Keeping an open mind to new career opportunities, even when you’re already employed, is key to lasting satisfaction and advancement in your professional life. The challenge, however, is that a job search requires time, energy and baseline knowledge of the latest recruiting trends and technologies.
If you’ve been out of the game for a while, you may feel overwhelmed at the idea of diving back into an active search. Fortunately, there are ways to ease yourself into the process, without sacrificing your productivity or engagement at your current job. We asked a panel of Forbes Coaches Council members for their best advice for job seekers who are currently employed.
1. Conduct Informational Interviews
Our society seems to demand specialization in talents, skill sets and experiences. This makes finding the right cultural fit between you and an organization tough. A great way to find a fit is to have 15 phone calls, coffee meetings, lunches and so on in 90 days. By meeting new people and asking the right questions, you can learn about under-the-radar opportunities and the ideal environment for you. – Michael S. Seaver, Seaver Consulting, LLC
2. Take A Job Hunting ‘Sabbatical’
Obviously, you don’t want to risk your current job to look for another job. But in order to find the space and time to push forward you need to find time and energy. Frankly, doing it at the end of a day when you are tired doesn’t work. Solution: Take a day off (leave, vacation or other) and treat it as a job hunting sabbatical. Use that day to do nothing else but put in the time to find work. – David J. Smith, David Smith Career Coaching
3. Research A Focus First
The key to easing into and walking through a stress-free job search is to focus on preparation first. It’s important to know the positions and companies that you want to target, and if you’re unsure what those are, start by doing preliminary research. Once you know your focus you can update your resume and LinkedIn profile to align with the vision you have for the next step in your career. – Jessica Hernandez, Great Resumes Fast
4. Share That You’re Searching
Share with friends and family that you’re considering a transition. It might seem premature or scary, but you can be clear that you’re in the preliminary stages of your search. Be sure to talk with people who are open to change and possibility to keep yourself motivated for your search. These conversations can help you brainstorm ideas for next steps and get the word out that you’re looking for a job. – Rosie Guagliardo, InnerBrilliance Coaching
5. Clarify Your Vision And Values
If you are considering a change, this is an opportunity to revisit your personal vision and values and determine what brings you joy, what you can get great at, what pays your bills and what is aligned with your values. Doing this homework up front will allow you to determine where to focus your job search to land a role where you can thrive. – Maureen Metcalf, Metcalf & Associates, Inc
6. Commit 20 Minutes A Day To Your Search
Set aside 20 minutes every day to work on your job search. You can email old or current contacts, use LinkedIn’s many job search and networking features or check out job boards you like. You can do this on your lunch hour or during a break. Technology makes today’s job search more manageable while juggling a heavy workload at the same time. – Erin Kennedy, Professional Resume Services, Inc.
7. Connect With A Career Coach
Confidential career coaching while employed should reduce your time in trial and error. In some cases, people who start searching for a new job while employed make simple, noticeable mistakes that can create a problem at their current job by creating an alarm in your current employer’s mind about your level of engagement. A career coach protects your confidentiality, providing a stealthy search. – John M. O’Connor, Career Pro Inc.
8. Use LinkedIn’s Job Seeker Feature
Updating your LinkedIn Profile and turning on the Job Seeker feature will allow you to start the process without a major commitment of time. You can search for positions, start connecting with people virtually and see what’s out in the marketplace. As you’re ready, you can move into being more proactive and turn those virtual connections into in-person networking opportunities. – Tonya Echols, Thrive Coaching Solutions
9. Automate Your Job Alerts
So many great sites have automation to assist you in your job search. A great way to get started is to have an updated resume and LinkedIn profile and put them on your job board of choice. From there you can set up alerts to your specifications that are sent to your email. This will allow you the time to view only jobs that you are targeting, which reduces your search time. – Michelle Weathersby, LENS Consulting Firm
10. Connect The Dots To Reach Your Goal
You are likely connected to a contact that can make an introduction to your target job. Make a two column list, with primary connections in column A and decision makers in B. Draw lines to connect the dots. Send out an email to column A asking to meet each for coffee. Ask for confidentiality. Share your goals and ask for their willingness to help and an introduction to column B, the decision makers. – Elaine Rosenblum, J.D., ProForm U®
11. Brush Up On Your Interview Answers
Practice answering all the basic interview questions you believe you will be asked before writing a resume or updating your LinkedIn profile, because if your experience is marketable, it is too late to practice after you have started submitting your resume to your network or for jobs. Don’t make the mistake of not practicing. Get to work on rehearsing answers now so you don’t miss out on jobs. – Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
12. Try Some Offline Networking
One of the best ways to ramp up a job search is to expand your in-person networking. Join a trade association or industry-related group, or volunteer if you have the time. All these activities will pay dividends, as people who hear of you through these venues will be more ready to seriously consider you as a candidate. Best of all, you might even be directly recruited as a result. – Laura Smith-Proulx, CCMC, CPRW, CIC, COPNS, CTTCC, An Expert Resume
13. Talk To Recruiters
Treat your job search as a side hustle. Assess the market by talking with one or two recruiters. Since you haven’t done it in a while, it will be good to get some practice. Then, set aside the amount of time you are willing to invest in a job search. Once you budget your time, it’s easier to say no to companies that are not worth your time. – Helen Chao, Interview Right Consulting, LLC
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2200 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.
Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? Please click here to see my schedule to book a free discovery call.
Join Career Angles on Facebook and receive support, ideas and advice in your current career and job.