How to Manage a Discrete Job Search While You’re Employed
Job hunting while you’re currently employed can be a little tricky, especially if you don’t want your employer to know your intentions. Here are a few basic tips to help you look for a new position without jeopardizing the one you already have.
- Don’t Use Work Resources for Your Job Search
Avoid using work email addresses, phone numbers, computers, and time when conducting a job search. This seems obvious, but it’s a big mistake that many jobseekers make. You can potentially be fired or have your reputation tarnished if you’re caught using your company’s resources for a personal job search.
Instead, create a dedicated personal email address for your search and carve out a consistent block of time each week for job search-related activities. Perhaps on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays you might spend 30 minutes after work on your job search, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays you might spend 30 minutes before work on your search.
- Use LinkedIn’s New Discrete Job Search Feature
LinkedIn recently rolled out a new feature called “Open Candidates,” which lets users privately signal to recruiters that they’re seeking a new job. When you turn the signal on, Open Candidates even filters your current employer and affiliate companies from contention to help keep your job search confidential.
- Turn off the “Activity Broadcast” Function on LinkedIn
Updating your LinkedIn profile can be a major part of your job search, but if you’re trying to be discrete about your search, it’s important to not openly broadcast your intentions on social media platforms like LinkedIn. Check and adjust your privacy settings when updating content.
- Give Your Recruiter a List of Employers to Avoid
If you’re dealing with a small industry where virtually everyone knows everyone else, it’s helpful to give your recruiter a list of employers NOT to contact to maintain confidentiality. You don’t want word getting around to your current employer that you’re applying to new jobs.
- Determine Who You Can Trust
If you’re job searching while currently employed, it’s important to determine who you can trust to support the confidentiality of your search. You don’t want to confide in a colleague, only to have him accidentally blab your intentions to your boss or another co-worker. It’s equally important to select references you can trust to provide a positive recommendation on your behalf while keeping your job search confidential.
- Watch Your Appearance
If you generally wear business casual clothing but suddenly show up to work in a suit, you might raise red flags. Your colleagues and bosses will most likely notice the unexpected change in appearance and will probably figure out that you’ve got an interview on your lunch break or right after work. If you’re unable to dress for an interview at home, keep your clothes in your car and consider changing somewhere other than your place of employment to avoid tip-offs to your employer.
Happy (confidential) job hunting!