Monday, June 13, 2011

How to network for a new job when you're stuck at work

By Diane Stafford

Two pieces of job-hunting advice are shared routinely:

 It’s easier to land a new job when you’re employed than unemployed.
 Networking is the best way to get a new job offer.

So you want to look while you’re working — but how do you network effectively when your time is monopolized by your current job?

What if you can’t take a long lunch break to attend a professional association meeting?

What if you don’t have access to a computer all day to make contact with others on LinkedIn or Facebook?

Clearly, it’s not easy for some workers to make themselves known outside their current workplaces. But consider:

Can you find professional or fraternal associations or chamber events that meet when you’re not at work?

There are arrays of breakfast, lunch and dinner meetings scheduled around any metro area. Learn what organizations are relevant to your job goals and go to ones that dovetail with your availability.

Can you spend computer time at home or in the nearest library?

Online networking works 24/7. In fact, you can probably do a better job burnishing your Web presence if you’re not worried about the boss looking over your shoulder.
Can you reconnect with past allegiances or associates?

Even if you left school 30 years go, don’t discount the shared bonds you had with class, dorm, fraternity, sorority or athletic team mates.

Can you guide casual conversations toward your employment interests?

More Advice and Complete Article

Diane Stafford's careers columns are published on Sundays in The Kansas City Star. Reach her at Read recent columns at

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