Ethical Ways of Job Searching While Still Employed

4 min read
A monochrome photo of a girl with hand holding her head to signify work search while employed

Admit it or not, there are instances wherein we feel discontented with what we are doing that eventually, we seek new and more challenging careers where we think we can develop ourselves more. But this job-search craze is usually kept at mum to avoid jeopardizing one’s job and career. Usually, we are worried that when discovered, it can immediately lead us out of the door. But is work search reserved only for the unemployed?

Typically, work search is done by two types of individuals: those who got laid-off and those who are still working in the field. Unemployed individuals have all the time that they can get, making it easier for them to go on a work searching spree. Nonetheless, employed individuals have higher tendencies to get employed. Why? Since they are currently holding jobs, hiring managers think that they are more employable than their unemployed counterparts. But the employed job seekers need not rejoice for their job-hunting schemes pose hazards, especially to their current employment.

While most employees are indeed job hunting while they are still employed, problems may occur especially if their bosses stumble on their resume on job boards. Obvious results when someone from the higher ranks discovers your job hunting stints is to kick your butt out of the company. Therefore, you really need to anticipate such instances in your work search.

Work Search While Employed: the Challenge

Nothing can be kept confidential, that’s for a fact. Both men and women gossip. As soon as you stepped in the office of your prospective employer, miles away from your workplace, you still run the risk of being recognized. Colleagues may spot you entering the building. If not colleagues, there are others who can place you at a disadvantage, like the spouses of your co-workers, clients, enemies who would try to ruin your career, and in the worst case, your boss.

If none of them saw you, then good for you. However, you still need to keep your guards on. The people whom you have interacted during the interview might know somebody from the company where you are working. Most likely, they will ask these contacts about you; thus, uncovering your “secret” work search.

3 C’s to Consider on Work Search while Employed

Ask any job seeker, you need to understand that nobody will keep your secret (unless they will benefit from it). Therefore, all you need to do is prepare for the moment when your job hunting will be exposed. Consider the three (3) Cs when exploring new job opportunities while still employed:

Be Cautious

  • Don’t use the company’s phone and e-mail

You might not be aware but companies have these tracking devices that monitor the sites that you visit as well as the e-mail messages that you send. Even unsuspected phone calls are also monitored randomly by hiring managers.

With that, it is much safer to have your prospective employers to contact you at home or on your personal cell phone. Make them send their replies to your personal inquiries to your home e-mail address.

  • Take your hands off your company’s things

Yes, you work there, and definitely consume some of the office’s trivial necessities and resources such as paper, pens, staples, and utilities. Though you may be entitled to use those stuff, you should not be using these things in your work search.

The company, particularly your boss, paid you to get things done and not to search for a new job in the office. Remember, that once discovered, this can create negative impressions about you and will eventually be reflected in your future references.

Be Confidential

  • Don’t tell everybody about your personal business

Like what I mentioned earlier, people like to gossip. That said, it is important that you consider who you’re going to tell your secrets and plans. Remember that even your best friend cannot guarantee to keep things in secret about your work search. You’ll never know when he or she will unintentionally let your secret search slip off. Though you may think this little slip-offs are harmless, you’ll never know when it will reach your workplace or even your boss.

  • Suggest phone interviews when possible

Interviews done on phone are beneficial for both you and your prospective employer. For one, your prospective employer can immediately determine your suitability for the position. Moreover, since the initial job interview is done through the phone, you are spared from the burden of having to consume time going to and fro the interview site. It is also convenient on your part as cell phones are allowed to be used during lunch breaks giving you the opportunity to take the interview at your convenience.

Be Considerate

  • Maintain a good relationship

Not because you’re leaving the office, you can already mess up with your boss. Remember, you will still need them as a future reference. With that, you must not burn any bridges between you and your boss. And when you finally accept a job offer, it is but ethical to let your employer be the first to know and not the last.

These tips can certainly help you to know the right ways of conducting your work search. So, is it limited to the unemployed? No, it’s not. You can definitely look for a greener pasture even if you’re employed. Just stay professional and do the right things. Eventually, your dream job will eventually reveal itself to you.

Diane Williams has 15 years of experience mentoring human resource professionals and recruitment agency personnel.

Image Source: Ari Erma on Unsplash

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