How to look for a new job while keeping the current one

In today’s uncertain job market, it makes sense to keep your options open. Even stable companies are tightening their belts and laying off longtime employees simply because they need to survive the economic downturn. In more normal times, the threat of job loss wasn’t as traumatic, because there were always companies that were hiring. When general economic conditions are depressed, it is more difficult to recover quickly from job loss. So the dilemma for some people is “how to look for a new job without getting fired from your old one.” Here are some ways to prepare if you get an unexpected slip up:
Rule number one:Be sure to do everything in your power to be visible and relevant within your current organization.. When the company decides it needs to cut back, make sure they see you as one of the “must have” members of the team. Be sure to go the extra mile on projects, talk about ways to improve service or products, and be a team player with your colleagues. Don’t get involved in the petty disputes that paralyze teamwork in any organization. Being branded as someone who isn’t a team player will quickly put you at the top of the list for possible layoff. This is true whether you are an executive or an executive assistant’s assistant.
Second, look for legitimate networking opportunities.Actively participate in industry trade groups, associations or community organizations. Help to organize one of your meetings or events. Meet other professionals in your industry or profession. Offer to be a speaker on a topic in which you have experience. By cultivating even a small network of successful peers, you’ll have a great starting point if you need to look for a new job.
Third, Connect with vendors who visit your business.Be nice. Vendors are likely looking for information about how your current business operates so they can better serve you; however, they also turn to other companies both within and outside their industry. Have a coffee with them and find out what’s going on with these other companies. Be sure to save the provider’s business cards, phone numbers, and email addresses.
Four, spend fifteen to twenty minutes each day keeping up with business in your city or your industry. This could include reading the business section of your local metropolitan newspaper or scanning the Internet if your employer allows you to do so. Take note of trends and new businesses starting up in your area. Sometimes company executives are profiled. Write down names, your company, and any contact information. You can use a computer file or just 3×5 cards for future reference. If something really interesting comes up, give them a call and just have a potluck if you can arrange one. If you are active in a trade group or Chamber of Commerce then this could be a good entry. Better yet, if you’re an expert, get the editor to profile you!
Finally, From your home computer, spend some time checking out a few job boards or blogs.Also join social media groups like Linkedin, Plaxo or even Facebook. I would use my personal email address and not my corporate email address for two reasons: first, if you left your company, you don’t have to update your network with an email address change; Second, using your company email could violate company IT policy. Going back to rule number one, don’t do anything that will give your current employer a reason to want to let you go. Violations of company IT policies may be grounds for disciplinary action or, in some cases, termination. Don’t prepare for either one.
Following these simple rules will allow you to pursue alternative opportunities without antagonizing your current employer or violating the terms of your employment. You can be smart, stay current, and stay visible within your industry and your community. In the meantime, if you find yourself without a job, you’ve already started connecting with other people who can help you find something new.

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