Recruiters keep contacting you. But you’re not looking for a job. Can you afford to ignore them?

man in suit standing near a wall looking at phone

Even if you’re not looking, recruiters will continuously contact you

Short Answer: No, you can’t

Here’s Why…

It’s a common scenario: You’re happy in your job, and you’re relieved that you don’t have to go looking for another one, anytime soon. You’re in a great growth-oriented position, you’ve been advancing steadily over the past few years, and you have good connections in your organization. Your industry is thriving, and you have support and sponsorship from your leadership. You have four weeks of vacation, great benefits, and your 401(k) is steadily growing. Life is good.

But you keep getting emails from recruiters. You get at least a couple of phone calls about “a great opportunity” each week. And when you have taken the calls just to say, “Thanks but no thanks”, some of the opportunities actually did sound really great.

That got distracting. Doing your job well each and every day, takes focus and determination, even under the best of conditions. But the distractions of “What if…” make it hard to keep your head in the game.

You’re starting to wish everyone would leave you alone to do your current job in peace, but you know that the job market changes — sometimes precipitously. Every industry is prone to disruption. And economic conditions can precipitate unexpected (and unwanted) shifts in jobs and available positions.

As much as you’d like to ignore all the recruiters contacting you, the simple fact is, at some point in the future, you may need to connect with them. You may unexpectedly be put in a position to find a new job. You may be forced to make changes. That’s just a fact of life. And if you just shine everyone one, without so much as a phone call to say “Hi” or sending a quick email response, you might actually be losing valuable contacts that can get you back in the game, should your current situation evaporate.

Let’s be honest. The job market shifts and changes. Employers decide they want different people to do your job, or they eliminate your position entirely. Organizations morph. Great bosses move on. Challenging situations arise. And better opportunities open up elsewhere.

Given the reality of the situation, you really can’t afford to ignore all the recruiters contacting you. Granted, many of them may be automating your responses, using applicant tracking systems that have outdated copies of your resume. But some of them might actually have positions that fit you — if they have the right details about you, your situation, and what you’ll bring to a new job.

Even if you’re happy where you are, or you’re not ready to make a move, things change. Your job might go the way of so many others over the past 30 years. Or the company might make changes that don’t favor you. Even if it doesn’t happen in the short term, chances are it will happen in the long term. And you can’t afford to be unprepared if/when that happens.

In today’s job market, updating recruiters regularly with your most current information is a must. So, find a way to respond to them. Even if you don’t think you need to. Some day, you may be glad you did!