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The do's and don'ts of job hunting while employed!

Published: 08 January 2020

Author: Julie Robinson

Category:

When you’re working full-time, every moment of personal time is treasured so we can understand if the last thing on earth you feel like focusing on after work, is looking for work.

We’ve pulled together a few tips to help you integrate your search discretely so as to avoid compromising your integrity (or your sanity) while you job hunt proactively.

DO make sure LinkedIn is polished and updated regularly

In our business, LinkedIn is often the first stop for employers when scoping out potential candidates. If your LinkedIn is out of date, drab, or sparse looking it doesn’t send the best message. Nowadays you can customise with a vibrant header, publish blog pieces for free and link to your social outlets so that it acts as an all encompassing billboard of YOU, not just the places you ran a desk once. Be aware that while you are updating, that you aren’t notifying your network (read: boss) as it could raise a red flag. A simple change in the notification settings will prevent any unnecessary alerts.

DON’T be tempted to use your work computer or email

Be sure to use technology to your advantage by setting up email notifications for jobs that match your skill sets. You can set this up as a daily or weekly digest with websites like Indeed or LinkedIn. Avoid checking on your work computer as a best practice and don’t use your work email, even if it seems unlikely, big brother is (probably, maybe?) watching.

DO emphasize discretion in all of your discussions/applications

This seems like a no-brainer but is of the utmost importance. State from your very first point of contact that your application is confidential so there can be no mistake. When dealing with a recruiter, ensure you understand who the client is and always give your permission for your C.V. to be submitted prior to it happening! If you lose control on where your details are going, your confidential search very quickly loses all confidentiality. Don’t provide references of those whom you currently work with as it could backfire. Make sure everyone from your friends to your prospects are on the same page with the level of discretion required for your peace of mind and protection.

DON’T tell anyone at work that you are looking

It’s tempting to commiserate with your coworkers or let it slip to your best work pal when you have an exciting lead but it’s really not worth the risk. Take all that energy and instead spend it networking with people outside of your office. You can put feelers out and accept business cards in a savvy manner without overtly expressing your desire to leave your current position. A little allure is good.

DO keep interviews off hours and off-site

Potentially the most challenging part of job hunting while employed is coordinating interviews that don’t infringe on your productivity or privacy. Even if you have your own office, take any calls or interviews during off hours and away from the office. You may be distracted or nervous to take the call which could really hamper a good first impression. Choose an environment where you are most comfortable and give yourself plenty of time at the start and finish to prepare and process the call.

DON’T wait until you have completely checked out to start looking

Waiting too long in an unhappy work situation could tempt you to take liberties at work and/or come across less than dazzling (read: desperate) with new prospects. Jumping out of the frying pan from your current role into the fire of your next role, due to pressure of leaving often means a very ‘short term’ move. A good rule of thumb is to appear curious and open to new and all opportunities, even when you’re happily employed. You might be surprised at the opportunities that come your way just by keeping an open mind.

DO be prepared to answer your manager if confronted about your search

Even if you have done everything in your power to cover your tracks, you must always assume a margin for error. Be prepared to face the conversation head on with your Manager or Team Lead if they confront you about your job search. Remember, honesty is often the best policy but diplomacy can ensure you don’t alienate your former employer.

There is no downside to keeping your finger on the pulse and staying open to opportunities, in fact, our industry demands it! The important thing is to act with integrity as your professional reputation is worth its weight in gold.

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