If you've recently decided to start to look for a new role because perhaps you don’t feel you’re getting enough recognition, the workload is too much or the culture has become toxic, you'll need to start job hunting while still employed. This makes sense financially to ensure you won’t be without work, and also an income, during the time of searching.
1. Explore your option in your current company
The first step is to consider why you are leaving your current role; this will help you in more ways than one. If it’s something that can be salvaged by a change in job role or an issue with colleagues, not the company, you may be able to find a way to stay at your current job. Depending on your trustworthiness and relationship with your employer or manager, you could discuss this in a one-on-one meeting with them to see how they would suggest finding a solution.
If the aspects of your job that you dislike are less about the role and the company, but about your work-life balance and mental wellbeing, consider what exactly could be changed. Could you ask for some remote work as part of your role, or ask for more flexibility with work times?
Ask yourself - Could the issues I'm experiencing be fixed or are the reasons beyond this and it's time to look for a new role.
2. Keep it under your hat
It’s never a good idea to lie to your boss, and searching for a new job does fall into this category too. If you are close with your boss, you could make them aware that you are actively looking for a new role to give them time to plan to fill your position. By doing this, you could also prompt them to give you incentives to stay too, but this is not guaranteed.
If you plan to keep your current position as ‘Plan B’, then it may be best to keep it a secret until it appears the change may be more probable as you don’t want to appear disloyal. However, if your manager asks if you’re looking for a different job, it’s best not to lie, as they will appreciate the honesty.
Tip: Be careful who you confide in because if you aren't successful in finding a new role and decide to stay and this is fed back to you Manager, you may look disloyal
3. Don’t use company resources in your search
Following on from ‘keeping it a secret’, an obvious one is you don’t use your company’s time or money to conduct your job search. If your manager recognises you’re distracted and occupied at work with something other than your current tasks, it will give them a bad impression of you, and is not likely to result in a positive recommendation from them.
If you have contacted a specialist recruiter and are working with them to find a new role, they will understand discretion is part of the job-hunting process, and will be willing to oblige with this to keep things discreet, so be honest with them and the more you share about your personal circumstances, the more your recruiter will help.
Our top tip is to set up meetings and calls during off-hours or even lunch hours if you’re tight for time, and make sure your CV makes notes of specific times when you’re available to be contacted, but avoid using company email addresses or your current work phone number.
4. Leverage social media
Social media can massively help in your job search if you know how to use it. LinkedIn should be your first point of call as it is the largest professional social networking site. Don’t make the mistake of updating your LinkedIn profile displaying that you’re ‘seeking employment’ in case colleagues in your company have you as a connection.
Avoid making public comments about the fact you’re job hunting on other social platforms, as many businesses monitor those sites for employee activity. If you feel you need to use other platforms in your search, make sure your profiles are private.
5. Don’t bad mouth your current employer
Regardless of your reasons for leaving, you shouldn’t speak negatively about your current employer. It will be a red flag to potential employers, and if your existing manager finds out, it won’t bode well there either. Remaining positive is really important, as it makes you look better to prospective employers, and if you do need to explain the negative reasons why you’re wanting to leave, stay neutral and explain it factually.