Have you noticed? When someone gets a job, many times they abandon their Linkedin profile. On occasion, I help people with their resumes, and every time I ask for a current resume to see what I have to work with, it’s never updated after they got their last job. It’s like they dropped off the face of the earth since they are no longer looking for the J.O.B.
Why do people do this? Here’s a theory.
Once a person gets a job after looking for so long (usually 10 months between corporate jobs for the average worker), he or she gets tired and complacent. Now that a job has been acquired, it is no longer necessary to keep looking or do personal marketing any more. What was sought after so earnestly for months and months has been found, right?
That only holds true until that person is out of work, and looking for a job again. And again. And again.
Now my story is a little different from the average worker. I’ve been out of the corporate world now for over 10 years as a business owner, and quite frankly, I don’t see the appeal to ever going back. I would have to work behind a desk, take orders from someone who is probably no smarter than me (or maybe they are, but who cares?), beg for time off, make money for someone else, spin my wheels until 5:00pm, but probably 6:00pm or 7:00pm. Not appealing at all.
But that’s just me.
For 95% of the American population, a job seems to equate to security, so most people choose to work for someone else. There’s nothing wrong with this. It is a choice millions of people make every day.
But in my opinion, people are making a big mistake when they drop their marketing efforts just because they get a job. I think it is truly because they don’t look at themselves as a “business”, but rather just “cog” in the corporate wheel. When we are just another “cog”, it is easier to go with the flow; to let someone else worry about things for a while. We become dependent on others to turn us to make the machine go. Consequently, we think when we have a job, we don’t need to look for another one right now.
While many people believe the world should work like this, it really doesn’t. We all know this deep down.
For someone like me who is a business owner, this way of thinking is suicide. I can never stop looking for that next client. I may be busy right now, but I can never stop seeking to grow. In fact, now that I have experienced it, I crave growth. It goes with the territory.
If employees viewed themselves as individual business owners, I can guarantee that they would be looking for that next “client” also known as that next employer. It’s only wise to do so in today’s business environment.
Since many jobs don’t last longer than a year, and most people go several months to several years between jobs, it should be their top priority to have their next client lined up already, to at least shorten the time between jobs.
For what it’s worth, here’s a suggestion: keep your resume and your Linkedin profile current, visit your profile on a weekly basis and see who’s looking at you, write blog posts, contribute to communities, add connections, go to networking events when you can. In other words, continue marketing yourself in your off hours. You are your own business!
This is what business owners do, and it becomes addictive in many ways. It strokes the ego, it makes you feel connected to others outside your office, it empowers you to be responsible for yourself, it keeps you active and growing, and most importantly, it gives you the confidence you need to go through that next transition.