Your 24X7 Job Search–Actively Looking or Not
Technology is sometimes your friend, sometimes not so much. However, one advantage it does give you is the potential for a 24X7 job search, even when you’re not actively looking for a new job. Whether you’re a busy executive or a stay-at-home mom thinking about reentering the work force, you can use various aspects of technology to make yourself visible online and help get (and keep) yourself in front of potential employers. It works even while you’re traveling extensively to meetings around the globe or sleeping after a challenging day with an active family.
What Technology Does Best for Your Job Search
Technology doesn’t always rank #1 in terms of effective job searching. Personal contact (even if only by phone) is sometimes critical to a successful job search. However, technology can extend your reach and the scope of your job search activities. For years, that meant just loading your resume onto job boards such as Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com. Since then, of course, the technology landscape has changed substantially. You can still post your resume on job boards–both the big ones and niche boards geared toward your industry or professional focus. But you can do a lot more.
Just as an example: If you’re interested in the possibility of relocating from one side of the United States to the other, the 3-hour time difference doesn’t have to impede communication with potential employers. You can select from email, an online portfolio, a LinkedIn profile, Facebook, Twitter, and a host of other resources to get the word out about what you have to offer. You can also explore possible target companies at a time of your choosing, investigate areas you might want to live and work in, and so on.
Passive versus Active 24X7 Job Search
Clearly, if you’re actively pursuing a new position–either because you’ve been laid off (or think you’re going to be) or because the job you have is no longer the “right” one for you, it makes sense to conduct a 24X7 job search. On the other hand, you might be happily employed as COO of an up-and-coming company, well compensated and not particularly interested in making another move yet. Does that mean you don’t need to maintain some elements of a 24X7 job search? Not necessarily. A little factor called unpredictability could throw a monkey wrench into your carefully planned career path.
Here are just a few examples of situations that might catapult you into an active job search you hadn’t planned on: (1) Your company’s biggest and most lucrative client either jumps ship to a competitor or goes belly-up (e.g., Chapter 11). (2) A major weather or geographical disaster strikes your company’s key vendors and severely reduces the supply of critical materials for an indefinite period. (3) You learn that an industry-leading corporation you never thought you’d have a shot at has a dream opening you feel you’d be crazy to ignore.
One critical key could be to maintain a strong online presence at all times, not just when you know you need to look for another job. Technology certainly makes that a lot more do-able than it used to be. Of course, as I’ve said before, you need to make sure your online presence works for you, not against you! Line up all your ducks in a row and then re-check them periodically to make sure they’re still well-aligned. For example, is your LinkedIn profile up to date? Do you “own” your profile on Zoominfo? Have you set up Google Alerts to let you know when certain items pop up (such as references to your name)? Are you keeping up with the industry-specific online publications you’ve subscribed to–including newsletters, blogs, webcasts, and more?