Often a job-search is an immediate imperative: you need work to fill your days—not to mention your bank account. Other times you have a job, but are ready for a change. Undertaking a job-search while currently employed is a position of strength! You are able to be more thoughtful and more selective; however, it can be hard to be diligent and productive when the demands of a job occupy your time. We have four strategies to effectively approach a passive job-search:
Schedule it in. Whether you are hoping to change jobs in the coming months or the coming years, it’s important to maintain a healthy network. Pressing demands can easily crowd out best practices, so put networking on your task-list and calendar. Effective networking does not need to be exhausting to be profitable. Consider attending 1–2 conferences per year; going to lunch with a colleague once per month; and emailing a colleague once a week. Find practices that work for you and build on them.
Strategically engage on social media. Social media is a low-commitment way to engage your professional network. Try to post one professional article per week that associates might find useful. This has the added benefit of keeping you reading about your industry and abreast of current trends. Be sure to respond to comments others post to make the most of the opportunity for connection.
Prioritize development. When you do interview for a new job, what growth can you point to in your current role? Being an attractive candidate means showing innovation, results, and progress. Consider goals you want to accomplish for your department, skills you’d like to develop, and training you’d like to acquire. Not only will this make you a more marketable candidate, it will make your current job more interesting and challenging.
Give support. The most important thing you can do for successful networking is to invest in others. You cannot phone in a favor unless you’ve handed out several. By assisting others when they have needs, you are contributing to a community where colleagues support each other.