So you love your job. You’re totally happy and can’t envision ever working somewhere else. But then your department is downsized. Or a new boss comes. Or you decide that you could be making more money somewhere else.
Whatever the circumstance, today’s transient job market means that you are always job hunting. Or should be.
And you don’t want to realize that you need to start looking and have nowhere to start!
Here are five things you should do now, even if you’re deliriously happy at your job.
- Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and reflects your achievements. And then use the news feed to crow about some of your accomplishments. Go ahead….it’s a great place to mention what you’re working on and keep your name out there.
- Make a point to meet with people in other departments in your company. There are a couple of reasons to do this. One is that things can go a lot smoother when you know people in other departments. Maybe you’re in sales and a customer asks about a product specification. Of course, you could track it down, but wouldn’t it be great if you had just had lunch with someone from that development and they could tell you about it. Or better yet, call your customer themselves. Think about what a connected rock star you would look like in the customer’s eyes. Another reason of value is that other departments hear other gossip. Sometimes it’s good to have friends in all kinds of places who can keep you posted on what’s coming up next.
- Consort with people in similar jobs in other companies. Your competitors might not be eager to dine with you and share the skinny on their jobs, but I bet that there are numerous other companies that have a function similar to yours. A marketing manager is a marketing manager, no matter what you are marketing. Finding out about best practices in their workplace or a particular vendor who can solve a pesky problem are wonderful things to know.
- Attend conferences, trade shows and industry gatherings. By volunteering to represent your company you are A) taking the “burden” off someone else and making yourself shine. B) Getting the opportunity to hear about industry trends from industry leaders while you do it! Industry events are the premiere place to find out what is happening next…and who the movers and shakers are. If you really want to raise your profile, volunteer to host a talk or appear on a panel. Since you are representing your company, it’s not like you’re marketing yourself, but you really are.
- Offer to be a source for job hunters who are looking for informational interview opportunities. Chance are you’ve been there before, or will be. It feels good to help someone out, and down the road you never know where that person might land. They might be a client, a colleague or a vendor. Or a potential future employer. Just because someone is job hunting now doesn’t mean that they won’t eventually end up somewhere great.
So that’s the “how,” but what’s the “why?” What’s in it for you? Here are top three:
- When you look good, you make your company look good. Make sure to let your boss know who you know, who you’re lunching with and what you’re learning. She or he will regard you differently when you are highly regarded outside your own place of work.
- When you know more people, you find out interesting details on different job situations. Maybe you are grossly underpaid or maybe others in your position have an assistant. Or an agency. Or better perks. You’re not going to come right out and ask these things but you never know what you might find out.
- You get on other people’s radars. Even if you are not actively job hunting, would you turn down a dream job if it landed in your lap? Many jobs are recruited from acquaintances before they are even posted so being on everyone’s short list can only be a good thing.
Networking, like your health, is something you take for granted until you need it. Don’t let your network suffer just because you think you are set. Networking before you need it is like the safety net you never knew you needed!
by Cathie Ericson