Three out of four employees within a given company are actively searching for a job. It’s definitely a candidate’s market right now, and employers are hiring. But searching for a new job while working at your current one can feel like a challenge.
Use some discretion during your job search.
Conducting a job search with discretion while you’re employed requires some extra steps, but it’s far from impossible. Follow these steps to protect your privacy and stay under the radar during your job search:
- Update your LinkedIn privacy settings. One of the first things you should do when preparing for your job search is update your LinkedIn profile to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward. But as you’re making updates to your LinkedIn profile, you may be broadcasting your changes and intentions to your connections. To keep your changes under wraps, visit the Privacy & Settings page by moving your mouse to the top right of LinkedIn (where your photo is located). On the expanded menu that appears, scroll down to “Privacy & Settings” and click. Scroll down to “Privacy Controls” and turn off your “Activity Broadcasts.” You can also change other settings if you’d like to take another step to protect your privacy (this can be particularly effective if you’re connecting with hiring managers or recruiters – “Select Who Can See Your Connections” is the setting to update in that instance).
- Be careful when networking. Spreading the word about your impending job move can help you build some momentum and increase your network of contacts. But proceed with caution – once you start telling others about your job search, you are essentially “all in” and have no choice but to move forward. Additionally, how you present yourself during networking opportunities is important. Stressing that you’re happy in your current job but open to new opportunities can help demonstrate your aspirations without sounding desperate or negative about your current company.
- Think about references. It is nearly impossible to share references from your current employer during a job search. Be careful when compiling references for your new career opportunities. A trusted colleague at your current employer (absolute certainty at this person’s discretion and support is essential) or supervisors or colleagues from previous employers, can help fill the gap left by any current managers. Also, it’s important to note that many employers understand and appreciate that candidates are searching for new opportunities while still employed. Discuss this fact openly with new potential employers — they will often make job offers contingent on positive references. From there, it’s up to you to have a strong conversation with your current boss (and persuade him or her to provide you with a good reference) when you eventually get an offer. As in many areas of business, clear and open communication here is essential.
- Partner with a recruiter. Finding a new job is in and of itself a full-time job for many people. If you’re working 40 hours a week and simultaneously looking for a new job, it could be too much. When you partner with a staffing firm, your recruiter will help you polish your resume, prepare for interviews and most importantly — will look for job opportunities that match your goals. Your recruiter will operate with discretion while searching for your next great career opportunity, so you can focus on continuing to do a great job at your current employer.
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