Looking for a Job While You Are Employed

How to Job Search Without Jeopardizing Your Current Job

Woman peruses job listings
Winston Davidian/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

Many career experts believe you are better off looking for a job while you are employed. That is because employers generally find job candidates who are currently working more desirable. With that said, conducting a job search while you are working can be tricky. You will have to take precautions so your current boss doesn't become suspicious.

You don't want her to find out you are thinking about quitting your job until you have another one lined up.

She might start searching for your replacement before you are ready to move on. Use these tips if you are looking for a job while you are employed:

1. Don't Discuss Your Job Search With Your Co-workers

The surest way to make something go from being a secret to becoming public knowledge is to share it with just one other person. If you want to keep your job search under wraps, don't talk about it ... with anyone. As soon as you tell anyone about your plans—even a trusted confidant—you run the risk that he will slip and accidently tell another person. Then, eventually, your boss might learn about it. You can't expect other people to guard your secret if you can't keep it to yourself.

2. Don't Use Your Work Telephone, Computer or Email Address

Electronic monitoring in the workplace is very common. An American Management Association survey revealed that 66% of employers monitored their workers' Internet connections (The Latest on Workplace Monitoring and Surveillanceupdated 11/17/2014).

Your boss may be keeping an eye on you when you are using your office computer, telephone or Wifi, or your employer-issued email address. Use your cell phone, and your own data plan, not company Wifi, If you have to conduct any business related to your job search while you are at work. Always use a personal email account, even if you are at home or using your phone.

3. Don't Job Hunt on Your Boss's Time

When you are at work, your employer is paying you for your time. It is only fair that you focus all your energy on your job. Wait until the end of the day or your lunch hour to deal with anything else.

4. Make Job Search Related Phone Calls Away From the Office

Even if you are using your own cell phone, don't make job search related calls on your employer's premises. While she may not be monitoring you, someone may overhear your conversation. The breakroom may seem like a private place, but you never know who will walk in on you. Get away from the office to make your calls.

5. Schedule Interviews Before or After Work, or at Lunchtime

If you leave the office during the day, your boss will know something is up. You can lie and say you have a doctor's appointment, but honestly, how often can you use that excuse? If a prospective employer can only interview you during business hours, take a personal day. Don't take too many days off at once though unless you are going to use your vacation time.

6. Be Careful About What You Wear

If you regularly wear casual attire to work and then suddenly come into the office wearing a suit, it will arouse your boss's suspicions. He will wonder if you are dressed up for a job interview. Find someplace to do a quick "Superman-style" clothing change. While there aren't any phone booths around these days, the bathroom of a coffee shop will serve the purpose.

7. Use Former Employers as References

If you don't want your current boss to know you are looking for a new job, you obviously can't ask him for a reference. Most prospective employers understand that and will be satisfied with one from someone for whom you previously worked.

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