How to find a job while being employed?

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Conducting a job search when you are already in a 9-5pm job can be challenging. Yet, it’s the best idea to continue working while exploring career options. Companies prefer hires who are currently employed. Also, one can leverage an existing position to negotiate for a better offer.

However, looking for a change from your current work scene can be risky and counterproductive if your organisation finds out.

Use these tips for your job quest, even with a busy work schedule while ensuring complete secrecy:

  • Create a schedule and stick to it

Incorporate the job hunt in your daily time table. Like you have a time for exercise, meals, family, set a block time for going through openings and applying for the relevant ones.

Select a time block when you feel most productive and energetic, that way you’ll be motivated to pursue your quest without feeling dejected.

  • Prepare your materials in advance

Before you start applying, carry out a quick online search to get an idea of the opportunities available in the market and what seems interesting to you.

Then, update your resume, covering letter and required application documents for the said position. Customise resume versions based on the job description, company and roles you’ve shortlisted for applying. This will make your job search go much smoother.

  • Be discreet

This is the most obvious and also the most crucial aspect of your job hunt. Do not divulge to anyone in your company that you’re even considering other prospects, definitely not your current boss, not even colleagues from the same or another department. Mentioning to just one person may jeopardise your search and worse, your position in the current organisation.

Utilise only personal devices (phone, mobile data, computer/laptop) and a personal email for all communication regarding the job hunt. Be careful online, taking care to manage privacy settings while updating your job status/profile, so as to not alert your current employer.

  • Manage the job search on your own time

Schedule all job search-related activities including assessing online postings and application submissions at a stipulated time, without hindering your work schedule. Screening interview calls, personal interview meetings can also be organised in advance during non-work hours and/or on your off days/weekends, take a day's leave if necessary. 

Avoid the temptation to review job postings, responding to e-mails of potential employers. In case urgent, action these during lunch/break times.

  • Update your LinkedIn profile

Turn off the notifications before editing your profile and don’t display “open to work” to avoid embarrassment in case someone at work views your profile.

It’s best to always keep your profile updated, consistent with your current job profile; employers prefer a 100% completed profile. You also tend to miss out things if you end up doing it at the last minute.

  • Use former employers as references

You may be asked for references by the hiring manager at any point in the recruitment process. Compile a list of your past employers and inform them prior of the possibility of them hearing from the potential employers. This gives them a chance to prepare for the questions.

Moreover, ask the new organisation to be confidential during the entire hiring process, especially if you’re planning a move within the same industry. Its quite understandable therefore to provide only previous employer references without divulging your current manager’s contact information.  

  • Maintain a positive attitude

Continue performing at par or above the level you normally do. No amount of rejection or things not going in the direction you’d planned should deter you from putting your best foot forward at work.

While it’s your prerogative to keep seeking opportunities for your career growth, maintaining a positive attitude at work and sustaining healthy working relationships is equally important. When you eventually land up with a job you were aspiring for, they’ll provide viable future reference options for you.

Keep in mind, during your job search if you happen to realise that you enjoy your job and are in a good place right now, consider yourself lucky, slow down your pursuit and stay put!

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