You don’t have to quit your job to find a new job. Once you make a decision that you want to leave, you begin your job search while you are employed.
Employers love to hire people who are still working. For some reason, employed people just smell fresher, like fresh bread in the bakery. There is nothing wrong with the unemployed folks. They just prefer to hire folks who are employed. So give your future employer what they want and stay employed until you get that offer.
Here are some tips to conduct your job search while still working.
- Be sure to attend to all required details of your job. I mean this in two ways. Now is not the time to pick up extra projects if you already made the decision to leave. Plus you do not want to attract attention for neglecting your work either. The regular tasks noted in your job description probably account for only 75% to 80% of your working day. By all means, get that work done. But use the remaining time for your job search. Stop chitchatting and get to “job search” work.
- Schedule time each day to make networking calls and emails. No one is busy 8 hours straight every single day. If you schedule private time each day on your calendar, particularly if your calendar is visible to others, then you likely can fit this important work into your schedule. You don’t need hours, just regularly scheduled minutes to attend to some personal business.
- Attend regular meetings of your professional industrial association. Volunteer for committees if you can. Your boss can hardly complain if you are working for the good of the company. You get the added advantage of making more contacts and increase your visibility.
- Get our LinkedIn profile complete and start making connections on LinkedIn with people who can help your job search. Use LinkedIn to research a current work project to give your job search cover.
- Start dressing better every day so it won’t be noticeable when you sneak away for an interview. If you normally wear jeans, start wearing khakis. For women, occasionally wear a skirt. Eventually add in other elements like a jacket or nice sweater or for men slip in a tie now and then. Make a joke out of it to your colleagues. After a while they will expect you to wear nicer clothes. It won’t be so much of a shock when you get dressed up for a lunch time networking meeting or a real interview.
- Take advantage of training programs offers by your current company to fill in skill gaps. These programs are expensive. You can’t afford them if you are out of work so as long as you are working continue to improve your skills with programs your current employer offers. Not sure what to work on? Check your last performance review and find some area of improvement. Everyone has one. This gives you cover to participate in company programs and helps you improve in areas that a future employer will expect you to have.
- Get visible outside your business, literally and virtually. Meet people for coffee and lunch to expand your contacts. Everyone gets a lunch period. Makes yours work for you. Make comments on LinkedIn Groups then connect with people in those groups to expect your connections and visibility. Your cover is that you are learning and growing.
Check out our book, The Job Search Marketing Plan for more tips about organizing your job search.