If you were not living under a rock recently, you probably heard about the European Court’s landmark ruling on a case involving a Romanian engineer. The court said employers have the right to read any personal messages sent by their staff during work hours.
So be careful when conducting a job search while you are still employed. Never do it during work hours or using a company-owned device. Keep your job search a secret until you get the final offer. Balancing your current job and your job search may not be easy, but that is perhaps the best way to go. Experts say having a job while interviewing for a better opportunity helps to show you in a good light. Here are some useful tips on how to look for a new job while you are still working in a company.
Don’t tell your co-workers
If you want to keep your job search discreet, you should not share the news with even one person at work. You never know who would leak the news. Even if your colleagues are trustworthy, sometimes they may end up revealing the secret unintentionally. Remember, loose lips sink ships.
Request the interviewer to keep it secret
Your prospective employer may know your current employer or they may call at your office to verify your claims at any point of time during the interview process. To avoid this happen, you should tell your interviewer upfront that you want to keep your job search secret until you get the final offer. Request them to keep it confidential and not to contact your current employer for the time being.
Choose your references carefully
Do not mention your current manager or co-workers as references in your resume. Instead, provide the contact details of your previous manager or one of your trusted colleagues.
Keep your current job and job search separate
To that end, you should refrain from using company time for any job search activities. For instance, it would be a good idea to schedule any interview before or after work. If it is a long commute, consider taking a day off from work for your interview. Also, do not use office computers, phones, or company email address for your job search activities.
Carry your interview clothes
Wearing interview clothes to work will only raise suspicion. So carry them with you in your bag. If you have to attend an interview after work, consider changing clothes in your car or at the rest room.
Continue to perform well at work
Looking for a new job while you are still employed could be time consuming and mentally exhaustive. At this stage, you may check out mentally from your current job even before you get a new offer. However, you should remember that you are still earning your salary from the current employer. Deceiving your current employer is not only unethical, but it may harm your reputation at work. You never know you might later decide to continue working at your current company if your job search endeavour fails.
Be careful with your online activities
If you are using social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, be careful about what information you are sharing there. Your current employer can easily track what you are doing online. Make sure you do not mention your job search on social sites. Also, avoid discussing your job search with any of your friends or colleagues on online platforms. There is no harm in updating your LinkedIn profile, but do not mention that you are looking for a new job. One good idea would be to update your social media profiles from time to time, rather than doing that suddenly when you are planning to start your job search.
What if your employer asks you directly?
Despite your best efforts, your boss may get to know about your discreet job search. If he asks you directly, don’t lie. Tell the truth. However, if possible, give him an explanation. For instance, you can say, “While I like to work in this company, it is a long commute to work. I was just looking for an opportunity closer to my place.”