As it has been said, never put off until tomorrow that which you can do today. Of all the things one can buy with money, time is not one of them.
For those who “walk among us” who are thinking that the time is not far off when they might have to look for another job, I would suggest that the time is now. If you are relatively secure and fat and happy in your current job, this is not the time to call 100 recruiters and send out your resume unsolicited to the Fortune 500. It is, however, a time for preparation.
As we know in The FENG, or at least I hope we know, ALL JOBS ARE TEMPORARY. While you may not be out of work tomorrow, someday the word will come, and that is no time to START a job search.
Much has been made over the many years I have been involved in job search strategy about your relative attractiveness to members of the search community if you are working. There is also a syndrome that some people only want things they can’t have or that are already owned by someone else. While all this may be true, for those of our members who are “senior financial executives,” by which I mean “well seasoned,” you are generally not all that attractive to this audience anyway, so I wouldn’t do much worrying about them.
Your real goal is preparation. Not in a crazy way, but in a rational and practical way.
Do you have a resume? When was the last time you really looked at it? Of all the power tools you need to have handy if you suddenly decide to get serious, a resume is at the top of the list. If you have been active in The FENG, I would hope you have been accumulating the data you need to bring that marketing document to a state of high polish. Rather than wait until you are feeling concerned about your financial future, now is the time to gather your thoughts and put them down on paper. When you are feeling good about yourself is the time you will do some proper writing.
Have I mentioned networking? (Only several times a week!) Again, since you are currently gainfully employed, there is no need to go crazy and schedule 2-3 networking meetings a week, but have you been going through the new member listing and looked for folks you can invite up to your office with the scenic view for a cup of coffee? Once a month would be nice and would get you in the spirit of The FENG. Who knows, you might even make a few new friends who might help YOU when you need it.
Speaking of friends, do you make an effort to keep in touch with all the folks who helped you the last time around? (How quickly we forget.) I used to keep a written address book of all of my friends and several times a year when things were slow, I would “take a day off at the office” and call all of them. It was great to reconnect with old friends, find out what they were doing and perhaps even make a lunch date or two. You can’t expect your friends to be there for you if you don’t call them once in a while when you don’t “need” them. (By the way, you always need friends.)
I would suggest to you that in some sense everyone should always be job searching. As I believe George C. Scott said in his role of Patton, we are either advancing or in full retreat. One should never “hold ground.” And so it is in life. If you are not aggressively pursuing new things, you may as well be writing off your career.
None of this is to say that you should quit your perfectly good job tomorrow and go out and look for another one. Someday I will rerun my “stepping up into the lifeboat” editorial which will explain in more detail why you never volunteer to be unemployed.
Anyway, if you have put off until some future point in time even thinking about your career, this might be a good time to “get with the program.”