31st March 2016 • Alex Rosengren
It’s true. No matter how happy and settled in our roles we are, the smartest of us are already thinking about the next step; and you should be too.
“Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.” Max Ehrmann
Times are indeed changing, and you need to be careful you don’t get left behind. These days, whilst your loyalty will be appreciated by your employer, there’s no real chance of it counting for anything if the company takes a financial hit. Whilst you might be settled today, there are no guarantees, and knowing you’re on an ongoing job hunt may make for a softer landing should the bubble burst.
It’s no coincidence that the most successful among us are usually the ones who take the most proactive approaches to their own careers. These days, the strongest approach to take is to think between 5-7 years ahead, and work out how to get where you want to be by that point.
Don’t lose sight of your ultimate career goals in favour of the transient comfort you have in your current position.
Regular forays into the job hunting world help you in numerous ways; they enable you to clarify what you do and don’t want from a position, allow you to maintain awareness of your industry standards, and mean that you’ll never be totally unprepared for the unexpected.
Understanding how a company approaches the hiring of their personnel is extremely revealing. If you find a company’s application process confusing and frustrating, their response times are appalling and their staff seem disorganised, there’s a pretty fair bet that you’ll be walking into similar chaos if you’re offered a position there.
While it might have seemed ideal on paper, this may be a far cry from the role you want. These are the sorts of thing you’ll only discover when you’re in the job hunting process.
Even if you’re settled and sorted, it’s always useful to check similar positions advertised every few months. What you find might surprise you...
“Statistically speaking, employees who stay longer than 2 years at a company earn 50% less than those who leave. “ – Forbes.com
Checking similar ads to see if your responsibilities and salary match the general going rate is an easy way to ensure your current employer isn’t taking advantage of your loyalty (or inattention).
Additionally, checking what other employers are looking from in similar professionals will give you a big heads-up when it comes to identifying skills you’re missing, or areas in which you may need to refine your knowledge.
As a professional, all conversations you have with others in your sector are worthwhile.
Make a list of your top 5 industry connections, and be sure to maintain the relationships you have with them – you never know when you might need them.
Spending time on business networks and engaging in discussions relevant to your field will ensure you remain in the forefront of a recruiter’s mind, which means that when the time comes to seriously start job-hunting, they’ll be more than ready to come to you.
Doing something as simple as updating your CV every 6-12 months means you’re always ready should the next big step come up unexpectedly.