So you like your job, but you don’t love your job. You’re happy, but you can’t help but wonder what else is out there. A bigger challenge? A new city? Fully remote? A better cultural fit? Read on for our tips on how to look for a job when you have a job.
The good news is, looking for a job when you have a job doesn’t have to be a full-time project. While most (or some) of us have now pivoted to remote work, it’s time to take advantage of your flexible schedule to find a new gig. Read on for our guidelines on how to look for a job while you have a job.
How transparent should you be
We get this question often - is it better to be transparent or secretive with your job search? Should you let your manager know you’re looking for something new? Is it okay to confide in a coworker you're friendly with?
The answer is, it depends. Most managers want to be kept in the loop about their team members’ job satisfaction. If your manager truly cares about your personal growth, they’ll want to help you succeed in whatever ways possible. An open conversation can lead to an enhancement in your current role or even an internal transfer to another position, meaning you wouldn't need to look for another job. However, every situation is unique, and sometimes it can be safer to keep your job search under wraps. Being too public about your dissatisfaction with your current role can be discouraging to team members, who might start questioning their own happiness at the company. You also don’t want your job search to negatively affect your current position should you end up staying.
Tips for keeping your job search confidential
1. Keep it to yourself. Avoid the temptation to tell anyone - even close friends at work. If rumors get back to your manager, it's a sure way to lose trust quickly.
2. Stay consistent. Keep doing what you’re doing. A lack of effort and participation is a red flag that you’re checking out of your current role and checking into a new one. Avoid burning bridges, especially if you want a reference letter down the road.
3. Remain positive. A shift in attitude with your manager and team members can be a giveaway that you’re distancing yourself from them (even on video calls!) Besides staying engaged in your work, stay engaged in your conversations with colleagues.
4. Be strategic. You’re going to have to block some time off to interview. To avoid drawing too much attention, schedule during off-hours or during lunchtime. It is easier to interview without drawing attention while working remotely; so if you do have a call set up, block your calendar as "busy" or have the interview during your lunch hours to avoid suspicion.
Landing the job
If you're looking for a new role while still employed, you have the luxury of being selective. Prioritization is key - determine your ideal role, industry, company size, and location, and only apply to companies that fit your preferences.
While looking for a new role while you have a job is doable, keep in mind that all good things require effort! Plan ahead and set aside time for your search each week. Perhaps Monday evenings are dedicated to researching, Wednesday evenings are for applying, and Sundays are for interview prep. If working remotely, take advantage of the extra time you would be spending if you had to go into the office. Wake up an hour earlier and set up calls or time to research and apply to new positions. The more organized you are, the more seamless the process will be. In the long run, the time you put into your job search will be worth it.
If you're looking to save time, Vettery can be a great resource. Once you create a profile, companies send interview requests based on your background and preferences. You can stay focused on your current job while companies apply to you.