The Great Resignation continues, with nearly half, 45% of U.S. workers actively looking for a new job or planning to within the year, according to recruitment company Employ Inc.'s 2022 Job Seeker Nation Report.
Job seekers find new roles in a myriad ways, but some are overlooking opportunities directly around them. More than half, 54% have not looked internally for a new position, according to the report.
Their reasons likely vary. Nearly half, 43% of employees say they don't have enough opportunities for internal mobility, according to a 2021 report by outplacement and career mobility provider Randstad RiseSmart's Career Mobility Report. Others may simply automatically look elsewhere when they're ready for their next role.
"I think what happens is that when someone feels frustrated with their role or their employment situation, the first instinct is to look for a new job" elsewhere, says Carolyn Kleiman, career expert at ResumeBuilder.com. But depending on your situation, that could mean you lose out on meaningful opportunities for career growth.
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Here's what experts recommend thinking about when deciding whether to apply internally or not.
Ask yourself: "Is there no mobility here? Do I want a career pivot?"
Before beginning your job search, consider why you're looking to move in the first place.
"Is there no mobility here? Do I want a career pivot? Am I not happy with the company itself?" says Kleiman. If the latter's the problem, and you're finding the company culture a bad fit, then leaving altogether to find a place you feel more comfortable could be the right move.
If the kinds of opportunities you're seeking next don't exist within your company looking elsewhere makes sense, too.
But if you like your employer and they could offer opportunities for growth ― whether that be moving up into management positions or moving laterally into another department to learn another skillset, it may be worth looking into how to take advantage of those.
"A lot of companies will have preference for internal hires," says Gorick Ng, Harvard career adviser and author of "The Unspoken Rules." Some prefer people with a proven track record, for example, or who know how the company works. For a job seeker, this could mean a greater likelihood of getting the role and ultimately advancing your career.
Start sifting through internal job boards to see what your company is looking for. When you find something that you're interested in, apply, and let your recruitment or HR department know you're interested so they can help you start moving things forward.
"You need to own your career 100%"
Regardless of whether you're looking for that next step, start building a network in your company. Reach out to people in departments of interest to see if they'd be open to an informal coffee chat about their job and team, for example. This could help keep you in the loop of openings not posted yet, but is crucial in building your professional future either way.
"You need to own your career 100%," says Dr. Rosina Racioppi, CEO and president of WOMEN Unlimited Inc. "You need to build those relationships and key influencers that can give you those opportunities that will allow you to grow."
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