Joining a job club to help find work

May 13, 2010 8:43:14 PM PDT
Sometimes when the job search is going well, it helps to join a club.Mariann Donato lost her sales management job two years ago. She started as a secretary and worked her way up.

"I was devastated, totally devastated and ashamed. You feel like you're totally helpless and hopeless," said Donato.

She built a successful 30 year career, and then the ax fell.

"It was totally unexpected it came out of the blue. But in retrospect there probably were signals and signs I probably should have picked up on," said Donato.

Mariann has sent out more than 1,000 resumes and has gotten about a five percent response, if that.

Nothing worked, so she turned to a job club.

"I had this moment where I said oh you've been doing this really really wrong!" explained Donato.

Tory Johnson runs job clubs all over the country and she's coached thousands of people.

"Nobody really trains you to be an effective job seeker," says Johnson. "My job is really to push. Not only do I do it at our weekly meetings but I do it every day by email and phone."

It's a 10 week course. It's for people who have been unemployed from six months to two years.

"The benefit of a job club is the comrodery and accountability that comes along with being a part of a small intimate group," adds Johnson.

In those groups, Tory teaches people about networking, job search resources, and she suggests things like getting an internship or externship to keep you motivated and to fill in the employment gap.

She says one of the biggest mistakes job hunters do is sitting in front of a computer rely totally on email and the internet.

"They know every day they're going to report to me. How they're doing? What they're doing? Typically when you have an accountability buddy or small group in the process and when you know your whole group your team is expecting results from you, you're going to get out of bed that morning. And you're going to hustle," adds Johnson.

One day, Tory brought Mariann to the Sak's Fifth Avenue salon for a day of beauty treatment. With a makeover and extensive job hunting training, Mariann is confident her sales management position is right around the corner.