Maybe you’ve been at the same job for a few years and are looking for that next great challenge. Or maybe your current job isn’t working out for you. No matter your situation at work, it’s best to have your next job ready before quitting your current one.
Looking for a job while still employed can feel taboo. Many workers feel uncertain about the best actions to take at work when looking for new employment. You shouldn’t let this fear hold you back from advancing your career. Here are some ways you can improve your chances of finding a new job without stepping on your employer’s toes.
Shhh! Keep It Discreet
It’s best to keep your search away from work. You shouldn’t feel obligated to inform your current employer you’re job searching until you’re ready to give notice. While you may have a strong working relationship with your boss, you could still disrupt relations and teamwork with your boss and co-workers if you talk about a new job opportunity and end up not getting it. Also, don’t use your managers or co-workers as references during your search unless you’ve discussed with them your plans to look for a new job. Wait until you’ve left on good terms.
You should also avoid posting your resume into search databases online, instead directly apply to open positions. You never know who could be looking at them, and the news of your job search could reach your current employer. Consider changing some privacy settings on your social media accounts. Social media can be a powerful tool in your job search, but if you’re friends with co-workers and managers, you could burn some bridges with them by publicly announcing your job search. You may feel like it’s keeping a secret, but it’s more about keeping the search out of the workplace until you’re ready to leave.
Don’t Use Company Time or Company Dime
Your employer is paying you to work for them, so don’t use company time and resources to look for a new job. Wait until you’re off work to search online and send resumes to hiring managers. Make sure you include your personal contact information and not your work number or email in a cover letter or resume.
If you need to schedule an interview, make sure it’s before work, during your lunch break, or after work. If asked why you’re taking your lunch break early or late, you can tell management that you need to take care of some personal business. You can also take scheduled time off for interviews, but don’t use sick time off for this purpose.
Avoid using company equipment and resources during your job search as well. It may be small things like paper, but it can really hurt your chances of getting hired if you send cover letters with your current employer’s letterhead.
Resign with Respect
If you get a job and accept it, make sure you give your boss ample time to prepare before you leave. Be upfront and give as much notice as possible. When you’re leaving your job, it can be easy to stop caring about your responsibilities. Make sure you have your duties and responsibilities clearly communicated to the right people. If you continue to work as a model employee before leaving, you’re more likely to be able to use this employer as a recommendation, contact, or reference in the future.
Applying for a job while still working a full-time job can be tiring. You have a lot to do during your off time, on top of your regular life schedule, but the long hours are worth it. What has helped you find a job while still employed?