Often the worst time to search for a job is when you’re in need of one right away. Employers know when you’re desperate. Desperation can manifest itself through nervousness during interviews and surface level research.
For these reasons, the best time to improve your employment prospects is to do so while you’re already employed. This allows you to search for your next career without worrying about paying your bills or putting food on the table.
Improving your job prospects can take some work, but if you follow the steps we’ve outlined below, you’ll be well on your way to finding your next career path.
1. Provide Top-Tier Work
Looking for a promotion within your organization? One sure fire way to do this is to deliver top-tier work in everything you do. That means showing up to work early, being available more often when your organization needs you (such as when someone calls off), performing your duties better than your colleagues, showing a positive and refreshing attitude when you walk through the front door and ensuring your actions are furthering the goals of the company as a whole. Employees who have a purpose tend to put more effort into their work than their colleagues who simply show up to collect a paycheck.
In many organizations, promotions are given to those who are not only competent and capable of higher-level work but also those who are passionate about the organization. Analyze the professional demeanor of those in the position you desire and emulate them. Often, promotions are given to those who show they can handle the position before it’s even been offered.
2. Subscribe to an Industry News Source or Magazine
The more you know, the more you grow. It doesn’t matter how large or successful an organization is, if it doesn’t stay up to date with the latest industry trends, it will no longer be relevant to its target audience. Staying up to date on industry news allows you to identify trends that you may have missed. It may also reveal pertinent information that you can use to increase revenue for your organization.
What does this have to do with improving your employment job prospects? It allows you to identify the businesses and individuals who are leading the pack in your industry. Not only can you implement these strategies in your current job position, but it also provides opportunities for you to interact with industry leaders during presentations, association meetings, and industry events.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with associating and learning from the best of the best. You’ll find that associating with high-level individuals will often afford you opportunities you may otherwise not have had.
3. Search for a Minimum of Two Separate Roles that Interest You
The roles in question don’t necessarily have to be something you’re entirely qualified for at the moment, but they should at least have some relation to your current job position. At the very minimum, these roles should be something that piques your interest. You don’t have to stop at two; you can pick as many as you like. However, keeping the number low keeps you from being overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices. Once you’ve found them, identify the reasons why you picked them.
Do they allow you to work remotely? Do they pay more? Are they roles you thrive in? Do these roles allow you to travel more?
Don’t think of these questions as being right or wrong. Just focus on the reasons why you picked them and write them down. Writing down this information will allow you to visualize your choices and perhaps help motivate you to meet your targets. Writing down your desired job roles also helps you to make decisions in the future to help you achieve your goal.
4. Show Professional Curiosity
People who are stuck at jobs they hate often don’t have a willingness to improve their knowledge of how their industry works (which could provide opportunities down the line). Showing professional curiosity is one way to stand out from the rest of the pack. This involves talking to people from different departments and even different companies to learn how success is measured.
Talk to higher-ups about their thoughts on various industries. Take the time and even invest money into taking classes and attending conferences to learn more about your industry of interest. You can easily find association groups for your industry if you’re willing to do a few simple online searches.
In other words, be willing to learn as much as you can and challenge yourself each day to learn a little bit more. You can do this by keeping up to date on industry trends, but also through your various interactions with people. Networking is a powerful tool, especially when you attend conferences.
If you’re interested in learning more about your current company, try taking your manager out for a cup of coffee. You can even pick the brains of a fellow co-worker who works in a separate department during your lunch hour.
We tend to forget that humans hire other humans. We’re not robots, so making meaningful connections can greatly influence your ability to land your desired future job position. Therefore, you should make it a habit of making as many meaningful connections as you can everywhere you go. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll grow your network when you present a friendly and polite demeanor while you’re out meeting people.
It’s human nature to be helpful to one another. It makes us feel good. If you take the time to learn more about other people and offer your services in a helpful way, don’t be surprised if they reciprocate. This is a great way to improve your job prospects.
Confronting a task before it becomes a necessity makes it that much easier to deal with in the future. Even if you have a great job now you (or your manager) may want to make a change sometime in the future. Be prepared for that change by incorporating these secrets into your daily routines and improving your job prospects.