When it comes to finding a new position, there are distinct advantages to being gainfully employed. For one, your skills are in demand, being utilized and you have a proven track record. But when it’s time to change careers, how do you network for a new position without clueing everyone in?
Here are a few ways you can start your job search on the down low:
- Network now. One of the most important rules of networking is to conduct mutually beneficial networking all the time and not just when you want a new job. If you wait until it’s time for a change, people may be suspicious or feel “used.”
- Know who you can trust. Sometimes the people we think we know best, surprise us. This is not a time to take chances with confidences. If you absolutely must tell someone at work that you are looking make sure this person is willing, and in a position, to keep your secret.
- Take care when you share. Sharing ‘sensitive’ information with others can feel cathartic but it can also put others in a precarious position. If a colleague doesn’t know you’re looking they won’t have to lie when asked.
- Talk to your mentor. This is one of the most valuable and trusted resources in your network who can pave the way for fruitful introductions. Be sure to have a mentor inside and outside your organization.
- Hire a coach. Working with a coach will help you stay on point, work through obstacles and provide a safe space for sharing and working on your goals.
- Craft conversations wisely. Networking during a job search doesn’t mean “asking for opportunities,” it means asking for information, advice and offering to help. Building conversations and relationships is what networking is all about.
- Get involved. Whether your attending social events, volunteering, saying “yes” to lunches, find ways to get yourself out there. If someone asks about your career, letting them know you’re entertaining the idea of change and ask for their suggestions.
- Don’t stop networking. Though you should be cautious, don’t stop networking because you fear retaliation. This is still the most valuable resource for finding great careers and positioning yourself as a valued asset for any organization.
How to Be Career Happy? Make Progress In Your Job Search Without Worry