UW-Madison offers free support for job seekers

When you are unemployed, underemployed, or stuck in the wrong job, life can feel lonely. And maybe a little overwhelming.
The Job Search Support Group is a free program for professionals in the Madison area. Offered through UW-Madison’s Adult Career and Special Student Services office, the group can help you navigate the challenges of a job search.
Each week, job seekers come together to support each other, share information, and learn new skills and strategies.
“It’s hard not to feel isolated when you are trying to find the right job,” says April McHugh, the career and education counselor who facilitates the Job Search Support Group. “We work on interview skills, effective job search methods such as networking, and how to professionally communicate that you are looking for employment.”

Meet Others and Improve Yourself

Stephen, who has attended many sessions, appreciates the personal approach.
“Aside from the job resources, the meetings provide essential emotional support,” he says. “The job search, especially when pursuing a new career, can be a very tumultuous process, and it’s reassuring to know that there are others facing the same struggles. April provides an incredibly nurturing atmosphere to help guide you through the process.”
Others find comfort in the opportunity to practice their skills in front of their peers, who provide assistance but not judgment.
“The practice interviews were great. I learned to think through my accomplishments and to discuss them in meaningful and concrete ways,” says Fatima, a former group member.  “I also learned from listening to how others answered interview questions. I saw that I was not alone.”
The Job Search Support Group is open to all professionals and includes people from a wide variety of backgrounds. Many have taken on bridge jobs, or positions to get them by, as they search for better fitting roles. They are all looking to improve their career situation, but find that the world of work has changed.
“To assist with this, we spend a couple weeks on most topics to fully integrate the information, focusing on practice and taking action,” says McHugh. “We invite you to join us once or twice, come back every few weeks to learn something new, or put us on your weekly schedule to surround yourself with caring people and great information.”
The Job Search Support Group meets every Tuesday from 10am-noon at 21 N. Park Street in Madison. Check signs in the lobby for room location, or call 608-263-6960 or email advising@dcs.wisc.edu.