According to a recent Gallup report, 67% of employees are not engaged or are actively disengaged. People feel stuck, sometimes even trapped, by a constant feeling that there could be more. They know they're not in the right job, but they don't know how to go about finding a better one.
In my Performance Strategy work with hundreds of executives, it's clear to me where this inertia comes from. We are taught to go to school, get a degree, find a job, and stay loyal to our employer. While this formula worked for our parents, it's no longer the key to success today. By sticking to that formula and staying in a job that doesn't work for you, you're resigning yourself to an unfulfilling career.
I believe we can actually attract our ideal jobs; all we have to do is put ourselves out there. To do that, we have to become job-hunting experts.
Here are three things you should be doing right now to up your job-hunting game:
1. Constantly build your network.
This may sound daunting if you're already overwhelmed by your current work situation, but you'll be surprised by how easy it can be. Don't want to leave your apartment? You can do some virtual networking from your desktop. Have some flexibility in your calendar? You can set up meetings that take place over the course of one 30-minute phone call. Want to be a little more social? You can arrange in-person meetings over breakfast before your workday begins or fit them in over lunch.
If you spent even one meal a week meeting with someone new, you'll have met 52 people by the end of the year. With social networking, that adds up to hundreds of 2nd degree connections. The more people know your name, the better chance you'll have of being tapped for a role when you least expect it.
2. Regularly update your online resume.
Most headhunters and recruiters search through profiles on sites like LinkedIn. Have yours up-to-date and make sure you add unique projects, articles, or videos that really capture what you have to offer your ideal employer.
Your resume, just by virtue of showcasing an accurate and updated representation of your skills, will actually do some of this work for you. It takes little effort to update as you go along so be proactive and don't sleep on the chance to attract potential offers.
3. Make yourself available for opportunities and go on interviews, even if you're not interested in leaving your current job.
I've had countless clients say they would never leave their current position, only to accept a dream offer that came up out of the blue. You'd be surprised what's out there if your eyes are open. Remember: You're more likely to stumble upon surprise opportunities if you're open and receptive.
Bottom line: This is a skill that we all need to master, and it's one that we can't afford to put off. If you wait until you are unhappy in your current role to build your network, you have to spend that much more time on the hunt. Why not focus on actively creating a situation where your ideal job can find you?
By doing these three things, you're putting yourself in the way of your ideal job. You're doing it joyfully and without expectation, which is the best way to be when making connections. You'll be on the top of those people's minds when a job - your ideal job - comes up, which is how it just might fall into your lap when you least expect it.