The best time to look for a job is when you have one. We all know that instinctively. Yet, when most jobseekers get a job, the first things that go out the window are the good job search strategies that won them the new job. Now I’m not saying that you start posting your resume updated for your new position while you fill out your new hire paperwork, but I am saying that you maintain your network and do all the good habits that support your career maintenance. One of the best habits gained during a job search is networking. One of the best ways to maintain your network is to give your thanks and share a success update.
When you get that new position (or even that latest job lead), go back to the person who referred you or gave you the idea to pursue that company or gave you advice on your resume. Tell them what happened. Be specific and gracious about how they helped you. I estimate that it is fewer than 10% of candidates who thank me for job leads, advice, even actual positions that I have given them. Sometimes I run into them at a separate event and they sheepishly admit that they should have circled back to me. Sometimes I hear from them because they are asking for another favor. Instead, dramatically differentiate yourself by following up! Even if you have let a relationship lax and realize that thanks is way overdue, get back in touch anyway. People are very forgiving and will often be happy to hear from you.
The ultimate job security isn’t the stable job or company. Lifetime employment at any one place is unrealistic given how the market works. What makes you secure is the knowledge that you can get another job, regardless of the market. You have good job search technique. You know your strengths. You know your objectives. You position yourself well for the next stage of your career. You have a strong network willing to help you and extend itself on your behalf. You have a strong network because your friends realize that you are thoughtful and generous. You say thanks and share your success.