GNcareers, from Gulf News

Seeds of future lie in the past

Seeds of future lie in the pastImage Credit: Supplied

Getting a job isn't something you think about only when you are changing positions — voluntarily or not. If you want to ensure that you will be able to move from one good job to the other, you must always work on building and maintaining connections as well as keeping positive impressions of your abilities with coworkers, clients and business contacts.

These efforts should be ongoing. In fact, excelling at your current job is one way that can make getting the next easier. Think about the opportunities of getting referrals and recommendations from people with whom you worked in the past, when these people move to new organisations and look around to build their teams.

For many people, getting headhunted is something that doesn't just happen. They do work hard, establish themselves as the best in class and position themselves for better opportunities. All of this takes dedication and persistence. Employers don't aggressively pursue to hire people who are just mediocre employees. The bottom line: If you establish yourself as a top-quality employee, your efforts to land a new job can be as easy as just casually expressing your interest in making a change.

Here are some tips on how to be a catch for new employers.

Excel at your current job

Employers want to hire a winner. Your success at your current job is likely to get you noticed not only by your employer, but by competitors, clients and business contacts. And when a job opportunity that is right for you comes along, you're likely to be the one targeted.

Even if you're not looking for a job immediately, excelling at your job can help you later. Your coworkers and supervisors are likely to give you positive references. Remember, business worlds are tight and if you think your future employers will only know and contacts your list of references, you may be mistaken. Circles of connection often overlap, and therefore it is better that you always ensure that you're maintaining a professionally positive impression with almost everyone.

Build connections

Stay active and build connections even at the times when you're not looking for a job. Join trade associations and keep your networking channels open online and in face-to-face opportunities. That is how you will be able to know about job openings, meet new people including decision makers and know how the job market in your field is evolving.

In these relationships, you must stay proactive to be noticed. For example, take part in event organisation, try to get a board position or even volunteer to do whatever duty that is up for grabs. The point is: don't just be a member in a directory of thousands of other members. Your active participation is what will set you apart and allow you to meet new people.

Once you're available for a new position or you're considering jumping into a new position, make sure that you let people know. Of course, if you're employed, you wouldn't want to advertise your search to everyone. But expressing your interest subtly probably is sufficient to alert those to your availability.

Keep learning

Settling into a job can be easy, but if you want to remain competitive, you must continue your learning. Know what employers in your field are looking for and keep up. Joining training courses online on in person can help you meet people who are in the same boat, but also who may have different contacts or are part of different circles. That is why it is important to stay involved and know which skills need to be sharpened to remain competitive.

Your learning also should include the changing needs of your field. For example, technology is changing how business in done in almost every profession. If that is an area that has been neglected, you probably should explore ways to develop your skills and ensure that it is not an obstacle in your way of professional development and advancement.

Work to get a new job

- Build and maintain contacts

- Keep a positive impression of your skills

- Stay competitive by learning

- Be known in groups and trade associations

Find out why you shouldn't start a job hunt in desperation

Source: Rania Oteify, Special to gulfnews.comGN

The writer, a former Gulf News Business Features Editor, is a Seattle-based editor