Doesn’t everyone read job adverts for fun?

Last week I mentioned to a friend about a really cool job that I had seen. She replied “better not tell your boss you are looking for another job”. I had thought of my statement more as a conversation starter, but my friend didn’t see it that way at all. This has happened to me before. A lot.

I have a confession to make.

I read job adverts. For fun.

I am forever reading job ads, within my current profession and external to my industry. I have always done this. No matter whether or not I have a job, no matter what job I am looking for, I read job ads. It doesn’t usually mean that I am looking for a new job, at least, not yet. And I have almost always found that this habit of mine makes other people nervous, especially employers.

Here’s my perspective on it. I am curious about what jobs are being advertised, how they are being advertised, where they are being advertised. Has an industry got a new “buzz” title for existing jobs? Are new jobs opening up in a sector that I didn’t know about?

I have alerts set up on all sorts of online job sites. Mostly I am not looking for a job, but I am curious to see how my current skills could translate to other positions or new industries. I am also curious about what other kinds of jobs I could do if I up-skilled. I look to other sectors about how they recruit new graduates, and how companies sell themselves to potential employees. What words do they use to describe their workplace? What incentives do they offer employees? What soft skills do they talk about needing? What technical skills do they need?

In March 2013 I found (at least) three non-library job adverts that made me go “ooh, that sounds like interesting“. I don’t have the exact skills that these employers wanted, but as a result, I have now enrolled in a free online course to learn more of one of those skills, I have added five books to my e-shelf to read, and I have emailed a colleague to ask more about how she uses [technical skill] in her current job. So while I didn’t apply for any of these jobs, they gave me some avenues to explore for new PD opportunities.

I’m starting to accept that not everyone reads job adverts for fun. It won’t stop me doing it, but maybe I won’t mention it so much.