How to look for a new job while you are employed
Wanting to take your career to the next level is a natural and commendable aspiration, but there are ways to do it, and ways not to do it…
Looking for a new job, whilst employed, should always be done in a professional, discreet
manner, to ensure that you keep your reputation as a good and trustworthy employee.
Here are a few tips that will help you avoid “burning any bridges” and make your transition into your new job a smooth and rewarding one:
1. Look at your options
To move up on the corporate ladder doesn’t have to mean a complete company change and brand new job. Have you inquired about any internal positions available that you can apply for? First discuss the possibility of promotion or increase with your superior, before deciding to move to an entirely new company.
2. Don’t discuss it with your colleagues or boss
Telling your superior or colleagues about your hunt for a new job could jeopardise your current employment. It could place a question mark behind your loyalty to the company, and put you in the “firing” line… The avoid embarrassment, losing your job and a good reference, the best is to keep your endeavours to find a new job confidential.
3. Don’t use your company’s telephone number or email address
When corresponding with potential employers, refrain from using your current company’s telephone number or email address. This could be traced, and again put you at risk of being dismissed. Use your personal cell phone and email address to do all the correspondence.
4. Don’t job-search on company time
You are still employed by and contractually obliged to your current boss to perform your duties, and well at that. Searching for a job, distributing your CV and corresponding with recruiters during working hours, can be considered as “stealing” from company time. Make sure that you will still have a “good reference” when you leave the company, and do your job-searching after hours.
5. Don’t use your company’s resources
The company’s telephone, internet, printer and stationary should never be used for your personal job-searching endeavours. This could, again, constitute as stealing, raise suspicion and jeopardise your job. Keep your integrity as an employee and avoid using the company’s resources to surf the web for job adverts, print your CV and make phone calls.
6. Conduct phone calls away from the office
As far as possible, to protect your current job and good reference, conduct phone calls relating to your job-search outside of your office-buildings, or where you are not within hearing distance of colleagues or your superiors.
7. Schedule interviews outside your working hours
Again, honour your contractual obligation and never schedule an interview, no matter how good an opportunity it is, during your normal working hours. Try and arrange your interviews for either before work or after work, or during your lunch hour. You could also consider putting in a day’s leave and schedule all your interviews for that day. This way, your interviews won’t interfere with your current job responsibilities.
8. Dressing for an interview… don’t be obvious about it
If your company’s dress code is normally quite casual, and you suddenly turn up in a suit and a tie, someone will most likely smell a rat… If you have an interview scheduled in your lunch hour, rather be prepared to do a quick outfit change away from your office.
9. Use previous employers as references
This is a tricky one. Potential employers will require references from you, and the last thing you want is for them to contact your current boss, while he/she is unaware that you are job-searching again. Best thing to do is to use only previous employers as references for the time being. Also be honest with the interviewer and ask them not to contact your current employer at this stage.
10. Beware what you post to your social media
It’s very tempting to let your Facebook friends or Twitter followers know that you are looking for a new job, or excited to have found a new one, but refrain from doing this, until you have officially broken the news to your employer. You never know “who is friends with whom” in your social network, and the message could just unintentionally reach the wrong person, i.e. a colleague or superior, at an inappropriate time…
11. Don’t badmouth your current employer
Whatever your reasons might be for wanting to leave, don’t ever speak negatively about your current company or boss, whether on social networks, to your colleagues or in an interview. Not only do you risk being caught, dismissed and ruining a good reference, but can create doubt in an interviewer’s mind about your level of loyalty to any employer. If asked why you want to leave, try as far as possible to put a positive spin on your reasons, and explain what you have learned, and how you will use your experiences to be a positive and valuable addition to a new company.
12. Give proper notice in writing
Once you have received the good news that you have been hired for the new job, the next step is to give your current employer proper notice in writing, as per your contract. Make sure that when you leave, you will have a fantastic reference from this employer, by completing your final duties, and tying up all loose ends, even if it means assisting in the training of someone who is going to fill your position. The way you perform during your notice period will determine the reference you receive from this employer and could have a big influence on your future career opportunities.
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