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Finding A New Career Opportunity While Still Employed

Finding A New Career Opportunity While Still Employed

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When you post a resume on an international job board such as Monster every employer and employment agency representative who searches the resume catalog knows your available for a new opportunity, including your current employer. From that moment you could be fired or treated like an ousted company spy making each workday miserable. Learn how to conduct a job search under the radar so you can switch jobs seamlessly.

Risk Assessment

Switching Careers SeamlesslyIf you're working on a temporary contract that is ending it may not matter if your boss knows you're looking for a new career opportunity. But having it known that you're looking could cost you your current job. Then again, willingly and slyly letting your current employer know your looking could make your employer rethink how invaluable you are…or how replaceable you are.

Employers commonly know to be cautious when calling to check references at your current employer if they know your employer isn’t aware that you’re considering a new opportunity. Even so, it doesn't hurt to emphasize this point. While it’s rare, it has been known to happen that a potential employer you contacted regarding a career availability will contact your current employer and inform them that you have contacted them regarding a position. It’s unethical but it has happened.

Looking for a new career opportunity while still employed is a big risk and you need to consider what could happen if your employer finds out your looking at potential new opportunities. The best practice is to use discretion, anonymous features and know what to look for in job searches while still employed.

Anonymous Features

Don't jeopardize your current position while looking at new potential career opportunities. Especially if your “only looking” with no immediate plans to transfer to a new position. Use discretion and the anonymous features available at online job boards.

Some job boards cater to the job seeker by allowing them to block specific companies from viewing their resumes. Hot Jobs's has "hot block" and Monster has "privacy plus" which allows job seekers to choose up to 20 companies from viewing their resumes. However, be warned that the feature does not block recruiting agencies that the companies may work with from viewing your resume.

Keeping parts of your resume anonymous or generic may also prevent your current employer from stumbling across your resume. Stay anonymous by choosing standard career descriptions and accomplishments. If a specific company advertisement interests you, send them a detailed resume explaining in more detail about who you are, what skills you posses and what your accomplishments are.

Anonymous Companies

Don’t take a chance -- blind ads can land job seeker in hot water. If a career opportunity advertisement describes a position with responsibilities similar to yours, it's possible it could be from your current employer. Avoiding anonymous companies will not eliminate you from a majority of career opportunities. Studies say that only a small amount of companies are shielding their identity. TheLadders.com says only 11% of ads are posted anonymously while Hot Jobs estimates about 5% of their ads are anonymous.

Dressing For An Interview and The Current Job

If you suddenly change how your daily clothing attire, it could raise a few eyebrows. Attire can be a dead giveaway that an employee is looking for new career opportunities. If your company is business casual and you show up at work in a suit on the day you are interviewing, it will raise a red flag.

Instead of being a bulls eye suspicion, change into your ‘normal’ daily business casual attire before going to your current position. If you know the interview will take longer than forty-five minutes, take a vacation or personal day or simple say you have a doctor’s appointment. However, too many “doctor appointments” will also raise red flags.

Contact Me At…

Under no circumstances should you use work email or telephones to conduct your job search. Don’t use the company fax or printer to print or send resumes. Many printers are set up as a network printer. This means that anyone who is connected to that printer has the potential of viewing your resume. Fax machines often keep a history of all faxes sent. Some will print out successful transmissions. If your resume is sent four hours later and prints a copy of the successful transmission, anyone can pick it up and see what you sent and to whom.

A Proofpoint Survey found that 32% of large companies read employee email. The equipment you use at the office is owned by the company and as such any information and communication that happens on company equipment can be recorded, documented and used against you as a violation of work approved activity.

Use only a personal email account such as hotmail and always use your personal cell phone on a resume. In addition, using company equipment to conduct a job search could give potential hiring managers the wrong impression that you abuse company time and equipment.

Looking For The Opportunities

Conduct all if not most of your correspondence from home. If your caught job searching from your current job, it looks bad and provides a genuine reason to fire you. Many companies routinely monitor their employee's web surfing and computer activity. There are indisputable IT software programs that can view not only your website history but can also see whatever web page you are currently viewing as your looking at them.

Networking – People Talk

Networking is still one of the absolute best ways to advertise your availability. But, choose your confidants carefully. Make sure the person you're networking with can be discreet and ask them not to tell others that may be associated with your current employer without your permission. If you tell co-workers, you can be sure that it will get back to your boss, one way or the other – sooner or later.

All of us should have a network of colleagues and contacts to use for building our career. Staying in touch with those contacts, as well as what's happening in your career industry, can help your employer, which in turn helps your career. Making connections that furthers the success of your company is a career accomplishment.

Don’t rule out vendors as a valuable network contact. Vendors not only sell products and services to their clients but also network information from one client to anther. This makes them invaluable in a networking web. When talking to a network contact use neutral conversational choice of words that doesn't stress that you're looking for a job right now: Example: "I'm always open to listening about new career opportunities."

Positive Good-Byes

Don’t deliver shoddy work while still employed and looking for a new opportunity. It’s easy to slip into the ‘ I don't care I'm leaving anyway’ attitude. Do the same quality work you always have. This will help you cross the bridge to new opportunities more smoothly. Once you accept an offer of employment at a new company give plenty of time for your soon to be former employer to replace you.

The co workers, managers and the company you leave may be interested in hiring you again in the future. If you leave in high-quality standing than being re-hired in the future will give you more leverage in the interviewing process and salary negations. Fail to delivery quality work could result in a bad reference and burns bridges.

Making It Happen

Finding a new job isn't the easiest task. It requires the right job skills, the right search tools, the right timing and the right attitude. Finding a job while you are still employed may seem like a Mission Impossible assignment but it can be done and done tactfully.

The bottom line is that no matter how dissatisfied you are in your current position, it has provided you with valuable experience while financially supporting your personal life. While you shouldn’t feel guilty for advancing your career or seeking a work environment that more closely matches your work personality, showing respect for your current employer is a must.

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