You may have heard the smartest people are always on the offense, always looking out for themselves, and constantly seeking to improve. All of these things are true both in life and in your career. Although this is not the case every time, a common way to move up and advance in your career is to change companies. It’s likely most positions within your company are currently filled, and you may feel like those above you are not going anywhere anytime soon, which is probably true.
If you are serious about advancing and improving your position, it is imperative to constantly be looking for opportunities, whether they are internal or external.
You may be thinking: I love my job, why would I job hunt while I’m satisfied? Unfortunately, your job is almost never fully secure. I have seen many completely satisfied employees come into work one day to find out that due to financial troubles, their position has been terminated. The truth is, you can easily be blindsided and realize you need a new job in an instant.
On the other hand, you may already want to leave and not even realize it. Many employees get complacent and hold the mindset they couldn’t be successful elsewhere. The philosophy behind always “job searching” is simply staying on the offense, staying aware. Job searching doesn’t have to mean sending in your resume every week, but rather being aware of what other opportunities are currently available on a fairly regular basis. By staying aware and current, you are constantly keeping yourself relevant and open to new things.
A friend of mine–a very successful woman in her respective field–is an example of the merit in always staying on the offense. She had the unfortunate experience of losing her job through the downsizing of the company and took that opportunity to learn a valuable lesson: expect the unexpected. She states she will “forever be job searching,” even though she landed another impressive position and currently holds it.
In order to prepare for something like losing your job or wanting a change, stay on top of what’s going on in companies you would like to work for or positions you seek to fill. For example, if you are a Mustang lover and have always wanted to work around them, stay up-to-date with a company like CJ Pony Parts for any job openings you may be interested in. Whether this means interacting with them on social media, visiting their offices or staying current with their job listings, it will help when something does pop up.
As a benchmark, you should update and revise your resume every 6 months to a year and have a constant list of your top five industry connections. Stay in contact with colleagues from previous jobs and keep an online presence current; someone may end up reaching out to you. These things change over time and will be helpful to have in the event of striving toward a new position.
It may seem foreign to always be on the job hunt, but it is always best to be prepared and know what else is out there. You may find positions listed similar to yours are all at a higher pay rate and it may be time to ask for a raise. Andrew Grove, former CEO of Intel and lead thinker in the development of Silicon Valley, famously stated, “Only the paranoid survive.” Staying “paranoid” and informed will give you a leg up on competition and ideally help you achieve all of your professional goals.
This post was originally published at an earlier date.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock