Obviously, it’s not just the unemployed that look for new jobs. Many that are currently in jobs, for a wide variety of reasons, look for new opportunities as well.
The process of looking for a new job, however, can present a number of concerns and challenges that an unemployed job seeker doesn’t have to worry about.
What are some of those challenges, and how do you deal with them?
Here are some observations and cautions…
Do your best where you’re at! One danger for someone beginning a job search while still working, is “short-timers syndrome”. Once the mentality of “I’m not going to be here long anyway” sets in, attitude and performance in your current job deteriorates rapidly. As a result, someone often ends up getting fired before they’ve found a new place to land. You owe it to your employer, and to your own career to continue performing at your best even while you’re looking for a new place to call home.
Don’t post your resume online. Looking for your new job confidentially is key. Your current employer is not likely to look kindly on you looking for a new job and tipping them off is not a wise strategy. Posting your resume online, talking about your plans carelessly with co-workers, posting comments about your search on Facebook, Twitter, or other social networking sites, or indicating your desire to hear from recruiters on LinkedIn are all bound to backfire. Taking care to be discreet about your job search is critical.
Use LinkedIn effectively. LinkedIn is THE most powerful tool in pursuing an effective job search. However, while it is a great job search tool, it’s not designed primarily for that purpose. LinkedIn is a tremendous resource to network effectively with other professionals in your field or industry in order to collaborate, seek advice, gain industry knowledge and offer help. Whether you are looking for a job or not, you ought to be on, and be active on LinkedIn.
So while being on LinkedIn can be justified for legitimate, non job search reasons, it’s a way you can also put your information out there to be found for potential new opportunities.
Choose your confidants carefully. It’s important not to let on to co-workers, customers, and vendors that you are actively looking for a new opportunity so that you can continue working in your current role without danger of your commitment to your job being questioned. However, you will likely need to let some know, in order to gain willing references or networking opportunities. It’s critical to be very discerning who you confide in. Choose only those that you trust and believe can maintain your confidentiality. Sharing your plans with someone that misuses that information in some way can be a “CLA” (Career Limiting Activity)!
Don’t use company email or systems. For similar reasons, never use your company email address or resources to communicate with others about your plans or job search activities. Always only rely on your own personal accounts. Wherever you work, you should always assume that your company owned email is periodically monitored, as a legitimate right of any employer. Using their systems for your job search is a sure-fire way to be discovered and likely result in unattractive consequences.
Don’t apply to blind ads. Companies, and recruiters will at times run “blind” ads (ads without a company name listed) in order to conduct a confidential search. Either to replace an existing employee or for a new position that they don’t want internal employees to apply for. You never know where a blind ad is coming from, and the more it seems like a “perfect” fit, the more likely it’s at your own company. Sending a resume in response to a blind ad placed by your own organization is not a good way to conduct a confidential search!
NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK! While it’s a critical activity for any job search, networking is particularly useful in conducting a confidential search while you’re still employed. Networking… talking to people, and following a trail of breadcrumbs (referrals) from one contact, to another, and to another, until you find one that has the right opportunity for you is the best way to land in a new position while being confidential about your search. It’s more effective, and less risky than pursuing online postings or other ads. It’s more effective to make personal contacts and build relationships that lead you to the right opportunities. And it keeps you from having your resume “floating” around online where anyone, even from your own company, may find it.
Time management is key. One of the biggest challenges to finding a new job while you’re still working, is finding the time! An effective job search is often a full-time job in itself, and trying to do all the tasks involved while being effective in your current job takes double duty effort. Strictly managing your time in order to make your contacts, get to interviews, do your follow up, and chasing leads while not intruding on your current employment commitments is a challenge. Using calendars and task lists effectively is more important than ever, but a necessary part of the process. Find things that work for you, but become disciplined in your approach.
While an unemployed person doesn’t need to worry about being discreet about their search, or have the same time constraints, an employed person has to be diligent about these things in many ways. Make a plan as to how you will approach the search and execute the things necessary to land successfully!