How to Find a Job When You are still Employed

February 4, 2013 in

Seeking out a recruiter in your industry is a good way to start – we know the market and can match your experience/talent to the right opportunity. Be sure to let the recruiter know that you do not want your resume sent out to a prospective employer without your consent. Kathy Taylor – On the Mark Recruiting Specialists, Inc.

by Ron Visconti

Many job seekers think they have to quit their current job to do a job search well. Not necessarily. Consider the old adage, “It is easier to get a job while employed.” What is this really saying? That candidates are more attractive to employers when they are still employed elsewhere. Of course with layoffs and mergers becoming more commonplace, employers recognize that not all unemployed candidates are less than desirable.

The challenge to the applicant is this: how to find another job while not jeopardizing the one you have! Many applicants wait until they have a blow-up with their boss or co-workers before they start looking. This may be too late.

A better time to start looking is when you start getting a knot in your stomach when you think about work. Ask yourself the following:

• Why should I be looking for work?
• Am I happy doing what I am doing?
• Do I feel challenged by my job? (Some people don’t want challenge!)
• Am I recognized for my work?
• Am I adequately compensated for what I do?
• Do I enjoy the people and the surroundings of the company?
• Am I treated fairly?
• Does the company have fair and equal policies?
• Am I bored with my job?
• Is there too much office politics?
• Am I on automatic?

The answers to these questions might provide clues as to why you may want to look for work. Sometime negative motivators push us into looking for a new job. Wanting greater challenge and/or a need for a career change are more compelling, positive reasons to look to move on.

Sometimes, the pure process of looking for a new job while you currently have one is tough. It takes a lot of planning and effort to look for a job after working all day. And it takes extra logistics to do it “on the sly.” When will I be able to interview? How can I do the necessary networking/research, make phone calls, etc.? How can I do all this without getting caught on the job?

If you think outside the “box” of your 9–5 work hours, your possibilities become greater. For one your planning can take place in the evenings and weekends. You can reconstruct your resume, Ask yourself:

• What new skills or projects did you acquire during your last job?
• What did you like about your last job?
• What would you like to be different on a new job?

After doing some of this mental mapping of what you have done, you can plan where you would like to go.

Some low key ways to get the word out include discreetly telling friends and your network that you are starting to look for work. Associations, employment agencies and even head hunters or executive search firms can get you started. Also, you should consider attending job fairs, searching the internet and reading the want ads in the newspaper and in the publication of professional associations.

Goal setting is important. For example, write down what you plan to accomplish during the week, in a month, six months, etc. Studies have shown that people with clear-cut goals and those that write them down are, by far, more likely to accomplish those goals and ultimately to achieve satisfaction in their careers/lives, than those with no goals and/or goals that are not written down.

In short, do your planning, networking, and as much as you can “off” hours. Get the word out discreetly to everyone possible. Set goals, write them down and finally, stick to them! It may take extra planning, maneuvering and discretion to look for work while still employed, but you may see results sooner than you think, due to the fact that an employed person still seems more appealing to an employer than one who is unemployed.


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