According to recent data, our generation will have 12 -15 different jobs in our lifetime. Assuming most people work between the ages of 18 -65, this means we are changing jobs every three years…on average. I would wager corporate creatives, such as marketers, graphic designers and the like, are changing jobs even more as your skill set or role changes. You do not have time to “Get ready” when it’s time to move on, you have to “Stay Ready” by never actually leaving the job market.
Staying in the job market does not mean actively applying for jobs at mass for all 47 years of your working lifetime. It does mean making sure you are ready for the next step when you need or want to take it. It sounds like a lot of work but it’s easy. And when/if you are ever laid off, fired, and just ready to bounce – you are not starting from scratch. Ok, the How?
Update your resume in real time. When you get a win at work, add it to your resume at the time it happens. It does not have to be perfectly worded – just toss it on there and edit later. How many times have we been doing evaluations or dusting off the resume and then asking ourselves – “now, what did I do over the last 2 years”? All the time. We often jot down some low hanging fruit and miss those big wins we have forgotten from past years. Keeping a record in real time gives you a running tab of badass achievements to cherry pick when it’s time to move on or simply show your worth.
Maintain a solid Linkedin profile. Like or not, your online presence matters. While we cannot all be perfect on Twitter, a solid and professional LinkedIn profile that is job search ready speaks volumes to employers and peers who may refer you. keep a current and professional photo (easy on the selfies and party pics girls) And don’t forget to make sure the information provided is always correct, including your best contact information.
Keep Learning. One thing is true for marketers – new apps, email platforms, social networks and methodology are always popping up. Unless you work for a large marketing focused organization, you can find yourself left behind if your past role only involved direct mail. It’s frustrating but you can combat this. Periodically, check out the job boards and pay attention to what skill sets other organizations are asking for from candidates. Then, seek out opportunities to learn those skills and if you can, implement them in your current role. So read the books, ask your current organization to support you and check out local classes and workshops.
Engage your Network. So many of us are bypassing the entire “submit, wait, and interview” process through referrals. According to recent data, referrals are representing 50% of organizations workforce these days. So keep your network tight and check in with people here and there – be useful and share info (do not just wait until you need help). This creates a network of peers that you can possibly reach out to when you need to move on.
Over the years keeping my resume updated has been a huge help when its time to move on or just write the story of why I deserve more. Try it this year and let me know how it works out. Tell me about it in the comments below.
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