hours you can make available to them – their support, love and encouragement. Focus on what their day was like, or offer to help them in some way. Work and life in general are more complex these days so in those few precious moments when you are with those closest to you, keep it simple. Share a funny story, recall an earlier time when you did something special with a friend or family member. It may provide just the balance you need in your life to make you shine on that next interview!
As career coaches, we subject ourselves to the same demands as our clients. After all, prior to and following working with a client, or running a 5OCC small group, there is a lot of preparation to do, so it is important that we too do not lose touch with our family members and those closest to us. I love what I do as a career coach and I love working with my clients, but I also love my family very much. So as we enter a New Year where I am optimistic good things are going to happen for our members, let us also keep in mind how important those “not necessarily Stage 1 contacts” are because they are the ones who can give us balance. I know it is in my New Year’s resolution to not lose sight of how important my family is to me, and to appreciate how much they keep me going.
Happy New Year!