The Loyal Employee

The moment has arrived where you have finally decided to begin your job search after many years at the same company. The process can be extremely daunting, especially when you haven’t updated your resume or your Linkedin. (Do people still wear suits to interviews? Are you even sure you want to leave?) Your company has been so good to you.

You Are A Loyal Employee.

It is a very tough place to navigate when you have many years of experience, yet feel so inexperienced when it comes to basic things like how to begin a job search. For example, I recently had a potential client share with me that even though they have tremendous experience in several different areas of Operations, Human Resources, and Retail with one organization — they still have no idea where they could find a job because they have been with the same company for so long. What if their skills don’t translate elsewhere? Spoiler Alert: They do.

As the job market continues to evolve, it is rare to see tenure with one organization. Many people are exploring their options and yearning for new experiences and environments. Those that have been with the same organization for 10+ years can feel threatened by that fact, as they might be getting rusty on interview skills, or their resume was last updated on their Blackberry. As a former recruiter, I also spoke to many hiring managers who were hesitant to hire those who had extreme tenure with one company, stating the individual might be too “set in their ways, and wouldn’t adapt to change.”

Be that as it may, there is hope for all of you loyal employees out there. But where do you begin? What's the first step? No, it isn’t your resume.

The first question you need to ask yourself is what has kept you with that organization for so long? Many times that is the first step to understanding what you are and are not seeking in your next role— which will then help you narrow down the types of organizations you want to explore. For example, maybe you have been in retail for 12 years, and you enjoy the pace but you know you don’t enjoy the hours. Based on that information, you would eliminate retail and industries where you will have to work nights and weekends from your job search.

Once you determine why it is you are seeking a new opportunity after all of this time, this will help you build out an objective and tailor your resume to the job you want (see, there is a method to my madness).

Know What You're Good At.

It is easy to forget the skills you have gained with an organization when you have been with them for so long. You haven’t really had to talk about them, and have probably taken them for granted. I would recommend taking a look at your job description, as well as notes from your last performance review.  Giving yourself a refresh on what the expectations of your role are, as well as key accomplishments will help you in updating your resume.

There is a lot of legwork that goes into updating your resume before you actually update your resume. What message are you trying to send? Do you want an Operations role? If so, your resume should really highlight that part of your experience. You may also have a few different versions of your resume, depending on what type of role you are applying for.

Bottom Line — Take Your Time.

Beginning a job search is a slow process, especially if you haven’t done it in a long time. Remember, you aren’t going to magically fall into the perfect situation overnight. Determining what you are looking for can be like opening Pandora’s Box, and you will need time to understand how to approach those next steps.

That same potential client I was talking about earlier, was not even actively seeking a new role, until an opportunity fell into his lap. As the interview process went on, he got more and more excited, and I asked him to explore why he was so intrigued. Turns out, he was excited about the idea of a better work-life balance.

This person would have never known what he was really longing for unless he explored this other option.

The Loyal Employee needs time. The loyal employee needs to do things on their own terms, and that’s OK.

The Loyal Employee may also be missing out on greater fulfillment.

If this sounds like you, then what are you waiting for?