I’ve read a few things on doing a job search at your office – that is, at your employers office, with their computer, internet connection, etc. I was surprised to read one article talk about how to do it – make sure your boss knew, make sure you knew what the HR policies are, etc. That may be good and true, but even if it is within the policies at your office, you really are opening yourself to your employer (you know, the “internet cops”). I realize that this is a little different in a contracting environment.
But here is the problem. In my last job, I was the General Manager of what was essentially a start-up IT firm. I felt that if I would do things that everyone should be doing (networking, having an updated resume, etc.) I was essentially *cheating* on my company. Actually, I felt worse about *cheating* on my employees. How does it look if your boss, the guy that is trying to instill a strong culture and work ethic, is spending his spare time working on the “safety net”… especially at a small firm? Not too good. I spent a lot of time with these guys talking about where we were headed and building momentum that was exciting – and made it exciting to work there.
… and then I was laid off. Really, I should have been working on that safety net. Here is what I wish I would have been doing:
- Keeping an updated resume
- Maintaining relationships with recruiters
- Keeping tabs on the job market – I had been in small business for so long that I wasn’t up to speed on certain common job titles, roles, responsibilities, what skills are considered current, etc.
- Have at least 2 interviews a year – sure you aren’t looking, but this is a great way of networking, and seeing how other companies do things
- Go to network meetings – rotary or alumni sponsored or local interest (within or close to your specialty), etc.
- Written more articles to be published in my arena – this builds credibility and gets my name out (in other words, builds/reinforces my personal brand)
- Tried to get at least one speaking engagement a year – whether at a university, association, etc. Again, build/reinforce your personal brand – you should establish yourself as an SEO in something
- Network… and network some more
I think one of the hassles of networking is keeping track of the relationships, contact info, etc. using JibberJobber helps you keep track of all of this information – you should focus on the relationship, not on a tracking spreadsheet that you are constantly tweaking. Of course, I’m preaching to the choir, right?
So, go ahead and cheat on your employer. Create expertise, build your brand. In reality, doing this adds value to your employer – I think that’s what people refer to as a win-win!