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Got the job? Now what?

As a professional you understand that in the business world enthusiasm and momentum must continue no matter what the circumstances. People should not rest on their laurels. For example, Maria Shriver is an American journalist winning Peabody and Emmy awards, and author of many best-selling books. She has achieved many accolades in her life. Yet, she is constantly working on her next goal or accomplishment.

In an interview, Maria told this story (paraphrased) “I had just written my first book, and I was having dinner with my parents. I was excited to share this with my father (Sergeant Shriver) and get his acknowledgement of this achievement. He said, ‘that’s good Maria, what are you doing now?’ I said the book had just been published, and I was wrapped up in the PR, sales, and outreach. He said again, ‘what are you doing now?’ The point he was making is don’t stop seeking another goal once you have achieved one. Keep ahead of the game and be working on the next book, or the next ‘whatever’ you want to achieve in life.”

So back to you, the professional who has just landed a job, hooray! Now that you have a new position, don’t stop looking for your next opportunity and planning for the future. If you think about the next career move, you will safeguard against being unprepared or unemployed. Take a lesson from Maria’s conversation with her father and apply these principles to your job search.

Don’t lose touch with your network. So often when people have a new job, they tend to pay less attention to their network. Their focus and attention is on the new position, and there is little time to continue to nurture the relationships that helped them during job search. Checking in with your network occasionally through email or social networks can be an easy way to stay connected. Of course, a phone call or invite to coffee keeps you more ‘alive’ in your network.

Stay involved with your community. Don’t forget professional associations and their value to the community. Whether just attending a meeting, or having a leadership role in a professional organization, there are always learning opportunities and benefits of networking with other professionals in an area of mutual interest. You can also lend your expertise to a local non-profit or mentor business students.

Continue to check industry opportunities. The pressure is off to check job opportunities daily, but keeping a finger on the pulse of the industry is key. It keeps you in the loop about companies that are hiring, products that are launching, mergers that are taking place, and so on. Tune in to businesses and the economy regularly for how you might be impacted when ready for your next career move.

Keep your options open and continue to act “as if” you are still a job seeker, albeit on a much smaller scale. You’ll be more informed and better prepared for that next career move.