Job Search is a Team Sport

Having just about completed a massive (coast-to-coast) relocation of home and business, I learned a valuable lesson that job seekers can (and should) apply to their next job search. With few–maybe no–exceptions, you can’t tackle a huge project alone and expect to complete it successfully on all fronts. Major projects require teamwork, and even then, they can be challenging.

Job Search a Team Sport?

You might quibble about my labeling job search as a sport. Would it help if I put “sport” in quotes? Seriously, a team sport is one that (by definition) involves more than one player. Usually that means there’s a captain–a leader–who gives the team a focus and helps them work together to achieve a common goal. That might mean winning a lot of games in whatever the sport is or at least making a strong effort to do well and to keep improving until they achieve a goal they’ve set for themselves.

That concept works for me just as well in terms of a job search. You could consider yourself the captain of your job search team, the person with a clear sense of the goal (a new job) and an awareness of at least some of the challenges that could lie in store for you before you reach that goal. But a captain isn’t much good without a solid team behind him or her. A captain can’t cover all the positions required to win.

Who Needs to Be on Your Team?

Some people should be with you on your job search from start to finish. They might be family members, close friends, respected colleagues, or some other category. The important point is that they need to have a strong desire to see you succeed in finding your next great job, either because they have a vested interest in the outcome or because they get a lot of satisfaction from helping someone achieve a key goal–or both. They should be people whose opinion you value and respect, not someone who might work harder on his or her personal axe to grind than on your success.

At times, though, you’ll want a person on your team who doesn’t have to be there for the long haul. That can include people whose expertise in a particular area presents a potentially strong value for your job search. You might consult such a person on a short-term basis, get the help you need, and let them go with gratitude for their contribution.

With my long-distance move, I had a lot of helpers, and I couldn’t have done it without them–such as the amazing real estate agent who sold our home in California at a good price, the agent in Massachusetts she connected me with (who found us the wonderful home we now live in), the resourceful handyman that second agent recommended, and the friendly neighbors who put me in touch with top-notch service providers in our area for essential needs such as plumbing work and irrigation systems.

Your job search is arguably one of the most important activities you’ll engage in, professionally speaking. Make sure you view it as a team sport and line up the players you really need to get you where you want to go.

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