The job-hunting landscape has changed so much even in the past year or so. The options seem endless and just the thought of having to deal with it can be overwhelming.
If you’re in the thick of a job search, or contemplating one, you may be feeling discouraged and daunted.
You may have found that commiserating with someone else who’s facing the same obstacles and situations has had a tremendous calming and affirming impact.
How about taking that a step further and try co-mentoring?
The idea is to partner with another executive job seeker to support each other throughout the process. Someone who’s going through just what you are. Someone with whom you can pool resources, share connections and job search tips learned along the way, and swap experiences.
Consider how co-mentoring is benefitting me in my executive resume writing and career services business. Business-building and job search are both marketing exercises, so this concept applies to both efforts.
I met “Julie”, a Washington, DC-based (I’m in NJ) executive resume writer/career specialist, a year ago at an intimate professional roundtable for careers industry practitioners. I was impressed with her level of expertise and willingness to share it. A follow-up component of the roundtable was monthly phone updates for our group of 5 attendees.
The meetings with the whole group fizzled out after about 6 months, but Julie and I made plans to meet up at the upcoming international convention of one of the professional associations we both belong to.
At the convention we connected more deeply and began planning how we could strategize together to build and manage our businesses.
Since the convention, we formalized our co-mentoring partnership through bi-weekly sessions by phone in which we brainstorm ideas and share strategies we’ve tried that have worked – anything from resume writing best practices, tech tips, and client management to possible new services to roll out.
We both have similar levels of experience and expertise. We’re each a little more savvy in some areas than the other. We each have different connections within the careers industry to tap into and share.
She completely understands the pitfalls and frustrations that come with being an entrepreneur and the specific challenges we face in our industry.
It’s a relationship that’s becoming more and more beneficial to both of us each time we connect. Any time I’ve helped her overcome a challenge, she’s reciprocated. I’ve learned so much from her already and we’ve just begun. I know she feels the same.
Granted, co-mentoring with a competitor targeting the same jobs as you may not work for you. But in your networking efforts you may come across someone who is in a similar job search and has the same level of expertise as you. She/he may be a good fit as a co-mentor.
Reciprocity is critical for co-mentoring to be mutually beneficial. If you both equally balance give-and-take, I think co-mentoring can work for you as you both navigate the ups and downs of executive job search.