Always be Prepared for a Job Search
Having an updated resume at the ready, attending networking events, browsing job opportunities on LinkedIn – why do career experts feel we should be keeping up with these activities even when were not actively looking for a job change? Because sometimes the best opportunities come along when you’re not looking. Here’s why you should always be looking:
Knowing Your Value
The only way to ensure you are maximizing your internal opportunities with your current employer is to understand your external value in the marketplace – you need to measure what you do and how you are compensated against people outside your company. Many people feel they are underemployed and under compensated, but how can that be validated? How can you approach your boss about a raise and promotion if you haven’t done your research? By taking the time to calculate your worth, it will help you make smart and educated career decisions both at your current job and in the job market.
You could be in a great company doing a job you love, but you never know when something could happen. The company could get acquired;there could be a change in management; they could merge. Stuff happens. The best time to be prepared to look for a job is when you don’t need to. When you aren’t actively looking for a job is the time when you should write your resume and have your network up-to-date. The worst time for these career activities is when you are under pressure and need to do them. It’s like selling a house. You will never get the maximum value for your home if you are desperate to sell it. The key is to prepare for the worst and hope for the best, not the other way around.
Passive Candidates are Powerful Candidates
The most powerful and attractive candidate is a passive candidate – period. There are different types of candidates that fall into two main categories. The first is people who are actively looking because they don’t have a job, or they don’t like the job they have. The second are people who have good jobs but are open minded to hearing about opportunities – the passive candidate. These candidates understand that the next step in any career should be considered and be considered frequently. People want to hire the passive candidate. Your dream job could pass you by if you are not open to new opportunities.
This ain’t your Daddy’s Resume
Career “loyalty” to one organization used to be attractive to potential employers, but it is now viewed as complacency, being risk averse, or could signal that nobody wanted to recruit you. So think about how long you’ve been with a company and your job. Consider what you have learned and your marketability, and contemplate a change – before you miss your window and you’ve stayed too long.
Show Me the Money
As your learning curve flattens, so does your salary. If you have been at a company a while, you are not that much more valuable on Thursday than you were on Monday – your perceived value flattens over time. But when you are new, you value is high and you are more valuable every day; the opportunity to affect your income increases.
Even if you love your company, your colleagues and your work – even if you feel you are being paid fairly – it’s important that you take the time to calculate your worth, keep your network fresh, update your resume, and even consider other roles. If you decide to stay at your current job, it will be because you’ve weighed all your options. And if you decide to leave, it will be on your terms and only for the best opportunity.