5 Ways to Be Passively Proactive in Your Career
Scenario 1: It’s been one of those days, weeks or months and you have had enough. You feel stagnant, frustrated or stifled, and you realize, it’s time for a change.
Scenario 2: You’re content at your current job, but would be willing to make a move if the right opportunity lands in your lap.
Activating a passive job search will allow for the career advancement you desire without getting in the way of your current position. So, where do you start?
As a Recruiting Manager, I have seen many candidates struggle with how to be proactive with their career and succeed in their current role simultaneously. The following steps take very little time and effort, and will not distract from your current job.
1. Set up job alerts
Instead of posting your resume online and getting flooded by recruiter emails, set up job alerts on job boards such as Indeed, Simply Hired, and our own MATRIX job board. Once you set up the search criteria, you can choose the types of jobs emailed to you at the frequency you want. This is an easy way to see what’s out there without having to spend time searching.
2. Use LinkedIn to its full advantage
If you’re making changes to your LinkedIn profile and don’t want others to see them, you can turn off activity broadcasts in your privacy & settings. Spend some time beefing up your profile. Then, go ask your previous colleagues for recommendations and/or introductions on LinkedIn. Make sure to include a professional picture and as much detail as possible. Join groups that pertain to your profession to make more connections. Share articles regularly to stay top of mind in your network and show that you’re a subject matter expert.
3. Network the right way
Find user groups in your city that relate to your skill set. If you haven’t been to a user group before, it might seem intimidating at first, especially to an introvert. But spending one evening a month with likeminded people to hear topics of interest to you isn’t a bad deal. Plus, a lot of people who are hiring attend these events and just might have that perfect opportunity you’ve been waiting for.
4. Keep up with companies that interest you
Even if you’re not actively looking for a job now, you can still keep up with companies that you would potentially be interested in working for someday. Follow target companies online (LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) and see who you know there. If you find old colleagues working there, ask them to circulate your resume just in case a job does come available.
5. Maintain regular contact with a recruiter
Keep up with a recruiter that knows exactly what job you would pack up and leave for. Good recruiters will listen to your criteria and match it with opportunities that help you achieve your goals. Tell them exactly what you want and let them do the work for you. Recruiters are often aware of openings not posted to the general public. They can help you apply confidentially. If you don’t know anyone to call, ask your previous colleagues for recommendations.
I once worked with a candidate who was feeling stifled, because she had reached the top of her pay grade in her current position. She got my name and number from a neighbor of hers that had worked with me. We met for coffee and she shared with me exactly where she would like to see her career go. She had a great deal of ambition and wanted to go somewhere that would allow her to thrive. Her timing was great, because we had a client looking for someone with her exact skill set. This client company could offer her the ladder of advancement that her current company could not. We presented her resume directly to the hiring manager and after several rounds of interviews, she landed the job. Within a very short period of time, she started her dream job. It can be that easy.
If you’re not getting what you need in your position at your current company, be proactive and go after something new. If you’re comfortable where you are now, but also open to “the perfect job”, these steps are probably worth the minimal time required. What are you waiting for?