Passive Job Seeking (Even When You Love Your Job!)

Passive job seeker


Many of us think about job seeking only when there’s an urgent need — when we lose our professional fit or position. After all, why go through the chore of revising materials and launching a search when we’re happily ensconced in a suitable role?

But jobs are not like romantic relationships. It’s not disloyal to keep one eye open while we’re happily engaged in a professional role.

Being a passive job seeker, contemplating your trajectory, and maintaining an understanding of your skills and market value, is an important strategy. It’s a safeguard against the unexpected. It’s also a productive exercise and a helpful habit for maintaining professional self-awareness. Here’s what you need to know about passive job searching.

The Savvy Seeker

Passive job seekers are window shoppers, which is an especially sound strategy during uncertain times. Anna Bogdan, HigherEdJobs’ content quality coordinator, candidate services explains: “A passive job seeker is someone who waits for the job that is ‘just right’ to come along. . . A majority of passive job seekers are people who are currently employed and just want to keep an eye out for jobs that may advance their careers or finally see the ‘dream job’ populate in their search results.”

Time is on passive job seekers’ side. They are waiting for a role that is attractive enough to turn their heads. Bogdan further notes: “They may post their resume/CV in the HigherEdJobs Resume Database and wait for employers to potentially contact them with an opportunity. Or they may create a Job Agent (a handcrafted email specific to the job seeker) and give a cursory glance at the jobs listed.”

Passive job seekers tend to make attractive candidates. In fact, the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) explains: “Many employers target passive job seekers because they are looking for candidates who have positive employment records and who are satisfied with and successful in their work.”

Your Career Audit

Updating your materials at a time when you’re happy in your work can be an enlightening exercise. It’s a means for tabulating the new skills you’re learning in your current role and the opportunities your current job has presented. It gives you the chance to think like a job seeker without the pressure and time constraints of a job search.

Reviewing and revising your materials offers an opportunity to take stock of where you are in your current role, noting what you’ve learned, what new responsibilities you’ve assumed, what committees you’ve served, and any new roles or responsibilities you’ ve absorbed.

It gives you the chance to see where you are in your career and to contemplate what aspects of your job you enjoy the most and best suit you. Revising and refreshing your materials is always a centering exercise. Whether you’re seeking a new job or not, it’s good to know where you are and what you want. Refreshing your materials helps with these aims.

It also gives you an excuse to revisit your LinkedIn profile and to reach out to colleagues and contacts with whom you’ve been working. Maintaining your network is especially important during the isolation of quarantine, when you don’t have the usual social outlets that come with working in the office. Finding ways to stay engaged and involved is helpful. Networking is important among these.

For active and passive job seekers alike, Bogdan explains: “‚Ķmany people find success (and actually find enjoyment in the process) when they take the time to organize their search by: 1) preparing documents ahead of time (eg writing samples, teaching philosophies, attachments that are necessary for their area, etc.), 2) reading through job descriptions to find those that are a good match with their education/experience, 3) researching whether the institution would be a ‘good fit’ for them, and 4) dedicating time in the week to solely focus on the job search.”

Build regular time into your schedule to think about your career ambitions, goals, and plans, even when you love your current job. HigherEdJobs offers a variety of career resources to help you reflect.


Be proactive in your career planning. Refresh your sense of where you are now and where you hope to channel your future ambitions. Doing so is empowering and strategic.

Bogdan advises: Researching the many facets of a job search can bring new vigor, energy, and enthusiasm to the passive job seeker, and they can create a plan and feel confident in their search.”

Source link

Leave a Comment