Conducting a covert job search while you’re still employed can be a challenge, consuming much of your spare and family time. While you may be tempted to steal moments at work for job hunting activities, this is a bad idea.
First of all, in my view it’s very unethical to use your employer’s time to look for your new challenge. Secondly, you never want to risk alerting your boss of your intention, or you could be fired before you’ve lined up your next placement.
Here are five ways to keep your job search quiet:
- Don’t talk about your job search on social media. Be careful when you tweet, blog or post any job search-related details on Facebook. Everything you post on social media is public, and if your employer finds out it can raise questions and cause turbulence.
- Don’t conduct phone interviews while at work. Try to convince the executive recruiter or the potential employer to call when you are home. Generally they are receptive of this. Alternatively, provide your mobile number and take the call from your car or at a coffee shop away from your place of business.
- Don’t make radical changes to your LinkedIn profile. While LinkedIn is an essential job search tool, it is still primarily a networking site. No one will discipline or question you for being active on LinkedIn, but if they see big changes to your profile it can raise questions. Of course if you’ve been sensible about career management, you will have maintained your profile constantly and it will already be up to date.
- Don’t miss work for a job interview. If you are called for an interview, try to schedule it before work in the morning, or after work in the evening. Potential employers and executive recruiters are generally willing to comply with your request.
- Don’t dress differently than normal. Even a change of your wardrobe can provoke questions, for example if you show up in a suit for the first time in a year. Pack your interview outfit and change in a public washroom before your appointment.
Above all, make sure that all dealings with potential employers or executive recruiters are conducted discreetly. This shows respect for your current employer, and helps protect your job while you’re still there.