Job satisfaction doesn't just happen, says executive resume writer Lisa Rangel. Here are steps everyone can take to stay happy and relevant in their careers.
2020 was a wild ride. 2021 could be just as tumultuous, if the first six weeks serve as any sort of clue. As a result, it’s important to take steps to stay content with the executive role you have now, whether or not you want to eventually move to a different employer.
Satisfaction in your current role will be a foundation to draw from whenever unexpected opportunity or challenge surfaces, which it’s why it’s important to take steps to help you stay grounded.
Contentment in your job is an active position. It won’t just happen – you have to work a little for it. If you plan to stay in your current job and remain content, don’t think you are off the hook from doing some work on yourself.
There are things you should do, especially if you intend to stay relevant. Staying relevant leads to being continuously employed. And being continuously employed contributes to contentment for most of us.
Here are 7 suggestions for staying content in your current job:
1. Sign up for professional development.
Ongoing learning is crucial to staying relevant in today’s a marketplace. An additional bonus to enrolling in professional development courses and certificate programs is that you meet new like-minded people to add to your network.
2. Join a new professional association.
Or commit to becoming more active in one where you are currently a member. Offer to chair a project, organize an event or share your expertise as a speaker. Consider assisting with membership, where you often meet the most people. This will upgrade your credentials and open you up to new people from which to learn.
3. Prepare for your next performance review.
Don’t take your performance review for granted. In fact, I suggest preparing for it s if you were interviewing for your job. Have a list of your achievements documented, as well as relationships made and strategies implemented. Don’t assume your boss will know all of these. You have to promote yourself internally as if you were doing a job search externally.
4. Update your resume while you are employed.
Here is a huge mistake I see so many accomplished people make. They assume that since they have always been employed, they will always be employed. So they don’t have an updated resume or LinkedIn profile and then, BAM!, they find themselves unemployed. In this day and age, it happens, and it clearly leads to discontentment. When it does, these accomplished professionals find themselves writing a resume from memory because they don’t have access to their performance data. When you are already depressed over losing your job, struggling to recall all your accomplishments doesn’t help your self-esteem at a time when you need it most. Do yourself a favor and update your resume before you need it - while you are still employed. Consider it a gift of contentment to yourself. Taking care of yourself and your career roots you in security—and so does keeping your achievements top of mind, and knowing you have an updated resume ready should you need it unexpectedly.
I Know the Circus, I Know the Clowns
5. Ensure your LinkedIn profile contains your personal email address.
If you get unexpectedly laid off, you won’t have access to your work email address to log into your profile and get all of the notifications. These instructions will help you update your email address to a personal email address you will always have access to. How does this help you stay content? Knowing your personal branding is protected gives you peace of mind.
6. Set up a networking “coffees”.
Ideally, once per week. These can occur over Zoom, Skype, or in some properly socially distanced settings, and they don't have to actually involve coffee either. Whether you meet with a group while you eat lunch, have coffee or exercise, the key is keep your network active and ready. In this climate, you never know who you will get the opportunity to help out, or who you will need to tap to help you down the road.
7. Participate on LinkedIn and other social media channels in your field.
At a minimum, comment on some posts of people whose content interests you. Aim to take those conversations off line to a message or Zoom chat. Treat LinkedIn like a networking event for meeting new people and reinvigorating prior relationships.
The bottom line here is that, even if you are blessed to be gainfully and even happily employed, you should not take it for granted. Maintain your marketing materials and your network so if a new opportunity presents itself or challenges arise unexpectedly, you are ready for all of it! Being ready for change is an important part of staying content in your job and enjoying the security of continual employment.