The Rise of the “Passive Candidate”
Staying prepared for your next job opportunity
You’ve just hit the five-year anniversary mark at your job. Congrats! You’ve reached an important milestone at work. And you probably earned a promotion and even racked up several meaningful achievements. So, there’s no point in checking the “want ads” at this point, since everything is going great at work … right?
Well, not quite. While you may be content at your organization now, your current job will not likely be your last. And the most unsettling part of this is that many departures from companies are sudden, coming without warning signs.
Just how long does the average person stay with a job? Let’s ask the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
A 2022 survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Chief Evaluation Office revealed that the “median number of years that wage and salary workers had been with their current employer was 4.1 years.” This figure, by the way, remained constant with the findings from a similar study two years earlier. For many workers, by the time you start to settle in, it’s time to begin the job-search process again.
The job market is experiencing unprecedented turbulence. Between massive layoffs, “Quiet Quitting,” and the growing threat of AI replacing workers, people are leaving jobs and being fired in droves. Even if you are happy with your job presently, the smart move is to keep an eye out for new opportunities.
It is important to recognize your role as a “passive candidate” – someone who is not actively looking for another job, but who is always prepared for new opportunities.
Here are three ways to remain prepared and ensure you are never left scrambling to start from scratch at the last minute:
When was the last time you actively engaged with your network? The more time that passes between check-ins, the weaker your relationships become. Even though it may have been a while, catching up is easy and can be done in just a few minutes per day.
The last thing you want to do is to fall out of touch with your network, only to come out of the woodwork when you need a favor. Look for opportunities to help those who have helped you in the past. Your support will be remembered and go a long way when you jump into active job-search mode again. In addition, make sure to maintain your focus on building and expanding your network with new contacts.
Touching base with your recruiter from time to time will also help you keep a pulse on new opportunities as they arise. It’s not that you are looking to jump ship in the next few weeks or months, but it’s helpful to know what is available. You can also strengthen your partnership with your recruiter by recommending your contacts for their current openings.
It’s always a good idea to keep your resume fresh, even if you are not in active job-search mode. Continue to update it every time you register a significant achievement. If you wait years to work on your resume, you likely will forget many of the highlights along the way. Keeping your resume current ensures you are ready when new opportunities arise.
Update your LinkedIn profile as well and continue to add new achievements. And don’t disappear from the platform. Engage with posts and publish your own content to maintain your visibility on the network.
In today’s job market, you’re either growing or declining. New business models are forming every day, best practices are changing constantly, and technology is evolving quickly. Those who continue to learn and grow will always find a home in the job market. But those who refuse to embrace change and growth run the risk of becoming obsolete.
If you continue to challenge yourself, learn new skills and approaches, and expand your core competencies, you will remain employable and in demand. Dive into your new job and take advantage of every learning opportunity you can find. This will strengthen your value and keep you well positioned in the job market.
About FPC National
Whether you are secure in a long-term role or on the hunt for a new opportunity, be sure to visit our job board to search for opportunities in 40 specializations in all major markets across the country. With more than 60 offices nationwide, FPC National has extensive employer contacts, hundreds of professional recruiters, and access to top-tier openings that are not available on other job boards.