7 Tips for successful Job Hunting While Still Employed
One of the common questions that I get from clients is how to search and land a new job while working full time.
Job hunting while still employed requires you to be discreet and strategic so you avoid creating problems for your current position and aren't forced to leave before you have something else lined up.
There are many reasons to search for a new position while working, including management changes, low wages, uncertain future for the field, imminent layoff or desiring a greater intellectual challenge.
The following tips will help you make a more effective transition while still employed.
In general, it's best to focus on your current job while you're at work and be as productive as possible. However, you can use your morning, lunch and afternoon breaks to catch up on email correspondence to recruiters or hiring managers and apply for jobs. If you need to participate in a phone screening or interview, consider scheduling this for your lunch hour so you aren't rushed.
Let the prospective employer know that you’re trying to be discreet with your job search and ask if you can interview before or after work or at lunch. Most hiring managers who know you are currently employed will understand and accommodate you. If that’s not possible, consider taking a personal or sick day or, if you can schedule the interview far enough in advance, use a vacation day.
Keep it Under Wraps
If you've made friends at work or have coworkers that you are close to, it can tempting to let them in on the fact that you're looking and hoping to make the transition to another employer. Bur, letting coworkers know that you're job hunting can come back to bite you if they decides that getting ahead in office politics is worth more than your friendship or that they should use this information to endear themselves to the higher ups. Best to be quiet until you have secured your new position and are about to give your notice. Consider not commenting on your job hunt on social media either, especially if anyone from work is able to see what you're posting.
Never use company devices
Assume that every device you use at work is tracking and recording your activity. Only use your own personal phone, computer or email for conducting job searches. If it’s necessary to conduct any job search-related business while you are at work, use your cell phone and your own data plan rather than the company WiFi. Use only your personal email account for searching as well. Use the same email or LinkedIn messaging for communication with potential employers.
Schedule Interviews in Clusters
Your boss might find it suspicious if you leave early or come in late three times in the same week for "medical" appointments or family “emergencies”. Whenever possible, try to schedule interviews for the same day, that way you only have to take one block of time off. If you have vacation time to burn before you leave, consider taking a couple of three-day weekends off, which will keep one full work day each week open for interviewing.
Maintain a Positive Attitude
Now that you’ve made a decision to leave, you might want to let everyone know what you really think of them. While it can be tempting to vent your frustration or dissatisfaction with your current job, it's best to keep those feelings contained. Be respectful and kind. Keeping a positive attitude while keeping your paychecks coming will allow you to fly under your superior’s radar. You don't want to get a bad review or even be fired before you have something else lined up. Knowing that you are taking actionable steps in your job hunt and searching for a better opportunity can help you keep a smile on your face as you go about your workday.
Searching for a new job takes time and effort. You do not want to rush this process. If you can tolerate a few more weeks or even months at your current position, you'll have a greater chance of finding the right opportunity versus taking another position that isn't quite the right fit. Having a regular paycheck coming in, gives you leverage when evaluating prospective job offers and holding out for a much better position. The ultimate goal is to accept a job offer out of excitement and desire versus out of necessity and desperation.
Don't Burn Bridges
When the day comes that you get to hand your current boss your letter of resignation, remember that you want to leave your current company in a dignified and respectful manner. You never know if you will need to call on your old boss for a reference in the future. In general, it's common courtesy to give adequate notice, usually two weeks. However, if your new boss requests that you start sooner, try to explain your situation and wrap up any loose ends prior to your early departure.
Lastly, never bad mouth your current employer in an interview or to your new coworkers. This will reflect negatively on you. If you are asked about your reason for leaving, try to keep the explanation short, respectful and constructive.
Job hunting while still employed can be tough when it seems as if each workday is draining your energy and enthusiasm. Making time for applications, communication and interviews will be stressful.
However, securing a new position while still employed will put less stress on your budget and allow you ample time to find a fulfilling position. Conducting your job search discreetly and smartly can ensure that you continue to receive a steady paycheck until you discover the next opportunity for your career.
By Rafael Tomik, Career Change Coach at BeGreat.com
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