Should You Always Be Searching for Your Next Career Opportunity?

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While your manager may have a different answer to this question, the truth is: Keeping a pulse on the job market is one of the wisest things you can do. Read that again. 

It’s a common misconception that searching for jobs while you have a job you enjoy is poor practice. After all, why would you need to keep an eye out for potential opportunities when you’re perfectly comfortable where you’re at? Some would say it’s distracting, unnecessary, and unproductive to engage in this kind of search, but in reality … it’s the opposite. 

Keep reading to learn why it’s in your best interest to always have your ear to the wall when it comes to your next career opportunity. 

Actively career searching gives you a goal

Just because you’re currently happy with your job doesn’t mean you’ll be happy two years – or even two months – from now. And when the time comes to take a different direction with your career, you’re going to want to have your goals aligned so your vision is clear. 

Take some time to reflect on how you’d like to spend your time in the future. Remember, one-third of your life is spent at work, so feeling respected, appreciated, and emotionally stimulated is critical. 

Whether your goal is to get promoted at work or take your career in a whole new direction, staying on top of industry news and opportunities will keep you sharp. Subscribe to LinkedIn notifications to receive alerts for jobs that could be of interest to you, or positions that are a step or two higher up the ladder. Career paths no longer have to be linear– find a potential career that makes your heart skip a beat. 

It gives you unmatched insight

Let’s say you do your research and find a job listing that intrigues you. Look into the position to learn what experience is required, the recommended skills, and the tasks involved. Repeat this job searching practice weekly until you have a solid list of postings to reference. 

If you’re missing some of the qualifications in the postings you accumulated, create a professional development plan to acquire the skills you’re lacking. If the job aligns with your current role, consider implementing some of the tasks into your day-to-day work routine. Otherwise, get prepared and focus on furthering your education in your free time so that when you’re applying for similar roles in the future, your experience won’t be a barrier.

It gives you a backup plan

Searching for a job online can be overwhelming as it is, but it’s even more so when you’re jobless and your finances depend on it. And, if we’ve learned anything in the past couple of years it’s that life can throw us for a loop without any warning.

If you were to find yourself jobless at a moment’s notice, the last thing you’d want to deal with is navigating a job board. Do your future self a favor now and keep your job search top of mind. This way, you will have a starting point with a list of job positions you saved and the recent skills you’ve acquired. Even if those positions aren’t available when it comes time for you to apply, it never hurts to reach out to the company for advice or to get on their radar.

If searching for your next career opportunity overwhelms you or you’ve found yourself ready for that next step without the time to devote to get you there, you could also find an experienced recruiter to assist with your job search. Not only will a recruiter save you time and stress, but they can do a lot of the weaving and digging for you to ensure the opportunities you’re applying for are the right fit.

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