You’ve probably heard that the best time to get a job is when you still have a job. It’s true. The only problem is that if your current employer finds out you’re looking, it could put your job security in jeopardy.
So proceed with discretion. Here are a few ground rules.
The most important thing to remember is that, until the day you walk out the door for the last time, you should keep giving your current job 100%.
So don’t job hunt on company time or company equipment. Not only is this unethical, many employers monitor phone calls, email and internet usage. Use your personal cellphone or tablet instead.
Schedule interviews before or after work, during lunch hours or even on weekends (some potential hirers will be OK with this — you never know until you ask).
If you use sick or personal days, keep track of your excuses. Too many dental appointments or family funerals quickly look suspicious. In general, try to take as few days off as possible. You might actually need them for their intended purposes. Plus, you’re still giving 100%, remember?
Using your social network to spread the news of your job hunt sounds like a good idea, but news can spread too far, too. If you’re friends with colleagues on social media, don’t suddenly unfriend or unfollow them. Try blocking them or changing your privacy settings — or, to be really safe, just don’t post about your job hunt. On LinkedIn, turn off your activity broadcasts before making major improvements to your profile. Also, avoid applying to blind ads (those that withhold the name of the hiring organization).
If you plan to put your résumé online, know that some databases allow you to post confidentially. Otherwise, try entering your profession instead of your name and replacing your current employer’s name with a description of its product or service. For contact info, list only your city and state, personal phone number and an email address you’ve set up just for your job hunt.
Finally, whatever you do, avoid the rookie mistake of wearing your interview clothes to work. That just screams, “I’m looking for a new job.” Carry your spiffy outfit in a tote or keep it in your car, and find a place to change.