3 Dos and Don’ts of Job Seeking While Employed

By Bob Evans
In August 18, 2016

Career advancement, fed of up co-workers, tired of doing the same old thing day in and day out—these are just a few of the common reasons why people begin looking for a new career while they are employed.

Employees have been searching for new employment while employed since the beginning of time (okay, maybe not that far back), but advances in technology have changed the game completely. Now, job seekers need to be extra careful when it comes to looking for a job while still employed.

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In this week’s “Three for Thursday,” we will examine three “Dos and Don’ts” when it comes to job seeking while you are still working for another company. Some may seem like common sense, but it does not hurt to get a reminder every now and then—especially when there are hundreds of thousands of new jobs opening up every month.

Do NOT apply for jobs while you are at work

Common sense tip number one, yet it seems like so many job seekers do not seem to get it. Yes, you can simply open up your browser and start searching, but you are putting yourself in an awkward position—especially if your company tracks web browsing. What are you going to say when your boss comes to you asking why you were on Indeed, Beyond, Monster or NexGoal while at work?

Even though you may want to leave that company, you may not be ready to be fired and have no income during the time it takes to find that new job. This is exactly what could happen if an employer finds out you are applying for jobs while on the clock and using company property to do it. And lunch breaks at your desk count as being on company property and time as well, so save the job search for at home people.

Do set time aside at home to research potential jobs

So you want out of your current job? Great! Now you need a gameplan of how to find that job.

Since you likely spend 8-plus hours in the office at your current job, a big chunk of your day is already gone. But that does not mean you cannot find that new career and challenge you have been craving for months, it will just take a little more dedication.

As someone who has searched for a new job while being employed (the cat is out of the bag, past employers), I found blocking off 30 minutes in the evening while dinner was cooking was the best time. Just grab your laptop/tablet/iPad and bring it in the kitchen with you while you are cooking—it actually makes the time go by faster while waiting on the food.

Before you start your search though, you need to figure out what industries, job functions, salary range and experience you will be searching. This will make your life a lot easier when it comes to starting your search. You can also set goals (as a former athlete this is something you should be used to) in terms of how many jobs to apply for, how many companies to review and much more while doing your daily searches. It will help you stay on top of finding a new career you will actually enjoy.

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Do NOT tell anyone at work you are looking for a new job

We all develop relationships with those we work with during our time at a company. Some of those relationships will even blossom into friendships while you are off the clock. But sometimes the line will blur between the two, so when it comes to your new job search—you are better off keeping that news to yourself until the appropriate time comes.

Why, you ask? Think back to the game of “telephone” you played as a kid.

Eventually one person tells another person and along the twisted lines between the cans or whatever you used, the message changes. What started out as “I’m just looking for a better opportunity” could turn into “Jim is tired of doing everyone’s work and hates it here.”

Some of you may be thinking “who cares, I’m leaving anyway” right about now, but imagine what working in that environment could be like over the span of a few months. As someone who has been there and done it, it is not fun.

At a previous employer I thought I was going to be leaving for a new job a couple weeks after I told a “friend” of mine at the company about a great interview. Instead, it took nearly four months for everything to get finalized for my move to the new company—and tension grew within my team.

The “reasons” for my departure suddenly moved out of my team into other departments. Members of those departments would take me into their offices to beg me to stay, wishing there was something they could do to help better my situation. And by the time it was all said and done and I finally left for the new job, those conversations exhausted me to the point where I felt I was not being effective at the past employer for the final month.

BONUS TIP: Do turn off notification settings on LinkedIn

Okay, I know this is “Three for Thursday” but this piece of advice is golden. LinkedIn has become a working, living resume for many people as time has gone on. Well, like any other social network LinkedIn is doing things to increase interaction on their platform—and that includes sending notifications when you edit something on your profile.

Update your most recent job? Your connections are getting an email about that. Add a skill to your profile? You guessed it, LinkedIn emails your connections about that too.

Why is this a concern? Remember when your boss asked you to connect on LinkedIn a few months ago? Yeah, he is now getting those notifications as well and could wonder why. Instead of having to lie or come up with some excuse, there is something easier you can do!

Changing your setting is simple.

Changing your setting is simple.

Simply click the Account & Settings drop down menu and select “Privacy & Settings.” From there, choose the “Privacy” tab and locate the section that says “Sharing profile edits.” If this says “Yes,” click the toggle button to make sure it says no.

See how easy that was? Now you can feel free to make changes and edits to your LinkedIn page all you want. Once you have completed this, you can jump in and turn it back on without worrying about people asking you a bunch of questions about why you were updating your resume. Oh, and happy job hunting!

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Bob is the Digital Content, Marketing Manager for NexGoal and has been writing in the digital world for 10-plus years.