Throughout the years as I’ve worked with job seekers and career changers, I have found there is one career management mistake many people make: Not having an updated resume. Now you might ask, “Why is this a career management mistake, if I’m not looking for another job and have no plans of leaving?”
Career management is being forward thinking. While you might plan on staying in your current position for a long time (or forever), here are some important reasons to always have an updated resume:
1. A sudden opportunity. Sometimes the best time to look for a new job is when you’re not looking. I cannot tell you how many times I have received calls from individuals who needed a resume “right away” for a great job opportunity they just heard about, but the deadline was only a few days away.
2. It’s easier to recall important facts. If you update your resume once or twice a year, it is much easier to remember accomplishments (a large project, an a way you saved the company money, increased sales numbers, a large problem you resolved, a training you attended, etc.). Side Note: when you attend trainings, seminars, etc., always save your certificates. They serve as documentation that you attended the event.
3. You may suddenly lose your job. Let’s face it. Things happen. Not long ago a family member went into work on a Wednesday and within a few hours, he and another employee had been laid off. It was a surprise and even their boss didn’t know about it. The decision was made by the upper management to let the two newest employees go in an effort to save money. Fortunately, I updated a resume for my family member about six months earlier, and the same day as the layoff, he had applied for several jobs. Within two days, he had a job offer!
4. You may experience the effects of a downsize. Throughout the years I have worked with individuals who were notlaid off, but the result of other people losing their jobs highly impacted their workload. The stress of managing all of their new responsibilities, plus the uncertainty of their own job security, prompted them to start looking for employment elsewhere.
5. Your company could be bought out. In many cases when there are mergers, acquisitions, buyouts, etc., there will be some positions that will be eliminated. While the elimination of these positions may not happen right away, it is not uncommon for some changes to take place after 6 months.
6. Your company could go out of business. Companies go out of business for many reasons: the economy, changes in the industry, technology taking over, fires, etc.
7. You could get a different boss. Unfortunately, there are some bosses out there who make your work life miserable. While you might have the best boss in the world right now, this could change.
8. You could get different coworkers. It’s not always bosses that can make your work miserable. I’ve worked with people who have decided to look for a different job because of coworkers.
9. If you’re self-employed, one day you might not be. Even if you are currently working for yourself, you might not always be. During the sluggish economy some years back, I worked with several self-employed individuals whose businesses were impacted. The result? They decided to work for somebody else. Another time, one of my clients, who had been self-employed for 25+ years, decided he was tired of the self-employment world. He wanted to just go to work for somebody else, and not have to worry about everything that goes into running business.
10. Life happens. A few years back, a client of mine, who was self-employed, lost her husband due to cancer. She needed more income (and health insurance), so she decided it was time to update her resume and look for employment with a company. Divorce also happens, and a stay-at-home parent may now need dust off his/her resume and find outside employment.
Career management is important. It essential to your overall career success. While it may be hard to think about updating your resume when there is no current need, it’s important to be prepared, because you just never know.