Are you looking for new career opportunities while currently employed? Searching for a new job can quickly become a full-time job. How do you look for a new job and avoid conflicts with your existing job? Here are some tips on how to professionally manage both job-hunting and your current job at the same time.

Avoid advertised jobs

The temptation to look for jobs online is high when you’re currently employed. Job-hunting online feels non-intrusive to your current job. The thought of your dream job showing up tomorrow in your inbox is tempting, but highly unlikely (less than 4%). Even if it did, think about how many others you’ll have to compete against to win the job.

An unconventional job-hunting approach is what leads career changers to jobs fast. According to The Wall Street Journal and Forbes

“Between 50 to 80% of job openings are not advertised!”

The benefits to concentrating your search on unadvertised job openings while being employed is that there’s no competition for the jobs. With no competition, you avoid lengthy application processes, which can be frustrating in a role where you’ve already mentally checked out.

Stop looking for a job

To tap into the huge market of unadvertised jobs, the first thing you need to do is to change your mindset. Consider the path to your next job as a learning journey, not a job hunt. Do you have unanswered questions about the industry, companies or role you’d like to move to? Use your career change as an opportunity to discover answers to your questions by asking contacts for advice.

When you ask contacts for career advice from a learning mindset, you’ll get an open and welcoming response from others. When asking contacts for a job or referral from a job-hunters perspective and you’ll get a cold shoulder. Which do you use?

Asking for advice works wonders in a career change while employed. Here are several reasons why you should consider doing it.

  • it opens doors in industries, companies and roles of interest
  • it appeals to human nature and works everywhere
  • it provides access to difficult to reach hiring managers
  • it gives you an opportunity to expose your talents to relevant managers
  • it builds confidence, insight and focus unlike online job-hunting

I recently facilitated a job-hunting workshop where the students adopted this successful approach to getting advice and subtly selling themselves to hiring managers. One woman went from great uncertainty about what she wanted to do in her next job, to knowing exactly where she wanted to work using this approach.

“In less than 3 weeks, she landed 17 meetings with hiring managers!”

How do you find time? 

Hiring managers prefer to hire people they know. By asking for advice meetings in the industry, company, or roles that interest you, you increase your exposure in a subtle but highly effective way. The more hiring managers that know you, the easier it is to land an unadvertised job (or get one created) that’s perfect for you. So how do you find time for advice meetings?

Job Search | Ian JenkinsIf you work in a results-based work culture, then you probably have the advantage of home-office or flexible work-time. Use this to your advantage and plan advice meetings accordingly. I’ve booked them just before or after business trips, doctor visits, and personal events that take me away from the office. Consider using breaks and lunches as possible meeting times. I’ve found that it’s easiest to squeeze in advice meetings with contacts when they’re positioned informally, over a cup of coffee, and no more than 30 minutes long.

What about confidentiality? 

If you are in a job-hunting mindset, the issue of keeping your hunt confidential becomes an obstacle. However, when you’re looking for advice there is much less risk. If the contact I’m speaking to is connected to my existing employer in some way, I do ask them to keep this meeting confidential despite it being an advice meeting.

Job search | Ian Jenkins
The Career Outline Template

I never recommend bringing a resume (“CV” in Europe) to an advice meeting. As you meet contacts, you’re building new relationships. Establishing trust early on is critical. If you ask for an advice meeting and show up with a resume, it’s game over. They immediately assume you want a job under the premise of asking for advice. That’s why I recommend creating a one-pager I call a Career Outline. It describes your strongest skills, interests and work environment preferences.

By presenting yourself through a career outline, contacts quickly understand what you offer a potential employer. This makes it easy for them to make useful recommendations and referrals over a quick cup of coffee so you can get back to your current employer.

Don’t be surprised if a hiring manager sudden presents you with an awesome job opportunity in an advice meeting. It frequently happens with this approach. With a fresh approach to looking for your next job, there’s no reason to hold-off, even if you’re currently employed.

Thanks for reading.

– Ian Jenkins

What if I told you you’re going about this job search task all wrong? You should create a job, not hunt for a job. Instead of doing the hunting, you should become the hunted.

Create A Job | Ian Jenkins
Job search tip: Create a job, don’t hunt for it

Job search strategies typically focus on surveying job boards, meeting with recruiters, or fine-tuning your resume within an inch of its life. When the realization finally clicks that you’re doing exactly the same thing as every other job seeker, that light bulb moment can lead to a dramatic shift in your career development thinking.

Instead of focusing your efforts on hunting for a job, consider for a moment if you could create your own dream job. Location (can you say tele-commute?), job description, and field of interest are all up to you. When you realize the powerful potential of creating your own dream job, you suddenly see the freedom this mindset can bring. Spoiler alert: Transitioning from dreaming about your perfect career to making your ‘someday’ career a reality only takes a PINT. (No, not that kind of pint, silly).

PINT – How To Create A Job For You

Using the PINT job search strategy, you can discover unadvertised job opportunities!”

You can use the power of unearthing opportunities to entice an employer to actually create a job just for you. Instead of hunting for a job offer, an employer makes a position just so they can have you on their team. Heady thinking, right? But how do you put PINT to work to help land the perfect job?

Problems

Consider your strengths and the skills you most enjoy using. Then reverse-engineer your strengths to the problems your top skills can fix. If you’re happy with your current employer and want to transition within the company, consider problem areas your skills could help. Or unrealized opportunities you believe the company should be targeting. Present your thoughts to your employer in a manner that focuses on company growth not on you finagling a new position.

If you’re ready for a career change and want to move outside of your existing organization (or if you’re currently not working), consider problem areas where your strengths could best be utilized. What type of organization could best benefit from your skills? Is there an un-met need you believe your strengths could serve? Don’t just focus on your local community; think globally.

Create A Job | Ian Jenkins
Job search tip: Create a job by identifying the problems you solve

Remote workers are making up an ever-increasing percentage of the global workforce. With tools like real-time instant messaging, video conferencing, and communication resources like Slack, you can work for organizations anywhere around the globe. Focus on the problem areas you want to help solve; then consider potential companies where your skills could be put to work.

Issues

Addressing issues is another powerful component of the PINT philosophy. If you want a company to create a job specifically to match your skills, think about conditions that are in a state of flux. Are regulations changing in a particular industry? Are trends causing a shift in established thinking? Consider ways you can use your strengths to address these issues. Your dream job could very well lie in addressing an ongoing change.

Needs

Focusing on the needs of an organization can open your career search to many creative options. Industry changes, workforce wants, and global opportunities are just some of the ways you can use company needs to develop a career opportunity for yourself. When revenue-generating opportunities aren’t being addressed, you can carve out a career for yourself by addressing those needs.

Trends

Create A Job | Ian Jenkins

Incorporating trend analysis into your career creation philosophy is another powerful tool to use. Again, think globally. Whether it is workforce trends or technology trends, contemplate ways your skills can help companies address coming changes. Mobile-enabled workforces, IoT devices impacting access to data, 3D-printing influencing manufacturing costs; numerous trends can impact the financial futures of existing businesses. Understanding the impact of in-development trends on businesses can help you spot opportunities where your strengths can be beneficial to the right employer.

Using the four steps of the PINT philosophy as introduced by Tim Clark in his workshop ‘Business Model You’, can drastically impact your job creation strategy. Instead of trying to find jobs that match your skill set, contemplate the ways your strengths can benefit businesses.

From local companies to global businesses, focus on your ability to excel at what you do best while helping a business owner to grow their company. Once you’re tuned into the power of your potential, you’ll soon realize it’s easier than you think to encourage a company to create a position for you.

Thanks for reading.

– Ian Jenkins