Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter explains the importance of being in continual job search mode instead of lurching from one job search to another.
I want to talk with you today about something that really annoys me. It should annoy you, too.
I have worked with people day in and day out for years who make a critical mistake with their careers. That mistake is treating their careers as though they can lurch from looking for a job in one year and then 3 years later looking for another job and not having done anything in the middle.
This may sound goofy to you but for me out. It would be so much easier for folks if they treated their careers as having value and did things between cycles of changing jobs to prepare for that job change.
I remember in 2007 being home one day and listening to CNN use the term “subprime mortgage” heavily that day as the crisis started to unfold. I start toward people that they need to put their networks in place proactively because we were going to learn a lot more about subprime mortgages over the next 12 to 24 months. I was more right than I could’ve imagined.
The people go out and start building networks. At that time? No. Did I start to do things along those lines? Yes, but not as much as I could have. I tried though because I understood that things were going to change and I need to have a network in place to help me ride through what I knew would be a tough time. Not as tough as it turned out, but still a very tough time.
You need to not lurch from one job change to another and say, “oh my God! I have to build the network!” You need to be working on your brand and ongoing network consistently So that people are thinking of you, so that recruiters are reaching out to you, so that you are seen as a subject matter expert all the time, not every 3 years, not every job change or However long that may wind up being, but all the time so that you are a go to person in your field.
I don’t care what the field is. You can make all the excuses in the world,, but there are people who are seen as experts in low level jobs who firms will reach out to because they learn something about that person you can be doing that for your self.. And, because no one is ever going to look out for you is much as you do, you need to spend as much time looking out for yourself. As the board of your big company does when it looks out for its firms, financial interests.
Think of yourself as being the chairman of the board of your organization. Think of yourself as having board members reporting into you; those Board members are your family.Do you want them to worry? Do you want them to have concern about the viability of your enterprise . If the economy suddenly go south? Of course, not.
You want to constantly be doing things to position yourself so that if you want to leave a firm that you are working for or transfer internally, people are dying to try to hire you.
I was speaking with someone yesterday who works for a large technology firm. He had a successful track record with that firm until one day the firm hired someone that he did not describe in favorable terms. Other departments within the organization clamored to get him. He chose an option only to have it taken over by the person he didn’t have a lot of affection for when his hiring manager left for another opportunity.
He now has to go outside of his firm in order to advance. People know him. Vendors to his firm are starting to clamber to hire him because they hold in high regard.
You should be in a position like he is where firms want to hire you because they know you. Put yourself in a position to be found, not just simply whenever you’re changing jobs but all the time. Get active.. Get involved with groups locally for your field. Get involved with the Chamber of Commerce. Do stuff. Just get yourself out there.
Do you think employers are trying to help you? You already know you can’t trust recruiters—they tell you as much as they think you need to know to take the job they after representing so they collect their payday.
The skills needed to find a job are different yet complement the skills needed to do a job.
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a career coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.
JobSearchCoachingHQ.com changes that with great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.
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