You may have only just started a new position. Maybe you are happily working your dream job, and have been happy for some time now. It’s even more likely that you consider yourself part of the group of professionals that have simply fallen into the eventual slump – and it’s not so easy to get yourself out of.

Keeping your resume at the bottom of your drawer will make it harder to start-up when you need it to. Maintain your resume, your experience, and your network, just like you would a well-oiled machine.

Even if you are part of the happy worker group, we applaud you – but do not stop there. Especially before you get too comfortable and lose sight of what’s the next step in your career.

You are probably thinking, “Yes, of course a recruiter would tell me that I should always be open to new possibilities.” But let me be clear. I am not suggesting to jump around from job to job or always keep your options open. One foot in with the other out the door will only hinder your experiences today.

Instead, I am suggesting how important it is to remain engaged in your future growth. The “I’ll worry about that when I need to” mentality, or “I’m just too busy right now” is an excuse. There are a lot of easy things you can do as a passive candidate that will go a long way when it finally is time to look for the next opportunity.

Networking!

Everyone will tell you, relationships are everything. And they are right.

Continue your networking efforts even after you’ve landed that new position.  Recruiters, employers and HR managers are always going to be good assets to have and resources to lean on.

Be aware of your brand or presence in the job market.  If you stop going to job fairs, career events or industry functions, your presence will quickly diminish.  Stay in touch with your search networks so that they are readily accessible down the line.

Don’t Ignore Recruiters

Many recruiters are familiar with dead silence after reaching out to a potential candidate. I often wonder to myself, how can they shut out a potential connection so easily? Even if it is just to say, I am not in the job market right now, recruiters are also great contacts to have in your back pocket. Start maintaining these relationships early on and they will pay off in the long run.

Look For Projects That Would Look Good On your Resume

Your current job has a standard set of job duties which your performance is measured on. Sure, you can add a few highlights from your job description to a resume, but a recruiter will tell you that it is the additional projects outside of your core responsibilities that catch our attention.

Volunteer where you can, go above and beyond your regular day to day and then take note of these achievements along the way. Keep a record of your efforts, achievements and additional job duties so that these experiences can be added to your resume or supportive during a future interview.

These additions will add value to your resume, keep you competitive, and are so much less tedious if you keep track as you go.

Keep Your New Boss Close and Your Old Boss Closer

When you leave one job to go to another, you are leaving behind a number of colleagues, bosses and partnerships that could be of use to you now and in the future. It is possible that your old boss could move onto a new role or company in the future. Don’t wait to find out from LinkedIn!

Stay connected with these past co-workers. Especially if you had developed a good rapport in your tenure together. You may have moved on from work places, but working for him/her in the future is not off the table. This approach can also be applied to upkeep with past colleagues, clients or even customers that you invested time with – Do not let this go to waste!

Again, the point of this article is to remind you that your career development is an ongoing process that needs your attention and nurturing. It is important to insert time for regularly scheduled maintenance.

Your career should be thought of as a constant marathon, opposed to a number of short sprints.

The future will come faster than you anticipate – always be prepared.

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