How To Job Hunt For A New Role While You Are Still Employed

If you’re ready to start a new role this year, you’re not alone.

There’s never been a better time to search for the next step in your career. Not only are there more job opportunities available thanks to improved flexibility from employers, hybrid and remote work opportunities, but the skills-short market means people like you are in high demand.

Now’s a great time to start looking for a position that matches your needs in regard to company culture, work schedule, and salary.

However, the time to start looking for a new job is while you’re still employed. Searching for a role when you’re currently employed elsewhere can be a tricky process, as the last thing you want to do is burn any bridges with your existing employer.

So here are several ideas on how you can get started the right way.

Step 1: Prioritize Discretion

Discretion is key when you’re searching for a new role while you’re still employed. Although it might be tempting to speak to colleagues about your plans; don’t.

Being discrete about your job search doesn’t just mean keeping quiet at work. It’s important to think about how you’re interacting online too.

Don’t mention your job search on social media or set your LinkedIn status to “seeking work”. It’s best to avoid posting your CV/Resume on job boards too.

Not only can being overly vocal about your job search cause friction with your current employer, but it might tell future employers you’re not respectful of your roles.

Take a professional and discrete approach by talking to a recruitment company to assess the market for the role you want first before you do anything else.

Step 2: Update Your CV/Resume

If you’re going to be looking for a new job this year, it’s important to ensure you have the right resources in hand. This could mean you take some extra time to update your CV/Resume and cover letter, focusing on adding your most recent achievements into the mix.

Speak to your recruitment company about the resources you should have available, to improve your chances of being considered for a new job. This might include up-to-date character references or copies of presentations you have developed that demonstrate your expertise.

Step 3: Approach Interviews Carefully

If you successfully apply for a new role and receive an offer for an interview, it’s important to be cautious about how you approach this next step. Always schedule interviews outside of office hours, so you don’t need to pretend to take time off for “appointments” at work.

Scheduling your interviews around your existing work hours will also ensure you can stay focused and productive when you’re on the job, to maintain a strong relationship with your existing employer. If you’re going to an interview after you’re finished work, don’t change your outfit too much, as this can be a dead giveaway.

When you connect with your hiring manager for the job you want to apply for, let them know you need to keep the process discrete. Ask them to only contact you on your personal phone and email (don’t use any business contact details). It might also be worth letting them know when you’re likely to be at work, so you can avoid any overlap.

Step 4: Job Hunt on Your Own Time (and Devices)

If you want to maintain a good professional reputation, it’s important to demonstrate commitment to every role you take. Searching for a job when you’re in the office, on company time, shows disrespect, and could scare off future employers.

Avoid the temptation to review new job postings when you’re in the office, or respond to messages from potential employers. If something needs to be addressed quickly, set time aside in your lunch hour, and get outside of the office so you can maintain your discretion.

Always make job-related calls away from the office, particularly if you’re scheduling an interview or need to ask questions about a new role and stay off company equipment. Remember your boss can often track which sites you’re using on computers within the office.

Step 5: Continue to Excel in Your Current Job

Even if you’re tired of your current role, or unhappy in your position, it’s important to act professionally. It’s crucial to continue performing at the same level as usual, as this will not only reduce suspicion but also leave your employer with a favourable memory of you when you leave.

Don’t allow yourself to “check out” because you’re planning on going somewhere else. Preserve your reputation and prove yourself to be a fantastic employee. This will be particularly important if your future employers decide to contact your previous manager at a later date.

Find Your New Role the Right Way

Searching for a new role while you’re still employed can be a complex process. In any situation, finding the right job can take significant time and effort. However, the process becomes a lot more challenging when you’re trying to balance your existing employment with your career plans.

If you need help discretely searching for a new position, the best thing you can do is have a conversation with a recruitment company.

They will give you an assessment of the current job market for the roles you are looking for. They will look at your future goals and give you ideas on the best next steps.

They might even have the ideal role for you; everything starts with a discrete conversation.

Neil Scarborough

Managing Director

At The Recruiting Office, we have been helping firms with their talent acquisition, and a wide range of job seekers find their ideal roles for almost a decade and have successfully placed hundreds of top tier candidates.

If you want to find out how we can help you – call us on 01603 964816 or email neil@therecruitingoffice.co.uk

Further reading:

6 Interview Mistakes You Might Be Making

5 Steps To Crafting Your Standout CV