… the HR Minion. Because even minions have opinions. And giggles.

The Employment Trap

So, I’m starting to get used to the new gig and settle into a good rhythm. No husband harassing yet, but we did accidentally dress alike one day, much to the amusement of everyone else. Dudes, I swear, we are not “that couple”. I really, really, do not want to be “that couple”.

Anyway, I have come to realize that unless you decide the job is a bad fit right from the start (which would really suck) this is about the time that people can fall into what I consider to be the employment trap. You see, that job you worked so hard to get is the thing that can hinder your ability to find the next one. Let’s be honest here; it is highly unlikely that your current job is going to be your last one. Temp/contract positions aside, people just don’t work for companies their whole lives anymore. So while you should give your all in your current job, you can’t lose sight of the future.

But what is the employment trap? Glad you asked. The employment trap is essentially a false sense of security. You start a new job and breathe a sigh of relief. Benefits, steady income, branded tchotchkes, they all lull you into a state of contentment which causes you to…

1. Stop looking for work. I’m not advocating job hopping here, but it is important to keep an eye on what jobs are out there. It can help you notice trends such as what type of jobs are available, when are companies hiring, and even which companies always seem to be staffing the same position every few months. If you stop looking you may miss the job of your dreams.

2. Ignore your network. When you are looking for work, your network is invaluable. You call, email, and generally invest a lot of time connecting and building relationships. But then you start to ignore it once you are gainfully employed again. Your network doesn’t exist simply to be there when you think you need it. Nobody likes people who take and never give. Keep investing in these connections and be sure to pay it forward.

3. Stop learning. One of the worse things you can do is expect that the skills that got you the job will be the same ones that will let you keep it. Change is constant and that’s why learning should be as well. Personally, I may be done with institutionalized learning, but learning does not only exist in a classroom. Stretch your mind and stay flexible.

Don’t grow complacent. Contentment is for cows, not people. Love your new job (hopefully!), but don’t let it trap you into self-destructive behaviors.

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