Searching for work while currently employed adds a little extra juggling, but don’t let that stop you from making the change your career needs. By mastering the art of stealth job hunting you can keep working while pursuing new opportunities where you will be happy and even more successful.
Use your own devices for your job search
Looking for work can be stressful; especially if you think your current employer may find out and replace you before you find a new job. To reduce the chance of that, make sure you aren’t using company email or internet connections that could be monitored. Compartmentalize the job hunt by setting up a personal email address for job search related activities, don’t use company phones to speak with recruiters, and don’t print out your resume at work.
Manage Your Time
We’re often asked whether it’s better to schedule interviews before or after work. The answer is that it depends. Before work, you may be fresher, but interviews can run longer than you expect, and you don’t want to be looking at your watch the whole time. After work, you may have less energy, and you increase the chance of being late to the interview, but once you get into the interview, you can give it your full attention and won’t have to worry about a ticking clock.
When scheduling the interview be honest and upfront about your work schedule and ask how long their interviews typically run so you can plan accordingly. For instance:
I am very excited about this opportunity. I am still working though, and I always give my employer 100% of my focus during work hours. My normal work day is between 7 and 4, and it will take 20 minutes for me to travel between your location and my work site. Do you have a sense of how long your typical first interviews run? Is it possible to schedule something after 4:30 so we don’t have to worry about the clock?
You may also want to consider using one of your vacation/personal days so you are free to focus on the interview without needing to worry about ticking clocks. This can be especially effective if you can schedule a block of interviews.
Keep your plans to yourself
A job search calls for effective networking, but be cautious about reaching out to people who used to work for your current employer. If that’s the only way into a target company, it could be worth the risk, but be aware that those people likely still have ties to other current employees and it could get back to your boss. To maintain confidentiality, put most of your focus on connecting with people you used to work with at other companies or family, friends, and current social groups who are not connected to your current employer. You can also use an agency like AppleOne that can conduct a confidential search on your behalf or just keep an eye out for positions that may interest you.
Be very conscious about how to communicate on social media – be careful about what you post, tweet, share, like, update, etc. Re-evaluate/update your social media account privacy settings and manage your broadcast settings. Throughout your hunt, branding yourself is a top priority – you will want to make sure your LinkedIn profile is 100% complete – but you want to be sure every update is not broadcast to all of your connections. On LinkedIn change your broadcast settings so all of your connections don’t see every update.