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Least Favorite Job Search Phase
Sweeping the Sweepers and Keeping the Keepers Print
Career Tips - Supersonic Searching Mondays
Written by Abby Kohut   

During a job search, there are many different kinds of people that you will connect with to help you reach your goals. Some will be welcome additions to your team who will help you rise to the challenge. Others will be uninvited guests who unintentionally sweep trouble into your life and potentially hamper your success. One key to your success will be to learn to differentiate between the Keepers and the Sweepers.

Keepers are people who are your cheerleaders regardless of the choices that you make. These are the friends and family who believe in you whether you announce your choice to become a lawyer or a funeral director. They believe that the career decisions you make, no matter what they are, are right for you because you chose them. They are there to help you succeed and not to judge. These are wonderful people to have in your life and should be deeply appreciated as you may discover them to be few and far between. You should share all of your job search successes with them and enjoy the cheerleading that ensues.

When you are job hunting or considering a career change, a great person to add to your Keeper list is a former manager who believed you were an absolute superstar when you were working for them. You know who I am talking about. Even if you have lost touch with this person, he or she will still enjoy receiving an e-mail from you requesting their help in boosting your confidence. Ask them where you excelled and what your strengths were. Tell them what new goals you have and ask them if they have any advice for you. Re-establishing ties provides an extra benefit in that you may also be able to ask them to act as a reference.

Job search buddies can also be excellent Keepers. These are people that you meet at in-transition groups who are conducting a similar search, even if it is for the same job in the same city. You can both cheer each other on and divide and conquer the job boards. You can mock interview each other and review each other's resumes. Two heads are better than one, and three or four turn you into a force to be reckoned with.

And then we have the Sweepers. These are the people who tell us how we should be living our lives and are typically reminding us of the mistakes we are making. A Sweeper might say, "I told you not to take that job - I knew that you weren't cut out for it" or "you should have worn a better suit for your interview" or "starting a business is crazy - you'll never be able to make it work in this economy". Sound familiar? Having a Sweeper in your daily life can be detrimental to your job search as they will slowly take little bites out of your confidence.

The good news about Sweepers is that sometimes they convey an important and grounded perspective - that is, they aren't always downers. But unfortunately, Sweepers frequently confuse what is right for YOU with what THEY would do in your shoes. So don't avoid them completely, but carefully consider what they say and then consciously decide what advice to keep and what to throw away. Or simply keep the Sweepers at bay until you have some great news about your new job to share with them.

Absolutely Abby’s Advice:
Find and attract as many Keepers as you can find. They will help keep you focused, on track, and motivated. They will also provide a "pick me up" when you are down. At the same time, make an effort to identify the people who are sweeping away your confidence and ask for encouragement instead. Soon you will be on a path to exponential success!
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Drawn from my 18 years of experience and research in recruiting and Human Resources, my blog posts are intended to provide insight into what corporate recruiters and Human Resource professionals look for when they are evaluating your qualifications. Simply reading these blogs will not guarantee you success. However, consistently applying the strategies mentioned, as well as developing your own personal interview style, will greatly enhance your chances of victory amidst the competition. I wish you the best of luck with your search as you begin to take charge of your career!