Part of successfully managing your career is to be proactive and continuously invest in yourself. Assuming that your position is protected is a dangerous outlook. That’s not to say you need to be negative or thinking worst-case scenario but by staying as marketable as possible and always preparing for future, you will maximize your chances for a smooth transition to a new position or a new career. Here are four strategies you can employ to do just that:
1. Have An Updated Resume
Many people wait until they lose their jobs or are miserable in their current role before they update their resumes. But it is wise to have an updated resume ready to go, even if you are currently employed and happy. Not only does this help you when you need to begin an immediate job search, it also helps you keep track of your accomplishments, which will make for confidence in your current role and a touch point that can be helpful when discussing promotions or performance. Some people have been in their position for many years and may have forgotten the tasks and achievements that should be highlighted in a current resume. I recommend updating your resume at least every year (if not sooner).
Networking is critical to staying ahead of possible changes that may arise in your future, even if just to keep abreast of current trends and areas of interest. There are very few rules for networking. You can network wherever and whenever with like-minded people that interest you. It’s important to keep those connections relevant and recent, which will enable you to turn to your network to help you when you need counselling and suggestions regarding a new position and to know what opportunities are out there.
3. Use LinkedIn and Facebook
In addition to having an updated resume and networking, be sure to be active on LinkedIn. Add meaningful connections and join relevant groups. If you use Facebook for business purposes, be sure that you are conscious of how your profile looks, and post regular, value-adding updates. This will help to maintain and refine your brand. Keeping up will allow you to stay on radar for any opportunity, even if you aren’t looking actively. You never know when a great new role can open up.
4. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask The Hard Questions
Don’t bury your head in the sand. No job is ever 100% protected, and you should be realistic about what is going on with your department, your company, and your industry. If you have a gut feeling that something isn’t right, heed these warning signs and ask the questions. This will keep you mentally prepared for most possibilities. Even if you don’t get the direct answers you think you need, being aware and having a heads-up approach will help you be more engaged. It is not a matter of walking around in fear, but rather being realistic.
You should always keep your thinking flexible and be proactive. When the time comes that you choose to move on or you are dismissed, you can ensure there are tools and resources in place to be made readily available.