The Buddy-System

    Have you been looking for a job for more than 6 months? More than a year? If you have been looking for a job for an extended period of time, and have not seen the results you are looking for, then I have a suggestion I would like you to try on. I call it “The Buddy-System.” This is a pretty straightforward job hunting method with a new spin on it. Studies have shown that 80% of job seekers find jobs through casual acquaintances. Many people have heard this statistic before, but how many job seekers have maximized its potential?

    People often look for jobs within their circle of friends or connections. The only problem with this is that those people likely know the same people that you know, and so they may not be the best resource for you in your job search. I suggest, broadening your network by finding yourself a “buddy” who is not part of your normal networking group, and who is also looking for a job. Networking events are great, but eventually your circle of connections winds up overlapping because you attend many of the same events with the same people.

    The buddy-system is based on the principle that your goal is to get your buddy a job via introductions to appropriate parties, assisting them with landing interviews, and any other methods you can think of. In turn, your buddy should do the same for you. If each person commits to doing this for their buddy, the results will be astounding. It is like having your own personal PR agent promoting you and connecting you with people 24/7.

    In order for you and your buddy to be a resource for one another, I have a few suggestions I would like to make:

    *Find a buddy outside of your normal circle of connections by using Social Media sites such as Linkedin and/or Twitter. Look for people     with common interests and goals who live in your area. Try not to connect with people you already have a direct connection with, as     your circles will likely already overlap.

    *Once you have found this buddy and proposed your new symbiotic relationship to your buddy, offer to meet with your them so that you     can get to know one another better. When you take the time to get to know your buddy better it will help you both to become a better     resource for each other.

    *Do not choose a buddy completely out of your field, otherwise they might not be able to represent you as effectively as possible if they     do not understand your business and where you are coming from. For example if you are in Engineering, you might not want to choose     someone in Human Resources for your buddy (unless they worked in HR at an engineering related company) as they may not fully     understand the scope of the work that you do.

    *Check in with your buddy daily. You want to stay fresh in each other’s minds, and communicate daily on the progress you are making.     This will help you both to stay focused on your respective job searches and will give you a sense of accountability towards one another.     You can also treat each other as confidants regarding what is happening with your job search. This can give you the sense of being     part of a team, which can help to build confidence and alleviate stress.

    *Finally, think of the buddy-system as a game. Expectations are pre-made resentments. If you EXPECT your buddy to find you a job,     and stop doing the work yourself, you will be sorely disappointed. However, if you see the buddy-system as a fun and effective way to     broaden your circle of connections, and if you use it as such, it can be a powerful tool in helping you to land your next job!


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