Applying for a job when you already have one can be a tricky operation and requires you to tread carefully. You want to line up as many attractive career opportunities as possible whilst, at the same time, not drawing any attention to yourself. If your boss finds out you’re looking for a new role, you could find yourself in hot water pretty quickly.
So check out our top tips for discreetly applying for a new job when you’re still employed.
Can you get fired for applying for other jobs?
The lines are a little blurred when it comes to dismissing employees for applying for other jobs. We would argue that, no, you can’t strictly get fired for applying for other jobs. However, it would be heavily frowned upon and your boss could potentially find another reason to justify your dismissal. So it’s always best to keep this information to yourself until you’re ready to resign from your position.
How to find a new job while you’re STILL employed
Don’t tell your colleagues
The last thing you want to do is share your job hunt with your colleagues. No matter how much you think you can trust them, it’s never a good idea. Office gossip tends to spread like wildfires, so your best option is to keep the information to yourself until you’ve handed in your notice.
Maintain your work ethic
If you’re looking for a new job, chances are you’re feeling pretty unmotivated in your current role. But don’t let this show. It’s important to keep up appearances even if you’re dealing with interview rejection. If you let the quality of your work or your motivation levels slip, your manager may pick up on this and start to become suspicious of your change in behaviour.
Keep communication outside of the office
Don’t use office time to communicate with prospective employers. You don’t want to run the risk of a colleague or manager hearing your conversation so make sure you keep all communication to lunch breaks (outside of the office premises) or before/after work. And the same thing goes for emails – people only need to catch a glimpse to realise you’re applying for jobs!
Attend interviews out of peak hours
Ideally, you’ll want to arrange interviews for before or after your work day to minimise suspicion. In reality, you may have to schedule some interviews during office hours. When doing this, always ensure you pick a time where you’ll be least missed to avoid raising suspicion.
Choose your references wisely
The biggest faux-pax in the job search process is using your current manager as a reference. This is the quickest way to get found out. Instead, choose managers from previous jobs to be your references. This completely eliminates the chances of your new employer busting you by calling up your current employer.
Although you want to look your best for your interview, be mindful of not looking too sharp when you return to the office. If you look exceptionally smart, your colleagues will soon put 2 and 2 together. Either carry a spare change of clothing, or don’t dress differently to your normal work attire.
Don’t overshare on social media
We get it, you’re excited about switching careers. But don’t shoot yourself in the foot by posting about it on social media. It won’t be long before a colleague picks up on your post and before you know it, you’re being called into your manager’s office. Keep it to yourself.
You don’t have to attend every interview you’re offered. In fact, try to only attend interviews where you’re genuinely interested in working for the company. If you’re constantly booking time off people will start to get suspicious, so be very selective when accepting an interview.
If you’re in the process of looking for a new role, be sure to look up common interview questions and answers to help boost your chance of success!