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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.

In fact, Lily says, it's probably not wise to share this with anyone you work with. One misstep from a friendly coworker could mean a pink slip or damage your reputation with the company.

Donald Burns, executive career strategist and coach, agrees: "Absolutely do not tell your boss--doing so will compromise your most valuable asset, namely, your current employment. As soon as the company discovers you're looking, they will start looking for your replacement. Your job is probably toast. You've 'crossed the Rubicon' and there's no going back," says Burns. Knowing the company culture on this matter will help make a decision on which path to take.

Don't Conduct Your Search on the Company Dime

Conducting your job search on company hours is never a good idea. When you are at your current job, it should be your primary focus. Underperforming is surely something that will tip off your boss that something is going on with you. It's unethical and not likely something that will get you a great recommendation from your present boss when the time comes.

Also, if you are trying to keep your job hunt discrete, this is a common way to get caught or at least to get the rumor mill grinding. "If your employer finds out they can start looking for your replacement and fire you before you are ready to go. It also hurts your productivity and the rest of the team. You start holding back on committing to new work because most candidates do not want to leave in the middle of a project," says Lilly.

Recruiters understand that discretion is often part of the process and are willing to do what they can. "If you are upfront with the recruiter they will do what they can to get you in. We are sympathetic to a point for getting the candidates in to meet. Most recruiters will talk off-hours or at lunch time," says Lilly. One tip he offers: List specific times to reach you on your resume.

Don't Use Company Email Addresses or Phone Numbers

Whether you're talking about social networking site profiles like LinkedIn and BranchOut or your resume, you really want to stick to using your personal email addresses and phone numbers for your accounts. Some experts even say you should restrict your job search to your personal PC. One inopportune email or phone call could alert your supervisor that you're considering leaving.

Using a work email address for your social media accounts is also a sure way to get yourself locked out of your profiles when you do leave and your old email address gets shut down or redirected. Whomever the email is redirected to will get your notifications and be privy to your updates, messages and who knows what else. You'd likely get control back after submitting a request but avoid the hassle and stick to personal email addresses for primary emails.


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