The Best Way to Job Search When You Are Employed
Job searching and interviewing for a new position when you are currently employed can be tricky, especially if you don't (and you shouldn't) want your employer to know that you are considering quitting. It's important to be careful how you go about your job search and how you take time off for interviews, so your employer doesn't discover that you are job searching until you are ready for them to know. You don't want to be caught job searching by your boss if you can help it.
The reason it's important to be careful is that employees have been fired for even saying they hate their job or their company. For example, I saw a job title on Facebook that said "Slave at UPS" the other day. The person was a friend of a friend who didn't have his private settings adjusted as he should have.
Having information like that available for anyone to see isn't going to impress your old employer - or your potential new employer who may also see it. Be discreet, very discreet, when you're employed and job hunting.
Job Search and Interview Tips
Take the time to plan your job search, both from having everything you need lined up before you start - resume, cover letter outline you can customize for each job you apply for, a solid LinkedIn profile, and professional references (non-work references) who can attest to your ability to do a new job.
Don't Job Search on Work Computers
Don't use your work computer for writing your resume, applying for jobs, or communicating with employers. Use a Gmail or other personal email address for all your non-work related communications.
Don't use your work email address for job hunting. Use your personal account or set up a free web-based email account specifically for job searching.
Don't put your office phone number on your resume and job applications. Use your cell phone or personal landline number.
Streamline Your Job Search
Use job search tools to keep your job search organized and managed. Use the job search engines and set up email alerts so you are notified when new jobs are posted. Review these ten easy steps to organize your job search to get started.
Keep Your Job Search to Yourself
Don't advertise on social media or tell your co-workers that you are looking for another job or don't like the one you have. Even if you tell one person, that's one person too many. The more people who know, the better the chance that your current company will find out you are job searching.
Carefully Tap Your Connections
Do talk to the connections you know really well are trustworthy. Ask them if they can send any leads they come across your way. Do be sure they can keep your confidences and will not disclose the fact that you're job seeking. Also, tap those connections to see if they will provide a reference for you.
Use Non-Work References
Don't use your supervisor or any other references from the job you have now. If the hiring managers ask permission to talk to your manager (and they probably will) you could tell them you would need to have a job offer first, but it could be contingent upon them talking to your work references.
Don't Interview From Work
Many employers use phone interviews for first round screening. Don't schedule a phone interview for when you are at work unless you have a private office. Try to schedule on your lunch hour or early or late in the day, and do it on your own time and from your own phone.
Schedule Your Interviews Carefully
On a related note, schedule your interviews carefully so that you won't be missed at work. Again, early or late in the day are easier to explain to your current employer or take personal or vacation time. If you have multiple interviews to schedule, you may be able to do them on the same day.
Bring a Change of Clothes
Don't walk into the office wearing a suit if your normal office attire is business casual or casual. Bring a change of clothes and change elsewhere before you head out to the interview and back to work.
When to Give Notice
Don't give notice until you have a firm job offer and you have accepted it. I'd wait, as well, until your references have been checked and you have a start date scheduled. It does happen, on occasion that an employer withdraws a job offer and you don't want that to happen and end up with no job at all.
Quitting Your Job
If you're careful, you can leave your old job and move to a new one without alienating your managers and colleagues. Giving adequate notice and offering to help with a transition work well for avoiding hard feelings when you quit. Here's how to resign gracefully from your job.