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Post: 6 Reasons You Should Always Be In Job Searching Mode



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My first job out of college was as a software developer for a defense contractor. I was paid a salary of $60,000 a year. I stayed at the company for three years and only saw my salary increase 4% each year, the standard raise.

After those three years, I moved to another company and my starting salary was $90,000. It was a 36% increase in salary.

My dad worked at the same company his entire career. I thought it was customary to stay at the same company your entire working life. Many people believe the same thing.

But that’s not actually the case.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median number of years a worker has been with their current employer is only 4.1 years. We may all believe that employees stay with the same company for many years but the reality is much different. The average worker has 11.9 jobs between the ages of 18 and 50.

One of the main reasons for all this job-hopping is also one of the simplest: whether employees actually change roles or just continuously “window shop” for what’s available, they can reap a long list of rewards.

I got a massive pay raise to switch companies.

Here are seven reasons you should always be job searching.

1. Resume Remains Up To Date And Optimized

Searching and applying for new jobs all the time forces you to update your resume regularly. If you only update every few years, it’s very difficult to remember what you accomplished.

Small ongoing updates are easier than a complete overhaul. You’ll always have an up-to-date resume, simplifying what can otherwise be an arduous process of applying to attractive positions.

2. Sharpens Your Interview Skills

Interview skills deteriorate. If you don’t use it, you lose it. That’s why people who switch jobs a lot have a major advantage at this phase of the hiring process. All that extra interview practice helps them stay calm under pressure, answer questions more effectively, and helps leave a positive impression.

Equally, interviewing well helps validate to prospective employers the claims made on your resume. And remember, a good resume gets your foot in the door, but your interview proves you can do the job.

3. Better Pay, Benefits, And Leadership Opportunities

The traditional view of earning raises and promotions is that it pays, quite literally, to stay with a company, make yourself invaluable, and work your way up the ladder. In theory, loyalty is rewarded.

That approach has its place. But if you want a rapid and significant salary increase, research suggests it’s far more effective to change jobs regularly. For example, a Pew Research study found half of workers who changed jobs between April 2021 and March 2022 experienced a 9.7% pay increase. That’s in stark contrast to the median worker who remained in their job and suffered a 1.7% pay drop.

Pay isn’t the only incentive. New jobs and different companies often equate to career advancement opportunities. Maybe there’s no room for progression in your current company and your prospects could be far better elsewhere.

4. Job Offers Help You Negotiate Pay Raises

Searching and applying for new jobs makes sense even if you like where you work and don’t want to change. You can leverage another company’s offer to negotiate a pay raise.

A friend of mine did this to increase his salary. I had been at the new company for a years and referred him to an open position. He interviewed, was given an offer, and took the offer back to our old employer. They matched it and he’s still happily working there today, twenty years later.

Finding and training new employees is expensive. It is far easier to pay someone more, especially if they are a top performer.

Having a confirmed job offer from another company (particularly if it’s a competitor) with better pay is powerful leverage in that discussion. Furthermore, searching for new positions reveals whether your current pay matches industry standards. If it doesn’t, there’s more incentive to apply for roles where it does.

5. You Remain Knowledgeable About Sought-After Skills

Job searching is also a fact-finding mission. What experience and qualifications are employers in your field looking for in ideal candidates today? How does that compare to what’s currently on your resume?

Once you’ve found answers to those questions, you can fix any obvious gaps (e.g., requesting involvement with relevant projects at your current job or pursuing different certifications) and update your resume accordingly.

If the time comes that you’re ready for a change, you’ll be in a stronger position.

6. Aids In Transition In Worst-Case Scenarios

Having your resume updated and your interview skills sharp will be important if you’re unexpectedly fired. While these situations are never pleasant for anyone, they’re far less stressful, disruptive, and frightening if you are prepared to re-entering the job market.

People who regularly look and apply for new positions are poised to get back on their feet with relative ease. They understand the job market and have a finely-tuned CV showing their relevant experience and recent achievements. Likewise, knowing you’ve laid the groundwork to weather such storms can put your mind at ease even if you’re never let go.

Time To Look For A New Job?

The average length of time for which employees stay in a job is steadily decreasing. By being on a constant lookout for new opportunities and hopping to the best ones that arise, they open the door to a host of compelling benefits. With any luck, this post has shed light on the main ones.

Lora Helmin

Lora Helmin

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