Steps to Take When Not Looking for a Job

Be Ready When Job Opportunities Knock

Steps to Take When Not Looking for a Job
October 13, 2015

We’re sitting at work when the phone rings: it’s a recruiter, offering us our dream job at double our current salary! Sadly, this only has happened in our dreams.

But even if your dream job does not come that easily when you’re awake, you may inadvertently run across job opportunities that you did not seek. It can be awkward and outright dangerous to explore these opportunities while you are still employed, but with some planning, you can limit the potential for trouble with your current employer and be ready to evaluate your options with confidence.

  • Have Long-Term Goals – If you have never given serious thought to what your dream job is, how will you know when you find it?

  • Keep Your Resume Updated – It is always a good idea to keep your resume updated and current with the accomplishments in your existing job. It is difficult to remember them all if you are let go after twenty years on the job with no updates. Dates and details of your successes may be hard to remember, and you are likely to leave out achievements that may be important to include.

  • Keep Current on LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a powerful tool for keeping your name out in the open with peers and potential employers. Maintain a good network of connections and update your accomplishments regularly. If you ignore your LinkedIn page and then engage with a flurry of updates and new connections, it could raise a red flag with your current employer.

  • Stay Connected ­– Networking within your industry is useful. This is one of the most likely paths by which you will pick up job opportunities – through face-to-face industry connections. Keep up-to-date on technology in your field, attend conferences and seminars, and be aware of trends. That is sound advice whether you are considering another job or not.

Outlining long-term career goals and desires will keep you grounded and help you to evaluate your new opportunity objectively. It is easy to get caught up in the thrill of being pursued and looking at new opportunities without checking to see if your new offer really is a better career move in the long term.

It is easier to continuously expand your resume and then edit it down later than it is to recall past accomplishments to add.

If your resume is online, and your current employer questions why you updated it, point out that while you are not looking for a new job, there is no guarantee of what the future may hold, and that it is simply prudent to update a resume periodically. However, you should work on it at home, on your own time, and with your own resources.

LinkedIn is also a great and relatively informal place to keep others updated on new skills, endorsements, certifications, and other accomplishments of yours that may not pertain directly to your current job but may interest a new employer.

Social media connections like Twitter and Facebook are equally useful, but be careful. These sites can just as easily cost you a job as gain you one. Your interest in another job can get back to your current employer, even if they are not actively looking for such activity. Choose your friends and followers wisely.

Be ready when opportunity knocks. Take the above steps and be ready to consider your opportunities without damaging your relationship with your current employer. Perhaps you will find your dream job in some place other than your sleep.


Photo ©iStock.com/Zoran Zeremski

  Conversation   |   26 Comments

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Sarah | 10.13.15 @ 16:02
Good ideas. You never know when something will happen where a new job is needed.
Erin | 10.13.15 @ 16:03
All of these are good tips. I would add, keep your skills up-to-date. If there is a new technology, etc in your industry, take the time to become knowledgeable in it. It might be the one thing that gives you an edge over others.
Steffanie | 10.13.15 @ 16:04
Good information so you are ready for a new job when the time comes.
Carla Truett | 10.13.15 @ 16:05
Great article! Always keep your options open because you just might get lucky!
Jo Ann | 10.13.15 @ 16:05
These are a good ideas, That dream job could be out there, and being prepared is important. Keeping that resume updated could also save time when your company down sizes or your position is no longer necessary. It pays to be ahead of the game,
Nancy | 10.13.15 @ 16:07
These are great ideas to use when you are job hunting as well.
Owen | 10.13.15 @ 16:08
I always continue looking and applying... The interview process keeps me on my feet!
Britt | 10.13.15 @ 16:10
Great tips.
Beverly | 10.13.15 @ 16:11
Really good tips....I need to update my resume.
Kailie | 10.13.15 @ 16:12
It's always good to keep things current and up to date, because you never know
Daniel Dohlstrom | 10.13.15 @ 16:15
Be prepared is a great motto to follow, and these tips will help in the uncertain markets these days.
Elaine | 10.13.15 @ 16:18
It has been years since I have worked and I would love to keep things up to date, however, none of the companies I ever worked for around anymore. At least I keep my skills up to date.
Selena Walls | 10.13.15 @ 16:19
I was out of the work force for nearly 13 years, raising three autistic children. I discovered that the school had programs that could actually help my children, and enrolled them. The special education director in our school district took one look at how well I managed to do with the kids on my own, and offered me a job on the spot.
trish | 10.13.15 @ 16:19
I always make sure my husbands resume is up to date! You never know when an opportunity is going to come knocking!
Kamie | 10.13.15 @ 16:19
Great things to do, and it is always good to be prepared for anything.
Jackie | 10.13.15 @ 16:22
Networking is key to having first chance when good jobs become available.
Christina | 10.13.15 @ 16:27
Good list - I kept all these things current while I was employed and still had a hard time finding a new position when mine was eliminated last year. It would have been much worse trying to create all these things from scratch again.
Crystal | 10.13.15 @ 16:32
Good tips and ideas! Hopefully I won't need them, but I will gladly share!
Blake | 10.13.15 @ 16:44
It's always a good idea to write down important dates and accomplishments anyway, even if you're not updating your resume online. You may need to remember it for your current job as well. This is really good advice either way though. You really never know what will happen.
gracie | 10.13.15 @ 16:58
Keeping on top of new skills and taking opportunities to gain more skills as you can is always top on my list! Great list of helpful hints
Amanda | 10.13.15 @ 17:00
Great tips to always be prepared and ahead of the game.
Heather | 10.13.15 @ 17:13
I always have an updated resume but it's been awhile since I've updated my LinkedIn account.
Kathryn | 10.13.15 @ 17:16
I will have to keep this in mind in case of something were to happen with either me or my fiancés jobs!
Meredith L | 10.13.15 @ 17:20
These are great ideas. Always keep your resume updated on all the platforms! LinkedIn, Whitepapers, Monster... and all your networking sites. Do a 6 month to 1 year eval on yourself.
Angie | 10.13.15 @ 17:22
This is very pertinent information - especially the advice about maintaining social websites. Sometimes folks forget about what an important resource that is for employers.
Debbie | 10.14.15 @ 04:40
All of these are good ideas to stay on top of your game..
$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 12.06.16 @ 10:41
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