Stay Active in the Job Market Even When Things Are Good

During a recent restructure at work, I had a conversation with colleagues, some who were affected, and others who weren’t, about staying active in the job market. One of them mentioned how important it is to stay active in the job market by interviewing even when you’re not looking. That struck a cord with me because I had only interviewed (externally) for a job once in five years! I had never been driven to actively seek for a new job, and only went for that one interview because I admire the owners of the holding company, but the position was not ideal. Although I was not affected, and I feel I still have a lot to learn and apply in my current role and company, the restructure was a wake- up call for me.

So, in one month I got my act together and:

1. Updated my LinkedIn profile, signed up for a Premium account and downloaded the LinkedIn Job Search app. 

My favourite feature of the premium account is the insights which show you how you fair for a job compared to people who have applied for it and the company’s current employees. This has helped me see how I need to improve my profile.
The Job Search App makes it easier to focus just on seeing what jobs are available that meet your search terms.

2. Re-registered on PNet
I really believe that PNet is South African’s number one job site! All the recruiters who contacted me had found my CV on PNet.

3. Paid attention to the kind of vacancies that are open in my line of work.
I’m in a specialised field in marketing which is being adopted quite slowly in South Africa. I’ve realised that the vacancies that require my skills set have a few different titles in South Africa, so I’ve had to include those terms in my filters and alerts. 

4. Received six requests to apply for very relevant positions and responded to the recruiters.
Soon after I re-registered on PNet I was contacted to apply for pretty relevant positions. And because I’m not at a point where I’m desperate for a job, I screened these positions, and most importantly the companies pretty well. Choosing a company that has a great culture is vital to your happiness. I’ll be writing an article on that topic soon on my blog. Look out for it.

5. Took one interview with a recruiter. 
This was one of the best interviews I’ve ever had in my career! Interviewing doesn’t only mean interviewing with the company that has a vacancy to fill. It also means interviewing with their recruitment agencies. Recruiters know the job market pretty well, and if you are approached by a good one, they can provide you with great insights and advice. 

This interview turned out to be more of a career path discussion than it was to fill that particular position or any vacancy. I was honest about my current situation, and the reason I’m “in” the job market, and the recruiter and I brainstormed what a good next move would look like if I ever was really in need of a job. That particular vacancy, and more so the company culture, was not ideal for me.

Staying active in the job market can not only help you in times of crisis, like when you are affected by a restructure, but it also keeps you informed and can help you define your career path based on market insight. I’m not saying that you need to have an interview every week or every month, but please don’t wait for five years to get your feelers out there.