Is it easier to find a job when you are employed? It’s possible that having a job makes you more desirable to a potential hiring manager as they may assume that the competition would not just let go of their top performers. However, in today’s job market, I would speculate that the real reason lies not in employer bias, but job-seeker attitude. A candidate who is desperate for a job may be over-enthusiastic and will be tempted to take the first offer, despite it potentially being a bad fit. Employed job seekers are in a unique position to be selective. Someone who is currently employed can take the time to assess their own skills, qualities, talents, strengths, and goals without becoming stressed over the potential financial burden of unemployment. Looking for a job allows you to examine whether your skills are current and in-demand. Figuring out your value in the marketplace then puts you in a better position to negotiate salary. Once you have taken the time to evaluate your worth, I suggest beginning your job search by looking at internal opportunities. Intellectual fulfillment and career growth may be found through an open dialogue with your current manager; then again, it may not. If you are unhappy with your current job and unable to find a solution to make it more enjoyable, then don’t let your sense of loyalty stop you from looking for a better opportunity. The following tips will help you to job search with integrity, practicality, and tact while maintaining your current employment.
Continue to Excel in Your Current Position
It is important to remain fully committed to your current position while searching for a new job. Keep striving for high-quality work, maintain a positive attitude, and diligently complete your projects on-time. As long as you are being paid, your current job should be your top priority. It is vital to maintain strong relationships not only because you will need a great recommendation from your present company when the times comes, but they will also be an important part of your network for the remainder of your career. Even though you are leaving, you will want to be remembered as an employee who was reputable, ethical, and dependable.
Do Not Use Company Time/Resources
Avoid any conflict by dedicating a time outside of working hours to search for a job and be sure to use your personal email address and phone number. Not only may your current company track internet usage or monitor emails, but using company resources for printing resumes, sending faxes, and taking calls from prospective employers on company time can amount to theft. Also, try to schedule interviews outside of your current work hours or over your lunch break. Many hiring managers will understand if you need to connect outside of typical office hours. If that is not an option, then discern which roles are worth a face-to-face meeting and perhaps plan to take vacation time or personal days to interview during work hours.
Selectively Utilize Social Media and Networking
While you don’t want to broadcast your plans to leave to your current employer, you do want everyone else to know that you are in the market for a new job. Referrals from your network of family, friends, and former colleagues are fantastic ways to find new employment, but you must be careful when connecting with these contacts through social media. A single status update could alert your employer of your intentions to leave. Your LinkedIn profile should not indicate that you are looking for employment, but instead, should highlight your professional expertise and latest accomplishments. Keep your profile updated but be aware that an employer may be suspicious of an entire profile overhaul. Therefore, either be sporadic when making updates or be sure to turn off the notifications.
Be Honest and Respectful
During the interview process, you will inevitably be asked why you are leaving your current position. It is important to be honest without saying anything negative or disparaging about your current employer. The easiest way to do this is to focus your answer on your future goals and emphasize your desire for career growth opportunities. Additionally, at this time you will want to disclose to your recruiter or potential new employer that you are keeping your job search confidential. They will understand that you do not want your current employer contacted until after you have had the chance to talk to them first. In fact, references typically are not checked until the very end of the interviewing or hiring process, so this should not affect the timeline. However, once you have made a decision regarding the future direction of your career, be professional enough to share the details with your current employer in a timely fashion. Be honest with your reasons for leaving the current company and be respectful by giving your employer at least two weeks’ notice. Again, you will need the positive reference, so be sure to leave on a good note with your reputation intact.