Questions You May Have About
the Weekly Job-Search Strategy Group
The Weekly Job-Search Strategy Group is a Professional Career-Counseling Program presented at meetings of The Five O’Clock Club, “America’s Premier Career Counseling Network.”
Job hunters are not always the best judges of what they need during a search. For example, most are interested in lectures on answering ads or working with search firms. We will cover those topics, but, strategically, they are relatively unimportant in an effective job search.
At The Five O’Clock Club, you get the information you really need in your search–such as how to target more effectively, how to get more interviews, and how to turn job interviews into offers.
What’s more, you will work in a small group with some of the best counselors around. In these strategy sessions, your group will help you decide what to do, this week and every week, to move your search along. And you will learn by coaching and being coached by others in your group.
Here are a few other points:
- For best results, attend on a regular basis. Your group gets to know you and will coach you to eliminate whatever you may be doing wrong–or refine what you are doing right.
- Those who think they need to come to a session only to ask a quick question are usually wrong. Often the problem started weeks before the job hunter realized it. Or the problem may be more complex than the job hunter realizes and require a few sessions to straighten out.
- The Five O’Clock Club is a “members only” organization. Membership is $49 a year and includes a Beginners Kit to get you started in your search, a subscription to our newsletter, and other benefits. To get started in the small group sessions, you must purchase a minimum of ten sessions, which includes the set of 15 audiotaped presenttions on Five O’Clock Club methodology.
- After that, you may purchase groups of a minimum of five or ten sessions to continue in the group.
- If you miss a session, you may make it up at any time. You may even transfer unused time to a friend.
- Although many people find jobs quickly (even people who have been unemployed a long time), others have more difficult searches. Plan to be in it for the long haul and you’ll do better.
- Carefully read all of the material in the Beginner’s Kit that you got with your membership in The Five O’Clock Club.
- The first week you attend, pay attention to the strategies used by the others in your group. Soak up all the information you can.
- Read the books before you come in the second week. They will help you move your search along.
- Fill out an application for the ‘Insider’ Program. If you are not already a member, we can sign you up for membership when we process your Insider program application.
- If you are already a member, just call 212-286-9332 to reserve a space for the first time you will attend. Remember that the program is continuous and yu can start at any time.
- Read the books ahead of time, or purchase them before your first meeting.
To assign you to a small group, we need to know:
- your current (or last) field or industry,
- the kind of job you woul like next (if you know),
- your desired salary range in general terms.
If you would rather see a private counselor before starting, you must be a member. Then fill out the Coach Request Form or call 1-800-538-6645 ext. 210 for suggested names.
What Happens at the Meetings?
Each week , job searchers from various industries and professions meet in small groups. Some groups specialize in professionals, managers and executives. Others in recent college graduates. Usually, half are employed; half unemployed.
The weekly program is in two parts. First, there is an audiotaped lecture on an aspect of The Five O’Clock Club methodology (to be listened to ahead of time). Job hunters meet weekly in small teleconferenced groups headed by senior full-time, professional career counselors.
Get the text books, audio CD’s and beginners Kit. Listen to the lecture and get assigned to your small group. During the first session, listen to the others in your group. You learn a lot by listening to how your peers are strategizing their searches.
By the second week, you will have read the materials. Now we can start to work on your search strategy and help you decide what to do next to move your search along. For example, we’ll help you figure out how to get more interviews in your target area, or how to turn an interview into a job offer.
In the third week , you will see major progress in the other members of your group, and you may notice major progress in your own search as well.
By the third or fourth week , most members are conducting a full and effective search. Over the remaining weeks, you will tend to keep up a full search rather than go after only one or two possibilities. You will regularly aim to have 6 to 10 things “in the works” at all times. These will generally be in specific target areas that you have identified, will keep your search on target, and increase your chances of getting multiple job offers to choose from.
Those who stick with the process find that it works.
Some people prefer to just observe for a few weeks before they start their job search, and that’s okay, too.
How Much Does it Cost?
It is against the policy of The Five O’Clock Club to charge inidividuals heavy up-front fees. (Our competitors charge $4000 to $6000 up front.) A typical Five O’Clock Club fee is 10 session for $400 for those who have earned less than $100,000 a year and $600 for 10 sessions for those who want to be in the $100,000 and over group. This fee includes audiotapes of fifteen presentations. (Note: Those who attend physical meetings do not get free audiotapes.) For administrative reasons, we charge for 5 or 10 additional sessions at a time.
You must have the materials so you can look at them before the second session. That’s why it is important for you to buy the four books — perhaps at our website. Otherwise, you will tend to waste the time of the others in the group by asking questions that are covered in the texts.
Is The Club right for me?
The Five O’Clock Club process is for you if:
- You are looking for a job or consulting work.
- You have some idea of the kind of work you want.
- You are a professional, manager or executive — or want to be.
- You want to participate in a group process on a regular basis.
- You realize that finding or changing jobs and careers is hard work . . . which you are absolutely willing and able to do.
If you have no idea about the kind of job you want next, you may attend one or two group sessions to start. Then, however, see a counselor privately for one or two sessions, develop tentative job targets, and then return to the group. You may work privately with your small-group counselor or contact us for recommendations through our website (fill out a Coach Request Form), or by calling 1-800-538-6645 ext. 210.
How long will it take me to get a job?
Although our members tend to be from fields or industries where they expect to have a difficult search, the average person who attends regularly finds a new position within ten sessions. Some take less time, and others take more.
One thing we know for sure: research shows that those who get regular coaching during their searches get jobs faster and at higher rates of pay than those who search on their own or simply take a course . This makes sense. If a person comes only when they think they have a problem, they are usually wrong. They probably had a problem a few weeks ago, but didn’t realize it. Or the problem may be different from what they thought. Those who come regularly benefit from the observations others make about their searches. Problems are solved before they become severe, or are prevented altogether.
Those who attend regularly also learn a lot by paying attention and helping others in the group. This “second-hand” learning can cut weeks from your search. When you hear the problems of others who are ahead of you in the search, you can avoid those problems completely. People in your group will come to know you, and will point out subtleties you may not have noticed and interviewers will never tell you.
Will I be with others from my same field/industry?
Probably, but it’s not that important. If you were a salesperson, for example, would you want to be with seven other salespeople?
Probably not. You will learn a lot and have a much more creative search if you are in a group with people who are in your general salary range but not exactly like you. Our clients are from virtually every field and industry. The process is what will help you. The search techniques are the same for anyone assigned to your small group.
We’ve been doing this since 1978, and understand your needs. That’s why the mix we provide is the best you can get.
How can you charge such a small session fee?
- We have no advertising costs because 90% of those who attend have been referred by other members.
A hefty up-front fee would bind you to us, but we have been more succcessful by treating people ethically and having them pretty much “pay as they go.” We need a certain number of people to cover expenses. When lots of people get jobs quickly and leave us, we could go intot he red. But so long as members refer others, we will continue to provide this service at a fair price.
- We focus strictly on job search strategy, and encourage our clients to attend free outside support groups if they need emotional support. We focus on getting jobs, which reduces the time clients spend with us and the amount they pay.
- We attract the best counselors, and our clients make more progress per session than they would elsewhere, which also reduces their costs.
- We have expert administrators and a sophisticated computer system that reduces our overhead and increases our ability to track your progress.
May I change counselors?
Yes. Some care is taken in assigning you to your initial counselor. However, if you want to change once for any reason, you may do it. We don’t encourage group hopping: it is better for you to stick with a group so that everyone gets to know you. On the other hand, we want you to feel comfortable. So if you tell The Five O’Clock Club you prefer a different group, you will be transferred immediately.
What if I have questions outside of the group?
Some people prefer to see their group counselor privately. Others prefer to meet with a different counselor to get another point-of-view. Whatever you decide, remember that the group fee does not cover counselor time outside of the group session.
Therefore, if you want to be able to ask a counselor a “quick question” in between sessions, you would normally meet with the counselor first for a private session so he or she gets to know you better. “Easy, quick questions” are often more complicated than they appear. After your first private session, some counselors will allow you to pay in advance for one hour of counseling time, which you can then use for quick questions (usually a 15-minute minimum is charged). Since each counselor has an individual way of operating, find out how the counselor arranges these things.
What if I want to start my own business?
The process of becoming a consultant is essentially the same as job hunting, and lots of consultants attend regular Five O’Clock Club meetings. However, if you want to buy a franchise or an existing business or start a growth business, you should see a private counselor.
How can I be sure that The Five O’Clock Club small group sessions will be right for me?
Whatever you decide, just remember that it has been proven that those who receive regular help during their searches get a job faster and at higher rates of pay than those who search on their own or simply attend a course. If you get a job just one or two weeks faster because of this program, it will more than have paid for itself. And you may transfer unused sessions to anyone you choose. However, the person that you choose must be or become a member.
The Five O’Clock Club is plain, easy-going and unconventional. . . . Members or guests need not don their dress suits to attend the meetings. (From the Club History, written in the 1890′s)