Champions, Coaches and Cheerleaders – 3 Keys to Job Search Success!

Let’s play a little word association game. What do you think of when you hear the words “champions”, “coaches” or “cheerleaders”? Football? Basketball? Your favorite pro team? March Madness?

You probably didn’t come up with the words “job search”, “advanced networking skills” or “your true vocation”, right?! With the tsunami of applicants in the job market ocean right now, you must have Champions, Coaches and Cheerleaders helping you pilot your career search!

Champions are insiders that work for companies you have targeted (see my blog on “professional stalking”!) or are folks that have influence or contacts that will help you get  in front of hiring managers. Champions are your voice and become your advocate to get your name and reputation on the lips and in the minds of key decision makers.

Let me tell you a quick story about how Champions work. A few years ago I was in the middle of a process to hire a new assistant. I had my search down to the 3 leading candidates, when I got a call from the manager of another department. He said he worked with a lady 5 years ago at an ad agency and she was great, but she left to have her first child. He said she was ready to get back in the job market and he strongly recommended that I talk to her. I did and he was right. She blew the 3 finalists I had out of the water and I hired her immediately.

Her Champion got my attention, told me great things about her, insisted that I meet with her and did everything but bring her to my office for the meeting! Do you have people in your network who are speaking about you like this to hiring managers? You must! Remember, 85-90% of jobs that are filled come from the unpublished job market. Having insiders actively looking for a great spot for you in the company is much easier than fighting over the 10-15% of posted jobs with all the other candidates!

Coaches are exactly what they sound like – they are there to help and guide you, to correct your mistakes, pick you up when you fail, and to pump you up when things go well. We are very quick to bring in electricians or plumbers or roofers to our homes to solve our problems. We hire tax accountants, lawyers, personal trainers, chiropractors, and dentists without questioning why.

To have a truly effective (and much shorter!) job search, you need to find a qualified, dedicated, professional career expert or coach in your area. They will save you time, money, sleepless nights, and a world of painful mistakes – looking for your perfect job is tough under normal circumstances. In this economy, it takes an expert to help get you ready for the battle!

Cheerleaders are the last piece of your “Team Perfect Job” staff. Cheerleaders help you stay focused on the positive, the big picture and the progress you are making in your search. These need to close friends, your spouse (if they are the supportive type!), other job seekers, or folks that you network with on a regular basis. Surround yourself with as many positive people as possible – just like pro athletes who like to look up in the stands to see their “team” of trainers, nutritionists, yoga instructors, and agents. You need an entourage that will help keep your self esteem in tact, challenge you to do better on the next interview, and console you when you come in second in the final job choice. Cheerleaders make the work and the grind worth it.

If you need help in finding and developing your Champions, Coaches and Cheerleaders, let me know. I’m here to help!

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