At last count, there were about 7 million open jobs in the U.S. — a near-record high. And while wages are up for everyone, job switchers are raking in more money than those who stay put.
So for many workers, the easiest way to get a salary bump this year is to get a new job altogether.
“Sometimes you can’t fight city hall, and a salary jump in one go is hard to engineer [at your current job],” says Liz Dolan, host of Wondery’s Safe for Work podcast and a former Chief Marketing Officer at brands like Nike, and the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).
Eyeing greener pastures? Beef up your résumé and read Dolan’s best tips for landing a new gig in 2019.
Write Down Your Professional Vision
Before you start sending out résumés, jot down a few ideas of what you want your next job to look like. This will help narrow things down when you tap your network and sort through job ads. And it might even curry favor with a hiring manager.
“I always want to see self awareness, some spark that shows me you’ve made specific choices about your work life,” Dolan says. “If they can’t articulate some vision for themselves professionally, that’s a real turnoff for me.”
Network With Your Past
You’ll have a better understanding of what’s going on in your field if you already have an active network of resources. But if you’ve lost contact with old colleagues, don’t be afraid to shoot them an email, or message them on Facebook, and see if they’re up for grabbing a coffee. Be casual—you’re just reconnecting, not begging for a job.
“People get freaked out by the term “networking,” ” Dolan says. “But if you’ve generally stayed in touch with people you like and respect, that’s the best way to find a job.”
Ask a Hiring Manager What Keeps Him or Her Up at Night
In interviews, job seekers tend to get so caught up in the idea of “selling” themselves that they don’t do enough listening, Dolan says.
To really impress hiring managers, she suggests asking about the specific challenges facing their departments. Why are they hiring for this job right now? What problems need solving? You’ll also need to talk about how you can help ease these pain points, but don’t worry about coming up with a solution on the spot.
“Let them describe what’s keeping them up at night, and then go home and think about it,” Dolan says. “It’s the perfect way to follow up.”
Know Your Market Value
Free salary calculators, like Glassdoor’s Know Your Worth tool, let you plug in your experience, education, and location to estimate your market value. Use them!
“It’s part of your job to know what you’re worth in the open market,” Dolan says. “There’s a wealth of data about how people get paid. Stay on top of that.”