You might be completely happy with your current job, but some career advisors think that you should still apply for a new job every six months. We take a look at the reasons behind this strange career advice.
Looking for a job can be one of the most stressful things you have to endure in your professional life.
Whether you’re straight out of college or a seasoned worker looking for a change in direction, you never feel pressure quite like those times you’re ‘between jobs’.
So why would you apply for a new job when you already have one?
It might sound strange, but some experts think that you should never stop applying for jobs – even if you’ve found a career with a company that you’re happy with.
By keeping a constant eye on the jobs market and putting yourself forward for advertised positions, you can actually increase your current career security. And though it might sound unorthodox, there are several well-founded advantages behind the idea.
We’ve put together the top five reasons why applying for a new job every six months can help to solidify your current position!
1. Stay Up To Date
All workers, no matter the industry, are employed through roughly the same process. You submit your resume, you do the interview, you meet all the requirements, you (hopefully) secure the job—great news!
But how long ago is it since you actually done the interview? If it’s anywhere within the last six months to a year, you’re probably still fully qualified for the position.
But if it’s been more than a year since you interviewed for your current role, how can you be sure that you still meet the criteria of what employers in your sector are looking for?
Sure, most companies offer professional development for their employees, and there’s no better place to learn than on the job itself. But if you’re not actively applying for your position, you can’t be entirely certain that the skills you have are what the majority of employers are still looking for.
The process of applying for jobs and attending interviews provides a great opportunity for you to review your personal skill-set. After doing two or three interviews, you’ll easily be able to gauge what questions and subject areas interviewers are focusing on—areas that they obviously consider important to the position.
And if you’re not getting through to the interview stage, why not? What’s missing from your resume that employers are looking for? Is it a case that you’ve forgotten to include some vital information on your application, or do you need to reassess your current skill-set and consider upskilling yourself?
Which moves us nicely on to the next point…
Accurately assessing yourself is next to impossible. Our judgment is often skewed when it comes to evaluating ourselves and our work.
But interviewers are trained to assess candidates and their skills in an unbiased and clinical way. That’s why doing a job interview is a great way to get an unbiased version of your career potential.
In an interview, questions you trip up on are sure signs of areas you might lack adequate knowledge or experience in. Even when you do respond to a question, you can usually tell by the interviewer’s reaction if it was the answer they were looking for or not.
What’s even better is that most interviewers will now offer feedback on your interview if requested. This is great for job seekers, as it means you can actually take something constructive from a failed interview.
Henry Ford said that ’the only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing’, and now you can take something valuable from all your interviews, failed or not, by getting feedback.
3. Are You Appreciated?
Most employees who have been in the same position for more than five years could probably do their job in their sleep. It’s easy to fall into the pattern of a clocking in, doing a day’s work, and collecting your paycheck at the end of every month.
But not all employees realize that experience is one of the most decisive factors employers take into account when assessing the candidates for a position. Sure, you might have an MBA or be a member of the local MENSA, but have you applied the skills you’ve learned to real-world situations?
Applying for new positions can give you a good idea of how outside agencies view your resume, and can often serve as a huge wake-up call to employees who’ve lost sight of their own potential. If you’re being considered for a management job with a new company, why isn’t your current company offering you the same? And why are you earning a lot less than what they’re offering you?
Through applying for new positions, you can get an accurate evaluation of your own potential and make sure that you’re not being underappreciated in your current role.
Networking has always been a hugely important part of the business world. And thanks to the rise of career-orientated social sites like LinkedIn and Jobbio, it’s become even easier to further your career through association.
Applying to new jobs and going through the interview process introduces you to new people in your sector – whether they are hiring managers, CEOs, team leaders, or even fellow interviewees!
Making and maintaining contacts like this can have a beneficial impact on your current role. Conversing with these people, following them on social media, reading their ideas and analyzing their work – all of this keeps you up to date with the major topics in your sector.
By engaging with peers from different companies, you can develop as a professional in your own area. Which brings us nicely to our final point…
5. Stay Social
Human beings are social creatures. But once you’ve worked in a particular environment for some time, it’s easy to forget how to behave in unfamiliar settings.
Interviews are the first time you meet a prospective employer, so a significant part of the whole process is judging the tone of the conversation and getting the formalities right.
Every professional—from teachers to bankers to self-starting entrepreneurs—needs to know how to behave appropriate to the setting. But every professional is also likely to act differently within a company where they have worked for a significant time and made friends with many of their colleagues. If you’re not regularly meeting with people from outside of the company, it can be hard to revert to an entirely professional demeanor when needed.
Attending a job interview throws you into the deep end. Very quickly, you have to judge the appropriate level of formality, as well as likely topics of conversation that you need to engage actively with.
And while this might be the stuff of social anxiety nightmares for many people, it’s a skill that develops the more it is used.
After completing a few job interviews, you’ll find that your confidence and behavior in everything from one-to-one consultations to high-powered boardroom meetings will have improved, and you’ll foster a personality to match your work ethic.