Check out my recent article for The Student Affairs Feature titled “Five Reasons Everyone Needs to Job Search This Year.”
Even if you are not in the field of student affairs this article is for anyone in any field.
Many professionals in student affairs will begin searching through position announcements and consider job searching or attending a placement exchange in the coming months. If you are thinking to yourself, “I am not looking for a new position this year”, do not be so sure.
Take a moment to answer the following questions:
- Have you thought about the next step in your career?
- What will your next position be (it may or may not be your dream job, but perhaps it could be a step in that direction)?
- Geographically, where is your next job located?
- What institution or company will you be working for?
- What functional area or field of work will the position be in?
If you have not thought about these questions in a while, perhaps you should. You might be saying to yourself, “I’m comfortable in my current position. I like what I do.” My question to you is, “Are you going to be in your current position forever?” For most of us, the answer is likely “no.”
You may have some hesitations or limitations about starting a search. For example, you may have only been in your current position for a short amount of time, you have family or a partner to consider, you are bound to your geographical location, your department will not be able to survive without you, it will take you forever to put a resume together, etc. I am not dismissing your hesitations or limitations but believe you can benefit from searching regardless of these hesitations or limitations. Furthermore, searching this year is not only for entry and mid-level professionals, but for those in upper-level administrative positions as well. Everyone can benefit from looking for their next dream job, staying sharp, and refining what should be on their resume.
“JOB SEARCHING SHOULD NOT BE A CHORE – ONLY DONE WHEN YOU DO NOT LIKE YOUR CURRENT POSITION OR THINK YOU HAVE STAYED TOO LONG.”
While there are many personal considerations to searching, below are five reasons everyone should search at the beginning of this year.
1. Searching now could land you your next dream job. You never know when your dream job will come around and if you are not looking, you may never know either. The job you have always wanted is not going to be handed to you or simply appear when you are ready to search. By staying engaged with the search world, you will be more likely to find the dream job you having been working towards.
2. Searching now keeps you sharp. Just like anything else, practice makes perfect. Through the process of looking at positions, job descriptions, and requirements, you will improve your ability to evaluate each position and determine if you could be a competitive candidate. You may start to notice which institutions you might want to work for if the opportunity was presented. Reviewing job descriptions is an excellent way to understand what types of skills should be documented on your resume.
By searching now and staying sharp you will be able to notice trends in the current search environment. This can assist you as you continue to look for the next step in your career and can also help if you are looking to hire.
3. Searching now can help others. When looking for jobs you never know what positions you might come across. Though a position does not align with what you are looking for, it could be perfect for a friend or colleague. Thinking about others will expand your network and it is likely they will do the same for you. There are more professionals than just you searching for their dream job. We can all use the help!
4. Searching now keeps your resume up to date. Certainly, we all have been there – we find a position we want to apply for, but our resume is outdated. Soon, we find ourselves scrambling to add everything we have done over the past few years and tailor our resume to the position description. It is a daunting task. However, if you are continually searching it will force you to keep your resume current, decrease the amount of grammatical and formatting errors on your resume, and allow for more time to have it reviewed.
5. Searching now will help you plan your professional development for the year. This is one of the most important, and often overlooked, reasons you should search this year. Even if you are not currently looking for a new position, knowing what jobs are on the market will empower you. While reviewing position descriptions, you can gain a good understanding of what knowledge, skills, and experience you do not have, but need to gain in order to be successful in your next move. Doing so, will allow you to be intentional when creating your professional development plan for the year. As such, you will be a highly qualified candidate when you do apply for that position.
Job searching should not be a chore – only done when you do not like your current position or think you have stayed too long. Job searching should be a continual process happening each year. Even if you enjoy your current position, you can benefit from job searching by setting your professional development for the year, keeping your resume current, and helping colleagues in their search. If you have questions about this process, feel free to connect with me on Twitter.
What are your reasons for job searching?
What is holding you back from searching?
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