Looking for a new job when you already have a job, though common, is a risky proposition. It’s not a comfortable place to be in, especially if your current employer gets a whiff of your intentions. So how can you continue looking for a job without emitting any job-search scent?
1. Don’t look for external opportunities on your employer’s time.
When at work — do your job. You don’t want to be caught in an awkward position when your colleague or manager sneaks up on you, only to catch you looking for opportunities elsewhere. This sends across a clear message that you are disengaged in your current role.
2. Don’t use company equipment.
For all job search related communication, use your personal email ID and personal equipment. Granted, your IT team has far more important work to do than to track individual employee activity, but the fact is that it is possible to do so when you use the company’s email, software programs, or computers. Stick to your own laptop and handheld device.
3. Enhance privacy settings on your activities on LinkedIn profile.
Check out this tutorial on how to go about doing this. You can control who gets to see your activities, updates and connections without alerting your boss.
4. State your requirements clearly to your recruiting consultant.
If you are using a recruiting consultant, make sure you let him/her know the kind of job you are interested in and the companies you’d like to avoid, especially if the industry you are in is a small, close-knit one and your colleagues or managers have close connections in those companies.
5. Restrict the visibility of your resume on job-search portals.
If you have your resume on job-search portals or job boards, use your privacy settings in order to restrict who can see your resume and to hide it from your current employer.
6. Be careful about time away from work.
If you have received a call for interview or are awaiting a phone conversation, try and time the meetings either before or after work or during your lunch time. You cannot start taking continuous days off without arousing suspicion. So if you must take a day off, try to squeeze in as many interviews as you can and have a plausible excuse.
7. Pay attention to appearance.
If you are going to an interview from work, and are dressed for it, people will know – especially if your look is drastically different from your casual jeans or shorts. (Did you say suit?) Be prepared for questions about your handsome attire. If you can work from home or take time off (see above), do that instead so as not to arouse any suspicion.
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Padmaja Ganeshan-Singh is a freelance writer and an HR professional with extensive experience in employee relations, talent management and career development. She can also talk endlessly on the merits and demerits of forced distribution and pay for performance. In her free time, she tries to figure out the personality type of people she meets using the Myers Briggs Type Indicator. INTJ anyone?