Consider your current job for a minute. Is it the last one you’ll ever have?
Well, unless you hit the lottery or get hit by a bus tonight, the answer is likely no. Even if you’re perfectly happy in your current job today, you’re still probably going to leave it – someday.
So, what are you doing to prep for that eventual move?
What many folks choose to do is focus on their current job, under the presumption that their work will speak for itself and serve them well down the road. And it just might.
But there are a few simple things you could do now that will help you later. Like when you’re ready for a new challenge, sick of your current work environment, or sadly affected by an unexpected layoff.
Every time someone asks me what I think they should do in prep for an eventual career move, I answer with the same three recommendations.
And, no, “networking” doesn’t mean going to events and exchanging business cards. Use the value-based approach to connect with the people in your circle – many of whom you rarely see or talk with likely because you’re focused on work.
Regularly reach out to them in helpful & thoughtful ways. Sending an article relevant to their world, writing a complimentary note, or offering sincere assistance in connection to your expertise will keep you on their radar. When you take these actions consistently – just one or two each week – you’re building the power of your network. And it puts you at the top of their mind when they learn of an opportunity that could benefit you.
Waiting until you’re job hunting to check in with folks in your circle is much more difficult. And it produces fewer results.
Complete & Maintain Your LinkedIn Profile
Does LinkedIn scare you?
Honestly, it’s possible to spend a ton of time & energy on your LinkedIn profile, but you don’t want to do that. So where do you start?
To begin, just complete the basics: education, work history & professional looking photo. Keep it current when you change jobs, and consider completing the “Opportunities you are looking for” section.
For a step-by-step guide, check out this prior post Why LinkedIn is Important….Even if You’re Not Currently Job Hunting.
Create a Personal Website
Today, you have the power to call attention to your career, your accomplishments, and your interests. Plus, you can control what you publish. Your personal website can pull together & feature a portfolio of your projects, connect your online profiles in one place, and highlight accomplishments or activities that you deem worth mention.
And while you can accomplish some of this with a LinkedIn profile, doing it via a personal website gives you much more freedom regarding content & creativity.
So unless you’re planning on retiring from the job you have now, you might want to invest a bit in your street cred for when you’re eventually ready to make a move. Building your network, making your LinkedIn profile useful, and developing a website that features your accomplishments are good investments for your future. Good luck!