My friend was telling me how she has a job but is looking for a new one. Now, she is escalating her job search, much like many other U.S. workers. According to a survey by Salary.com, 57% of workers are intensifying their job hunt within the next three months despite fears of recession.
Inadequate compensation, lack of career advancement and professional development, insufficient recognition, and boredom were the top five reasons for leaving a job.
But, she set off warning bells in my head when she told me that she was surfing the internet for job opportunities while at work. Searching for other employment opportunities on the job can lead to being reprimanded or worse, termination. To avoid ending up jobless and without any job leads, conduct your job hunt discretely while employed. Follow these job search dos and don’ts:
- Don’t advertise your job search around the office. How do you expect others to keep your job hunt a secret when you can’t keep from opening your mouth?
- Do ask for confidentiality. When needing discretion, simply ask prospective employers for the respect of confidentiality and to not contact your current boss. It won’t hurt your chances of getting a job offer. Use former employers as references if needed.
- Don’t use work telephones and e-mails for contact information. Since work phones and e-mails can be monitored and are considered company property, use personal phones and home e-mail addresses on résumés or employment forms. Also, make sure to use cell phones while away from your desk, out of earshot from others. Make sure to use your own time on breaks and at lunch, and not on company time.
- Do schedule an interview before work, during lunch, or after work. Not interviewing during work hours shows respect toward your current employer, and good recruiters are usually prepared to accommodate. If you must schedule an interview during business hours, use PTO time.
- Don’t wear interview clothes to work if you normally dress casually. Dressing out of the ordinary will draw attention to yourself. If you have an interview before, during or after work, find time to change in between.
- Do your job search on your own time. Never browse for job opportunities while your boss is paying you to work. Save the search for break time, lunch hours, or after-hours, but don’t use the company’s internet.
- Don’t job search with company money. Using the company paper and printer to print out résumés is a major no-no. Mail them out with your own postage. Your current employer is not financing your job hunt. Make sure you do all of this at home.
Following proper job hunting etiquette while still employed will show your potential employer that you are respectful toward employers, and will keep you from being terminated before you’re ready to make a move.