You may not be surprised to learn the best time tofind a job is when you already have a job. Recent ERE.net research shows that some employers consider passive candidates—people not actively looking for work because they're employed—one of the best sources of hires.
When you consider that no job is forever, and the fact that the average employee will have between 10 and 15 jobs in a career, it's wise to take action to positively influence your chances to land a new job, even if you don't think you need one right now.
Jonathan Kreindler, founder of FreshTransition.com, a free, web-based career management system that provides guidance from a community of career experts, suggests these tips to help you stay competitive when your next transition may be just around the corner:
1. Broaden your scope. Kreindler notes: "While you likely have a full-plate at work already, consider ways to take on different challenges within your role. When you do, you'll not only become more valuable to your current employer, but you'll learn new skills, enhance your experience, and expand the number of opportunities you'll be suitable for next time you're actively looking."
2. Seize opportunities to try new things. While it is important to have niche expertise, don't let yourself be pigeonholed in one very specific area for years on end. Keep a close eye on where your field is headed and don't keep your head buried in the sand. When you're aware of trends and potential hot areas, you'll be in a better position to advance your career.
3. Don't be passive, but passively search. "Conducting a passive search doesn't necessarily mean you're applying for jobs with the intention of leaving your current role behind. Rather, it's all about exploring your options, understanding your value, and determining what gaps exist between the role you have today and the role you aspire to in the future," explains Kreindler.
Research your competitors by tracking their social media company pages (especially on LinkedIn, where you'll be able to tell when companies hire new people). Follow industry leaders on social media and keep track of the news about your field. One easy way to do this is to find and follow industry thought leaders on Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Read their updates and you'll keep up-to-date about what is going on in your field with very little effort on your part.