If you think the best time to look for your next job is when you’re unhappy and feeling stuck with your current one, then think again. Because the truth is, the best time to test the market and look for your next job is ACTUALLY when you’re happy and content in your current role.
Sure, I know this advice may seem counterintuitive, but hear me out.
Having worked for several companies, I can tell you that interviewing for another role when you’re dissatisfied with your current one can erode your confidence, make you more anxious about the interview process, and even hinder your performance. And that’s precisely why I started taking a different approach to job hunting. After all, an opportunity can only come knocking if you’re willing to entertain walking toward the door.
Not only did interviewing at other companies help me fine-tune my interview skills, but it also helped me build self-confidence, expand my network, gain insider knowledge, and see my value in a new light (including how other potential employers equated this value with a higher compensation bracket).
Interested in doing the same? Here are five reasons why you should ALWAYS be interviewing for your next job (yes, even if you’re 110% in love with your current role). And if you’re not in love with your current position or company, trust me when I say that sometimes the best thing you can do for you and your employer is quit. But that’s for another blog post.
5 Reasons You Should be Testing the Job Market Even When You’re Happy
- Build self-confidence — it’s simple, really. The more you learn about a company, industry, or yourself, the more confident you’ll start to feel. And confidence is exactly the kind of skill that’s always in high demand no matter what company you work for.
- Sharpen your interviewing skills — no matter how much you practice answering interview questions in your spare time; nothing sharpens your interview skills quite like answering those questions in real life. By doing so, you’ll build up a diverse repository of standard questions you could have predicted as well as some curveball questions you otherwise wouldn’t have expected. Thus increasing the likelihood of you confidently answering whatever question comes your way.
- Expand your network — whether you’re meeting with interviewers, potential team members, or company leaders, every interview is truly an opportunity to expand and grow your network. Even if you don’t get the job offer, the connections you make could open doors for you down the road. So, make it a point to not only connect during your interview but follow up with said connections via email or LinkedIn (just don’t forget about LinkedIn etiquette).
- Gain insider knowledge — interviews are also an excellent opportunity for you to do some of the interviewing to gain some intel. Instead of just focusing on the questions you may get asked, think about what kind of specific questions you want to ask about the process, systems, culture, etc. And then put your findings to work at your current company.
- See how valuable you really are in the marketplace — while there’s no denying your value is defined by what YOU believe about yourself, interviewing at other companies can shed some light on how the marketplace values your skills (or perhaps where you might fall short). The worst-case scenario is that you’ll walk away knowing what skills you need to improve upon. Meanwhile, the best-case scenario is that you’ll have an offer to leverage with your current employer. Just remember that money is not everything if you’re unhappy or working in a company with a toxic culture.
So, whether you’re looking to sharpen your skills and network or leverage your offer with your existing company, there’s no time like the present to dust off your resume, update your LinkedIn profile, and book your next interview. After all, you have nothing to lose. And EVERYTHING to gain.