THE BLOG
12/20/2016 06:00 pm ET Updated Dec 21, 2017

Is Keeping Your Resume 'Current' Hurting Your Career?

Is there a compulsive updater in your life? You know who I'm talking about -- the one who seems to be in a constant state of "reaching out" with a stream of near-daily LinkedIn notifications. Check out Beth's new professional certifications! John is now a senior product manager!

I am all for keeping your professional profiles current. But these feverish updates are revealing more than you might think.

Most compulsive updaters are either job hunting, or simply following the common career directive to keep your resume (or LinkedIn profile) updated at all times. You want to be prepared for the unexpected, right?

Be warned -- there is a hidden danger here. If you are always preparing for a "what-if" future, you may squash the potential of your "right-now" job. So before you add another bullet point to your resume, there is a question I want you to consider.

Are you 100 percent invested in your current position? Your ready-to-go resume tells me that the answer might be "no." Instead of logging time updating your resume or LinkedIn profile, I suggest you take that energy and channel it into your work.

Here is what you will gain when you do:

Focus
Once you swap out daydreaming for goal-setting you will be able to approach your job with clear eyes and turn in better work. What do you want to achieve? Maybe it is developing a new skill or working more closely with a different team. Establish clear steps to accomplish your goals, and you will be amazed at the results.

Trust
It is easy to spot the person who is checked out -- and even easier to distrust them. You do not want to be that person. Effective workplaces thrive on trust, and if you commit to the people you work beside every day, you will establish a reputation of reliability. This will advance your career far more than any resume update.

Opportunity
New jobs do not always equal new opportunities. More often than not, opportunities (and promotions) come to those who put in the effort. By dedicating yourself to your current role, you will have the chance to speak up about the issues facing your company, affect change, and potentially advance to a more senior role.

Happiness
One study found that living in the moment can boost your happiness. You know what the study says hurts it? Letting your mind wander. So stay present. Back away from the resume updates, and work on finding focus, trust, and opportunity. In the process, you'll find sustainable happiness in your current role.

You will never achieve greatness with one foot out the door -- or with one eye on the job boards.

I know it seems harmless to quietly update your resume on the side. After all, who is going to know? Well, you will know. And you could be stunting your own growth.

That is why I encourage you to stop asking yourself, "What is next?" and start asking yourself, "How can I best tackle -- and benefit from -- the opportunity that is in front of me?"

No doubt, this is the more difficult, gritty way. But I guarantee you that you will be well rewarded.

What do you think about keeping your resume "current"?