Job hunting while being employed is always an awkward phase in someone’s career. It’s challenging and a lot of times you’re trying to ask yourself how to find a new job while employed. A lot of times, companies are more than willing to work with people who are still employed and this is because it increases the probability of their skills being up to date.

However, it can become a nightmare for the job seeker. Employees who job-hunt have to be efficient with everything and barring massive layoffs, you have to be stealthy that no one ever finds that you are looking for new opportunities.

But the question still stands…

How to Find a New Job While Employed?

We’ve prepared nine tips for you to try and follow:

  1. Update your LinkedIn Profile
  2. Network
  3. Don’t make it too obvious
  4. Never schedule interviews during work hours
  5. Don’t use your current boss or co-workers as character reference
  6. Don’t badmouth your current employer
  7. Ask your prospective employer to be discreet
  8. Don’t use company property in your job search
  9. Continue performing normally on your current job

Update your LinkedIn Profile

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LinkedIn is an amazing tool for job seekers. Not only in a way that recruiters check your profile when they are scouting you, but also because you can apply for job posts without your current employers ever noticing.

So the first thing I suggest you to do is to complete your LinkedIn profile. Here are a few things you can do:

First things first, turn off your notifications! I cannot emphasize that enough. You don’t want you having a meeting and receiving notifications about your job application. That would make things more awkward.

Second, disable the looking for a new job tag in your profile. Make sure your boss doesn’t get alerted somehow that you are actively seeking opportunities.

Lastly, make sure your skills are updated and fit for your current job. Make sure you add your current skills and write extensive descriptions on your job experience.

Network

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Nothing screams looking for a new job like posting your resume in a public job board.

This is quite obvious but a lot of people still make this mistake.

What you should do is to start networking. Finding opportunities from your network is safer because it’s mostly communicated discreetly from one person to another.

So I suggest that you invest time and money attending events, and meet-ups and try to get to know people whenever you can. You’ll never know what opportunities they can provide in the future.

Don’t make it too obvious

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Sometimes you just have to shut up.

It’s pretty understandable that you would want to share what’s happening with your professional life to your co-workers but please try to fight the temptation. Office gossip spreads like wildfire, and no matter how you trust your co-worker, they are still vulnerable to slipping up.

Secondly, quit oversharing on social media. Stop posting those cryptic tweets or Facebook status updates about moving on, or starting a new page in your life.

You may not realize this but there are employers who monitor their employee’s social media accounts. You may not want the leak about your job-hunting shenanigans be you.

Thirdly, don’t dress up too formally, especially if where you’re working, everyone is dressed casually. It will just attract attention, which is something you don’t want at the moment. Imagine going to the office wearing a suit and tie. Everyone will ask, “Why the hell are you wearing a suit and tie today?”

The best thing to do is to at least bring a change of clothes with you at work and change in your car or in a restroom nearby when you arrive at your destination.

Never schedule interviews during work hours

Often when you are interviewing for a job while being employed, you use excuses like doctor appointment  or personal errands. But you can only use so much before everyone gets a little suspicious.

So don’t schedule your interviews in your work hours. You can always be upfront with recruiters to set up a lunch or breakfast meeting. Some companies will be kind enough to accommodate you.

However, if it is not possible, then you should use your personal time off or vacations. If you really want to move on from your current job, you should sacrifice these personal leaves while finding a new career.

Don’t use your current boss or co-workers as character reference

You also wouldn’t want to use your current boss or co-workers as reference. If you think your boss wouldn’t like you sneaking around looking for a new job while you are still employed, then I am sure as hell that he wouldn’t like to receive a phone call from your potentially new employer either.

Remember that references are commonly not used at screening phase of the hiring process. Your potential employers wouldn’t call your network until at the last phases of the process. So, as much as possible, protect your personal and professional circle before anything is finalized.

Don’t badmouth your current employer

I get it. One of the reasons why you would want to look for a new job while currently being employed in your current one is probably because you hate your boss. It happens.

I also know that you are probably sick and tired of him that it feels so good to badmouth him anywhere.

Well I tell you that there is one person on earth where you wouldn’t want to do that — in front of your prospective employer. 

Don’t burn your bridges, and keep your conversation leaning towards the benefits of moving on. It will bring a positive vibe and feel that your potential employer might consider hiring you for.

Badmouthing your current employer would only give a bad taste in the interviewers’ mouth. It will give them an impression that if you just air out your grievances towards your boss in front of anyone, then it is highly possible that you would air the same future grievances towards them.

Ask your prospective employer to be discreet

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Remember that the recruiter or hiring manger you will talk to would probably have no idea you’re still employed. So at the onset, tell them that you are looking for a job while currently being employed. They will understand and will apply the same discretion as you are trying to keep.

Don’t use company property in your job search

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Remember when I told you to not make it obvious?

Well part of not being so obvious is also not using company property to fulfill your job search. This means avoiding the use of the company computer or phone, or the use of the company internet connection to look for your new job. This also means that you shouldn’t use the company car to the interview either.

This is not only unethical but could also be dangerous. By using company property while looking for a new job, you are exposing yourself to your current employer. Remember that most companies monitor their internet connection and all the traffic that has been going in and out of the network. So you browsing the job boards in company property is like you telling your boss that you have been trying to find a new job behind his back.

Continue performing normally on your current job

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Keep on keeping on.

Just because you want to end your current cooperation with your company, doesn’t mean you start slacking around.

I know it is challenging to balance the excitement of leaving your current situation to staying productive at work but it is something you have to do.

Just keep on working normally and if you can, be more productive. This will ensure that even if you leave your current company, you will still leave a good mark with them.

Remember that yes, first impressions last but the last impressions are what people remember the most.

Also, don’t do anything rash and stupid just because your last interview went really well and you are positive you’ll get hired.

Put in mind that you still don’t have a new job unless you’ve received and accepted the job offer, and you have signed all the official documents. So keep yourself from being so excited.

Don’t just go into the office with a smirk on your face and suddenly make a speech about how you hate working there. I know it’s dramatic but you’re probably thinking of doing that. You wouldn’t want to be that person who made said all the wrong words possible to their current coworkers and bosses because you think you’ll have a new job tomorrow and later find out that the job offer was not really final.

Conclusion

The last advice I would probably tell you is that to just keep on being discreet. Be patient, and careful with every decision you make, every word you speak, and every action you do.

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