033 Finding Job Club Networking Groups to Accelerate your Search

Networking is the #1 way to find great new career opportunities. Getting your feet wet can be easy with a job seekers networking group. They go by many names, but with a common goal of connecting and facilitating.

Andrew and Scott share experiences with you on how and where to find networking groups for career seeking professionals..

Don’t miss these Topics:

  • How to Stay Resilient
  • Networking as a never-ending-activity
  • Common places that have networking resources.
  • Community colleges, Alumni groups, and University career resources.
  • Library and Public meeting places.
  • Professional associations
  • Outplacement, career/job coaches, and headhunters.
  • Local newspaper/classifieds
  • Local business magazine
  • Chamber of Commerce

Resources (including affiliate links)


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00:00:00 – 00:05:00

Welcome to job seekers radio. I’m Andrew, and I’m Scott, this is a podcast dedicated to providing meaningful support to find great careers faster. Whether you’re working or not we are coming to you from the city of Portland that is the city of Rosas today job seekers radio were talking about finding networking groups for job seekers. Specifically, those groups where job seekers congregate to help each other support each other in finding opportunities and really also providing maybe a little moral support right people think of support group says being something designed only for mental health you can make the claim that this helps the mental health of those who are looking for work, especially when you are looking for work for a long period of time right now, we’re in what is considered a tight job market. But that doesn’t mean that everybody gets a job right away, especially the higher the position the longer you’ve been in a career. It may not be quite as quick for you. We want to encourage everyone to look for job seekers groups that will support one another both with networking as well as ideas on how to be resilient now. It’s interesting when you’re in a job for a long time. You haven’t had a need to network and finding these groups is kind of a low stakes way for you to get started in the idea of networking would be, hey, I haven’t done this before can I practice with somebody where the stakes are low. These groups are very attractive to me primarily because I like to contribute to them. And I know you do to Scott by me, we do that currently through a group called the breakfast club. And I found that the more that I do it. The more situations. I see the more helpful. I can be right to to people. Right. We pick up the the the nuances that happened in between everyone tells and I heard this quote a while ago every. Nobody tells the same story just different versions of it. And so as we see the different versions were able to synthesize some new ideas and often we are brainstorming in these conversations. But that’s the point of a support group year. Not it’s not a good idea to walk into one thinking, I have all the answers. Or by the same token. I have none of the answers. We often have the answer somewhere in our heads. We just need open up the right doors or create the right connections in our minds to actually come across. Oh, I haven’t tried that. Or I haven’t done that in a long time. You you’re really restarting the process as you say if you’ve been in your job for a long time in you haven’t been networking one of the things that I learned during one period of unemployment that lasted three years for me that was really tough at the same time. I was told that I had all the answers within me. And so in working through those I actually. I found the way to be resilient while I was unemployed, and that’s what these groups are for. And it made you a better person on the other side, really and you came out resilient not only in that situation. But in life right in different things. Well, and that the the biggest lesson I learned from that is never stopped networking never. We talk about networking within our organizations that is vital to to creating that practice. Not having those muscles get weak or atrophied you want to practice. You wanna work out your networking muscles, the advantage that that gives you is. Nobody stays in a job forever. Eventually they’ll move onto something else. They may retire. They move to another company, but your network has long as you’re working it will continue to expand. If you keep practising. So if you find yourself without a job, you will already have a network that you can go back to. So these groups there’s. Lots of them here. Actually in our area, Portland, Oregon is actually pretty flush with groups and we’re involved in the community. So we know where they are. But it may not be easy for somebody. That’s out in the community trying to find a job Scott to actually densify these groups, right? And so we’re going to give you the listener some ideas of places on where you can find a job seekers groups, and we really recommend that you visit many of them to find the ones that work best for you. Right. Every single one of these groups is going to have a different style. A different twist a different offering, and we don’t expect everyone to fit in every group. We all have different styles. We all have different priorities. So here’s our opportunity then to approach this as fat on a fact-finding mission where I’m going to go to all of the groups that I can find and see which one is actually going to benefit me the most. And if that’s just to make me feel the best. That’s okay. Because eventually you’ll.

00:05:00 – 00:10:00

See where it leads you. And if it isn’t leading you in the direction, you want there are there’s another one that you can join or it’s an opportunity for you to actually make a difference in that group, if it’s not to the level or standard that you wanna sure, and I think that’s something that you did when you came to breakfast club is, hey, there was an opportunity for you to contribute Sharm. You wanted to take her group in the way that these groups really take on the the personality of the the folks that are moderating shore the first place in the first location that you can look for these groups is something called job club. Now. This is something that goes way back, and there’s actually I think of book I think is out of print, but there is a philosophy about job club where it was set up like a sales organization, right? And you had show up to jog club at eight o’clock and from eight o’clock to noon, you would be setting up meetings and from noon to five o’clock, you’d be out meeting people. Right. And it was the the premise was making job out of looking for a job. We’ve. I’ve seen other groups take that to be a little less structured it. But it as you say, it’s not a new idea. It’s something that works for a lot of people. Whether there is one in your area will depend on the the kind of marketplace that you live in. But I would start out by doing a simple internet. Search a Google search for job club to see what comes up in your area. Yeah. You what you might find is people call it job club. But it’s not really job club. It’s right. It’s they’re using the name to name their club not actually following the same principles. Absolutely. But then you can also bring that to those job clubs in your search in the way, you conduct your time. So if you find the the the book if it is out of print on sure that you’ll be able to find resources online there. They actually have a snippet of the concept inside of what color is your parachute. There’s actually a whole chapter on effective job. Search extent, I think is actually really good. And so we’ll leave a copy of that resource in the show notes. The next area, I suggest people go. At least in Portland is worked source now that is a division of the department of labor that’s actually administered by the state of Oregon. Right. So in your state, it might be called something different, right and California. For example. It’s the economic development department or employment development department. Sorry. It’s everybody calls it EDD, but they contract with private entities to actually do the job seeking help. I was involved with that many years ago when I got laid off from job when I was working LA. It was a really good resource. They do a lot of things to help you build your skills in looking for work. If you don’t have a computer at home, they will make computers available to you. They have different workshops that you can attend and all of that is free of charge. It’s paid by tax money. So it’s trying. To get people back into the workforce, giving them skills to find those jobs for which they are actually qualified the leaders that sometimes facilitate those programs also have a job seekers group or a networking meet up, then they also moderate, I know here in in Hillsborough, which is a suburb of Portland they have one on Mondays and Fridays in it’s geared around high-tech. So there’s a high-tech networking group that’s facilitated by a resource out of work source. Right. And you’ll find the contact information for your local labor labor office. I would give them a call and ask to speak with someone who knows about these resources that can help get you started in your search. I if you are unemployed, and you don’t know about this resource. That’s that that’s offered through your state. I think that’s probably your top priority is to. Contact them and make yourself available to their resources there. You don’t have to pay anything for it. And they’re usually up-to-date occasionally, they will have restrictions if you’re not an unemployment or employment compensation, or you know, they designate people round you go in there. So there are certain services that that may not be available. So I think Scott his right. It’s an it’s grew idea to actually call them and see what resources aren’t available to you. So that you don’t end up spending half the day finding the local office waiting in line and taking a number and right, and that’s good point. Every state has different rules in my experience. They would take anybody in that office. It wasn’t like unemployment benefits where the qualifications are pretty strict. This was have you don’t have work. We will help you find it. But that was the office that I worked in in Long Beach, California. I know that different states work a little differently and the the office.

00:10:00 – 00:15:00

Mrs here generally will help you navigate that. Well, if if you aren’t eligible, they typically have a list of resources, or or can point you in the rice correction says Iceland, the next location is community colleges in a lot of these Labor Department programs could potentially be delivered through a community college. But it’s also an additional resource that you might consider to find some of these groups, right? Some states offer vocational training at no cost or at a nominal cost. These are also really good ways to meet people when you find them at the community college level, you’re opening up even more doors to your networking when you go there, and you’re talking to people who are involved in either administering these workshops or somehow connected tangentially, if you can get into conversation with them, you’re going to open your network even further so it’s a really good way to meet people. But you also. So can attend these meetings that have a theme or purpose or some commonality. So that you’re not talking to just a complete stranger. You may be talking to somebody. You don’t know. But with a similar skill set or similar expertise or similar experience. So you have something in common that really facilitates the conversation while again, you may want to place a phone call to the community college information desk. Sure, what have you go to their website do a search on on an event calendar or or see what sort of groups might be available that are meeting there? Right. And then there’s also the large colleges and universities. There alumni groups almost always have some kind of job helper. Whatever that’s called it at the different university’s. But they they want to help their graduates to move on in their careers. That is the point of getting the college education. Right. If you are a college graduate, your alumni association is a great place to. Start and you don’t have to be in the same community where your university is. For example. I went to a university in a different state, but they can put me in touch with other alumni here in the Portland area while that so it just occurred to me that libraries might be another resource because they are a public place where groups can meet so not uncommon. If you went to the local library the community library, you might find a list of events in long behold, one of the events that that particular room is blocked off for is some kind of career search group, right? Great point. Professional associations are another avenue that you can take. If you are a member of an association of you’re probably are already aware of job postings that they have there. But if you are in professional line of business that has an associated association connected to it or debt is made up of people within. In your industry. That’s a really good resource. Now, they will have membership dues, but some of them offer scholarships. So if you are not employed, but you do have the expertise, you can actually get around that by being allowed to attend their job seekers groups, and then hopefully finding the job you would become the member of the other thing, I considered since I am one is local career coaches is sometimes they’ll be privy to different groups that are available and where they meet, and it’s not uncommon that I give somebody just a list of local resources so that they can take advantage of them. It’s also not uncommon that a career coach might actually be leading one of these job seekers groups as do as I do with the breakfast club. Although, you know, it really just depends on your which you’re looking to get out of it. I do it as a community service because it was something that really helped me, right? There’s usually a cost involved in with most coaches, but I it’s been my experience. That reaching out to them and having a first conversation sort of an introductory session. They often will waive a fee for that to at least get people on the right track. If they feel that they can help you with your search, and you have the resources to pay that I highly recommend it. Because now you have one on one help where they can help you figure out where your gaps are in whether that’s in your networking or in your job search specifically, whether it’s resume that you need to tweak. Whether it’s the way, you put your cover letter together job coaches are incredibly helpful. If you have the resources to pay for them. Now, there’s also outplacement companies companies that actually are helping people transition from employment to being laid off to actually finding employment again. And so the outplacement companies a lot of times, we’ll have not only list of or access.

00:15:01 – 00:20:00

To some kind of resources, but they may also hold those kind of networking events inside their their company offices. Yes, I’ve participated in those they’re very helpful. If only to help me expand my network now, I’ve it’s been kind of hit miss on some of them, and I’ve gone to a number of them different different brands, if you will not every single event is going to give you a silver bullet not every single networking opportunity is going to help you make that next contact. But again, it’s going to help you connect with the other people looking and to help you in that sense of support. So I still even if you don’t meet somebody that’s taking you to the next level in every time you go. It’s still worth going the next thing to consider his head owners or recruiting firms. I’ve run across recruiting firms all the time that are having these networking things to find candidates, right? And so it’s an opportunity for them to host something do a community. Service and and find some candidates right and the temporary job placement. Companies says, well, they can be really instrumental one if you really need a job. Now, it won’t be a real high pay most of the time, but you will be working, and when you can show that you’re working for this temporary agency for the period of time when you’re still looking for that dream job, you will fill the unemployment gap. So in your resume, you won’t have a gap. You’ll show that you are working for the temporary agency when it comes to recruiting firms or head hunters. They also will be that they have a vested interest. If they they they’re working with you. They have an interest in placing you. So it’s not just a grind. They they can be really instrumental one thing that I learned working with some head hunting organizations is that they are going to create a different version of your resume. Nearly every company gives you a different view. They want. Something slightly different. And one of the recruiters that I talked to a little more than a year ago. Made the best gave me the best advice. I’d heard and that is keep using the resume that gets you calls if there’s one that you got some responses for and another one that you didn’t use the one that got you the responses it’s always good to get that kind of firsthand input. From a valued source store ahead hunter. I also think it’s important to maybe look at church groups, faith, based organizations that have some kind of ministry out there that, you know, even though you may not be into that kind of thing. They’re still valuable and what comes to mind for me is a lake grove Presbyterian. And what they do here in Portland that they have whole program set up. They assign you a mentor. They have curriculum. They meet every week. I mean, it’s a real rail program, and it’s not faith based in the sense that they’re going to try to convert you that’s what really turned turned me. Around with them. Because of course, I made the assumption that they were going to try to bring me into their church fold and not just helped me drive you right? And that’s not the case with this group. There may be some that do and if that’s not your thing if you’re not part of that community. That’s okay. Find one that does it differently. But the point is your faith based organizations are a community. And if there is an opportunity for you, especially if you have an affinity with that group, you’re going to open up more doors to the networking that is going to get you eventually talking to the right people. So how do we find these things we’ve talked around a lot of different resources, and hey, just do a Google search or a couple of the sites that I would highly recommend the first one being event bright. And that’s where we advertise the breakfast club primarily because it’s free, and we don’t charge for it. So for us to have a paid service doesn’t make sense. So I think there’s going to be a lot more. I’m just making assumptions posted on event bright, and you. You can go to a bright dot com. Just do a simple search in your area. And maybe we would recommend some a keywords to search for. Sure. Just to clarify event. Bright, be our IT. I’m surprised at how well used that site has become it used to be just for a special events and trying to get people to buy tickets to it and over the past few years that they’ve been around they really have taken often branched out into things other than specific events like concerts, and and small theater ticket sales. The like, they’re really becoming very popular. So I agree. I would start there. The other place have ago is meet up. Meet up dot com is well known within the job seekers general community. I will say that different cities have different levels of our participation some cities, for example, where I was in southern California years ago. Meet up was not really big on the job, finders arena. They were more about the social networking. You could.

00:20:00 – 00:23:00

Find a few in some key areas. But here in Portland there are a lot of networking opportunities listed there. And I know there are in other cities as well. So when you go to those sites type in keywords like job club or professional networking for career seekers. Whatever you wanna do just use those keyword strings, and and see what you can find in your local community. Right networking is an important word to include. Obviously job would be something you want put in there to be sure to put your greater metropolitan area name in there. So you’re reaching beyond. If you live in a small town, you mentioned Hillsborough. That’s where I live. It’s a relatively small town. But if I put Portland it will include Hillsborough. So just bear that in mind when you’re doing your search it occurred to me another resource might be a local newspaper and a lot of those gone online. But they’re still publishing an event for a certain things or they might run a story about a job seekers grew or an. And they still have classifieds. And I know that sounds, but they still have them. And it’s it’s great because now you’re not looking at a national database, and whatever they give you you’re looking for things that are really local the other thing would be the business newspapers like for us. It was his journal the business journal, which I think is a national by large cities, the other one would be Oregon business pressure. There’s a business magazine or publication in your geography and call your chamber of commerce. They’ll no they’ll have resources available as well. There are other ideas. So what we’d like to do at? This point is to have you go to job seekers radio dot com and give us feedback on some of the tips that you would provide others in looking for networking groups where open to answer questions or to forward, new ideas. We don’t have all the ideas here. So please, let us know what works for you. Good a job seekers radio dot com forward slash zero three three that will bring it to the show notes for this episode. There’s a spot at the bottom where you can leave a comment or you can go up to the upper right hand side of the webpage, and there’s a contact us. But narrower you can out, you know, send us a personalized message. We need additional support. We’d love to hear from you. Well, thank you for joining us for this episode of job seekers radio, your investment of time and attention is greatly appreciated so head on over to I tunes and subscribe to get future, future episodes. And while you’re there, please. If you will give us a review rate this podcast, and let us know what you think your feedback has really important to us. And I would like to thank you the listener for actually getting us to the point where we’re our reviews are actually now showing on items. Pat’s so thank you. Your contributions are greatly appreciated to helping us get to this point in our journey until next time. All right. This is Scott, and I’m Andrew thanks so much.

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