Are you feeling restless in your current job? Underpaid? Or maybe just plain bored? If so, it might be time for a new job. (Check out our blog post on signs that you should look for a new job before you make any rash decisions, though).
It is wise to look for a job while you are still employed – but move forward with caution! Here are some tips on how to approach your job hunt:
Keep your search private
Your employer might not appreciate your decision to explore other opportunities, and if they find out you could face some serious backlash. This really depends on your supervisor/employer, but it doesn’t hurt to keep your job search private. No one is entitled to know what you are doing and why you are doing it. If you are pursuing a job with a competitor, the situation becomes even more precarious. You will likely be viewed as a threat to your own company if your supervisor (or anyone else) becomes privy to your job search.
Don’t let your job search affect your work
Nothing good will result from your job hunt negatively impacting your work. You are being paid by your current employer, and you should respect that fact. Additionally, if you find that the job market isn’t all that you thought it would be, you don’t want to have to embrace the reality that you will have to stay in a position that you essentially checked out of a few weeks ago. Looking for a job is certainly time-consuming, but make sure that you do all of your job hunting off the clock. You don’t want to have to explain to your supervisor why you were on Monster.com yesterday. Talk about awkward.
Use your employment as leverage
There are a couple decided advantages to looking for a job while you are employed. First, employers like to see that you have a job. You will have the leg up on someone who is unemployed, fairly or unfairly. They either lost their job or quit (unless they recently graduated from college), both of which reflect poorly on them as a candidate. Second, if you eventually get to the stage of negotiating salary, don’t be afraid to play a little hardball. After all, you have a safety net if the offer falls apart. Let them know! They will up the offer if they truly want you on board. Obviously, everything should be treated on a case-by-case basis. If someone offers you your dream job then it would be foolish to push the envelope too much. Use good judgment.
Job hunting is difficult. Ultimately, if you already have a job, you are in a better position than 7.6% of the US population. You have every right to look for a new opportunity – just don’t jeopardize your current position.