If you’re not satisfied at work, it can be easy to let your secret job search drift into the office. Here are a few rules you need to follow before you hand in your resignation and look for a new job.
Looking for a new job while you’re still employed can be tricky.
For one, it makes your remaining days at work awkward. Once the news comes out, it might burn bridges between you and your employer, who might feel betrayed. If you resign before securing a new job, you may not have a stable stream of income to support yourself for a while.
In the Forbes book Find And Keep Your Dream Job, Sara Menke, founder and chief executive of a staffing firm Premier, encourages employed job seekers to stay put. “Companies want to hire the best of the best and [those people] are usually employed,” she says. She also emphasizes having a fallback in case you don’t get the new job right away.
If you are smart, you would agree with Menke. But if you are still confused on how to look for a new job without your boss getting suspicious, read this:
Never talk about your job hunt
There is no better way to blow your stealthy job hunt than telling your colleagues of your plan to leave the company. Someone might hear your conversation and gossip about it. Secrets like this are difficult not to share with others, but doing so can complicate things with your boss. He can pick up the news, confront you and catch you off guard. If you can’t help it, tell the story only to your friends who are not connected with the company.
Never update your social media about your career plan
Many companies monitor the social media presence of their employees, so avoid posting hints of your job hunt on social media. Don’t bother adjusting your privacy settings — a colleague or acquaintance could still see your updates and spill the news to your boss. Your posts can be used against you.
Don’t look for jobs during office hours
If your company finds the websites you are visiting, you’ll blow your cover. You also risk getting suspended for using company property for non-work matters. Remember, your boss is still paying for your time at work, so resist updating your resume, answering calls from hiring personnel, and scheduling interviews during office hours.
Mind the clothes you wear to the office
If you often wear casual attire for work, it would be suspicious to suddenly come to work in a suit and tie. A function of your job, like a client meeting, may not be a good enough alibi. To avoid their curious gaze and cynical retort, just do a quick attire change before your interview. In most cases, a simple blazer on top of your normal office clothes can help you look interview-ready.
Set your LinkedIn account to private
If you rely on LinkedIn as a job-search source, you should turn off your account’s activity broadcast setting. Go to “settings” and uncheck the box to prevent current activity to appear on your connections’ feeds. Don’t worry about not landing a job. Recruiters acknowledge that most employed applicants are passive job seekers, so they know innovative ways to locate talented applicants like you.
Don’t use your colleagues as resume reference
Imagine what your colleagues will say once they receive a call from a recruiter about your career plan. Their surprise will lead to unwanted questions.
So much for having a low key exit, right?
You’ll want to use as many references from previous jobs as you can. Ask your prospective employer to keep your interview confidential. He or she will understand the situation.
Stay efficient at work
They say, “you are only as good as your last performance.” If you want to start your next job in high spirits, you must end your present job with excellent efficiency and quality. (Click here to tweet this quote.) This, too, is a great way of showing gratitude and respect to the company that shaped your skills — not to mention helped pay the bills.
Nothing is wrong with seeking a better job. But you shouldn’t blame your employer when you just want to build your career. You might give an impression that you are complaining about your job and it can ruin your reputation for future career advancement. Complaining could ruin networking opportunities as well.
Be discreet, follow the tips above and your boss might reward you with a good recommendation letter.
Maddy Bertelsen is a marketing associate and a web content writer for Resumes Planet, a career oriented website. She helps people, chiefly fresh graduates, to land their dream jobs.