The job market is tough out there. Even as small signs of recovery are appearing on distant horizons, companies are still reluctant to raise salaries, reduce hours, or hire new employees. This leaves a lot of people in the market for new jobs but unwilling to put their existing jobs at risk in the process. Sometimes, after all, “prudent silence is wise.” This is especially true when you’re putting out feelers and sending our resumes for other jobs while still employed in yours. Here are a few tips that can help you keep your job search under the radar and off the charts with your current employer.
1) Keep your search off company tech. As tempting as it may be to check all the job sites and boards during your lunch hour, that’s not a wise use of company equipment. Don’t use the corporate computers or your business email address. You never know who’s watching or what that person is watching for. Instead, limit your job search activities to your personal computer.
2) Remember that slow and steady wins the race. The job market is not hopping at the moment. Don’t get discouraged after one or two missed opportunities. Use them as learning curves and make the most out of the next one. For many people, keeping a hopeful eye out for the the job you want next is what keeps you coming in, day after day, to the job you have now. Don’t lose sight of that. But, be prepared to stick with it for a fair amount of time.
3) Don’t draw attention to the fact that you’re “in the market” for another job. In other words, don’t suddenly start dressing up every few days for no apparent reason. People will put two and two together. Instead, consider changing clothes off-premises when you have an interview.
4) Network. Network. And then, network a little more. The best job leads you’re ever going to come across aren’t going to show up in help wanted ads. They’re going to come to you over the phone or through email from friends who’ve heard about openings and think you’re a good fit. It’s true. But that means you need to get out there and start making the right kinds of friends. Attend conferences and symposiums in your field. Get to know people “in the know” and make sure they know you too. Rub elbows, have dinner, and play tennis (golf, racquetball, etc.) with them. You can do this while keeping your job without ever seeming suspicious and it will deliver results over time.
No matter what you do to try to find another job while still employed, the one thing you must absolutely do is the job you have right now. Don’t show any signs that your heart isn’t in it or it could do you more harm down the road than good.