Steve’s Question: What is the best way to look for a job while you have a job?

Here’s the second question from the email from Steve:

What is the best way to look for a job while you have a job?

Great question, and pretty common when talking about LinkedIn Profiles.

Here’s my answer:

Informational interviews and networking.

Be out there. Meet new people, ask “who can you introduce me to” (or any variation of that question), and meet more and more people, but with purpose and within a strategy (not just to collect contact info).

Let’s break these down:

Informational Interviews are so key in today’s job search that if you aren’t doing it, you are probably wasting time in your job search. If I had to start my job search today I would have informational interviews as the #1 task that I do every single day.

Networking is such an ambiguous word. I did it wrong until I read Never Eat Alone.  If you haven’t, read a networking book then read one.  There’s more to networking that what you are probably doing right now.

Be out there means you have to be visible.  If you are only working and going home to apply to a job here or there, no one will know who you are. Go to lunch with people.  Go to networking events, not as a job seeker but as a professional.  Don’t feel like you are cheating on your employer… being an active networker is good for him/her too.  It might lead to sales!  It will be great for you, for many reasons.

Meet new people means you don’t go to networking events for the food, and that you are actively growing your network.

Ask for introductions, with various questions like “who should I talk to….”.  You want to get deeper into a company or industry or profession, and a great way to do that is by people making introductions for you.  And that happens when you ASK FOR THEM.

Having a purpose and strategy means you don’t have meaningless conversations.  If you get 10 minutes with your prime prospect what do you talk about?  Know the answer to that.  Know how to use 10 minutes, and how to end it (with an invitation for something more?).

What do you think?  How would you recommend people do a job search while employed?  (or, how do you do an undercover job search?)