When is the best time to look for a new job? Many people might answer that question by saying, “When you don’t have a job and you need one!” However, that is the worst time for an Animal Health or Veterinary professional to look for a job.

The reason is simple: when you don’t have a job, you also don’t have any leverage. Depending upon your situation, you may be forced to consider positions and accept offers that you would not normally consider or accept. In essence, you’re working from a position of weakness and NOT from a position of strength.

So that means the best time to look for a new job is when you already have a job! That might sound counterintuitive, but it’s absolutely the case. Think about it for a minute. When you have a job and you’re conducting a job search, you can afford to be more selective with your search. That’s because you’re moving from a position of strength, and when you’re able to do that, you can make better decisions.

Harvey Mackay has written an excellent book on this subject titled Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty. In a professional sense, this means networking and exploring what opportunities exist within your chosen field. Just because you explore these opportunities doesn’t mean you have to take them. You’re simply creating options and quite possibly setting yourself up for the next step in your career.

Building a relationship with a search consultant or recruiter can help you to “dig your well.” The best time to look for a new job is when you already have one—and you can start today!