Keeping Your Name Out There

I was at a holiday party over the weekend and a group of people started discussing their jobs and whether or not they like what they do. Some were unhappy, some were content and others were very happy. I fell into the latter group. I make a pretty good living and like what I do. Then someone asked if I would switch companies to make more money but still do what I do now.

“Of course,” I answered, “that’s the American way.”

That is why it’s important for me to keep my résumé up to date and my network up and running; someone might be able to recommend me for a new job even if I’m not actively in the market for one. Often the best opportunities in life pop up when we aren’t looking. I met my wife two days after I decided to stop dating and concentrate on my college courses. Life’s funny that way.

Maintaining your network during the months you are gainfully employed ensures that it’s available to you when you aren’t. It also serves to notify you of exciting opportunities that may further your career or net you a larger salary.

During those blissful months on the job is the best time to share positive comments with those in your network. Tell them about accomplishments at your job or awards you may have won. If you only ever contact people during the rough times, they won’t be as likely to think of you for a better position.

Be supportive of your network. Give back and don’t always take. Each time you recommend a quality person for a job at your company you’ll be more likely to have that favor returned.

Similarly, constantly update your résumé with changes in your responsibilities and accomplishments you make. It needs to be ready at a moment’s notice in case you are approached by a member of your network with a great new job.

You career’s forward momentum relies on keeping an ear to the train tracks to see if a new train is coming soon. The best way to do that is to keep your name out there to people who may be in a position to help you. Continue building a network, making contacts and forming relationships. It’s the surest way to safeguard your future.

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