WorkWise Q&A: How do I test the job hunting waters?

October 5, 2013 

UNDERSTATED

Q: Dear Dr. Culp, I want to have a low-keyed job search that brings job opportunities to me. I’m happy in my company, but I’m ambitious and there may be better places for me. I don’t have a deadline for finding a job. I’m really just testing the waters. How should I proceed?

Exploring

A: Dear Exploring, Think in terms of advancing your career rather than job hunting. Become visible. Circulate among people in your target industry or occupation.

Decide which associations or trade groups attract your target market. Join them and be active in them. If helping in membership puts you in front of others joining for the same reason as you, develop an initiative that gets you around them.

Do public speaking. Test-drive your topic with a relevant group so that when you move on to your target market, you’ll hit the audience demographics you need. Get your company to publicize what you’re doing or get permission to do it yourself. A simple press release announcement or a partial-page release is essential. Send it to the press in that market. If you have a decent voice, send your information to news at radio stations and their business talk shows.

mlc

ACQUIRED

Q: Dear Dr. Culp, My company was just acquired by a larger organization and several people were let go. It appears as if I’m safe, but I wouldn’t be writing you if I thoroughly believed that. What can I do to re-secure my job with the new management?

Stabilizing

A: Dear Stabilizing, Beyond continuing to do your job well, you need to push back from your computer and get engaged in activities that involve the new management. That means more than just work activities, from committees to offering to help when a person with influence is overloaded.

If you like to write, write an article for the company newsletter. If there isn’t one, start one. Hunt for information and ideas other people may not see. Be upbeat and positive in speaking with people and writing about them. Quote them. Commend them whenever possible.

Research where people of influence are volunteering or otherwise active in the community. Select activities that will interest you.

When you see a need either within the company or the community, fill that need and self-promote. Let it make you stand out.

mlc

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