John is considering leaving his job before he has his next opportunity lined up, but he doesn’t have 3-6 months of expenses saved and asks “What will I do with all of my free time? Though counseling, I addressed his desire to leave and inability to do so. I found a few areas that may be hindering John’s ability to make the change.
John is sporadic and undisciplined in his approach. He will spend 2-3 hours each week on his job search for a month or two and then stop or do very little for another couple of months. He will spend the latter time seeing friends, going to parties and working on other projects at home. I am stressing to him that he must do a few hours a week, even if he thinks there is a job that he will be offered. “You don’t stop the search until you have an offer in writing,’ I say.
John lacks accountability when it comes to his job search. John has two close friends who he met through online courses and were his accountability partners. He has continued a relationship with both of them and they have regular contact. The two friends share their progress in areas of their life, but John doesn’t discuss his search or his challenges. “Why do you have accountability partners that you don’t use?” I asked. John said he is embarrassed to admit to them that he hasn’t made much headway in 6 months.
John should consider attending a job search club or job seeker’s group. John works in New York City and there are several options, including the 5 O’clock club.
This club meets for two hours each week; a one hour lecture and one hour of small group where everyone reports and gives feedback to each other. He said his schedule is pretty full and that he doesn’t want to add an evening commitment to his already tight schedule. He also says that he has read books on the subject and has tools and techniques from our counseling together.
The bottom line is that John must have an accountability system in place. That can be a job search club, reporting to his friends and former accountability partners or meeting with a job search coach. He would also need to commit to 3-4 non-negotiable hours a week for his job search.
I told John that he must make a decision on what system he puts in place and that this will likely lead to more clarity and the ability to move out of his current job.
Kay Gimmestad, LCSW-C is a business coach and clinician in New York City with 20 years of experience working in the profit and not for profit sectors of Human Resources, Health and Human Services. She has built a reputation for being highly skilled in facilitating behavior change while working with employees, both individually and in groups, on matters relating to performance management, substance abuse, crisis intervention, and stress/wellness.