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Career Strategy

Q) I have been employed with the same company for almost 6 years. I like what I do and it pays the bills, however, it is not something I want to do for the rest of my professional life. I have always heard that it is better to look for a job when you have a job. Reason being, that when you are still employed and have a paycheck coming in, you can be more selective, and without financial concerns, you will not have to accept the first offer that comes along. What is your view on my particular situation?

A) Some myths are so appealing we accept them without really questioning their validity; for instance, the notion that it is always better to look for new employment while currently employed. If financial obligations are not a pressing concern, and I realize that is a big if, being unemployed can surprisingly have hidden advantages. Therefore I offer the following 5 points for consideration:

  1. With mergers and downsizings being an everyday occurrence in the corporate world, the stigma of being unemployed is virtually gone.

  2. You can dedicate 40 or more hours a week to locating a new position.

  3. You do not have to be secretive. This will allow you to contact key industry resource people whom you might otherwise have avoided if you were still employed.

  4. You now have access to all job-hunting avenues such as direct mail, trade and professional associations, and networking.

  5. You are free to generate and schedule more interviews. Working full time limits involvement and commitment both to and from the organization -you feel torn between personal goals and professional obligations. Without work obligations, you will have greater flexibility to line up more interviews, which will definitely increase your chances of finding the right opportunity faster.

Some readers may find it odd that I take an opposite view; however, after years of observation, I would say that the myth of having a job while looking for another job is not as valid as it used to be.

- Joe Hodowanes, Career Strategy Advisor

J.M. Wanes & Associates

www.jmwanes.com

Joe Hodowanes, M.P.A., SPHR, is a nationally recognized career coach, syndicated columnist, and president of Tampa-based J.M. Wanes & Associates, www.jmwanes.com. J.M. Wanes & Associates is a career coaching, outplacement, and executive search firm specializing in executive-level opportunities.