I recently met someone who has a similar academic background to mine while networking online; we agreed to be accountability partners. In addition to our academic backgrounds, we discovered during that initial conversation that we were looking for similar positions. We meet every two weeks online to discuss what we are working on and how our respective searches are progressing.
Granted, we’ve only met a few times, but I have already experienced some great benefits to having an accountability partner, especially during the job hunt.
4 Benefits of Having An Accountability Partner During the Job Hunt
1. You Can Offer Each Other Advice and Perspective
I was lucky that this person lives in the area that I am hoping to relocate to; she is able to offer me insight into the culture of the area that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I can offer her objective feedback based on my experience as well. We recently got together over Zoom for her to practice interviewing for a position she was applying for.
It was a good chance for her to get her nerves out; she was much calmer and was able to practice delivering composed answers to the questions I asked her. I had no way of knowing exactly what was going to be asked, but with a bit of research, I was able to compose realistic questions that were typical of the position she was seeking.
Having an accountability partner can allow both of you to act as a sounding board for the other person. You can offer each other an objective perspective and advice. Whether that means connecting you with other people in their network who could help you achieve your goals, sharing mutually beneficial resources, or offering feedback on application materials, having an accountability partner can help offer you perspective and advice during the job hunt.
2. You Are Held Accountable
I’m aware that not everyone performs well under pressure. While I am one of those people, I also do better when I know there is a tangible deadline.
It can also be helpful to have someone who remembers things that may have slipped your mind during the week. Both of us have remembered things like dates, deadlines, or half-finished conversations about applications that the other has mentioned, which refreshes our own respective memories and puts the task back on our radar.
Knowing that I’m meeting with someone on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to talk about the progress of the job hunt allows me to refrain from procrastinating. Not everyone performs well under pressure, but I know that I am someone who needs the structure of a deadline, which holds me accountable.
3. It Gives You Someone To Celebrate The Little Things With
In modern society, we tend to celebrate the big things: graduations, marriages, births…you know the drill. However, the little things can matter just as much, if not more. While I can’t speak for everyone, the pandemic has emphasized the importance of celebrating the little things, perhaps even more so than teaching abroad.
It helps to have someone in your corner, someone who is a cheerleader of sorts. We celebrate each other’s victories, and validate the other’s feelings when necessary.
Even if you didn’t get as far as you wanted to, meeting with an accountability partner and saying, “I got ‘x, y, and z tasks done this week’ can help you maintain a positive outlook or devise a plan together in order to help you hit those goals you set.
Celebrating the small things is always important, but in the draining and volatile job hunting process, it’s even more so.
4. It Keeps Your Goals Realistic
I’ve discovered that having an accountability partner helps you keep your goals realistic and grounded in reality. While I am not against dreaming big by any means, this pandemic has also thrown a wrench in everyone’s plans. I have had to consider what skills I have, and if the jobs that utilize those skills are available during the pandemic.
Having an accountability partner has kept my ambitions realistic, which in turn, has allowed me to focus on setting small, achievable goals that allow me to work toward my larger goals. This has been particularly helpful for me because I tend to set ambitious goals.
While everyone conducts the job search in their own respective ways, I have found that having an accountability partner has been extremely helpful throughout the job hunting process. In these trying times, we need all the support we can get.