There’s a good chance that you’re gainfully employed at the moment and that your employer is treating you rather well. After all, the economy is good right now. In fact, it’s been good for several years.
In addition, the unemployment rate in the country has been historically low throughout most of this year. By all accounts and measures, there is a skills gap in the United States, meaning that there are plenty of industries in which employers are struggling to find qualified workers.
If your employer is treating you well, then you might be feeling pretty comfortable right now. And while it’s nice to be comfortable, the bad news is that being comfortable does not necessarily lead to career growth and satisfaction.
In fact, just the opposite is often the case. Those professionals who feel comfortable don’t do what is necessary to continue growing. Instead, they become stagnant. They cling to the status quo, hoping that it lasts forever.
Well, if there’s one thing we know about the status quo, it’s that it does NOT last forever. The only thing that’s constant is change, which means that the status quo to which you might be fiercely clinging is going to change eventually. It’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when.
So what can you do? How can you continue to enjoy the comforts of gainful employment and still position yourself for career advancement?
That answer: a passive job search.
What does that mean, exactly?
It means that you’re not an active job seeker. You’re not spending hours and hours pouring through online advertisements in search of another job. You’re too busy to do that, anyway. You don’t have the time, and right now, you don’t have the desire, either.
What it does mean, though, is that you’re open to hearing about an opportunity if that opportunity is presented to you and that opportunity is clearly better than your current job. (Because although your employer may be treating you well and you might be comfortable, there is always something better in marketplace.)
It also means that you should do the following three things:
#1—Keep your resume and LinkedIn profile updated.
And don’t try to use your LinkedIn profile in place of your resume. It doesn’t work that way. Be sure to add new skills and accomplishments, including degrees or training certifications, every six months or so. Don’t go years and years between updates.
#2—Network as much as you can.
This includes networking face-to-face and networking online. Social media sites are fine, including LinkedIn, but try to do both. It’s not just what you know, but who you know, as well.
#3—Align yourself with an experienced recruiter.
Let them do the work for you! When a position comes across their desk that fits your specifications, they’ll contact you. Remember: they have access to job openings that aren’t made public through traditional avenues.
Now that you know how to conduct a passive job search, below are three reasons why conducting one can help your career:
#1—You have more leverage.
This is another way of saying that you’re working from a position of strength as opposed to a position of weakness. When’s the best time to look for a new job—when you have one . . . or when you’re unemployed?
#2—You have more flexibility.
This is another way of saying that you can be more selective about which positions you pursue and which ones you don’t. If an opportunity is not clearly better than what you have, then don’t pursue it.
#3—You’ll make better decisions.
With more leverage and more flexibility, you’ll make better decisions. If you do pursue another opportunity, it will represent a step forward in your career. You’ll be making progress instead of making a lateral move or even worse—one that’s backwards.
Now that you know the “how” and the “why” of conducting a passive job search, get started today. Position yourself for greater career success and satisfaction!
The Doepker Group has experience placing professionals in the Information Technology and Engineering fields, and we can place YOU, as well.