13 Tips for Finding a New Job While Still Employed

Updated June 30, 2023

As a job candidate, you might be looking for a new role while still fulfilling your current role. It can be beneficial to undergo your job search when being employed so you can make the transition when you're ready. Learning how to pursue other positions with discretion can help you maintain the relationships you've formed.

In this article, we offer 13 tips for finding a job while being employed. 

13 tips for finding a job while still employed

Here are some basic tips you can use to find a new job while you're still working:

1. Use discretion

It's best to use discretion and tell no one at work that you're looking for other employment opportunities. Your intent to find employment elsewhere could easily get back to your supervisor, which can question your commitment to your current role. Avoid talking to your colleague about your job search and career opportunities or asking them for a reference letter. Leverage your personal network, which can include former colleagues, classmates and instructors, and ask that they be discrete when helping you.

2. Search on personal devices

Only use your personal phone, computer or email for conducting job searches. If it's necessary to conduct any job search-related business while you're at work, use your cell phone and your own data plan rather than the company WiFi. Use only your personal email account for searching as well. You may want to consider setting up a business email address to appear more professional to hiring managers.

3. Schedule smartly

Let the prospective employer know that you're trying to be discreet with your job search and ask if you can interview before or after work or over lunch. If that's not possible, consider taking a personal day or, if you can schedule the interview far enough in advance, use a vacation day. You can also request a virtual interview to give you more flexibility around your current work schedule.

4. Ask former employers for references

Hiring managers may be comfortable with being given references from a previous employer. Compile a list of previous employers and supervisors and let them know in advance that they may be hearing from potential new employers.

5. Be cognizant of your attire

If your interview is after work or during lunch hour, be careful about what you wear to the office. Wearing a suit in a casual work environment, for example, may likely alert your employer that you're interviewing elsewhere. That said, depending on the culture of the company with which you're interviewing, smart casual may be more appropriate. Have a plan in place for where you can change on the way to the interview and allow time to make the transition.

Related: Smart Casual Attire: A Guide to the Dress Code With Examples

6. Update your online work profile

Before you begin editing, turn off notifications so that your network on online job platforms can't see changes you make to your profile. Keep your listed skills updated and consistent with what you're doing at your current job. Make sure that your photo is current and professional but avoid any drastic changes in your profile. It's best to keep your profile updated at all times so it's 100% complete and current when you're ready to make a career move. You can also make consistent changes to your resume that match the job descriptions for your desired roles.

7. Make job-related calls away from the office

Employers often want to conduct screening calls before scheduling a formal interview. Make sure you schedule these when you're going to be away from the office. Go to a nearby coffee shop or your car where you can focus and have complete privacy.

8. Job search on your own time

Make sure you're doing all job search activities when you're at home, on your own time. Avoid the temptation to review new job postings from your mobile device or respond to emails from potential employers. If emails require a swift response, set aside time over your lunch hour to take care of these. To put yourself in the right frame of mind for job hunting, block out one or two hours each day that you can use to peruse job postings, search companies, write cover letters and submit resumes.

Related: Job Search: 6 Ways To Find Your Next Job

9. Ask potential employers to be discreet

Hiring managers and recruiters may understand that you don't want your employer to know you're looking for a new position. Be clear and direct about your need for discretion to avoid any ambiguity. If you have any concerns that the recruiter may not be discreet, consider looking for someone new to aid you in your search.

Related: Tips for Making a Hard Decision at Work

10. Be careful online

Be careful when you're using social media or visiting a job board. A single status update could alert your employer that you're looking for open positions elsewhere. Minimize the risk by checking your privacy settings and using services that mask your identity when you post your resume online.

11. Continue to work hard

Continue to put forth your best effort at work and maintain a strong relationship with your supervisor and colleagues. While you do have a personal obligation to yourself to find opportunities that are emotionally, intellectually and personally fulfilling, you may still want to maintain positive working relationships with those around you so that when you do eventually secure a new position elsewhere, they can be viable options for future references for you.

Related: 8 Tips for How To Work Hard

12. Maintain a positive attitude

Even though you've decided that you're ready to seek opportunities elsewhere, keep a positive attitude. Accept additional assignments, such as mentoring a new colleague. Be a team player and maintain your enthusiasm.

Related: 15 Ways To Develop and Maintain a Positive Attitude at Work

13. Emphasize your job commitment

If your supervisor discovers that you're searching for a new role, assure them that you're still committed to your current job. Emphasize your gratefulness for the opportunity to learn and grow professionally and explain that you still aim to deliver high-quality work for as long as you work at the organization.

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