What Is a Job Club?

Tory Johnson explains why a job club might be the answer to your work worries.

ByTORY JOHNSON via via logo
October 15, 2008, 2:57 PM

  -- Job searching and navigating workplace challenges can be made much easier with the support of a small group of trusted peers. If you're looking for work, don't go it alone. A "Good Morning America" Job Club will help you connect with other job hunters in your area to share much-needed advice and camaraderie.

Read below to find out more.

What is a Job Club?

Job connection clubs are small groups of people across America who meet regularly to talk candidly about job searching and career advancement with the goal of supporting the success of all members.

Looking for work and navigating career challenges are made easier when you're not alone. Similar to book clubs without the books, investment clubs without stocks and bonds and weight loss clubs without a focus on diet and exercise, job clubs are rooted in the belief that each member has something valuable to contribute and that everyone benefits from the advice and encouragement from the diverse group dynamic.

To support your success, we'll provide the basic tools to get you started and keep you motivated along the way. This includes an outline of steps to form your own group and suggested agendas, including specific discussion topics to help facilitate a healthy give and take among attendees. Within your group, members will swap leads, offer feedback, conduct mock interviews, tackle challenges and encourage one another's weekly success. Members are responsible for celebrating each other's strengths and collectively developing smart, savvy solutions to overcome the obstacles faced in a job hunt.

Why start or join a job club?

Most of us don't relish the idea of embarking on a job search. It can be a lonely and discouraging process. Because of the length of time it can take to find work, many people lose momentum and grow frustrated. But it doesn't have to be that way.

Becoming part of a local job club can offer valuable assistance and renewed optimism. It may also bring a strong sense of accountability that gets you going in the right direction. When you know that your fellow members expect to hear regularly about your progress, you're more inclined to have a productive period leading up to the club meeting.

The same can be said for other important life tasks, such as losing weight. Many people are more successful when they participate in formal weekly weigh-ins or when they partner with a buddy to cheer each other to victory. That's the kind of support and potential for success that's offered in a job club.

Power Among Peers

Unemployment takes an obvious toll not only on your finances, but also on your self-esteem. It's hard to send out resume after resume with no response. It can also affect personal relationships when a loved one pesters you about why it's taking so long to find a job or people wonder what's wrong with you.

Those pressures often make it even more difficult to feel confident in yourself and your abilities and to maintain momentum in your search.

By joining together with peers in your community who understand exactly what you're experiencing -- because they're going through the same thing -- you can plot and plan together to keep one another focused on achieving your goals.

Securing a job is a process. If you wake up each day with the pressure to get hired that day, you'll go to sleep nightly feeling like a failure.

Think about dieting: Each day can't be focused on losing 10 pounds. Instead, it's about making the right choices, avoiding tempting foods and exercising. Ultimately, over time, you're able to reach your goal of dropping those 10 pounds.

When you divide your job search into daily tasks and weekly goals, you stand a better chance of fulfilling the overall goa of landing a job with greater ease. Your involvement in a job club can help facilitate that process.

What if I already have a good job?

Even if you're happily employed, you too can be a great asset to a job club in your area. Use your experience, knowledge and contacts to support the goals of each member. Like any other volunteer initiative, treat your participation in the job club as a serious commitment that you'll stick with weekly to make a difference in your community among your peers.

How can a group of people with no training as career coaches really help each other to find jobs?

Time and again people with personal challenges can help others facing similar challenges better than they can help themselves. You may not be able to give yourself the best advice, and you may have difficulty seeing the forest through the trees, so to speak. But you're probably very good at guiding others in their moments of need.

By forming a job club, you can use the extensive job-related templates and tools on this site, plus the knowledge, wisdom and experience of eight to 12 highly motivated members to engage in a healthy give and take aimed at helping everyone succeed.

What do job clubs talk about?

While the weekly structure may be the same, the varied topics of discussion mean that no two meetings are exactly alike. You'll tackle any number of issues: where to find legitimate job leads and how to get your calls returned; working with placement agencies and prepping for interviews; figuring out your passion and effectively applying for the right opportunities; overcoming rejection and turning "No" into "YES"; and battling perceived age discrimination and understanding generational differences.

Each attendee will update the group on his or her progress and challenges, and you'll end each meeting with a commitment from each member to address specific tasks during the week ahead. There's no shortage of stuff to talk about.

To read more about Tory Johnson's first job connection clubclick here.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events