The thought of changing jobs is daunting in itself, but the fear of being discovered while searching scares many away from ever seeking a better opportunity. Here are a few tips on how to effectively look for a job, without making your co-workers and supervisors suspicious.
1- Understand Your Situation
Before you delve into your search, first ask yourself if you really need to be discreet. Have you had a discussion with your supervisor about changes in responsibility, promotion or pay? Picturing yourself at your current organization, five years from now, do you see yourself achieving the growth and accomplishments you have aimed for?
You may have heard rumblings in the organization that all is not well, that there could be a merger and/or lay-offs, or that your group’s function may be outsourced. Until you have received official word from HR that you may need to look for a new job, it would be wise to keep your search to yourself. This way, you won’t give the impression that you have little faith in the organization.
Finally, you may be a contractor waiting to hear about your assignment being extended. In this situation, it would be foolish not to at least search for something as a backup. However, be honest with your Recruiter about the status of your employment, and the possibility that it will be extended.
2- Make a Plan
Understand your schedule for the next month or so, and commit to carving out time for interviews and meetings. Be proactive in taking days off so that you don’t raise suspicion, and make sure that you maintain your performance at your current position throughout this process.
There are a number of reasons why you may need to be discreet in your search. However, one should never be that you are afraid of losing your job. You can’t be fired for looking for a job, but you can be fired for under-performance and tardiness. If you plan to put in overtime to maintain the quality of your work, you should be fine.
3- Find a Recruiter
Working with a Recruiter is like working with a lawyer. Hopefully you had found one before there was an urgent need for a new job, and have already established a relationship. Work with someone with whom you feel comfortable. When working with a Recruiter it is necessary to be open and honest about your interests, your reasons for looking, and your activity with regards to other offers and interviews.
A Recruiter will only work faster and smarter to secure your ideal position when he or she has the right information. It helps to expedite the process when you provide your Recruiter with the most suitable days and times for you to interview. If you have travel plans or another offer on the table, make sure that your Recruiter is aware.
4- Network, Network and Network
This is the best way to market your career without overexposing or over-selling yourself. Let people get to know you; a good impression with the right person could lead to your dream job. At certain levels, it is even more important to participate in round tables or be a highlighted guest speaker at events.
The internet is a great way to get yourself out there and also been seen as an innovator or contributor. Having a profile on LinkedIn is so common now that you’re almost expected to have one. Setting up a profile will not raise alarms in your current establishment. Be active in discussion groups and social media sites such as Quora, Twitter and on LinkedIn Groups. Remember that to be found in cyberspace you need to properly identify yourself and at least include some SEO key words within your online bio that relate to your profession. For more LinkedIn profile suggestions, read this advice from my co-worker.
5- Schedule Time Off
When do you have an interview, don’t panic. Give yourself ample time to schedule time off. If you have to take a sick or personal day, don’t hesitate. Follow procedure and behave like it’s like any other day. When scheduling phone interviews, make sure that you are not sitting at your desk and that you also have cleared your work calendar so that you are not interrupted. Better still, schedule the phone interview during your lunch hour when you can go to a quiet place and not let it affect your day-to-day work activities.
The job search process should not be a harrowing experience but, rather, strategic and controlled. When you follow the steps described, no one is going to be aware that you are on the hunt.
Well, at least not until the day you resign.
Author Name – Henry Addo
Title – Resource Manager
Location – Washington, DC
Twitter – @Henry_Addo
Byline – Henry Addo is a career consultant and account manager presently with Profiles in Washington, DC. With over fifteen years experience in the Technology, Creative, Marketing, Communications and Entertainment industries, he has proven success in matching talent with opportunities that align with their interests, skills and long term career objectives. As a Resource Manager, he is always looking for innovative ways to improve the communication and process of matching the best talent with top organizations.
Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos