While the best time to look for a new job is when you already have a job, once you get this job you worked so hard to find and claim, then what? The financial services sector is one of the most competitive industries on the planet. How do you keep from repeating the missteps you may have regretted in the last job, and keep it from becoming just another watering hole along your career trail? Here are a few ways to make your new job your most exceptional position ever.
Seek Out Smart People
Yes, they are around—people who are smarter than you, right in your own office. You just have to look for them. If you are a manger, don’t be afraid of hiring people as smart—or smarter—than you. Not only will they be better equipped to help you succeed, everyone will assume you are more brilliant than all of them. You have the opportunity—the personal duty—to seek out the best and brightest as mentors, friends, sounding boards and pipelines. Social networking is not just something you do on your blackberry, and it’s a method that has served people well forever. And, like high school, your reputation will be created in large part by the company you keep. Choose wisely.
Feed at the Trough of Truth
When you are driving your car, you depend on the feedback you get from your dashboard. Speed, direction, fuel, etc. You need the same kind of quality feedback at work. This is where good, trustworthy sources and friends come in. Get feedback. Find out how you are doing. Keep your antennae twitching and your ears open and don’t dismiss anything out of hand. Rumors start for a reason. You don’t have to react to each bit of data you get, but at least consider it … or else, driving blindly, you are likely to drive your career into a ditch.
Be Trustworthy, and Be Careful Whom You Trust
Another important way to build your reputation is to under-promise and over-deliver. To do this, you’ll need to almost certainly depend on others. Not everyone will have your best interest at heart, so keep Ronald Regan in mind with every deal and handshake and partnership in the office: Trust, but verify. And never be the one who breaks the trust.
Listen to your inner voice. No matter how new or how experienced you are to the professional workplace, there is much to be respected about gut feelings. Not wishing; not wanting; not rationalizing. But the this-feels-right-(or wrong)-in-the-pit-of-the-stomach feeling that can easily be ignored. Don’t ignore it.
Make Yourself Available
And so, at last, we have come full circle. Keeping a high profile is still job one—the best time to look for a new job is when you already have one. Keep the resume updated. Network. Make contacts. Investigate new opportunities. Your career is like a shark; it must keep moving or it will die.