Posted by: careerworks | October 21, 2010

Who Holds You Accountable?

Most public job centers and transition experts are encouraging job seekers to “partner-up” with other job seekers to share the trials and tribulations of finding a job. This isn’t a bad idea, but I think you’ll gain more value and productivity if you employ a board of directors.

Here’s why the “partner-up” method may not be so good.

  • You’re probably using only one or two other people. That’s not a very large base of information but better than going it alone. The more points of view you can get the better!
  • The easy and convenient way to “partner-up” is with other people who are in the same circumstance that you are; unemployed. Would it be better to take advice from people who are employed? Would their connections be more active?
  • How able will you be to contribute value to your partner when you’re trying to solve the same problems they have? Often times it’s easy for us to see weaknesses in others that we can’t see on ourselves. These bilnd spots are usually the result of people not giving us the tough feedback that we need, at the time we need it most.
  • Are you best served by “partnering-up” with other people who may not have been at the same level as you, been in a totally different industry, or aren’t sure what they want to do? Probably not.

What you need instead is a Board of Directors. Just like a real board, you’ll want people who can (and will) challenge your thinking and hold you accountable. Give some consideration to a former boss you admired, search professionals, consultants from your industry and other high level people who are familiar with you and your specialty.

Avoid stacking you board with friends or buddies because they won’t provide the help and guidance you need.

Putting your team together shouldn’t be hard. For example, if you need to know what is the latest and greatest in your industry – go to the expert that you know who stays on top of all the latest developments. If you need financial help – use your financial advisor. Someone on your board needs to be comfortable delivering bad news. We can call it tough love if you prefer. This person will always shoot straight with you and tell you when you veer off track before it’s to late.

Ensure the people you choose for your board have strong active networks. They may not have a role for you in their organization but will be connected to people who do. We never know where that next opportunity will come from.

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