By Angela Copeland
One of the hardest things about looking for a new job is this. Most people wait to start looking until they need a job. In other words, they’ve been fired, or they hate their work situation so much that they’re ready to quit. Does this sound familiar? The problem is, if you wait until you need a job, you’ve probably waited too long. The chances you’ll find a job on just the day you need it is low.
So, what can you do about this problem? I recommend what I like to call “continuous interviewing.” In other words, always network, always keep your eyes open for interesting job opportunities, and always be open to interviewing for a new job.
This process will keep you up to date on your industry. It will allow you to consider all opportunities to eventually find one that’s a great fit. It’s a proactive approach, rather than a reactive approach. In other words, if you wait until you need a job, your choices will be slim. If you always keep your eyes open for opportunities, you will have many options to evaluate. It will allow you to leave your current job when you want to, rather than when you have to.
I’m sure this sounds like a lot of work. It is a lot of work. But, it’s worth it. It gives you more choices and it allows you to make better decisions about your future. You may devote thirty minutes a week to continuous interviewing for one year. Or, you may devote over twenty-five hours to looking for a job in a short period of time when you’re unemployed. You’re spending a similar total amount of time either way. They’re just divided up differently.
So, how can you implement this idea of continuous interviewing? The next time a headhunter calls you to ask if you’re interested to learn about a new job, say yes. Talking to a recruiter isn’t an indication that you hate your job. And, it doesn’t mean that you have to say yes if they offer you something that’s not a good fit. A conversation with a recruiter is simply that: a conversation.
Visit Indeed.com and setup a job alert for your type of role. This way, you’ll be notified by email when companies in your area are looking for people like you. Sign up for the Glassdoor.com “Know Your Worth” tool to keep an eye on your salary compared to others in your area. Keep your resume up to date. And, update your LinkedIn profile to match.
Once these simple steps are in place, focus on networking. The more you’re able to get to know people in your field, the more they’ll think of you if something comes along. Continuous interviewing puts you back in the driver’s seat. It allows you to find the right job for yourself, at just the right time.
Angela Copeland, a career coach and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.