Looking for a new job without jeopardising your current one is a tricky situation that many job seekers find themselves in. In order to make a smooth transition from one position to the next, it is most ideal for you to be in a job whilst seeking other employment.
The good news is that searching for jobs has become easier than ever via online job boards, mobile apps, Google searches and social media. The bad news is these platforms are public and could lead to word getting back to your employer. In order to avoid unnecessary tension or mistrust at your current workplace, you can take the following careful steps to keep your job search discreet.
Looking for a new job on your current employer’s time is unethical and can be deemed as misconduct. Many employers monitor their employees’ web and email activity. Don’t be spending time at work updating your CV, scanning job boards or making job applications, as your employer could find out. In fact, if you can, avoid using any work-related equipment in your job search, e.g. computer, mobile phone, or printer. Save your job seeking for evenings and weekends.
When searching for a new job, it’s often beneficial for others to know so that they can put you in touch with potential employers or people in their network that can help. However, you do need to be careful with this, especially if the industry you work in is quite a niche one. Be cautious about who you speak to and who they in turn might speak to.
It’s ok to let recruiters and interviewers know that your current employer is unaware of your job search. You wouldn’t want them calling for a reference and giving the game away before you’ve had an opportunity to speak to your employer yourself.
If you’re unhappy in your current role and you intend to move elsewhere in the near future, it may be tempting to let your work standards/professionalism slip. However, a decrease in productivity or clocking in late and clocking out early may raise warning bells for your employer and lead them to suspect that you are looking for work elsewhere.
Maintaining your professionalism will also help you later on. When it comes to handing in your resignation, you should aim to leave the company on positive terms and ensure that you receive glowing references for the future.
While it’s common for recruiters/hiring managers to screen candidates’ social media, what some don’t realise is that current employers may screen you too. Check your privacy settings to ensure that you aren’t publicly advertising your job hunt.
Additionally, a sudden revamp of your LinkedIn profile could raise suspicions, so it may be better to use social media to discreetly explore your network of connections and see if this points you to any companies or opportunities. If you are updating your LinkedIn profile, you can amend your settings to ensure your network aren’t notified when you make a change. LinkedIn also has a handy tool where you can let recruiters know that you are open to opportunities, but this won’t be visible to others or your employer on your profile.
It’s worth trying to find out what recruiters or job boards your company uses to advertise its jobs. The last thing you want to do is send an application to your current employer!
Being discreet about your job search should help you to maintain a good relationship with your current employer and set you up for a smooth transition to your new role. Good luck!