by Karen Kodzik

When you’re in the middle of a job hunt, an updated resume or a clean and pressed interview suit are usually at the top of your mind. What’s just as important—but often forgotten—is a good support system. Support systems can take many forms, and each type of support offers something unique:


  • One type of support system is your family. Your family may love you and want you to be happy, but they may not the best source for job search advice. They are too emotionally invested. They are, however, a good resource for reminding you what a great person you are beyond what you do for a living.
  • Friends are also a great part of your support system. They too care about you and want you to be happy and successful. Friends can sometimes be more direct and honest with you about your assets as well as shortcomings; however, most friends have not seen you in a work setting.
  • Mentors can be wonderful supporters. They may have seen you in an academic or work setting and can speak to your professional skills and qualities. Mentors are much more objective in offering advice.
  • Some job seekers often turn to former colleagues for support, but often get trapped in endless employer-bashing conversations. This is negative and counterproductive to your job search. It holds you in a negative place and the past instead of helping you move forward.
  • Belonging to groups of other unemployed people can sometimes be helpful, because you can relate to each other’s situations. But avoid groups that are negative. It’s important to stay positive during a job search, so seek out groups that have something good to offer.


Each of these groups can offer helpful support for various reasons. But a consistent piece of advice I give job seekers is never go through job transition alone. It can be very isolating time. Having the support of others can help you manage negative self-talk and misconceptions. Even if you shy aware from groups, find a job search buddy who you can confide in. You can keep each other motivated throughout the search. Lastly, consider using a professional for the most objective input and advice.


Karen Kodzik, a career management consultant and founder of Cultivating Careers, holds a master’s degree with an emphasis in career development and has worked with professionals in transition for over 13 years. She has worked inside of Fortune 500 companies, a global consulting firm, higher education, and a non-profit organization. She has coached and consulted various levels of professionals across industries throughout the country.


Reprinted with permission. See original article.