Why I Think It’s OK (If Not Preferred) to “Always Be Looking”




  • Back when I was working for other people, I always got a ton of push-back when I mentioned I had always adopted an “always be looking mindset.”

    I think a lot of people took it the wrong way. Like “this guy is going to be looking for a new job the moment he comes in the door.” While technically, I guess, that’s true. It’s not exactly what I mean when I say “always be looking.”

    Why I Think It’s OK (If Not Preferred) to “Always Be Looking”

    FWC Photo by David Moynahan

    To me, it simply means adopting a mindset of always networking. Always learning. And always seeing what’s out there.

    Not necessarily always applying and interviewing.

    There is a difference.

    Over the course of my career, I’ve noticed there are two distinct kinds of people: those who are happy with their jobs, keep their heads down, go home at 5 and don’t look for a new job unless they absolutely need to; and, those who adopt an “always be looking” mentality.

    And, funny, the people who adopt that mindset are rarely in need of a job. I almost never get calls or emails from these folks asking for help finding a new job. Why? BECAUSE THEY’RE ALWAYS LOOKING!

    This means they are:

    Constantly networking

    Every week. A coffee here. An event there. And, they get networking, too. They don’t always have their hand out. In fact, they rarely have their hand out. Instead, they’re looking for ways to help me. My friend Susan Beatty personifies this mentality better than anyone I know. She’s always pinging me. Always looking for ways to help me. Always saying yes to my last-minute requests. In fact, go meet Susan Beatty right now and be more like her!

    Constantly learning

    Just because you have a killer job doesn’t mean you stop learning! Attend industry events. Sit in on workshops. Learn a new skill on your own! Be a life-long learner. Never stay still. Greg Swan of Fallon fame is easily one of the people I think of first when I think of someone who adopts this mindset. If you subscribe to Greg’s weekly e-newsletter, you know what I’m talking about! He’s almost always on the early adopter curve of any new tech. He always has the latest and greatest (he was one of the first in my circle to get the new Apple card). Go meet Greg and be more like him!

    Constantly being aware of opportunities

    “Always looking” doesn’t mean you’re actively seeking out new opportunities. In my mind, it simply means being aware and open to new opportunities, should they come your way. Because, if you’re doing #1 and #2 above, new opportunities are going to come your way. Believe me. You just have to be ready to pounce on them. And, if you’re too busy with your head down every day, you’re going to miss them. My (relatively) new friend, Stacia Nelson of Pivot Strategies is a good example. In fact, our new friendship is a good example. I connected with Stacia initially about WeWork (she has a space there and I was considering joining). She invited me down to give me a tour. We wound up talking for an hour about all sorts of stuff. And, we wound up doing some business together. Stacia was open to new opportunities. She was listening. That’s everything when it comes to “always be looking.”

    Just my two cents. Like I said, I’ve got a lot of push-back on it from leadership at companies I’ve worked for over the years. But, I stand by my position–100%. It’s worked out pretty well for me so far!

    What about you? Are you employing an “always be looking” mentality? Why or why not?

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