I am in my last year of graduate studies. I have lately started networking for post-doc opportunities with some of the prominent people out there. I believe I have done a decent job in presenting myself so far, and I have gotten some people interested in discussing it further. The typical scenario would be to initiate formal contact by email then, if both parties are interested, pay a visit to the lab and talk with the people working there.
Now that I am starting to plan these things, I am wondering if the timing is optimal and if not how I should be putting them. I like planning these things in advance and not having to end up stressing about it all the way in the end. Heaving a big margin also provides time for project planning, as well as finding and applying for post-doc grants.
On the down-side, this last year is all I got to finish my projects, get papers out and also write a good thesis. All of which, I am sure, will take a significant amount of time. Ideally worrying/planning about the next step, should not prevent me from progressing as efficiently as I can.
So, in general, when would be a good time to take active and serious steps towards the next employment after graduate studies?