They say looking for work is the hardest work there is. So, things tend to get a little complicated when you’re looking for a job while you’re already working full-time.
If you find yourself in this situation, you probably have a few questions. Should you tell your boss? How can you find the time to look for work, much less go on interviews? And can you update your online profiles without giving the game away?
Bottom line, it usually pays to maintain secrecy when job searching while employed. And that means that you should:
1. Maintain your current job as top priority
There’s something to be said for throwing yourself head-first into the job search process. But, this could be a little more difficult if you already have a job, because your time and energy are already so engaged.
Instead of being frustrated by this, expect it. Your current job has to be your first priority, even when you’re thinking about leaving. Keeping this in mind right from the beginning will help you keep your eye on the ball.
2. Commit to 20 minutes a day
It’s important to maintain your commitment to your current job. But, it’s also essential to carve out some time for your job search.
However, this is often a bit easier said than done. Your days are likely already pretty packed due to your responsibilities at work. Don’t become overwhelmed. Keep in mind that you don’t need hours and hours to advance your job search process. Instead, see if you can commit to investing just 20 minutes a day. It’s amazing how much you can get done in a short period of time.
3. Think Before You Share With the Boss
Balancing your schedule might be a little bit easier if you tell your boss that you’re looking for another job. But, that’s obviously pretty risky. So, do some soul searching and carefully consider whether or not it makes sense to tell your boss that you’re looking for new employment.
In most cases, you’ll find that it makes sense to keep things quiet. Unless your boss is unusually supportive and has a long track record of helping employees make a change, you’re better off keeping your plans to yourself.
4. Evaluate the pros and cons of your current job
One of the great things about looking for work when you already have a job is that you know a little bit more about where to set the bar. You want your move to be an advancement. So, be sure to carefully assess the pros and cons of your current situation.
Your new job will have to mean a step up in order for it to be worth it. But, there is more to consider than just money. Making a pros and cons list as it concerns your current job will help you to determine what works and what doesn’t. This will help you to better assess whether or not to accept offers when they come in.
5. Reserve personal time off for job searching
Keep in mind that you’re probably going to need to use your personal time off to pursue new job opportunities. This is true whether you decide to tell your boss that you’re looking for work or not. Be aware of this and save up that personal time.
This might not be the year to take an extended summer vacation, for example. You’re going to need to use a lot of your personal time off to go on interviews and move other aspects of the job search process forward. So, save up those personal days.
6. Update your online profile
You don’t need to announce online that you’re considering leaving your current job. (In fact, you shouldn’t.) However, you should be sure that all of your professional profiles are up-to-date anyway.
Prospective employers will check them. So, don’t skip this step, even if you’ve decided not to tell your boss that you’re looking. Keep in mind that it could raise eyebrows if you change too much too quickly though. A total rewrite might raise suspicions.
7. Take a break when you need it
It’s not easy looking for work when you already have a job. Some weeks and months it might feel like there simply isn’t the time. Rather than drive yourself crazy trying to do it all, give yourself a break.
Taking a few days off from your job search, or even a little more time as needed, should help you maintain your sanity with it all. Just be sure to set a date to get back to it. You don’t want to back-burner your job search goals for long.
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