Even if you’re in a job you love, it’s always healthy to be on the lookout for (and open to) options.
Not sure if you should look for a new job? Here are three thought-provoking reasons to do so:
1. To continue growing
Tell us if this sounds familiar: “But I love my job! I never want to leave.” or “This job’s alright, I think I’ll keep it. It’s stable.” or even “I don’t really like my job, but I need it. It’s safer to stay.”
Whichever camp you fall under, this reason applies to all: no matter how you feel about your job, it’s vital to your marketability as a candidate to keep growing.
Why? Because the world is moving at a fast pace. Technology will displace so many workers in the future; trends are emerging left and right that point to your job possibly being obsolete; and, studies have shown that job-hopping can help increase your total earnings in the long run (as opposed to just staying with any one company)
If you want to keep yourself relevant, it’s important that you’re constantly improving and learning new things. And while this can apply to say, deepening your knowledge in the same job, your gains may be incremental. When you’re out of your comfort zone and in a totally new role every few years, you stretch your ability to learn—and that’s always a good thing.
2. Keep yourself in the loop
Alright: let’s say you don’t want to leave your job right now. There’s still no harm in looking. Why? For the simple reason that you have to see how you measure up in the market every once in awhile.
If a possible job offer falls into your hands, even if you’re not ready to take on yet (but might consider it down the line) it won’t hurt to talk to the recruiter or get interviewed, as long as you’re honest about your timeline.
Not only does it keep you competitive in your field (as it trains you to see what skills the market is actually paying for)—but it gives you the chance to actually get to see for yourself what else is out there.
It’s also a useful card you can play when you do feel ready to quit your job.
3. Keep your network contacts warm
After staying in the same industry for a while, you may feel like you keep meeting the same people all the time, but really, new companies, candidates and thought leaders are entering the industry all the time—sometimes without you knowing it.
As they say, innovate or die: if an industry doesn’t keep changing, it (and its constituents) can become irrelevant. That’s why constantly putting yourself out there is important. You have to keep yourself in the mind of relevant contacts. And you have to keep meeting people who are related to your job. You never know what job opportunities they might have in-store for you, or important people they know that they connect you with.
As long as you’re only interviewing or signaling interest to recruiters without disparaging your current company; and only do it for jobs that could genuinely interest you in the near future, this strategy should do more good than harm.
Then when you’re ready to quit, you can easily leverage your network to find out which jobs you could transition to—with one foot already in the door.
At the end of the day, change is inevitable—and always a good thing, as long as you’re willing to learn from it. Looking for a new job is just one of many ways you can keep your life fresh, yourself excited, and your growth moving. Here’s to your potential new path in life!