Job searching while being employed is tricky. However, it’s actually pretty common.

According to a recent survey by the staffing company Accountemps, approximately 73 percent of workers don’t have an issue with searching for a new job before leaving their current employer.

Workers who look for a new job while still employed have the best of both worlds: They can test the waters of the job market while keeping a job they may like.

Nevertheless, the practice could backfire. The news of your job search might lead to feelings of bitterness, harm your reputation and potentially result in your dismissal.

Therefore, the job search of an employed professional should be discreet and effective. Here a few tips on how to get the most out of your efforts.

Don’t let your search affect your work

Save your job-seeking efforts for your home, a coffee shop or the local library. Using an employer’s phone line or fax to expedite a job search means having to look over your shoulder and cover your tracks. Furthermore, with a lot of businesses tracking Internet usage, going on job boards at work isn’t a good idea.

Realistically speaking, a good job search requires focus. Your search won’t be as effective as it could be when you’re paranoid about co-workers spying on you or your boss catching you in the act. If you have to take a phone interview or respond to an email during the workday, do it through your own personal device and on your lunch break.

Furthermore, be vigilant about not letting your quality of work slip. You might end up having to stay with your current employer for some time and if you get sloppy – you may find yourself with a lot more time to search for a new job.

Don’t tip your hand on social media

If you are unemployed and searching for a job, you should be broadcasting that search all over your social media profiles. However, the same isn’t true if you are job hunting while employed.

While you may not be connected with your employer or co-workers on social sites, that doesn’t mean they can’t see what you are posting. It’s fairly easy for them to see your posts if you don’t configure your privacy settings or if you have a mutual connection who posts something about your search.

Simply put, it’s a good idea not to post something that suggests you’re on the lookout for a new job on any social media channel.

Don’t use your current company as a reference

If you’re interviewing with a potential employer, let them know not to contact your current employer. If you need to provide professional references, use people from previous jobs or even past mentors, like influential teachers. If you need to show off successes at your current job, point to recommendations or endorsements on your LinkedIn profile from current managers or co-workers.


At Action Group, we regularly help employed professionals find their next career opportunity. Please contact us today to learn more about how we can help with a discreet job search.

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