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Career Monday: How To Ask Family And Friends For Help With Your Job Search

If daily life was more like the movies, getting a new job would take only about 10 minutes. You just wait for a family member to come along and make you a vice president in their company, or at least give you a chance to start out in the mailroom.

In reality, your loved ones may not be in a position to hire you. However, they can still be an excellent source of assistance and support.

It makes sense that anyone who cares about you would be eager to help. They may also have valuable suggestions because they know you so well.

Let your family and friends know how they can participate in your job search. Use these ideas to work together on advancing your career.

Asking for Practical Assistance:

1. Clarify your goals. It pays to be specific and brief, whether you’re approaching a stranger or a close friend. The more you know about what kind of job you want and what kind of help you need, the easier it is for others to assist you.

2. Find leads. Your family and friends may not work in your field, but they could have neighbors and tennis partners who do. They can pass along names to contact and write letters of recommendation in some cases.

3. Rehearse interviews. Put on your business suit and stage a mock interview. Practice talking about your background and answering difficult questions while your sister pretends to be the hiring manager.

4. Proofread documents. Ensure that your cover letters and resumes are free from typos. A fresh set of eyes can spot errors you’d miss.

5. Master technology. Your next interview may be a Zoom call. Ask a friend who keeps up with the latest devices to look over your equipment and recommend anything new you might want to buy.

6. Upgrade social media. Do you know someone with hundreds of Instagram followers? They might be able to show you how to market yourself online using a variety of platforms.

7. Attend hiring events. Bring a companion with you to job fairs and networking sessions. Having an ally will help you feel more confident and show off your personality.

8. Handle logistics. Think creatively about services that would come in handy. Maybe someone can give you rides downtown or babysit for your children. Maybe a stylish friend can blow out your hair and give you makeup tips.

Asking for Moral Support:

1. Think positive. A cheerful attitude is contagious. Having others who believe in you makes it easier to feel hopeful about your future. Rely on them when you’re struggling through rejections and when you’re making progress.

2. Share your stories. Discuss your experiences. Sometimes you just need someone to listen to your feelings. You may also benefit from hearing how they dealt with being laid off or other career challenges.

3. Enjoy free fun. Remember to take time out to relax and refresh during your job hunt. Plan family movie nights with popcorn at home. Spend weekends hiking or visiting local parks for outdoor concerts and other community events.

4. Stay in touch. If you’re between jobs, you may miss daily chats with your coworkers. Fight isolation by reaching out to others online and off. Even if they work 9 to 5, you can still call each other or meet for breakfast or lunch.

You’ll both be happier when you give your loved ones something more constructive to do than asking whether you found a job yet. Letting your family and friends know how they can help may strengthen your relationships and shorten your search.

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