Posted on Apr 28, 2012 in Job Search
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I believe it is better to look for a job while you are still working. That is because potential employers see these job seekers as more desirable than those who are unemployed. This has been my case as both the job seeker and the hiring manager. But looking for a job when you are currently working is tricky. You need to do it discreetly and professionally so that it does not become an issue at the office or interfere with your normal work. Besides being tricky, it can be very tiring because not only do you have to do your work responsibilities but you have an additional task of looking for a new job. You might be thinking it is better to quit your job then look. But from my experience having a job while looking for a new one will put you in a position of strength. There are a few things you need to know in order to pull it off successfully.
1. Keep your job search a secret from your co-workers.
I typically do not tell my colleagues that I am looking for a new job because as soon as you tell someone you can assume it will spread like wildfire. Obviously you wouldn’t tell your boss that you are looking because that can be awkward and they might decide to let you go immediately. The only scenario when it makes sense to tell someone is if they can help you find a new job. You just have to careful whom you talk to about your job search.
2. Do your job search outside of normal working hours.
I typically do my search before work, during lunch and after work. I try not to use work time for my job search. I do not want to have other people see or hear me looking for a new job during office hours. I am not going to preach to you about how you should never use company time for personal business. It might be tempting to do your job search while at the office but think twice before doing this. I will leave it up to you to decide if it is appropriate for your situation. I would only say to be careful if you do decide to look during your work hours. You just have to be discreet and low key.
3. Do your job-related phone calls outside the office.
First of all, I do not give out my work number or work e-mail address to anyone during my job search. I will use my personal cell phone and email address instead. I don’t want any calls or emails coming into my work phone or company inbox. You might be working at a place where it is possible to make and take your phone calls in the office without anyone overhearing your conversations. Otherwise it is best to make your calls outside the office on your cell phone. If you get a phone call while in the office, you can always step out to take the call or call back later when you have some privacy. Most potential employers will understand that there are times during the day when you can’t be reached.
4. Schedule your interview outside normal working hours.
It is tricky if you have to go on an interview during business hours. I have done this before but you have to be discreet about it. For example, I have gone on interviews in the mornings and come to work afterwards. I just need to be sure to take off my tie and suit jacket so that no one gets suspicious in the office. Depending on how far away and how long the interview will be, you can take a whole day or half day off from work. If you have any vacation or sick days, then you can use those to take time off for your interviews.