Finding a new job while you’re still employed is a tricky prospect. On one hand, you’re more attractive to potential employers if you already have a job. On the other, one false move and you could end up being fired or, at the very least, sully your reputation in the marketplace. Here’s how to best conduct a job search while you’re still employed.
1. Explore options where you are
First, consider why you’re thinking of leaving, and explore options for improving your situation where you are, says Jayne Mattson, senior vice president of Keystone Associates.
Doing so will depend on the level of trust that exists between you and your manager; don’t go overboard and start telling everyone at the office, she adds.
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“You can initiate these conversations with people inside your company, but it has to be people you really, truly trust. It has to be someone whose integrity you’re sure of, who can help you navigate a lateral or an upward move while keeping it close to the vest,” Mattson says.
"Talk about what may be frustrating you at work, and determine if there are things that can be changed to make your issues better,” says Chad Lilly, director of recruiting at Maestro Health.
“If you want to move locations, it may be better to talk about that with your boss, as the company may want to discuss remote working options,” he says. The bottom line is: Make sure your current role can't be salvaged before you jump ship entirely. Could you transfer? Change departments or work remotely? Is there something you can do to make your current work situation more enjoyable and rewarding?
If the answer is no, then by all means go, says Roy West, CEO of The Roy West Companies and senior scientist at Gallup. “You should go quietly, gracefully, swiftly and never look back,” West says. “If you are not currently working for someone who clearly understands that your growth and their growth [boss/organization] is an implied contract and common goal, then you are compelled to find one that does and will," says West.
2. Consider being a boomerang
If you left a previous job on good terms, it’s definitely worth getting in touch with former coworkers to see whether there are new opportunities available. You won't need as much time for onboarding, are already familiar with the company's technology and culture and can often contribute much more quickly, says Vicki Salemi, author, consultant and careers expert for Monster.com.
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