Is It Better To Apply To New Or Old Jobs How to Look For a New Job While Still Keeping Your Current One

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How to Look For a New Job While Still Keeping Your Current One

In today’s uncertain job market, it makes sense to keep your options open. Even stable companies are tightening their belts and laying off long-term employees simply because they need to survive the economic downturn. In more normal times, the threat of pending job loss was not so traumatic because there were always companies hiring. When general economic conditions are depressed, rapid recovery from job loss is more difficult. So the dilemma for some people is “how to look for a new job without being fired from the old job”. Here are some ways to prepare if you get an unexpected pink slip:

 

Rule number one:Make sure you do everything in your power to be visible and relevant within your current organization. When the company decides it needs to downsize, make sure you’re seen as one of the “indispensable” team members. Be sure to go the extra mile on projects, talk about ways to improve service or products, and be a team player with your colleagues. Don’t get involved in petty disputes that damage teamwork in any organization. Being labeled as someone who is not a team player will quickly put you at the top of the list for a possible layoff. This is true whether you are an executive or an executive assistant.

 

Secondly, look for legitimate opportunities to network.Actively participate in industry trade groups, associations or community organizations. Help organize one of their meetings or events. Meet other professionals in your industry or profession. Offer yourself as a speaker on a topic in which you have expertise. By cultivating even a small network of successful peers, you’ll have a great starting point if you need to look for a new job.

 

Third, connect with salespeople who call your business.Be friendly. Salespeople are likely looking for information about how your current company is doing so they can better serve them; however, they also call other companies both within and outside of your industry. Grab a cup of coffee with them and find out what’s going on with these other companies. Be sure to keep the seller’s business cards, phone numbers, and email addresses.

 

fourth, set aside fifteen to twenty minutes each day to carry on business in your town or industry. This may include reading the business section of your local metropolitan newspaper or scanning the Internet if your employer allows you to do so. Keep track of trends and new companies starting up in your area. Sometimes business leaders are profiled. Note their names, company and any contact information. You can use either a computer file or just 3×5 cards for future reference. If something really interesting comes up, give them a call and just have a casual lunch if you can arrange it. If you are active in a trade group or Chamber of Commerce then this can be a good introduction. Better yet, if you’re an expert, get the editor to profile you!

 

Finally, from your home computer, spend some time checking out some job boards or blogs.Also join social networking groups like Linkedin, Plaxo, or even Facebook. I would use my personal email address rather than my corporate address for two reasons: First, if you’ve left your company, you don’t need to update your network with a change of email address; second, using your company email may violate the company’s computer policy. Referring to Rule Number One, don’t do anything to make your current employer want to let you go. Violations of company computer policies may be grounds for disciplinary action or, in some cases, termination. Don’t settle for either.

 

Following these simple rules will allow you to seek alternative opportunities without antagonizing your current employer or violating the terms of your employment. You can be smart, stay current, and stay visible within your industry and community. Meanwhile, if you find yourself out of a job, you’ve already started connecting with others who can help you find something new.

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