Hello, this is Laura Lee Rose. I am a speaker, an author, and an expert in time and project management. I help busy professionals and entrepreneurs create effective systems so that they can comfortably delegate to others, be more profitable, and have time to enjoy life. At the end of the day, I transform the way you run your business into a business you love to run.
This week’s question came from a busy professional:
How can job seekers carve out time from their workdays to research and apply for jobs and go to interviews? What options do they have if they work for companies with strict hours and little or no flexibility at work? We’re especially interested in examples of people who found jobs while working full-time, and how they did it.
While you are working for your current company, you need to give them what they are paying you for. Therefore, I don’t necessarily recommend using your workday hours to research and apply for jobs or go to interviews. On the other hand, there are things that you can do after hours and during lunch time.
1. Review Your LinkedIn Connections
Take a look at whom you are connected to on LinkedIn, and identify the people who may be helpful in your job search. Take them out to lunch or dinner and do a little networking with them. Share your career and professional goals with them, and ask them if they are aware of any open positions in their current business networks.
2. Review Your Connections’ Connections
Take time to dig deeper. Find out who your friends are connected with. LinkedIn’s real power isn’t in “who you know,” but “who your friends know.” Make a list of who you want to know and talk to; then find friends and associates that already know those people. Ask your friends for introductions.
3. Make a Point to Attend Professional Association Meetings
Local meetings of professional associations related to your job or industry can be great place to meet valuable new contacts. Just make sure you’re going to these meetings after work — not during your workday.
4. Meet With an External Recruiter
Find a recruiter who has experience placing candidates in your industry. Arrange a meeting with them, explain your situation, and see if there is anything you two can do together to help you find a new job.
5. Join a Local Toastmasters Chapter
Toastmasters can help you improve your presentation skills and public speaking abilities, which are crucial during any job hunt. Moreover, Toastmasters can also serve as yet another valuable networking opportunity. Generally speaking, Toastmasters meetings occur before/after work and during lunch.
6. Schedule Vacation Days Strategically in Advance
Doing this will allow you to do much of your interviews and other job-hunting activities on your own time. For instance, you could arrange to take Fridays off for the next two months. Then, you can block out those Fridays for your interviews, for visiting other companies, for reaching out to LinkedIn professionals, and for taking your contacts out to lunch or dinner to better network with them.
7. Share You Career Goals and Professional Development Path With Your Manager
There may be opportunities within the company your currently work for that meet your goals. You may not have to find a new job at all! There’s a rule in sales that it’s far less expensive to keep an existing customer than it is to find a new one. The same idea applies here: it’s far more time- and cost-effective to find a better job within the company that you are currently working for than it is to search out a new role at a new organization. Before jumping ship, make sure your current company doesn’t already have the job of your dreams.
I know your situation is different. Why don’t we schedule an appointment, where I get to know more about your unique situation? I will be happy to make recommendations on what your best steps are moving forward. To schedule an appointment, book it here.