We all want to feel that sense of connection, commitment and contentment when we finally say, “I Do” to that job offer. Sometimes you may feel that your sense of loyalty may come into question when you entertain meetings, interviews or just feel like kicking the tires on other opportunities that sound interesting. Just because you are willing to “take a meeting” does not mean you have any less sense of commitment to your current employer. Just like knowing what your house is worth on the market by doing your homework and comparing other comps in your area, you should do the same when it comes to your career and know what your market value is on the street before you decide how committed you’d like to become.
Being engaged to your career does not mean you can’t look and test the waters a bit. Being aware of your value not only to your own organization but also to your industry, as a whole is a smart way to keep informed and alert to potential new opportunities. Many people feel that so long as they are “working” whether in a full time or consulting role that they don’t need to find out about other job opportunities or follow a natural lead that might present itself.
This is one of the biggest mistakes anyone could make if they are truly engaged and involved in their career progress. Your job engagement means more than showing up to work on time. Truth be told you will likely have many job engagements in your career lifetime. In order to confirm you are in the right job at the right time, you need not be afraid to step out and explore your job landscape. This is not only true to understand whether you are compensated fairly or not, but you also should have conversations with your peers, trusted advisors and yes the occasional recruiter to get a good sense of what your true market value is worth.
How committed you are to your job is one thing but how you recognize and retain your value over your career is another. Knowing how you compete against others with a similar background, experience and education level makes you aware of how valued you are at work no matter how many hours there are in your day. Your commitment to your work is best defined by how you are valued not only by your current boss but by those who see you as an industry leader.
Job engagement comes when you are fully aware of your value and you are respected and admired for the work you contribute. It’s always good to take a phone call, have coffee or go to a networking event when you can get information on available opportunities in your field or just know what the other half is up to. Being isolated in your own job sets you apart and you become cut off from opportunities that might be right for you.
So the next time you get a call from a recruiter or someone asking for a referral, be a bit curious and find out a little more about the opportunity. Even though you are in a committed relationship with your job, there is nothing like exploring what others might be doing and by asking a few questions, it’s not likely you’ll be labeled as a cheater! Go on, get engaged to your job but before you do, it’s always wise to date awhile.
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