Why (And How) To Keep Looking For a Job – Even When You’re Happily Employed

Job boards, interview jitters, resumes, and recruiters. You’ve left that all behind now that you’ve landed your dream job, right?

Sure, you may be perfectly happy with your current position, but it doesn’t hurt to keep your ear to the ground for other opportunities – and in fact, it could even help you excel in the job you have right now.


Unless you’re planning to retire with the same job duties you have today, keeping up the job search can help you prepare for the next step. You might not be ready to take that step yet – after all, you like your job – but if you start reading job descriptions today for the job you may want in the future, it can help you position yourself when it’s time to make the leap.

Keep an eye out for trends in qualifications or required experience and use those to come up with a professional development plan for yourself. Even if your goals end up changing, developing your skills and qualifications will never hurt.

You may also notice a trend in the types of job descriptions that pique your interest, which can help you get a handle on what you’d ideally like to be doing. Are you attracted to the flexible work schedule? The increased responsibilities? The types of skills you’d be using, or people you’d be interacting with?

Even if you don’t change jobs, you may be able to bring some of those elements into your current position.

How do you keep an eye out for opportunities?

Like all the best opportunities in life, great job opportunities come about when you’re staying open to them.

  • Keep in touch with your contacts: Keep your network active by taking time to check in with people regularly – college roommates, people you’ve met at networking events, etc. You may hear about interesting opportunities through them, or at least have a relationship ready to tap if you ever need to find a job fast.
  • Join groups with your peers: Networking groups, either general-interest or related to your industry, are a great place to find out about new opportunities. You’ll also keep abreast of news and trends that may shape your career path.
  • Keep an eye on job listings: Of course, there are always job boards!
  • Schedule informational interviews: If you’re thinking about changing directions someday, nothing beats an informational interview with someone in that industry to help you decide if it’s what you want to do.

Keep yourself sharp

Even if you’re happy in your current position, it’s smart to keep yourself marketable. Keep your skills fresh, stay on top of your industry, and keep your resume polished so that if an opportunity comes up, you can make the best of it.

  • Professional development: Grow your skills – and value – through conferences, classes, workshops, trainings, and skills-based volunteer opportunities.
  • Stay up to date on your industry: Subscribe to industry newsletters and trade magazines, join LinkedIn groups and other online forums, and follow industry leaders.
  • Keep your LinkedIn profile up to date: This helps recruiters find you, and also means that in the event that you do start looking for a new job your boss won’t be alerted by the sudden flurry of new updates on your profile. (Of course, you should always change the settings to not broadcast changes when you’re doing a bunch of them anyway.)
  • Keep your resume ready: When a great opportunity does present itself, make sure you’re ready to take advantage, and not scrambling to remember dates and job titles from the past five years.

Keeping yourself open to new possibilities will certainly help once you’re ready to make the move – but it also means you won’t be stuck at square one if you do wind up in need of a new job.

Good luck!

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Anne Hull

Great advice, Jessie! It’s so easy to get stuck in getting today’s project/tasks done that we don’t come up for air…to see the bigger picture. Initiate conversations about trends effecting your work and organization. Stay curious and you’ll find that others will be attracted to the ‘good questions’ you ask. Keep learning something new to keep you brain alive as well as grow your job and career.