With the economy the way it is in Austin, those of you who are gainfully employed should feel lucky and do all you can do to hold on to your job. Does that mean you shouldn’t look for a new job? Absolutely not!
I believe you should always be on the lookout for your next great career opportunity. You don’t need to broadcast your actions all over Facebook or Twitter, but it never hurts to continue to network with groups and keep on top of industry websites and publications in your area of interest or expertise. While looking for that next great opportunity, you’ll find out one of two things…
1. You are missing out on a great opportunity. When you start looking around you might find that there is another job out there that would be the perfect “next step” for where you want to go and how you want to grow professionally. There may be another employer that has a job that is very similar to what you are currently doing, and it is 10 miles closer to your home or your child’s school. What if you found a similar job in a different industry that pays $18,000 more a year? What if you find an opportunity to do what you “have always wanted to do?” If you don’t look, you will never know what is out there and what you might be missing.
2. You have a great job! When you start looking around you might find out that you have it made. The ability to work from home when necessary, a flexible schedule that allows you to take a long lunch or leave early, and other “benefits” may be worth more to you than a pay increase or a change in location. You might realize that you are getting experience that you cannot get elsewhere and it is in your best interest to stay where you are – and love what you do. You might realize that your co-workers aren’t that bad.
If during your job search you realize that you do need to move on to a different employer or different industry but you do not see that perfect job, you will have to make a decision. Can I look for a new job and give my current job 100% or do I need to leave my current job and give the job search 100% of my efforts? Most of us need to continue working while looking for something else. If this is you – it is critical that you continue to give your current job/employer 100% of your efforts every day.
Whatever you do, do not slack off on your current duties or have an “I don’t really care anymore” attitude. You might find yourself in a situation where you are unexpectedly unemployed. Regardless of where you are working, you have chosen to be there, and it is your responsibility to get the job done in a professional and efficient manner.
Should you tell your supervisor what you are doing? That really just depends on the situation you are in…
If you are serious about leaving and your supervisor is supportive of your career growth, then YES. They may be able to help you in your search, help you map out a career path, or introduce you to new people in your industry of interest.
If you are in sales or a similar commission based business, your supervisor may show you the door as soon as you tell them you are looking for something new. If this is your case, you should probably keep your job hunt close to your vest until you are sure you have something lined up.
If you are just looking to look, it shouldn’t have any effect on your current job performance, attitude or willingness to give 100% daily, so you probably don’t need to tell your supervisor. We all need to stay current, network for our own growth, and stay connected. Your supervisor should be doing that too. If you are looking to get involved of organizations outside your office, but within your professional industry, Austin is full of professional organizations and networking groups.
(Without stating the obvious, I feel the need to say that you should not be looking for a new job while at work. Networking, emailing, web-searching, and all other job seeking efforts should be done when you are off the clock.)