5 Ways To Stealthily Job Hunt When You're Currently Employed

by Jen Ruiz

People always say the best time to find a job is when you have a job, but that's not necessarily true.

Sure, it's ideal to be able to hunt for a job while you have the financial security and reassurance of an already procured position, but in practice, it's pretty difficult to sneak around and hunt for a job when you're already working full-time somewhere else.

Not to mention, it's nerve-wracking. Not everyone deals well with secrets, and attempting to discreetly seek alternate employment can be exhausting.

Thankfully, I have plenty of experience in this area. I've been interviewing for legal positions for the past few years, across the country, all while employed full-time.

It hasn't been easy, but I've been offered various positions and can assure you that how you leave a place is just as, if not more, important than the work you did when you were there.

So, here are five tips to keep in mind for your job hunt (while you have another job):

1. Make Good Use of Your Spare Time

If you already work full-time, you're at a disadvantage. A lot of job hunters are unemployed and are thus able to spend all day perfecting their résumés, finding new jobs and going on interviews.

You can conduct just as effective of a search if you're smart about it. Take advantage of your lunch break to peruse listings on your phone. Also, enlist the help of friends to proofread your résumé.

Most importantly, schedule interviews in the early morning, late afternoon or during lunchtime. This way, you can either come into work late or leave early and if you can manage to fit the interview in during your lunch hour, you won't have to lose any time or pay from work whatsoever.

If your interview requires you to travel, ask for a three-day weekend because you'll be out of town. Your boss doesn't need to know the details as to where or why you're going and hopefully, you can squeeze in your trip and the interview in one day.

2. Be Careful When Searching And Applying For Jobs

Notice that I suggested browsing for listings on your phone. Don't look for jobs on your work computer unless you're sure it's not being monitored. Even then, make sure to clear your browser history (and cookies) when you're done. Don't forget the downloads folder, either.

Also, try not to fax something to or from your office; many employers receive electronic copies of all faxes directly to their emails. If possible, scan and email a document, instead. Then, be sure to delete the sent email.

It may seem excessive in terms of deleting, but you don't want your current employer to discover that you're seeking alternative employment, much less with their resources and on their time, so be very careful when applying to new jobs on the job.

3. Give Proper Notice Of Resignation

When interviewing with a new employer, make sure you emphasize that you're not able to begin work until at least two weeks after you accept the position because you have to give your current employers proper notice.

Even if you want to quit tomorrow, don't. Your potential new employer will appreciate you going about leaving the right way and will be more likely to hire you as a result.

Moreover, there's no need to burn bridges unless really necessary. If you know you're quitting, suck it up for two more weeks so you can keep your current employer as a friendly potential reference in the future. It's a win-win situation.

4. Don't Bash Your Current Employer

Similarly, your potential employer will be wary of why you're leaving your job and hesitant to hire you if you bash your current employer.

No matter how bad your situation is, find a legitimate reason for leaving: You'd like to pursue alternative career options; you want an easier commute; you realized you wanted to be somewhere where you could gain more hands-on experience.

Whatever it is, find a reason that basically says, due to circumstances beyond either party's control, you and your previous employer are parting ways.

5. Stay Positive

You won’t always find a new job immediately, and there's nothing worse than feeling like you're financially obligated to work each day in a place you actually hate.

Don't get sucked into a spiral of negativity and hopelessness. Keep trying to stay positive in the face of setbacks and know that something will show up along the way.

You don't want to seem desperate to potential employers, so keep your head up. The right opportunity will come along soon enough.

If I can find a job while employed full-time, anybody can. So, go get 'em!

Photo Courtesy: Larry Sultan