I’m an advocate of dedicating a certain amount of time per week or month to looking for jobs.
There are a few benefits:
- You know what kinds of jobs are out there
- You get a sense for what companies are hiring in your area
- You are prepared when you face an unexpected job loss or situation at work
The new reality of the business world means more change, more often. This means you have to be a little crazy to depend on one job
I recently had a friend who was working in a job he loved, but they decided they wanted to merge with another big company. During the process, he was forced to switch jobs three times and then told he would eventually be let go. He had wanted to make a career transition, but was not prepared when it came time to look for a job. So he made a transition within his own industry.
An easy way to do this is set up job alerts on linkedin — create a few filters of jobs in your current field, “stretch” jobs you might be interested in down the road and specific companies you may be interested in. Each week, spend time checking out the listings and trying to get a sense of what is happening out in the world.
Don’t be afraid to apply to any job that might be exciting to you. I see too many people hold back because “well I haven’t worked here long enough” or “I don’t have the right qualifications.” Luckily — you are not obligated to accept any job.
Worst case, all this knowledge of the industry and broader world will help you be more effective at your current job.