First, let’s frame the question. “You are employed” could mean you’ve secured a job solely for income purposes. Or you’ve taken a job that is just that, a job, not something you are passionate about. Or, it is a short-term or contracted position. Or it is your dream vocation! If any of these apply, great.
Next, what do I mean by job searching? NETWORKING. So how do you continue to network (for your career) when you are working?
Identify People You Want to Meet
The simplest answer is to just carve out time each week or month to do it. But obviously this is easier said than done. What is preventing you from doing it? Perhaps you don’t know where or with whom to network. Remember when you were in job search you created a target list of companies? That is a great tool and now you need to go back and update it regularly. Use this tool to identify companies and people you would like to meet. Stop, look and listen for names in the news related to your passion. Add them to your target list.
Chances are, if you put them on your radar, you’ll be able to think of a way to connect with them. Could it be virtually? Perhaps via LinkedIn or Twitter or even Facebook? Where would you find people from this company hanging out?
Seek Information, Not A Job
When connecting to these targets, you have to find a way to ease into a conversation as to not jeopardize your current employment situation. You don’t want to overtly convey you are looking for a new job. To quote from my favorite movie, “These things have to be taken care of delicately” (said with your most wickedly witch voice). Think about initiating conversation in one of these ways:
- Do they have expertise in an area related to your current job? You could ask to talk with them about that area of expertise.
- Perhaps their company has overcome challenges that you would like insight on. Ask for advice.
Basically networking is networking. It was never asking for a job. It never will be.
Now that you have a job, you might be eligible of company training, conference attendance, or professional association meetings. Take your employer up on any or all of the above.
Carving out time is the most important part of this. Create your plan, put the time on your calendar and do it. It may be morning coffee, it may be afternoon coffee, it may be lunch. You must keep at it. Don’t ever stop.
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.