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8 tips for job hunting while you're still employed

Rich Hein | Feb. 13, 2013
Job hunting while you're still working in your current position can be a double-edged sword. Candidates who are employed are typically more attractive to employers. However, it can be dangerous. Learn what it takes to balance your current job and your career search--without getting cut.

Looking for a job requires a lot of time and effort on your part and it isn't something you should enter into lightly. Conducting a job search while you're still employed, according to many experts, is the best approach as candidates currently employed tend to be more attractive to hiring managers. However, balancing your current job, your family and your job search can be exhaustive, and if you're not careful it could end in disaster.

There are countless reasons to look for a new job. Perhaps you feel like there's nowhere for you to go in your current role or maybe you just can't stand someone you work closely with every day. Before you start to send out resumes be sure you have thought things through.

"Talk about what may be frustrating you at work and determine if there are things that can be changed to make your issues better. If you want to move locations, it may be better to talk about that with your boss, as the company may want to discuss remote working options, "says Chad Lilly, director of recruiting at Lextech, a custom mobile apps company. Bottom line, make sure your current role can't be salvaged. Could you transfer, change departments or work remotely? Is there something you can do to make your work more enjoyable and rewarding?

If the answer is no, then go, says Roy West, CEO of the Roy West Companies and senior scientist at the Gallup Organization. "You should go quietly, gracefully, swiftly and never look back. If you are not currently working for someone who clearly understands that your growth and their growth [boss/organization] is an implied contract and common goal, then you are compelled to find one that does and will," says West.

So what do you do when you've decided it's time to move on? Most of us have been there at some point in our careers. Do you tell your boss or not? How do you handle interviews and references? To help bring a measure of clarity to your job search, spoke with industry experts to figure out the best way to conduct your new job search without losing your old job.

Who Can You Tell

It's never a smart move to lie to your boss, but sometimes it may be a necessary evil if you want to hold onto your job. Some companies have a policy of letting people go who are actively searching for a job. So keep your job hunt on a need-to-know basis.

"In general, it is good practice to keep your job search quiet. You really have to trust the relationship you have with your boss to divulge this information," says Lilly, who has 16 years of experience working in the professional services market recruitment business.


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