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by Capitol Standard | September 19, 2016


An intern consultant adjusts his tie.

When you finally land the decent, well-paying gig you've been looking for, the last thought for most would be to keep interviewing.

But Conrad Woody–-a major Washington-based Talent Management Consultant– wants you to do just that. 

Why interview when you're not looking for a job? So you can stay on top of trends

"Sometimes, we can be so deep into our jobs that we stop exercising those competitive skills that helped get us there in the first place," says Woody.

"Even if you're very happy in your role, it's important to focus on continued professional development and keep tabs on industry trends within your profession. While you're engrained in a challenging role, it's possible to miss things changing right before your eyes in your profession."

"For example– 10 years ago, relationships were king on Capitol Hill. Now corporate employers prefer candidates with substantive policy knowledge and expertise– especially in the healthcare sector. If you don't lift your head up and take a look around you'd never know things have changed."

Compensation counts

"And then there's compensation. You're working hard and think you are being paid well, but you may be undervaluing yourself. It's important to know what the trends are, how competitive you are, and if you're on track to reach the next level."

"When you're a year deep into your job, you start to lose those fighting skills that got you there in the first place."

"Let's say you're a managing consultant at McKinsey and someone is recruiting you for a higher level at another firm. If you make it to the end of the interviewing process you'll be able to see what they are offering and know whether or not you are currently being paid the market rate."

"The pursuit of employment is a very human and emotional thing. Having employment related conversations is an opportunity to learn and collect data on your profession and exercise your negotiating muscles. It's important you stay sharp and prepared when an opportunity you're excited about presents itself."

Interviewing helps you refine your personal narrative

"I hear people say all the time 'I haven't been looking,' continues Woody. "So when the opportunity comes along to talk to an employer and talk about yourself, you have no practice in translating how you can add value."

"Once you've established yourself, I think it's prudent to interview once a year," continues Woody. "If you are happy with your current employer it's not necessary or helpful to be actively interviewing for just anything, but there is such a thing as being loyal to your employer and being loyal to yourself. This is about positioning yourself for future success." 

Conrad Woody serves as Principal for a top Global Talent Management firm—where he recruits for executive level positions across industries in DC and abroad.

A version of this post previously appeared on Capitol Standard.