How to Gracefully Job Hunt While Still Employed

August 25, 2016
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Hunting for a job is not fun under the best of circumstances. And we don’t know which version of events is more tedious. Not having a job and the panic that grows every day while you remain unemployed OR having a job and sneaking out of work early for interviews.

While both scenarios make your yearly well-woman checkup seem like a party in comparison, being able to look for a job while still being employed is a blessing. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t an extremely awkward and difficult situation to manage. Even if you already have one foot out the door, you have to remain the polished, professional employee that you’ve always been. We know that’s easier said than done when you are ready to make a career move, but when you do land that new job you will be happy you handled your job hunt as gracefully as possible.

BE ON TOP OF YOUR GAME

At some point in their career every employee hits a breaking point that there is no bouncing back from. A day will come when you realize there is nowhere for you to progress within your current company, you are tired of the office politics, or it is simply time for a change of pace. When you realize you are ready to make your next career move, it is going to be difficult to remain invested in your work.

Mentally checking out from your current job is one of the biggest mistakes you can make while job hunting. It can alert to your manager that you are unhappy and looking for a new job, which you may not want.

You also run the risk of the quality of your work decreasing and harming your reputation. Even if you are ready to walk out and never look back, you never know which connections you may need down the line.

DISCRETION IS KEY 

You may be ready to yell from the rooftop of your office high rise that you want to quit, but try to refrain until you give your notice. Be careful about dropping hints to coworkers and your network about quitting, because once you do that news will spread like wildfire. If your boss is reasonable they won’t be offended that you are looking for a new job, but they might be if they find out everyone knew about your plans but them.

BONUS POINTS FOR POSITIVITY

When it comes time to interview, you will inevitably be asked why you are leaving your current company. You might have dozens of blood boiling reasons to share, but that doesn’t mean you should start complaining about your current employer. Or any past employers for that matter. Try to find a diplomatic way of explaining why you are looking for a new opportunity. Your prospective employer will trust you more if they know that you can be discreet. Positivity goes a long way, it is best to focus on the positive aspects of the role you are interviewing for instead of all the reasons you hate the job you are planning on leaving.

A recent graduate of the University of California Irvine’s Literary Journalism program, Jacqueline is passionate about writing, design and visiting as many zoos as possible.

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