Becoming a member of job seekers and looking for a new job can be quite a stressful thing. This not only means you have to redo your resume and start facing those dreaded interviews again but, you will be asked to provide job references as well. This can be pretty tricky especially if you are still working and you don't want your current boss to know that you are looking for a new job. So you will have to turn to your co-workers to see if they would be willing to help you here. Remember, this is a favor you are asking so you need to try and make it as easy on them as you can.
One of the first things you should do is make sure that the co-worker or co-workers that you choose to ask should do the similar things that you do on the job and you should also probably share the same kind of work ethics as well. You also need to be sure that you can trust this person that they will not leak the information back to your boss.
Make sure the person you choose is approached in private. You can send them an email or give them a call on the phone but don't do it out in the open where you can be seen discussing it. Ask them if they would mind being your reference and then give them enough time to give it consideration. Doing this remember can be putting both of you on the spot.
If they agree to be your reference then you should let them know when you will be needing the reference. So, it is important that you give them as much advance notice as possible so that it will give them plenty of time to write out a good and well thought out work recommendation for you. If this person is going to be contacted by phone, if you happen to know around when they might be contacted make sure that you let them know this so they are prepared.
You will need to give your co-worker all of the details that you can with regards to the job that you are putting in for. Try and explain all of the responsibilities of the new job and include why you think you'll be good for this job. The more info you provide the easier it will be for them to reference this to the job you perform currently.
Give your co-worker also a copy of your updated resume and other information that might be helpful. Talk to them about what skills you would like for them to focus on in their recommendation and if you are getting more than one co-worker to help you, make sure that each of them focus on different skills.
After you have done all of this you should give them an envelop that already has the name and address that the recommendation will go to. Make sure that you ask them to make a copy of the recommendation so that you might have a copy of it.
Telling them thank you in person is one thing but it says a lot more if you take the time out to make out a thank you note and give that to them as well. After all, they are doing an exceptionally gracious and nice thing for you, make the extra effort to thank them graciously.