Finding the Balance: Job Hunting While Employed

Thanks to online job boards and sites, you can now apply for jobs with just one click. However, that doesn’t mean that looking for a new job is easy. Finding a role that you meet the requirements for and that is of interest to you is hard enough. Add in a full-time job and things get even trickier. However, when it comes to job hunting while employed, it’s all about balance.

You’re unhappy or bored at work, but the last thing you want to do after a long day is trawl through job ads. Then your weekends are full of doing the things you couldn’t do all week because you were at work! It’s no wonder so many people put off looking for a new role. Don’t fall into the trap; the longer you avoid job hunting, the longer you’ll have to stay where you are.

Looking for new opportunities takes a fair bit effort and motivation. We won’t lie to you and tell you that it’s not hard work, but it’s entirely doable and it’ll all be worth it in the end. (Just think about how good you’ll feel when you hand in your notice!) We manage a lot of candidates through the recruitment process, so we know the struggles that job hunters with full-time jobs face. Thanks to this and luckily for you, we also know the tricks to working around your 9-5 when you’re applying for new jobs.

‘Swallow the frog’

No, we’re not recommending an odd, new herbal remedy. ‘Swallowing the frog’ is a productivity concept that helps many a worker on a day-to-day basis. People have a tendency to procrastinate when it comes to things they don’t really want to do. So, when you get home after work, you may tell yourself that you’ll get straight onto job hunting… after you’ve cooked the dinner, then cleaned up a little, oh, and that documentary you wanted to watch is on tonight. Before you know it, the evening has run away with you or you’re falling asleep on the sofa!

The best thing to do is set aside an hour or two once you’ve finished work for the day and commit to sending out job applications. If you do this a few times a week, before you do anything else, then you’ll make some real headway. It’ll take a bit of discipline but once you get into a routine, things will feel much easier.

Use your time wisely

What do you normally do on your lunch break? Scroll through Facebook? Catch up on what’s going on with your favourite celebrities? Take a look at how your football team is doing? Yes, your lunch break is your time but ask yourself if you’re making the most of it. Maybe you could take yourself away from the office for an hour and bookmark some jobs to apply for when you get home.

If you can find somewhere out of earshot (a café or even your car), your lunch break is also a great time to accommodate any telephone interviews that may come up.

The same goes for your free time or weekends; try to dedicate at least some of this time to your job search. It’s not easy sacrificing your precious free time, but remember that it’s not forever! The sooner you get a new job, the sooner your time is all yours again.

Give yourself a break

While you should use your leisure time to apply for jobs, don’t let it consume you. If you work all day, then spend every other waking moment job hunting, you’ll burn out. Your performance at work will suffer and so will the quality of your applications if you don’t give yourself time to wind down. Not only that, but it isn’t sustainable; you’re unlikely to stick to your new routine if it tires you out and you have no time for fun!

Like with many other things, little and often is best. When you sit down to do some job hunting, set yourself a time limit and don’t exceed it. Any time after that is for you to relax! Taking time away from your computer to do things you enjoy, or letting off some steam by exercising will help to keep you motivated.

Get your LinkedIn profile in shape

Don’t forget, sometimes recruiters will come to you. So, you need to take any opportunity to lure them in. Make sure that you have a LinkedIn profile set up and that it contains as much relevant information about your career history as possible. Recruiters actually search LinkedIn to find candidates to fill their roles, but they can’t find you if your profile isn’t up to date!

Don’t write off your current job

Hopefully, you’ll be out of there soon but you don’t know how long it will take you to secure new employment. It could take a month, but it could take a year. This isn’t a reason to get disheartened, but you should bear it in mind. Just because you’re planning on leaving doesn’t mean that you can get lazy or complacent in your current role. Put in as much effort as you normally would and continue to get things done.

Circumstances change, you could find yourself in a position where you want to stay put – never burn your bridges. A change in attitude could put your job at risk or even ruin your chances of getting a new one if you get a bad reference.

Keep it quiet

You may be super excited about the prospect of leaving, but until you’ve handed in your notice, don’t go shouting about it. Again, you don’t want to ruffle your employer’s feathers. You might end up in the awkward situation of being forced out before you’ve found something to move on to.

Don’t use a work computer to look for jobs and, if you are scrolling through job ads at work, make sure no one can see what you’re up to. If you’re concerned about your boss finding your details on job boards, you can bypass the ‘CV upload’ step by applying directly to the business in question rather than through job sites.

Be careful with interviews

It’s not always possible to leave the office for interviews, but there are ways of working around your schedule. That way, you don’t miss out! For more information on getting time off work for interviews, take a look at this article.

Job hunting while employed is a real balancing act. If you stay positive, focused and motivated while implementing the above tips, you’ll get a new job in no time!

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