Job hunting while already holding a position might seem like a complicated endeavor. But believe it or not, this is actually one of the best ways to find the next career for you. Research shows that employers prefer candidates who are already holding a job. This is because long time periods between employment can send negative signals about your potential for hire.
But, how do you navigate the task of securing a new position, while still giving your all to another one? It’s not as difficult as it sounds! In this article, we’re discussing six of the best tips to keep in mind during your working job hunt. This will also allow you to find success without the pressure of a current employer.
It’s Okay to Look for a New Position While You Have a Job
Not every job lasts until retirement, and that’s okay! There is absolutely no reason to stay in an unhappy position for months or years out of guilt or fear. Some of the most common signs that may indicate you’re ready for a new position include:
- You’re not learning anything new
- Your days are predictable and boring
- You lack long-term goals
- You’re already thinking about a new job (or retirement)
- You dread your workdays
The Dos and Don’ts for Job Hunting While You Still Employed
The most important thing to keep in mind during your job search is to hang onto your current position. Continue to work hard until you’ve secured a new one. Your current employer deserves the same respect you gave them before job hunting, which includes using your own equipment and time for the process.
Never burn a bridge if you don’t have to. You don’t know when you could use your current employer for a reference in the future. And, to help you prevent this from happening, we’re covering the top 9 dos and don’ts to keep you from regretting your job search.
Dos on Job Hunting:
Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile
One of the very first steps to make yourself more visible to potential employers is to update your LinkedIn profile. This is a great way to personally brand yourself, while also standing out amongst the countless other candidates. Start by including a recent profile picture that is professional and gives off the right first impression, and the location where you will be looking for your next job.
You should then customize your profile to include your endorsed skills, a customized URL, and your current contact information. LinkedIn even gives you the option to take assessments related to your desired position.
Ask Your Prospective Employer to Keep Things Quiet
The last thing you want is for a potential job lead to ruin things with your current employer before you’re ready. To prevent this from happening, use references on your resume from people you are not actively working with. You can also ask a potential employer to keep your job search under wraps.
Most employers already assume your current boss is unaware that you are job hunting, but verbally asking for discretion can help them honor this.
Stay Focused on Your Current Job
As tempting as it may be to completely immerse yourself in the job search, it’s important to keep your focus on work during office hours. A distracted mind and lower work performance is one of the easiest ways to tip a boss off and put you on their radar. Avoid the temptation to fall into these self-sabotaging behaviors, and continue to work the way you always have. Think carefully about what you say in the office and avoid using company resources, like your work email or phone number.
Keep Things Casual
Another way to keep the focus on your current position and to avoid tipping your boss off is to remain calm and think before you act. For example, showing up to work in a suit and tie (when you normally wear just a collared shirt) is one of the easiest ways to get people talking in the office.
Schedule your interviews for non-work hours, if possible. You should also refrain from posting updates about your job search until you’re ready to tell your employer. Rid yourself of the stress of having your boss find out about your job search by practicing some discretion, yourself.
Don’ts on Job Hunting:
Never Bad Mouth Your Current Employer
One of the quickest ways to stick your foot in your mouth during a job interview is to bad mouth a previous, or current, employer. This negativity simply does not belong in these professional conversations. Not to mention, your words could even find their way back to your current position.
Trash talking a boss to a boss just looks unprofessional. It makes you look untrustworthy, and even like a person who holds onto grudges. Bringing up negative situations also raises questions in a recruiter’s mind about the other person’s side of the story. Instead of falling into this trap, focus the conversation on yourself and your skills. You, and the desires you’re looking to fulfill in this new position matter much more.
Make Sure Not to Quit Your Job Too Soon
For most people, their job is their financial security. This is why the majority choose to secure a new position prior to quitting their current job in order to maintain financial stability. Quitting a job, even after finding a new one, is a difficult decision to make. For this reason, you should hold onto your current position for as long as possible.
For the most part, it’s important to wait until your future is in a good position before quitting the job you have now.
A stealth job search is not some uncommon unicorn. In fact, stealth job searches are only becoming more and more popular in today’s connected world. And, with a few conscious decisions, they are quite easy to accomplish. Job hunting while holding a position doesn’t have to be difficult. Simply do your best to make sure that no one is aware of your actions. Secrets are best kept when no one knows about them.