Finding a new job when you’re already employed full-time is much easier to do than you think — and a lot less conventional than you might imagine.
I typically have most of my clients start off by dedicating only one or two hours to their job searches per week. Some people — still deeply entrenched in the belief that searching for a job requires numerous hours of research, applications, and resumes – may scoff at the effectiveness of this approach.
Quick news flash: the return on this particularly hefty job-search investment has become increasingly low in recent years. Things that used to work seem to no longer work as well — if at all. The times have changed dramatically, and that means our methods of job searching should change, too.
This may seem like a frightening claim, but it can actually be great news for people who want to find new jobs while working full-time. These people may fear they won’t have sufficient time to effectively find a new job if they’re already employed, but I’m hear to prove otherwise.
Here’s a list of four simple things you can do to find a new job when you’re already employed – and you’ll literally only have to invest 1-2 hours of your time every week in these effective tactics:
1. Update Your LinkedIn Profile
Listen to Nike on this one, and just do it! Approximately 94 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn to find ideal job candidates. You would be cheating yourself if you failed to put your best foot forward on your LinkedIn profile. In a good portion of my work, I assist clients in effectively marketing themselves to recruiters by customizing and editing their LinkedIn profiles.
In case you’re apprehensive that updating your LinkedIn profile might alert your boss to the fact that you’re searching for a new job, there is no reason to be concerned. There are very effective strategies you can use to customize your profile without explicitly stating that you are looking for work.
As an example, let me tell you about a client I had who worked for a large computer company but was looking to grow her business as an independent makeup artist. Since there was no direct conflict between her part-time contract makeup work and her full-time job, we were able to customize her profile to highlight and optimize her makeup experience and services, while still appropriately communicating where she worked full-time.
I have assisted numerous people in similar situations and have yet to experience any problems arise with their current employers.
Not too long ago, I made a list of recent jobs I worked at and the preceding events that landed me each position. Of the last five jobs I have held, four came as the direct result of a friend of mine putting me in contact with a hiring manager. Networking is crucial.
Networking may be as simple as spending one hour during the week reaching out to old coworkers and employers on LinkedIn and reconnecting with them. Make plans to grab a coffee and catch up, or talk to them on the phone, if that’s more realistic.
Remain casual; be genuinely interested in reconnecting and hearing about how they are doing. At some point, mention you’re considering switching jobs. Who knows, maybe they’re in the same boat and you can both somehow help each other out!
Another option is to find and attend local networking events in your town. Try to find one that’s centered in your desired industry, and consistently show up to that particular event. Place your focus on building and developing connections with people, and watch miracles happen.
Dedicate your weekly hour to researching the companies and employers you want to work for. Read the current articles they are posting. Engage with their content and add helpful/relevant comments to the comments sections, if you so desire.
Research the people who currently hold your desired position at target companies. What type of work experience do they have?
What is the company’s mission statement? Current goals and projects? Brainstorm ways in which you feel you could add value to these companies based on your experience, talents, skills, and passions. Take notes along the way.
I previously worked with a young man who had a background in political science. He landed a full-time position working for a political campaign because he began working as a volunteer for the campaign in its early stages.
A recent client of mine who wanted to switch career paths and do leadership development took on a volunteer position at her church coordinating a large food drive. It took her all of ten minutes looking at the “volunteer column” one Sunday after service to make that happen.
Check out your target company’s websites. Many will list upcoming or annual charity events or community walks/runs open to the public that offer opportunities to volunteer or participate. Take initiative and get involved.
All of these methods are engaging, effective, and significantly less tedious and time-consuming than traditional forms of job searching. Start with the options you like most and leave the rest.