Networking For Jobs While Employed

Networking for a job while employed is tough. This is especially true for those in sales and marketing roles who may already be heavily involved in networking on behalf of their current employer.

So, how do you handle networking for the benefit of self-promotion while also representing a specific employer? Discretion and good judgment are key. In your networking circle, cherry pick a select few who you feel comfortable can be in the know of your job search efforts. It’s important these individuals not be closely tied to your existing employer. There is no need to put someone in the position of feeling they are betraying a relationship they have with your boss or company.

For those who you invite into your search efforts, give them a basic idea of what you are looking to do and the contacts and information they may be able to help provide that would help you pull off your goal. Stay positive. There is no need to go into any negative aspects of your current situation when sharing your desire to move on. It’s a waste of time and creates the potential for you to appear unprofessional, bitter or unable to filter.

Once you’ve decided who you can include in your search, you then have to figure out what to do with everyone else. The worst thing you can do is to stop participating in networking circles until you’ve made your move. One of my clients felt awkward striking up conversations with people and building relationships knowing full well the clock was ticking on how much longer she’d be in her current job. Networking isn’t necessarily just about you as an employee of a particular company though. It’s about building relationships with people who can be resources to you, and you to them, now and in the future. Talking up your current employer and the services offered might not make a lot of sense. Make the conversation more about them instead. Use the time to find out more about their needs and goals. Work to establish and even better rapport since there is no temptation for you to accidentally slip into salesman mode. Also consider the information individuals may be able to provide to you without ever having to know you are actually on a job hunt. Through the course of regular conversations you can gain a lot of intelligence on who is hiring, what industries are busy and what business events are setting the tone in the community at large.

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