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How to search for job while employed

by Jennifer
(Louisiana )

How should I conduct a job search when currently employed? My contract with AmeriCorps comes to an end in 2 months. I'm debating whether or not to commit to another year of service. I'd prefer not to because my pay isn't that great and I'm ready to move on. But, I'm worried about not being able to find a job in this economy.

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Apr 28, 2010
Best way to search for job while still employed
by: Michael Petras

You are always better off looking for a job while you're still employed. Whether it's fair or not, prospective employers tend to favor candidates who have a job vs those who are unemployed. So, you should definitely start your job search well before your one year contract ends with AmeriCorps.

You don't say what you do at AC or whether or not you live in a large metro area. These 2 things could make your job search easier or difficult. I know people who have been looking for a job for 8 or 9 months with no luck, while others are getting interviews and job offers at the drop of a hat.

I'm going to assume it will be relatively easy for you to find another job. Since you are obligated to stay with AC until your one year anniversary, I would start your job search at least 2 months in advance. This is the only way to determine how tough your job search will be.

Be discreet about your job search at work. Don't tell co-workers or supervisors that you are thinking about leaving. If a company wants to do a telephone interview with you, do it over your lunch hour or before/after work.

Try and schedule any on-site job interviews early in the morning or late afternoon. If you have a job interview out of town, try and schedule it on a Friday or Monday to allow the weekend as travel time. This way you won't have to request 2 days of vacation to go on your interview.

Even if you find your job search difficult, I would think long and hard about recommitting to another year with AC. One year is a long commitment if you don't like your job, or you are under paid and ready to move on. In other words, if you can't find a job by the time your contract ends, you probably shouldn't re-up for another year.

Although I do not recommend anyone quitting their job to look for another job if they are working for a regular company. It's simply too risky...especially in this dreadful economy.

Can you move in with a friend or relative so you can reduce your expenses and devote full time to your search? If you leave AC and 3 months later you still don't have a job, will AC allow you to come back?

Do what is best for you and your career, but don't obligate yourself for another year unless you totally love what you do and can manage the conservative pay. Lastly, most employers will expect you to start work within 2 weeks after accepting an offer. Some will stretch to 3 weeks, but it's highly unlikely any company will wait 2 months. The reason they won't wait that long is because they have a need to fill the position now. So, leaving it open can cost them money. Also, during the wait before a person starts, people sometimes keep looking for a job. If at the last minute they find something better, this leaves the first company high and dry.

Hope this helps a little. Good luck with your search and thanks for your service with AC.

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