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  • Writer's pictureSteph

Building your job search dream team - it's easier than you think

Updated: Nov 16, 2020

Every celebrity has an entourage. You are the star of your job search. Who’s in your corner?

Job searching can feel like the most solitary activity, ever. It’s important and fun to find ways to stay connected, especially now that most of us are working/studying at home and social distancing. Nothing is more motivating than feeling supported by people who believe in you.

Below are some things to look for when forming your brain trust. As in any well-rounded team, each person brings different strengths to the table. The goal is to have several individuals whom you can turn to, depending on what you need at a given time during your job search adventure.

Take a moment, and think about the people in your life who offer one or more of the following:


A championship mindset is everything!


Motivated peers who are searching themselves or are good listeners – people who lift you up.


Kind, compassionate people to cheer you on.


The encouraging voices in your life who keep you going.


Knowledgeable people within your field or area(s) of interest. When you are just starting out, or changing careers, helpful insight can come from short, information-gathering conversations with new people.


Some of my best mentors are the ones with whom I laugh the most. The people in your life who can offer levity during tough spots are worth their weight in gold.


These ongoing relationships are usually built over time, sometimes through formalized programs. Mentor-moments can also be brief, meaningful interactions that provide learning opportunities, personal growth, professional development and networking.

Custom Addition

This is a spot(s) reserved for anyone else you may need for your specific situation to make your job search experience easier.

Who will be in your squad?

You know best what you need. When building your roster, ask yourself:

  • Which parts of my current team are strongest?

  • What elements might be missing?

  • Is there a special recruit who could add value to my team?

I’ve heard of many cool and creative MVPs in the ‘custom addition’ spot, such as weekly meditation groups, a trained counselor/therapist, employee assistance program (EAP) resource, respected clergy, regular yoga class, and even a special grandparent who makes you feel loved. Being partial, a job search coach can be a great custom-add if this is your first professional job search (or, first search in years); and, if your search has a unique need or layer of urgency.

The idea is to surround yourself with positive influences. Job searching is easier when you feel supported. Having the right people in your circle adds confidence, optimism and productivity so you can go the distance.

Putting ideas into practice

First, think about your goal and the current status of your search. In which areas could you use some insight, momentum or reinforcement? Consider who is already in your personal and professional network and where the natural matches are. Most importantly, choose among those who make you feel empowered, capable and who have your best interest at heart. Find the people who will help you brainstorm, problem solve and see the glass half-full.

Keep in mind, even though this post starts with a Hollywood reference, your own all-star team is comprised of real people who know you. Start small; keep things easy and attainable.

Next, it’s time to start connecting. Reach out as you normally would to catch up, or arrange a time to talk sometime over the next couple of weeks, at a time that is convenient for them.

Whether you reach out via text, email or phone, it does not need to be a formal ask. Simply explain what you’re up to: you’re exploring new options (or recently graduated, shifting careers, etc.) and would like to ask for their perspective or help in brainstorming. They will be intrigued and flattered; meanwhile, you’re coming from a position of strength and sincerity.

Finally, as with any team, remember to show your appreciation by thanking them within

24-hours of talking, arriving on time to any phone calls or virtual chats, being open to learning and having a good attitude. These are all good habits that build positive relationships. This way, people will be happy to speak with you again and stay in touch.

Star of the team

Above all, remember to put time and effort into the most significant member of your team...


I want you to be the biggest advocate for your goals. You don’t need to be perfect; each of us is learning. All that any good mentor or positive influence asks, is to try your best.

Why would someone want to be part of your job search dream team? It’s because you’re awesome, that’s why.

Overcome any hesitation in this exercise, by remembering how good it feels when someone asks for your help, input or encouragement. People like to feel needed and it’s gratifying to watch someone chase a dream. It's why we like watching sports, get swept up in a TV show character's life, savor biographies and love podcasts.

This is your story. How will it begin?

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