If you’re looking for a job or thinking of switching jobs you can do yourself a huge favor by considering this one factor today: references. Who do you know who can vouch for your abilities, character, and work habits? One likely source could include former or current coworkers or bosses.
However, if you want to keep your job search discrete you might consider investing some time in generating relevant external references. For example, you might volunteer outside of work. Your supervisor or trainer could then serve as a reference. You might take a course and ask that professor to be your reference. Or you could join a community group and utilize a member of that group to vouch for you. These external references can be particularly helpful if you are considering switching careers. By choosing your activities and involvement carefully they can serve as a bridge to a new field.
Even if you are happy at your current job it is still a smart move to keep a rolodex of references in your head. And if you are trying to come up with names of references and are drawing a blank, then invest some time in building up relationships that will help you in the future.