Ask Dr. Job’s chief contributor, Sandra Pesmen, is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide.”

Winner of several journalism awards, Pesmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois Media College at Urbana, and is listed in several Who’s Who editions. She also has been Corporate Features Editor of Crain Communications Inc., founding Features Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a reporter/features writer for The Chicago Daily News.

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Finds New Job in Six Months

-Every day we hear about qualified people who have been job-hunting for weeks, months and even years with no success.

Then here comes Roberta Powell, an executive in the technology media, events and research sector of an executive search firm. She worked for her previous employer seven years, and after leaving that job, found this one in only six months.

How did she do it? Below are some of her methods you can apply to your own job search:

 Peer Pressure - it really works: Roberta was part of an internal peer-to-peer networking group called the "Success Circle" through her executive search team that provided her with invaluable opportunities, camaraderie, and direction in her job search. If job seekers do not have access to an official networking group, they can find various groups via MeetUps, social media, or just doing a search on "job search networking groups".

Peer networking exchange groups provide an ample amount of "good and beneficial peer pressure" to help job seekers keep moving and figure out best practices for their job search. They will ask each week: "What kind of questions are you being asked in interviews? Who is hiring? Who do you know at a particular company?" "Can I get LinkedIn to your friend at XYZ Company?" Besides the networking aspect of the peer-to-peer networking group, Roberta found her group was a tremendous motivator. She thought maybe it had to do with her competitive nature (she is in sales), but she didn't want to go back to class without any updates. She didn't want to say, "I didn't make any search calls" or "I only researched 2 companies".

 It IS Who You Know: Networking Stats Don't Lie: Roberta kept thorough statistics on her job search. She had many networking meetings (10), but what is most impressive is the number of interviews she obtained via her networking contacts! Nine out of the 10 interviews she had in her six months of looking for a job were landed via a networking contact! Also, 50 percent of networking meetings came from people she knew, and they would say, "You want to interview at ABC Company? I have a friend there - let me call them." So if the networking proof isn't in that pudding, I'm not sure what is. Get out there and network!

 "Paying it Back" Begets Motivation and Thanks: Roberta found a completely unexpected benefit from her networking group, which was the deep desire to help the other participants. She would go to the group thinking, "How can I help the other people"? This is something that job seekers may find themselves feeling also.  A reversal of the "What can others do for me?" into a "How can I help my peers in this group?" feeling of giving and usefulness.  Often networking groups and "the job search" provides camaraderie and a "we are in this together" mindset. This type of support structure really helped Roberta stay motivated and be thankful for her fellow participants.

Write it Down. It Makes Your Goals Happen: On the advice of her career coach, Roberta wrote down her goals and the three (3) action items she was going to do to get there. 98% of people who write out their goals are more successful or get where they want to be. This is the best tip to produce favorable job search outcomes.

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