Are you stuck in a job you hate, or forced to work with people who don't respect you or value your contribution – and you're looking for a way out?
Or maybe you love your job and the organization you work for – and you want to accelerate your career, get promoted, maybe even climb the ladder?
Here's why I'm asking:
If there's one thing I've come to appreciate, after helping – both directly as a career coach, and indirectly through my training programs – more than 50,000 people land jobs and take their career to the next level, it is this:
Almost every career problem can be solved by putting more irons in the fire, that is, by putting yourself in the running for multiple job opportunities.
You want a job?
The more hiring managers that are giving you serious consideration, the faster you'll receive a job offer. (If you have enough irons in the fire, you'll receive multiple job offers at the same time and you'll be able to pick and choose.)
You want to negotiate a better salary?
Make sure that, when you walk into your next salary negotiation, you have multiple solid job opportunities. This puts you in a position of strength, where you can say "no" to something that isn't good enough for you.
You want a raise?
Nothing beats looking your boss in the eye, and knowing in your own heart that if they don't pay you what you're worth, then you have two, three, maybe even four other managers thinking of hiring you – and they will.
You're sick of working for a bully?
When you put yourself in the running for multiple jobs in different firms, you'll be able to walk away with dignity (and never look back).
(Just to be clear – I'm not saying you should always switch jobs in the face of a challenge. But having options gives you the confidence to push a little harder for the projects you want, to ask for a bigger raise, or to say "No!" to a bully. And, if you can't win where you are, you can move on to somewhere else where there is more opportunity for you.)
Being able to put yourself in the running (i.e. a candidate that is under serious consideration) for as many jobs as you like, whenever you like... I'd say that, in terms of return on investment, this is one of the most valuable skills you could ever develop. It gives you confidence in any situation you face.