Every night during dinner my husband and I watch Seinfeld. There is an episode (the one where Elaine dances) in which she makes a toast.
“Here’s to those who wish us well, and those who don’t can go to hell”
Job hunting can be a very stressful time, especially for the unemployed. It can be easy to fall into despair, to feel isolated, and these fears are compounded by the very real stress of not having an income. We need positive people around us; ears to listen to us; real helpers not hinderers. We need to be certain that we are addressing the mental health aspects of job hunting as well as the manual processes of job hunting. We need to think of these aspects as necessities and not ignore their importance. We need to take care of ourselves and make sure those in our lives are actively appreciating and helping us through this process.
Job hunters need a buddy or a team!
I understand that not everyone has people around them like that, and that is why the internet can be so great! Here are some tips on cultivating and finding online buddies and teams that will help, not hinder your job hunt. Positivity ftw!
Find a Community
One of the main rules of the INALJ social media groups is positivity and being constructive. Some people treat the internet like a giant paper back to just scream into whether it is in anger, snarkiness, sadness, bitterness, or they just are jerks as soon as they have access. I won’t let those people engage with my community members because job hunters need a safe space to ask for help, to ask questions and to seriously buckle down and find jobs to apply to. I also belong to many other social media groups and recommend the following:
- INALJ: We are on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn but it is our LinkedIn community that we steer people towards in order for them to ask questions and get answers. Though anyone can join, it is a private group and comments are moderated. I made it private so that search engines can’t scrape it and post your questions publicly in their results. I moderate because you should be able to have a safe space to ask questions in. I believe this strongly.
- My Top 5 LinkedIn Groups for Job Seekers: I have found camaraderie and friendship in several jobs specific LinkedIn groups for librarians; LIS Career Options, Librarians in the Job Market, Librarianship Job Search and Careers (subgroup of ALA), and Librarian Alternatives. These are the ones I joined but there are others. Search LinkedIn for more.
- Browse first: take the temperature and tone of any group you consider joining first before launching yourself into the discussions. This way you will know if it fits your needs for positivity and constructive criticism.
Join an Association & Participate
I love supporting multiple associations both in our field and outside of it. For those who are unemployed the annual dues are often affordable and the networking and learning opportunities you will find are invaluable. However, the real value is on participating on committees or in any way the group needs. Not only will you be more likely to find mentors and friends who will support you in your job hunt, you will also gain new skills for your resume! Associations thrive on supporting their communities and providing opportunities for volunteers. Make sure before you sign up for any volunteer opportunity or committee that you fully understand the time commitments. That is key because so much of your time and energy need to be focused on other commitments (family, friends, job hunting) but the value IS there if you make the time.
In the end this is all about you. Those who will help you (emotionally, with job training, networking, etc) are those you need to cultivate and surround yourself with. I am so grateful for the internet and the positive communities we can choose to join and participate it. No matter where you are, you can find someone to be your buddy or a team to join. Cut out the naysayers and make You the priority. Here is hoping you get a job soon!