As an executive you understand that in the business world enthusiasm and momentum must continue no matter what the circumstances. People should not rest on their laurels. Maria Shriver is an American journalist winning Peabody and Emmy awards, and author of six best-selling books. She has achieved many accolades in her life. Yet, she is constantly working on her next goal or accomplishment.
In a recent 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.”
Of course we know that Maria’s successes and contributions have far exceeded one book, even when faced with challenges and pitfalls along the way, she persevered.
So back to you - you’ve landed a job, hooray! However, don’t stop looking for your next opportunity now that you have a new position. And planning for the future, thinking about the next career move, can ensure you won’t be caught unprepared or unemployed. Take a lesson from Maria’s conversation with her father, and apply those principles to job search.
Don’t lose touch with your network. So often when executives 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 left over 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. Invest as much or as little time as you want to support local or global organizations. You can lend your expertise to a Board of Directors for a local non-profit, or mentor business students. 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.
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.
You most likely won’t know where your next job opportunity will come from. 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.