I began searching for a new job a couple weeks ago, and it has been an interesting experience. So far I have been good about keeping my intentions a well-guarded secret – I have only discussed this with one trusted friend/co-worker.
Hopefully, things will remain quiet; I have no desire for management to know I am actively seeking new employment! That could lead to awkward meetings or prevent me from being selected for a better internal position, should one become available.
Here are a few of the tips I have learned regarding job hunting while employed:
Exhaust internal opportunities first
A new role within your company can give you a fresh perspective and rekindle your energy and appreciation for your career. Sometimes, however, there just isn’t anything available, or you just need to get away from your company for other reasons.
I have clearly communicated my professional goals with my management team and exhausted all opportunities within my current role. I have requested more work, an internal transfer, and other professional changes. There just isn’t anything available within my company right now. This has been going on for several months now, and a lack of opportunity and professional stagnation are two of the top signs it’s time for a new job.
Don’t tell management you are job searching
Some people advocate 100% openness with your managers. In the case of job searching, I don’t. You may be in line for a promotion or internal transfer, only to have it snatched away the first time you mention you are thinking of leaving. Ironically, it may have been that promotion or internal transfer that convinced you to stay with your employer.
Communicate your desire for increased responsibilities, higher salary, different hours, or whatever you are looking for. But don’t tell them you are looking for a new job. You might just be the first person out the door if your management thinks you are leaving anyway. It just isn’t worth the risk.
Don’t talk about your job search with the receptionist, leave your resume at the office printer, or openly browse on-line job search engines like Monster or Career Builder (if you post your resume with these services, do so anonymously so your name doesn’t pop up if your current employer is researching new candidates). It doesn’t take much to start a rumor, and once that rumor gets going, you may find yourself first on the chopping block if staff reductions hit.
Limit use of company resources while job hunting
Many companies monitor computer use or have strict rules regarding personal use of computers, telephones, printers, fax machines, or other resources. The last thing you want to happen is to get fired because you were caught using company resources while trying to get a job somewhere else! Do your job search from home during the evenings and weekends.
Schedule interviews wisely
The best time of day to schedule an interview is early in the morning, just before lunch, or near the end of the day. These times make it easier to get away from work without arousing suspicion. If you need to, take a day off from work to take care of an interview.
You should also avoid scheduling phone interviews while you are at work – it is very easy to hear everything that goes on in a cubicle! If you need to, duck out to your car or go to a public place with a quiet atmosphere, such as a Starbucks or Panera Bread.
Dress appropriately for interviews – and work
When you start interviewing, it is usually common to wear a suit and tie. However, many companies allow their workers to dress business casual. If this is your case, don’t wear a suit and tie to work, at least, don’t wear the jacket and tie. Bring them with you and stash them in the car. Duck into a gas station or fast food restaurant on the way to your interview to arrange your tie. Or, you can tie your tie in the car using the review mirror, but it’s more difficult than it looks!
Discretion above all
I know it seems like I recommend doing a lot of sneaking around, but that is not my intention. You aren’t doing anything wrong by looking for another job – you have to take responsibility for your career, because no one else will. Being discreet makes it easier to avoid rumors, keep your current job, and not burn any bridges in the process. As long as you act professionally, you have nothing to worry about.
My situation. By the way, I have a telephone interview scheduled for this week. I’ll be sure to share the details and a few tips soon!
Check out what these bloggers have to say on job searching while employed:
- Brazen Careerist: How to job hunt from your current job
- Free Money Finance: How to Hunt for a Job Without Letting Your Current Employer Know You’re Doing So
- Free Money Finance: How to Interview for a Job Without Raising Suspicions
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