• Liana Rosman

10 Tips For Job Hunting While You’re Still Employed



It's difficult to get a new job while you're already employed. On the one hand, having a job makes you more appealing to future employers. On the other hand, one bad move could get you fired or, at the very least, tarnish your professional reputation. Here's how to get the most out of your job search while you're still working.






1. Explore options where you

According to Jayne Mattson, a career management expert at CareerEngage, "first analyze why you're thinking of leaving and investigate methods for enhancing your circumstances where you are."


“You can start these conversations with people inside your company, but they must be people you trust completely. It has to be someone you can trust, who can guide you through a lateral or upward move while staying close to the vest,” Mattson says.


Consider what frustrates you at your current employment and whether or not making some changes could improve things. Would a few days of telecommuting or remote work enhance your outlook? Is it possible for you to switch departments? What are some things you can do to make your current job more enjoyable and rewarding?


If the answer is negative, or if adjustments aren't an option, Roy West, CEO of The Roy West Companies, advises, "then go." West advises, "You should go quietly, gracefully, quickly, and never look back." “If you are not currently working for someone who clearly recognizes that your and their [boss/organization] growth is an implied contract and joint aim, you must find one.




2. Consider being a boomerang employee

It's worth getting in touch with former coworkers to check if there are any new changes available if you leave previous employment on good terms. According to Vicki Salemi, author, consultant, and career expert for Monster.com, you won't require as much time for onboarding because you're already familiar with the company's technology and culture, and you'll be able to contribute much more immediately.


"Companies are becoming more like a revolving door, which is a positive thing. Rehiring boomerangs reduces the time it takes to fill positions and our time to onboard new employees. Companies already have 'intelligence' on previous employees, allowing them to look back and say, 'Oh, this person was fantastic; perhaps now that they're more senior, or have new talents or experience, they can help here,' "Salemi explains. it's time to learn.


According to Mattson, you can also "boomerang" with organizations that haven't hired you. If you've previously interviewed with a company or been offered a position but declined it, it's worth renewing those contacts.


"Go back and say, 'I'm actually considering other alternatives right now, and I was extremely impressed with you and your business," even if accepting the job wasn't the best decision at the moment. Mattson says, "I'd love to catch up and see what's been going on since we last spoke."




3. Time your job search strategically

If you're looking for a job while you're still employed, you need to reduce competition for open positions, which means timing your search perfectly, according to Doug Schade, a partner at WinterWyman's software technology business. Late summer is a good time to start looking for a job, he says, because the number of open positions remains relatively steady while the number of active job hunters decreases.


“August is a very good month to start looking,” Schade says. “Many people put off starting their hunt until September when their summer holidays are done and their children are back in school. So August is an ideal time to start looking for a new job,” Schade explains.




4. Keep your job hunt a secret

Although lying to your supervisor is never a good idea, it may be a necessary evil if you want to keep your current position. Some organizations have a policy of laying off employees who are actively looking for work. So keep your job search limited to what you absolutely need to know. A pleasant coworker's blunder could result in a pink slip or tarnish your company's reputation.


Executive career strategist and coach Donald Burns agree: "Telling your supervisor is a no-no since it will jeopardize your most valuable asset, namely your current job. When the company learns you're looking, they'll begin looking for a replacement immediately. Your job is almost certainly doomed. You've 'crossed the Rubicon,' and you can't go back "According to Burns.


If your supervisor questions you directly, don't lie; instead, frame the situation as follows: "One way to deal with it is to say, 'There have been a lot of changes here recently.' I don't want to leave, but I'm nervous, so I'm thinking about Plan B,' says the narrator." According to Burns.


Even your clothing can reveal your identity. If you regularly dress in a business casual but suddenly change into a suit and tie, it's a strong indication that you're being interviewed. To avoid giving oneself away, arrange interviews before or after work, or make time for a change of clothes.




5. Don't use company resources when searching

It's never a smart idea to conduct your job search on the money of your existing employer. During office hours, your primary emphasis should be on your current job. Your supervisor and coworkers will sense something is wrong if you underperform. It's immoral and insulting, and it's unlikely that your current employer will give you a glowing recommendation when the time comes.


Recruiters understand discretion is often part of the process, and are willing to do what they can to keep things discreet, so be upfront with them. Set up meetings and calls during off-hours or lunch, and make sure your resume lists specific times when it’s best to reach you.


Avoid using company email addresses or your current work phone number. One inopportune phone call or email can jeopardize your current role. Plus, using a work email address for your social media accounts can get you locked out of your profiles when you do leave and your old email address gets shut down or redirected.




6. Leverage social media to find a new job

Social media can be a job seeker’s best friend if you know how to leverage it correctly, Schade says. LinkedIn should be your first stop, but don’t make the mistake of updating your professional profile only when you’re looking for a new role — that’s a dead giveaway.


“Ideally, you should be updating LinkedIn constantly; it’s a living, breathing document that shows potential employers what you’ve been working on and what your value is,” Schade says. “Unlike other social media and social networking sites, it has the added advantage of being viewed positively by your employer. They want you to be updating it

and adding to it because it can reflect positively on them,” Schade says.


But remember, if you’re updating your LinkedIn profile substantially in hopes of finding a new job at a different company, you need to take some precautions, says Mattson, as it can tip off your current employer.


“Turn off your public notifications,” she says. That way, your current employer won’t see if you’ve changed your status to ‘open to new job possibilities,’ or notice that you’re doing a major overhaul, which can signal to them that you’re thinking of jumping ship,” Mattson says.


You should also avoid making public comments about your job search on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as many employers monitor such sites for employee activity. If you must use them to aid your job search, make sure your profiles are password-protected and any job-search-related posts or messages are hidden.




7. Use your network

According to Mattson, the majority of businesses believe that referrals from current employees make the best hiring, so reach out to friends, relatives, and past coworkers periodically to find out what positions are available at their companies.


While managing a full-time job and networking can be difficult, she claims there are ways to make it work. “Try setting up coffee dates in the morning, either in person or via Skype or FaceTime. Alternatively, meet for lunch, dinner, or cocktails to discuss opportunities,” she suggests. According to Schade, you should also check to see if any professional organizations or corporations are hosting networking events or career fairs in your area.




8. Don’t be careless with your resume

Choose who you send your résumé to carefully, and make it clear to them that your job hunt is private. Also, don't submit your CV on public employment boards, as this is a surefire method to get discovered.


"Spamming your résumé is bad business at any time, but especially when you're actively employed, according to West. “It doesn't work, and if you're currently employed, you'll be found out quickly if you react to internet inquiries. Even allowing your résumé to be disseminated privately is a risk. There are no hidden agendas, "So, as West advises, be extremely selective.



9. Don't bad-mouth your current employer

Regardless of your situation, criticizing your employer or superior will not earn you a new job; it is a significant red signal for hiring managers and recruiters. It's critical to stay upbeat and focused during the interview on your qualifications. Regardless of your situation, criticizing your employer or superior will not earn you a new job; it is a significant red signal for hiring managers and recruiters. It's critical to stay upbeat and focused during the interview on your qualifications.


"Tell them the truth," Burns advises, but with a positive — or at the very least neutral — spin. "At the company, something changed, or you've reached a point where you've gone as far as you can go and couldn't wait another year for a promotion." Make certain you never say anything unpleasant about your existing boss. I've met people who claim to grasp the guideline but make mistakes during interviews."


Even if your boss is the reason you're leaving, avoid criticizing at all costs. Consider saying something complimentary, or make general comments to move the subject to a positive about your performance.


Have at least three credible references from various employers; only use someone from your current workplace if you trust them not to leak information or if they've recently left the firm. If a future employer calls and asks for a reference, citing your current boss or supervisor as a reference will likely irritate them. According to West, references should only be provided upon request, and even then, only with the explicit condition that your employment hunt is confidential for the time being.


For whatever psychological or analytic reason, employers prefer to hire someone who is currently working. The perception is that ‘someone wants this candidate.’ Unemployed candidates have an advantage only if they possess skills or talents that are in extremely high demand. "You are perceived as more desirable by potential employers and you are in a stronger negotiating position. In fact, some employers harbor a 'secret' bias against hiring unemployed people," says Burns.


So, if you're currently working but thinking about moving on, make sure you've done all your homework and are putting yourself in the best position to get the job you want before leaving. Sign up to Recruit Hero to explore more available jobs in Malaysia that match your skills and qualification. Keep updated with us by following and subscribing to our social media, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Youtube. Also, good news for individuals who are looking for work or have recently been laid off due to the coronavirus! We equip you with the resources you need to find the career and company you want. Become a member of Recruit Hero today!