Save Your Sanity: Pursue a Proactive Career Search

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Riddled with stress, awkwardness and formalities - it’s no secret that the job search process probably isn’t topping anyone’s list of how they’d like to spend their time.

According to Inc.com, 73% of job seekers say that looking for a new job is one of the most stressful things in life. Yikes. Whether it’s the anxiety of trying to get out of a less-than-perfect role or the stress of a dwindling last paycheck, the job search (and accompanying interviews, suits, resumes, and endless phone calls) can be pain point for many. But it can also bring exciting change.

Regardless of why you’re looking for a new job, searching for the right job can be stressful – but what if it didn’t have to be? What if the job search process was more casual, and maybe even enjoyable? Enter: the never ending career search.

So, what’s a never ending career search, you ask? Simply put, it’s being proactive. When your job search is always in motion, it’s easier (and much less stressful) to make the big leap when the time comes. But don’t just take my word for it! Keep reading for three reasons why a proactive job search benefits you (and your sanity).

  1. Turn everyday life in to networking opportunities

When you’re able to integrate the job search process into your daily routine , it becomes less overwhelming. Once you get going, you’ll notice that networking doesn’t have to be a chore – it’s instinctual. We’re surrounded by networking opportunities everyday. Whether you're grocery shopping, walking the dog, waiting in line at an amusement park – these everyday interactions are prime opportunities to grow your network. I actually met someone at a college football tailgate who ended up connecting me with my very first post-grad job!

But how exactly can you do that? It’s not like we should go around handing out business cards and giving elevator pitches to everyone we meet, right? Here are a couple tips:

  • Practice your active listening skills. Listen to understand what those around you are saying, rather than just nodding and smiling. You may glean interesting information about their career, job, or interests that could help guide a networking conversation!
  • Follow up! If you strike up a conversation while waiting for your Caramel Macchiato and end up swapping business cards, follow up with a LinkedIn add. Send a quick note saying “Nice to meet you today!”. Boom! Your network just got larger.
If you strike up a conversation while waiting for your Caramel Macchiato and end up swapping business cards, follow up with a LinkedIn add. Send a quick note saying “Nice to meet you today!”. Boom! Your network just got larger. Click To Tweet
  1. Look for a values fit

In addition to making the process less overwhelming, being proactive about your job search gives you time and space to seek out companies whose values align with yours. Your values are the guiding principles that are most important to you. We use these values to make daily choices about what’s right or wrong. They also help us make important career and life decisions. A values mismatch can damage work relationships, productivity, and job satisfaction; so, it’s important to choose carefully! You can usually find a company’s values on their website or LinkedIn pages. Do some digging and keep tabs on which companies seem like they’d be a good values fit.

For me, finding a company that had values that resonated with me was really important. Luckily, I landed at a company who’s values align with mine – at SAS we value being:  SAS Values are Authentic, Accountable, Curious and Passionate. These values set the tone for everything we do individually and as a company - from the software we create to how we interact with each other and even how we treat our candidates and customers. Our company values (especially curiosity) really resonate with me and continue to remind me why SAS is the right fit for me.

Being proactive about your job search gives you time and space to seek out companies whose values align with yours. Click To Tweet
  1. Get involved – you never know when opportunity will come knocking

Taking a proactive approach to your job search can also help you find new opportunities within your own company, or even your own team! No one said your job search had to be externally-focused. (Unless you want it to be, of course.) So, keep an eye out for growth and development opportunities that may be right under your nose.

What’s the best way to find these opportunities? Get involved! Look for ways to get involved in your company outside your team by joining employee resource groups, clubs, mentor programs and even sports leagues.

Your company may even have a program designed to match interested employees with relevant development opportunities. One of my favorite programs we have to help employees develop skills or find new career paths is our Project Marketplace. In the Marketplace, employees can apply and be selected for short term projects and assignments outside their regular role.

Be proactive about internal opportunities and your development. It may lead to the next step in your career journey – and if your eyes aren’t open, you might miss it.

Be proactive about internal opportunities and your development. It may lead to the next step in your career journey – and if your eyes aren’t open, you might miss it. Click To Tweet

Being continuously proactive about your career search may seem counter intuitive at first. However, being intentional about being open to opportunities could save you time and stress down the road.

If you’re looking to jump start your search, check out open positions at SAS! And tell me – how do you continuously keep your career search Going? Share your career search wisdom in the comments down below!

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About Author

Jessica McNulty

Talent Acquisition Program Manager

Jessica McNulty is a Program Manager on our Global Talent Acquisition Team. Her focus areas include team enablement, customer experience, process innovation, global employment practices, new hire orientation, and others. Jessica is an NC Native and proud East Carolina University Alum that loves exploring the Triangle area with her husband and two rescue dogs.

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