There’s a well-known slogan in sales that can also apply to your job search: “always be closing.” In sales, the idea is to always be on the lookout for strategies to close the deal. When it comes to your career, you might want to consider a similar strategy: always be searching.
Even if you’re completely content with your current role, the average number of years professionals stay with their employer is 4.1 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This means you’ll likely be starting a new job search several times over the next decade.
Why Consistently Job Searching Is Important
Consistently searching for a new job means more than connecting with a new role. Consider reasons to look for a new job, how to go about finding a new job while working, and the career benefits you’ll gain from your job search, even if you never actually switch jobs.
1. Bump Your Salary
Continuing your job search often means a heftier paycheck. For starters, you’ll stay up to date with your current market value. You’ll know whether or not you need to consider negotiating a salary that’s aligned with the job market. Or, if you’re offered that higher-paying job, you could decide to switch to the more lucrative position.
It’s not just your base salary that is affected, either. Regular job searching keeps you informed about compensation trends and benefits that are standard in your industry. This knowledge can be crucial when negotiating bonuses, insurance, perks, and other benefits. Ensure you’re fully compensated for your expertise and experience.
2. Discover What You Really Want
Consistently job searching and interviewing is also a great way to measure how happy you are in your job. Meeting with other companies and learning about them can help you get a lay of the land and determine what you love—and don’t love—about your present role, and it could also set you on an entirely new career path.
As you explore new opportunities and evaluate different roles and companies, you gain clarity on aspects like company size, culture, and values that are most conducive to your growth and satisfaction. You’ll be able to make more informed and fulfilling career choices.
3. Enhance Your Brand
A continual job search can help you scope out the competition, polish your personal brand, and decide which skills to highlight should you come across a new role you want to pursue. Your “billboard,” controlled by you on social media and other online platforms, can be a surefire means to draw other opportunities your way.
Strengthening your personal brand goes beyond maintaining a professional image; it’s about actively demonstrating your expertise and contributions to your field. Engaging in industry forums, writing thought-leadership articles, or even volunteering for relevant causes can significantly boost your visibility and attractiveness to potential employers.
4. Enjoy an Easier Job Search While Employed
Job searching while you’re already employed offers a strategic advantage. Being in a current role relieves the pressure of needing to find something immediately, allowing you to be more selective about the opportunities you pursue. You have the luxury of time to wait for the right position that truly matches your career goals and personal values.
Moreover, being employed while job hunting can often make you more attractive to potential employers. It showcases your continuous employment history and implies that you are a sought-after professional in your field. This status can give you an edge in negotiations, empowering you to make moves that are not just about “a job” but about the right next step in your career journey.
5. Maintain Interview Skills
Practice makes perfect. If you’re constantly searching for work, there’s always a chance you’ll be called in for a job interview. You may find that the more you’re able to practice skills and drills to prepare for a job interview, the more polished your interviewing skills become.
After all, each interview is also a learning opportunity. Reflect on the feedback and your performance post-interview. Identify areas for improvement, whether it’s how you articulate your thoughts, manage interview stress, or find ways to present your achievements more effectively.
6. Navigate Change Effectively
The job marketplace is a living thing. New companies launch, thriving organizations are acquired or merged with bigger entities, and companies go out of business. Because the marketplace isn’t static, your job search shouldn’t be either.
In addition to staying up to date with industry changes, regular job searching can help you anticipate and prepare for future trends and job requirements. Understanding where your industry is headed, you can better plan your career trajectory and future-proof your skills, ensuring you remain a valuable asset in an evolving market.
7. Stay Connected
Searching for a job can do more for your career than connect you with a new job. Attending networking events, trade gatherings, conferences, and more casual get-togethers are also great ways to expand your network and stay informed about what’s new and exciting in your industry.
Beyond expanding your professional network, staying active in your job search helps you gather insights into how different organizations function and what they value. This knowledge is invaluable, not just for understanding various company cultures but also for finding the perfect organizational fit for your personality and working style.
8. Update Skill Sets
By consistently job searching, you’ll educate yourself about professional skills and requirements that can keep you more competitive. Technological innovations make for constant changes in the skills landscape. Depending on your career field, training and education standards may be changing too.
Engaging in continuous learning and being open to new methodologies not only enriches your skill set but also demonstrates your commitment to personal and professional growth to potential employers. You’ll be well-positioned to know how your qualifications measure up with a continuous job search mentality.
Search With Care
While consistently searching for a new job means you’ll never miss a chance to connect with an exciting opportunity or take on new challenges and responsibilities, if you’re happy, consider making your job search more passive than active.
For example, instead of checking job boards every day, only check a few times a month. Or, don’t attend every networking function that comes your way. Select a few that sound interesting to you and only attend those.
While being open to opportunities, it’s important to stay true to your career goals and work-life balance needs. A targeted, quality-focused job search is often more effective than a widespread, quantity-focused one. Tailoring your applications to suit specific roles and companies can yield better results and prevent job search fatigue.
The Job Search Continues
Remember, the landscape of work is continually changing. Skills that are in demand today might evolve tomorrow. By keeping a finger on the pulse of the job market, you not only stay prepared for these changes but also position yourself as a proactive, forward-thinking professional ready for future challenges.
Admittedly, navigating the job market, especially for remote and flexible roles, can be time-consuming. This is where a job search partner like FlexJobs comes into play. Our curated listings and verified opportunities streamline your search, connecting you directly with legitimate options.
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