Now is a Great Time to be Looking for a New Job
“I’m going to do everything I can to hold on to the job I still have.”
Fear is a great motivator, but is it really a strong foundation on which to build a career? And, does it allow you to give your best effort to your current employer?
Right now is a great time to be looking for a new position. Notice I said “looking” and not “leaving.” Those are two entirely different things.
When you start looking for a new and better opportunity, even in the middle of a recession, some positive things can start to happen for both you and your employer.
You update your resume. As marketers, we understand the importance of strong collateral that effectively sells the benefits of our product. It amazes me when I hear from marketers that haven’t updated the brochure for what should be their favorite product – themselves.
Unfortunately, things look like they’ll get worse before they get better and some of you will find yourselves looking for your next opportunity when you didn’t expect to. If you haven’t updated your personal brochure lately, “Get’r done.”
You start thinking about your impact. To build a strong resume you have to show compelling value. If you aren’t already measuring your performance in metrics that relate to the bottom-line, start doing it now.
For marketers responsible for demand generation it’s easy to find metrics that link to revenue. These should be metrics like:
• Percent of qualified lead generation goals met
• Improvement in qualified lead generation performance over prior years
• Improvement in cost of qualified leads
You can also include accomplishments that highlight improvements such as “established a lead nurturing program that cut marketing costs by X% and improved qualified lead performance by X%.
Those of you who are further removed from sales still need to find ways to measure your performance in ways that show a positive impact on the company’s objectives. Avoid the marketing speak and pretend you are explaining your value to a CEO who really doesn't understand marketing.
If you aren’t making an impact or aren’t measuring your impact, do it now. You’ll find that creating a compelling resume is easier, and you’ll have metrics that you can use to prove your worth to your current employer.
You look for ways to develop your skills. As you look for interesting opportunities, you will notice new skills that are being required by employers. Don’t know much about email marketing, social media or “Web 2.0?” It’s time to expand your skill set. Once again you’ll not only improve your opportunities, but your value to your current employer as well.
But, what if your employer is one of the many who have eliminated discretionary training budgets?
This isn’t about waiting for your employer to spoon feed career development to you. It’s about taking control of your own destiny. A year’s premium membership to Marketing Profs is around $249 and gets you all of their resources including free access to their webinars.
If that’s still outside your personal budget, read my post on taking advantage of free educational resources on the net. No Training Budget? No Problem!
You start thinking about possible references. Who would be willing to provide a reference for you on LinkedIn? If your list is short, you might want to think about your interactions with your colleagues. Are you improving their professional lives or detracting?
Marketers with a lot of internal fans are usually the last to go. But, if you find yourself looking, these are also the people who are likely to be the most benefit in your job search. Start developing those relationships now.
You build your network. I can usually tell when someone has been laid off because I will get a request to connect on LinkedIn quickly followed by a request to write a reference.
I have no problem helping former colleagues who unexpectedly find themselves looking for a new position. I love to write references for those whose work I respect and admire. However, I think it’s easier to build a strong network if you work on it while you are employed.
You start assisting your network. I’ll bet you have a lot of friends who are on the market for a new job. If you are looking while you are still employed, you start to notice opportunities that your friends and former colleagues might be interested in. Take the time to pass these on. Next to providing a reference before it is requested, this is one of the most thoughtful things you can do for someone who has suddenly lost their job.
These things don’t automatically happen. It takes some deliberate effort and a commitment to be ready when opportunity knocks. But, looking while you are still employed is not about finding something new. It’s about taking personal responsibility for your own career path and your own value to an employer. This is true whether it’s your current employer or a future one.
All the best!