Ask Vicki: What are some career decisions that are always a good idea?

In this answer on Quora, Monster career expert Vicki Salemi tells you which career moves will always be a step forward.

Ask Vicki: What are some career decisions that are always a good idea?

Vicki Salemi

Each week, Monster’s career expert Vicki Salemi—a former recruiter who utilizes 15-plus years of experience in recruiting and human resources to empower job seekers—answers user questions on Quora. We’ll be republishing the answers here. If you have a question for Vicki, send it to socialmedia@monster.com.

Vicki Salemi

Q. What are some career decisions that are always a good idea?

A. Here are some career decisions that are always a good idea:

1. Don’t stay with a company too long. Back in the day, longevity was key, but staying at the same company for 10 years (heck, even five or six) right now means you’ll probably cut your chances of earning more money since pay leaps are typically gained by working for a new employer, not staying with the current one.

2. Find a mentor. It’s always wise to find someone you respect and admire so they can guide you, think of career options and opportunities you may not necessarily think of for yourself, and offer you tips to staying passionate about your job. Sometimes it’s more about what options puts a sparkle in your eye, rather than what you “should” do.

3. Network when you don’t need a new job. There’s no pressure, no anxiety, no timeline—network just for the sake of building your network, and maintain contact with these people regularly. Help them, refer people to them, and pay it forward. This way, when you really do want to look for a new job, you have an active pipeline of helpful, friendly people within your reach.

4. Know what you’re worth. This is where a mentor can be particularly helpful. Always, always, always have a salary estimate in your mind as to what your skills and experiences pay in your industry and geographic region. You can figure this out from a variety of sources: Your mentor, former colleagues who work for different companies, PayScale, professional organizations, and more.

Read Vicki Salemi's answer to "What are some career decisions that are always a good idea?" on Quora.