Do you wish you had someone to talk to—fairly often and informally—about the little things? “Here’s what I’m planning to do today in my search? What are you planning to do? Let’s talk tomorrow to make sure we’ve done it.” You and your job search buddy could keep each other positive and on track, and encourage each other to do what you told your small group you were going to do:
Make that call, send out those letters, write that follow-up proposal, focus on the most important things that should be done—rather than (for example) spending endless hours responding to job postings on the Web.
With your buddy, practice your Two-Minute Pitch, get ready for interviews, bounce ideas off each other. Some job-search buddies talk every day. Some talk a few times a week. Most of the conversation is by phone and e-mail.
Sometimes, people match themselves up as buddies. Just pick someone you get along with in your small group. Sometimes, your coach can match you up. However you do it, stay away from negative people who talk about how bad it is out there. They will drag you down.
The small group changes over time: people get jobs; new people come in. If you lose one buddy who got a job, get another buddy.
Your buddy does not have to be in your field or industry. In fact, being in the same field or industry could keep you focused on the industry rather than on the process. But you do have to get along! The relationship may last only a month or two, or go on for years. Some buddies become friends.
Of course, you should see your Five O’Clock Club career coach privately for resume review, target development, salary negotiation, and job interview follow-up. It’s usually best to get professional coaching advice for these areas.