Common wisdom suggests that when you have found a job you quit hunting for a new one. This is a mistake that the vast majority of professionals make and it’s one that is typically detrimental to their careers. Constantly looking for new opportunities not only keeps you current with what positions are available, it also keeps you fresh in your current position. It’s always a good idea to know what jobs are out there since you never know when you will be forced back into the the job hunt. By keeping yourself current on those positions that are available, you won’t feel so overwhelmed when the time to look for a new job reveals itself.
Continuing to search for a new position isn’t necessarily an active pursuit. When you are reasonably happy in your current position and not really looking to change either your career or your employer, job search takes on a more passive role. Much of what you do during an active job search is ignored, such as cold calling, applications and interviewing. In a passive job search you keep your resume updated and you occasionally examine what is open in your field. This also means keeping your eyes and ears open to new opportunities – whether that is through networking, talking with colleagues and acquaintances and browsing online forums and Facebook groups.
Networking is still a part of a passive job search, but instead of looking for a new job you are looking for contacts. Meetings, seminars and various network gatherings can be a fun way to meet new people as well as stay current in what your field is offering to new job candidates. It’s also a way to stay current on new trends in your area of expertise as well as current salary ranges; this can be helpful during your next salary negotiation or promotion meeting. When networking makes sure that you keep all of the business cards that you collect and even take a moment to jot down on the back of each card, who you spoke to and what possible opportunities are available in their field or company.
Staying in the hunt for a new job also means that you are ready to hit the ground running should you suddenly need to make your passive search an active one. In an uncertain world it’s good to have this in your career arsenal.