Far too often, people stay in jobs that aren't the right fit simply because they loathe the process of looking for a new one. Waiting for calls back, facing possible rejection, surviving interview anxiety, spending countless hours updating and submitting resumes--it's no wonder they say that searching for a job is a full-time job itself.

Often, though, the reason for that painful process is that most of us think that searching for a job is something you do only when it's time to leave your current gig. But that's absolutely not the case.

Here's another way: Rather than putting all those tasks off and letting them intimidate you, make the job search part of your career on an ongoing basis. After all, top executives are always contemplating the next best move for themselves--shouldn't you be, too?

Here are 17 strategies that successful leaders follow that ensure that they're never at a loss when it comes to making a career transition. 

  1. They consistently manage and build their networks so that within a few emails or phone calls letting people know they're wanting to transition, they have opportunities knocking.

  2. They have no fear of the job search process because they know that there are endless opportunities that they would be right for.

  3. They actively save money all of the time so during times of transition they don't have the stress of not being able to pay the bills or needing to take a job that isn't right. 

  4. They actively join communities that will offer support, connections, and ideas in times of transition.

  5. Their door is always open to people that are interested in hiring them. 

  6. They hire executive coaches or people to help them be objective about themselves, see their strengths, and be strategic and thoughtful about the job search process. 

  7. They are humble and open to growing and developing themselves at all times.

  8. They research organizations that are a culturally good fit or seem to be, and actively reach out to business leaders in that organization and request a meet and greet.  

  9. They are proactive and innovative with how they can showcase or share a point of view on their industry using their genius. This can take the shape of articles, thought leadership, social media, or public speaking. 

  10. They hire an editor or writer to help create clear language to use to describe who they are for their resumes and Linkedin profiles. 

  11. They do the inner work to ensure that they appreciate and value who they are, so that when it comes to interviews, they never try to be someone they aren't. 

  12. They don't compare their achievements with friends, colleagues or anyone else. They know that what's most important is how they feel about their own achievements and career progress. 

  13. They know that benefits and salary are not the priority when accessing a new opportunity. It's the work, the culture, the people and how much they can be themselves with the new job that is the most important. 

  14. They have stress management tools to use when they're feeling stressed about the job search process. It could be exercising, meditating, or another healthy outlet. And they are committed to using them often, so that they're making career decisions from a place of feeling peaceful and calm.  

  15. They have a clear vision of their career so that when they are going to interviews or accessing opportunities, it's from a place of clarity.

  16. They know that having purpose at work is essential for being intrinsically motivated. Therefore, they make it a priority to know their purpose and use that as a deciding factor in the job selection process, making sure that the impact that the potential job has is in line with their purpose. 

  17. They actively offer support to people in their networks for connections or help with them during times of transition, so that when they're in need, a lot of people have their back. 

Follow these strategies and before long, career transitions will be seamless. You'll gain confidence, attract more attention, and ultimately find yourself in a job that aligns with who you are. People will be fighting for you to work with them because you won't fear the process anymore.

Published on: Sep 3, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.