By Frances Chaves
With the job market loosening up, many workers will be looking for their next job. How many? A 2012 joint survey by “PARADE” magazine and “Yahoo! Finance” of 26,000 Americans found that almost 60 percent would choose a different career. Right Management (a subsidiary of Manpower Group) found in May 2012 that two-thirds of respondents to an online survey were not happy at work; 21 percent said they were “somewhat unsatisfied;” and 44 percent said they were “unsatisfied.” According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of people who quit their jobs from August 2010 through December 2011 was actually larger than the number of people who lost their jobs through layoffs or firing.
Even if you aren’t looking for a new job today, it’s wise to take action to prepare yourself for that eventuality. In today’s employment world, the average employee will have between 10 and 15 jobs in a career.
So how do you find another job when you are currently employed? They say it’s easier to get a job while you’re employed because being employed tells the potential employer that another company thinks you are worth hiring. Being employed makes the job search less stressful. Being employed with a salary gives you more bargaining power when negotiating salary and benefits. Being employed means your skills are sharp and your networks are active.
Here are some tips to lodging an effective job-search campaign while employed:
1) Be strategic
With limited time for your search, it is important to be strategic. Write a plan for your job search that covers your priorities and goals for salary, responsibility, commute, corporate culture, and a list of target companies where you would like to work. Schedule time for your job-search and keep to your schedule.
2) Network , network, network
Develop contacts at your target companies. If you see an opportunity open up there, contact that person and say you “might be interested.” Ask connections you know are trustworthy to send you job leads – to your personal email address, not your work address.
Avoid networking within your current company and its clients unless you are considering a lateral move to another opportunity within the same company.
3) Use LinkedIn
Via LinkedIn, identify connections in companies where you want to work. Follow the groups these contacts belong to and network with these contacts through their groups. Track your target companies on LinkedIn.
4) Prepare your references
If you haven’t told your current employer that you are looking for another job, you can’t use them as a reference. Find a professional who is knowledgeable about your current work and is willing to serve as a reference. Consider co-workers, clients, former employers who you trust not to tell your current employer.
5) Consider recruiters
Reach out to recruiters or headhunters in your industry. Be sure to get personal references; you want to be sure that they respect your need for confidentiality.
6) Be ethical about your job search
- Don’t job search on the company dime
- Schedule interviews around your current work hours (during lunch, after hours, take vacation time)
- Don’t talk about your job search at work
- Never disparage your current employer
- Don’t use the company computer, letterhead, fax, or email address
- Tell the truth if prospective employers ask if your current employer knows about the hunt
- Don’t post your resume on job boards
- Ask prospective employers not to contact your current boss if he or she is unaware you’re actively hunting
- If your current boss asks if you are looking, you can respond: “Since the economy crashed, I have been making an effort to stay in contact with other professionals…”
- If you land that next job, give your current employer plenty of notice
A free website that will help you manage your job search is: http://www.freshtransition.com/.