A passive job search is when you take some time to look for job opportunities that you could apply to but you’d be fine staying in your current position. When you conduct regular passive job searches, you’re spending a few hours per week, per month, or per quarter looking for a new job when you don’t need one. A lot of people don’t do this—maybe because they think it’s a waste of time, maybe because they just haven’t thought to do it in the first place—but it can be incredibly beneficial for your career in the long run. Here are 8 reasons why the best time to look for a new job is when you don’t need one.
1. Steady Income: When you have a steady income, your job search can be much more passive and less frantic. You won’t be stressed out about needing to make a paycheck ASAP so you won’t waste your time looking at job opportunities that don’t suit your talents and don’t fit your requirements.
2. Better Resume: If you’re looking for a job when you don’t need one, you’re more likely to keep your resume up to date. That way, when you want to go in for an interview or switch from a passive job search to an active job search, you won’t need to frantically update your resume. These time restrictions lead to a lot of resume formatting, grammatical, and spelling errors, which could cost you the job, you really want.
3. Plan Ahead: Passively looking for a job doesn’t always mean looking for a job you’re qualified for at this current moment, it can also mean looking ahead to a more senior or leadership position. You’ll be able to prepare yourself for career advancement if you regularly see the skills and experience required for jobs that are similar to what you’d like to move into in the near future.
4. Shifts in Demand: In the IT industry, programming languages fall out of favor and new programming languages arrive to take their place. If you’re focused only on the technologies in demand at the company you currently work for, you may be surprised to find out that the demand has shifted outside of your organization, which could make your experience obsolete. Don’t let these shifts in demand surprise you, keep up to date by conducting regular passive job searches!
5. Perfect Opportunity Pops Up: Everyone has that pie-in-the-sky, dream job, perfect opportunity that they concoct in their head. It’s got the ideal commute, the amazing benefits, the great compensation, the challenging and exciting workload, and the wonderful company culture. How will you know whether or not that perfect opportunity has popped up if you’re not conducting regular passive job searches?
6. Unexpected Exit: Whether it’s a lay off, a sudden shift in management, or getting fired there are a lot of unexpected events that can occur that would force you to leave your job before you were expecting to. When that happens, you’ll be much more prepared to handle the job search because you’ve been passively searching for a new job.
7. Recommend Opportunities to Your Professional Network: A lot of people struggle with professional networking. They know how valuable it is, but they don’t know how to keep in regular contact with the people in their professional network in a fun, interesting, valuable way. One thing you can do is send along a job opportunity you find during your regular passive job searches if it suits someone in your professional network. This is especially helpful if you know they’re looking to make a career move sometime in the near future or you have an idea of what their dream job would look like.
8. You Won’t Settle: In the panicked, frantic, often volatile state many unemployed job seekers can reach, settling for any job rather than waiting to find the right opportunity is incredibly common. The best thing about conducting regular passive job searches is that you have the peace of mind that you don’t have to leave if you don’t want to. This means you’ll apply for jobs more selectively, really weigh your options and vet a company during your interview process, and decide whether or not to accept the job offer without the usual monetary and time constraints.
Make a little time in your weekly, monthly, or quarterly schedule for a passive job search and get ready to reap the career rewards! The best time to look for a new job is when you don’t need one.