If you know me, you know that I’ve been preaching about tapping into the hidden job market for…gosh…I can’t even tell you how long. Going after the hidden job market really pays off. But it does take quite a bit of work.
So we’ve beaten the “pro-active horse” to death. What else do we have?
Surprisingly…being “passive.” I’m saying “passive” and not passive as there is still some action required on your end. But compared to all the other ways to change jobs or careers, this one is going to feel like a breeze for most people! Especially if you are already on FaceBook, LinkedIn, or any other social networking site. I’ll even bet you’ll find it fun!
If you’re not yet on those sites…my friend…you need to get your butt in high gear and get with the program. If you are not active online in a professional way, employers will not find you when they Google your name. Most employers now Google candidates. Luckily, to a big extent, you control what they get to see.
So let’s talk about this “passive” strategy. What does it entail?
Applying a “passive” approach means that you stay in frequent communication with your network through social networking sites and through personal contact, it means you have your own blog – and are writing on it! It means you’re commenting on other people’s blogs that are relevant to your field or the field you want to transition into. And it means being on forums and in groups – i.e. on LinkedIn.
What you’re doing here is being visible. Both to people in your industry and your network, and to Google.
You’re staying on the radar, you’re making yourself visible.
How? By sharing the details of your morning routine and your grievances with the world?
You want to “talk” about your area of expertise, share comments, tips, and advice with others, so people get a feel for your talents and skills. Once it’s time to move your transition into high gear, you have created awareness around yourself, your abilities, and your “brand” within your network.
Better yet, it is not unheard of that those who employ this technique receive job offers through their networks based on the value and expertise they have demonstrated online. What’s happening is that you are attracting attention from decision makers – and you never know who they are and where they hang out! – Instead of you going after companies, contacts, and job openings.
By the way, the pro-active, approaching-companies-method is still very much in vogue. I would never recommend you go “passive” in lieu of all the other job search strategies.
So when is the best time to start using this “passive” strategy?
The best time is when you are employed and preparing for your transition. Or, better yet, when you’re not even in the market for a new job. This will give you plenty of time to establish your online persona – without raising suspicion from your current employer, catch people’s attention, and have your network ready to refer you or approach you with great leads or exciting opportunities.
You could build your professional online identity 30 minutes per day at a time – probably even less. If you are in the middle of your transition and are a total stranger to social networking and blogging, you have some catching up to do. As with anything, getting started is the hardest part. Once you’re up and running, I’m confident you’ll even enjoy it!
There is no real pressure, you’re doing what you do best, or at least talking about what you do best by showcasing your expertise.
And you’re making new connections online. If you hate those in-person networking events where you show up with your stack of resumes and walk around with your name tag stuck to your shirt or jacket all night – only to forget to take it off when you go home..nice when you take public transportation…then the online alternative is your rescue. Besides the fact that most of the working world is now hanging out online, these days.
Not sure where to start, what to write about?
Start by browsing group discussions and blogs from others in your field. See what speaks to you – always keeping your career target in mind – and leave a comment when appropriate. Join the conversation and before you know it, you feel compelled to have your own say. Chime in! Answering other people’s questions that pertain to your area of expertise is also a great way to get started.
Rome wasn’t built in one day either, so be easy on yourself if this freaks you out. No need for that. And remember, we call it “passive” for a reason. A little bit at a time, and before you know it, you’ve created your own, sizzling online identity and a few pages of search listings on Google!