Dear JobsBlog: I’m pretty happily with my current job, but I’m ready to take the next step in my career. How do I negotiate a job search while I am still employed? I am nervous about my current employer finding out that I am interested in looking at other companies. Is there a way for me to do this tactfully?
Dear Happy: Though it might be scary, one of the best things you can do for yourself while you are content in your current job is to keep yourself marketable. This means that you have to take the initiative and step out of your comfort zone a bit. Trying a few of these things below can really keep your skills fresh. And who knows? It may also lead you exactly to that next step in your career.
1. “Finding out what you’re worth” – Someone I know recently coined this phrase. It had been 14 years since he had last interviewed outside of his company and it was an eye opening experience for him. To keep yourself marketable, you should interview outside of your company at least once every two years to keep your interview skills strong, see how employers in your field are evaluating candidates, and to “see what you’re worth” as far as any potential offers might receive. This is invaluable because you are forced to go through preparation, perform industry research, and see what it takes to get to the next step or into the top company for your field. If you can’t even get out of the gate (i.e. land an interview) you know that you have a lot of work to do. And that is a whole other blog topic!