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? A better culture fit?

The good news is, looking for a job when you have a job doesn’t have to be a full time project. Even better, employed job seekers get offers worth 23% more than those without jobs — and who doesn’t want to be paid more? Before you start researching new opportunities at your desk, follow these guidelines to ensure your job search doesn’t jeopardize your current position.

You're thinking about it

The big question is: is it better to be transparent or private in your job search? Should you let your manager know you’re looking for something new? Should you confide in your work best friend? Or should you keep the whole thing a big secret?

The honest answer is, it depends. At Vettery, every manager says they want to be kept in the loop about their team members’ job satisfaction. If your manager cares about your personal growth, they’ll want to help you succeed in whatever way possible. An open conversation can lead to an enhancement in your current role or an internal transfer. Who knows, maybe you won’t have to start over at a new company.

While every situation is unique, often times, it’s safer to keep your search under wraps until you have that offer letter in your hand. It can be discouraging to your 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 role should you end up staying.

A few tips for searching on the sly:

1. Keep it confidential. Avoid the temptation to tell anyone - even your work best friend (save this secret for your mom instead!). If rumors  get back to your team, 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 huge 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. Besides staying engaged in your work, stay engaged in your conversations with colleagues.

4. Be strategic. You’re going to have to take some time off to interview. To avoid drawing too much attention, schedule during off hours. We recommend early mornings, lunches, and late afternoons for squeezing in an interview.

You're in it

It’s time to get down to business. Since you are 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 mold. For example, say you’re a Software Engineer at a Fortune 500 bank but you know your ideal next move is to help grow an early stage fintech startup. Only apply to engineering roles at Series A’s and nail down your elevator pitch. Be sure to come to each and every interview having researched the company.

Vettery is a great resource for passive job seekers; companies only send interview requests when your background and preferences match what they’re looking for, allowing you to focus on your current job while companies apply to you.

While looking for a new role when you have a job is totally doable - keep in mind that all good things require effort! It might cut into your social and personal life, so plan ahead and set aside time for your search. Maybe Monday evenings are dedicated to researching, Wednesday evenings are for applying to jobs, and Sundays are for interview prep. The more organized you are, the more seamless the process. In the long run, the time you put into your job search will be worth it – that pay raise, better work culture, amazing new boss, you get the point.

You got it!

In today’s market, it never hurts to stay open to an amazing opportunity that might come your way. Looking for a job while you have a job takes a bit of time and effort, but if it means landing your dream position, why not? Life is too short to not do what you love.