I didn’t hate my job, but after four years, some of it was getting to be a bit dull. Not so much that I actively looked outside the company, but enough that I started considering possibilities within the company. As I discovered, a lot in life is a result of simply staying open to new possibilities. Last week, I got a new job without visiting a single job board or sending out a single resume. So how did I do it?
Make Good Use of Reviews and Networking
You don’t have to go to networking events or constantly troll Facebook and LinkedIn for new contacts. Simply keep your ears open and let it be known that you’re interested in new opportunities. My company does self-reviews, and one of the questions asks what we’d like to start doing more of. This year, I wrote that I wanted to move into two different areas of my company. My supervisors were surprised, but agreed I would be a good fit in those roles. At the time, neither was actually open, but it was in the back of everyone’s minds.
When a new position did become available, I was the first person they thought of. I accepted the offer, and it was done. I started almost immediately. None of that would have happened if I’d stayed silent.
Let Other People Know You’re Looking
You don’t have to send out an email blast, but you should let people know if it comes up in conversation. You never know when a friend might hear about an opening with their employer. If they know you’re looking, they’ll probably ask you to send over a resume. Having a resume passed along internally is much more likely to get you an interview than sending it in cold.
I recently attended a baby shower about a month ago and someone’s mom told me her son was in my industry and interested in changing employers. Once I found out my company was hiring, I got a resume and forwarded it on. I don’t have a personal stake in this, but it feels nice to have helped.
Check In with Job Boards Occasionally
You don’t have to dedicate hours to it every week, but hop on a job board every now and then to review the postings for higher –level positions than yours. Compare your qualifications to the requirements, then take the steps necessary to develop those skills. It could be that employers are looking for someone more specialized, so ask your current supervisor for additional training opportunities within your field. It could also be that the next step up for you is broader, so look for people with similar skills at your employer. Ask if they’ll talk about what they do or give you a training session. Most people are happy to help.
Volunteer – Inside and Outside
Many, many non-profits awash with unemployed volunteers, so there is competition here, but it’s still a great way to give back while also using your expertise and making new contacts. Find a cause you feel passionate about, then contact the volunteer director to offer your specific services. Not only is it something new for your resume, but you’ll meet other people who could be in a position to help you.
You can also volunteer inside your company. When my employer announced a special project, I offered to help with tasks I wasn’t currently trained on. That allowed me to work with other people to learn new skills AND put them to use immediately. And my supervisors knew what I was doing, so my work load was still manageable.
If you’re unhappy in your current job, but afraid to quit, you’re not alone. According to a recent article, the number of people open to accepting a new job is 110 million! You can be one of them without risking your current job or expending a lot of time pursuing new opportunities.