The Internet at the Speed of Thought

The Best Time to Look for a Job Is When You Don’t Need One

at 7:15 pm | By

Proactive vs. reactive

I know about this subject all too well. Mainly because I’ve always looked for a job when I needed one and my luck was slim to none. But now, I’m doing what I love and, according to research, I should STILL be looking for a job? What the what? According to Lou Adler, a best-selling author on getting hired, you should always keep your options open to implement a proactive career strategy. His theory comes from the Career Zone Analysis. He explains:

“If you’re highly satisfied in your current position and it continues to offer lots of growth for the foreseeable future you’re somewhere on the left. If your career is plateauing you’re somewhere in the middle. If you find little satisfaction in your work, the future is questionable or you’re underemployed, you’re somewhere on the right of the midpoint.”

Lou Adler's Career Zone Analysis

Credit: LinkedIn/louadler

Adler continues to break down a rule to implement when seeking jobs

The 60/20/19/1 Rule

Business people networking

Credit: baranq/Shutterstock

According to Adler, active job seekers spend 60% of their time networking. But he argues that it’s not about quantity, but quality. Just because you meet a lot of people, that doesn’t mean that you have a better chance in getting your foot in the door. Focus on meeting people who can actually support your work and get you to the right opportunities.

20% of your effort should be put into making sure recruiters see your resumes on online job sites.

19% should go to finding that one person who can direct your straight to the hiring manager. “Applying directly is a 100 to 1 shot and should be limited to 1% of your effort,” he concludes.

He may have a point, users took to a Reddit forum to explain their experiences of looking for jobs when they didn’t need them…

Just a Little Job Hunting

Employment application form

Credit: Brian A Jackson/Shutterstock

Really, the best time to look for anything is when you don’t need it, but this is specifically about job hunting and how it worked out for me.

The quick background: I’ve been in manufacturing 20+ years, mid-level management for the last who knows how long. I happen to love my current job. I have a great crew, good benefits, a boss that let’s me run my department with very little interference, close to home… etc. The pay, definitely below industry standards, but people put up with it because of the perks. Basically, you trade lack of stress for lack of pay.

A long time ago, I was told that you should always keep an eye out, never get too comfortable, so I did. Over the last few years, I applied for a few different jobs, and listed very high salary requirements knowing that if I didn’t get an offer, I’d be okay because I was in a job I enjoyed.

I received an offer recently for a position I have a great deal of experience with, and was able to negotiate a 53% increase in salary. Similar benefits (though obviously I don’t know about the team, etc). I hit it off with my new boss very well in the interview, I have no worries there.

I’m very excited about this position, and thought I would share with the rest of PF that even if you’re happy, keep an eye out, and take a shot at improving your wage bracket. You have nothing to lose by asking for what you want (if you’re in a position you’re okay with being patient with for a little while). You just might find out someone thinks you’re worth it. (boomshalock)