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Job Hunting - When Should You Start?

Aug 17, 2007
Now, it's logical to think that the best time to start job hunting is when you've decided to quit your current job... and definitely after you've already quit, or been given your marching orders. But in terms of getting the best possible job for you, the best time to start looking is in neither circumstance.

Actually, the ideal time is when the company you want to hire you has just realized that it needs to employ someone.

And let's be clear, this isn't when the company is already actively looking for someone to fill the position - when it has, for example, hired a recruitment agency or has started advertising on the job boards - it's when the company has just realized that it needs the position filled.

And just why is this the best time for you to start looking for a job? Because if you're "there" when the company has decided it needs to hire... and you have all the experience, qualifications and skills its looking for, then (except for any regulatory or political requirements to advertise the job) you're the one its likely to hire! The only reasons why the organization wouldn't hire you would probably be due to asking for a salary the company isn't prepared to pay or for corporate political reasons outside your control.

And if the salary isn't right... or you underestimated the corporate politics... well, that kind of thing happens after going through the rigmarole of applying for a job and sitting through a series of interviews the normal way, doesn't it? At least in this case, you'll know where you stand much more quickly!

Now you're probably wondering... "if the ideal time to start job hunting is when the company I want to work for has decided it needs to employ someone for the job I want"... then "how do I know that?" and "how do I know that I want to work for that company anyway?"

Well, I'll be honest, this is where you will have to roll up your sleeves and do a little work. Nothing hard - but some decision making, research and a little networking. And the first step is to identify which companies you'd like employment with.

For instance, if you were, or were interested in becoming, a project manager with a software firm, you would naturally research the software industry to determine which companies you might like to work for.

Once you've identified the companies you could see yourself working for, you would start doing as much research as you can about each of those firms. Not only will this help you clarify which companies are a better or worse fit for you, but it will also be your "springboard" for doing a little personal networking. Because, ideally, you'll meet some of the people at those companies with a view to building a relationship in which they'll think of you first when a job opportunity arises.

Now it's just a matter of keeping abreast of developments within (and outside of) the organization(s) you're targeting and maintaining, if not building, your relationships with the key people who work there. When you learn of a development that may create a job opportunity, you can get in touch with the people you know to confirm whether or not there is likely to be a position. If that's the case, you can then position yourself as the ideal candidate.

Of course, you'll know the best approach to take given the type of development that occurs.

Okay, so this approach may not be the best way to go if you need a job and you need it now (who knows when the companies you're targeting will need to hire?). However, it really is the approach to take in order to land your dream job... and only requires a little research, patience and the confidence to talk to people to do it. Try it!
About the Author
Get the job you want! Watch Anna's funny and inspiring movie, Career Choices, then download a free chapter of her shocking and controversial ebook, Insider Job Secrets Revealed.
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