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Job Applications: How To Ethically Job-Hunt While Still Employed

Does your current employment bog you down? Do you feel uninspired and your energy ooze out each time you report to work? It makes sense to look for better alternatives, seeing that the biggest chunk of your life is spent at work. You can still send job applications in search of your desired career path. You, however, need to be careful when looking elsewhere, because in as much as you hate your current engagement, it pays your bills and keeps you relevant in the market. Your chances of getting a job are usually higher when you are employed, because you are in constant contact with the industry. You are also more attractive to another employer when you are already employed. Most companies look for the best talent in the market and such talent is usually engaged elsewhere.

Below are factors you should consider when you consider job hunting while still employed;

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  1. Keep it on the down low

You have to keep your job search to yourself. Your colleagues shouldn’t know, and most certainly not your boss. The danger of letting people in on your job-search efforts is that it creates anticipation for you to leave. Your boss may also interpret it as betrayal and disloyalty. Such a situation may backfire in your face when your search efforts don’t bring forth your desired results, and worse still your boss decides to relieve you of your duties. Also, don’t go posting your CV in public job boards. Your supervisor is likely to stumble upon it and begin scrutinizing your activities and demeanor at work.

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  1. Update your LinkedIn and Jobsite profiles to 100%

Technology trends have made giant leaps in the recent past and these days employers rely greatly on social platforms to get a feel of potential candidates. An active LinkedIn profile shows qualities in a candidate like seriousness, resilience and flexibility. This said, your other social media profiles should be clear of grime and muck. A compromising photo of you on social media may make a potential employer wonder whether your CV is a complete representation of you. What you post as updates also tells a lot about your character and maturity. Therefore, you need to practice restraint in your interactions.

  1. Keep off your current employer’s equipment

Resist the temptation to update your CV on your office computer. Most companies have a way of tracking your internet usage and sometimes back up all work in temporary servers. You do not want a printed exhibit of your sneaky ways to accompany your dismissal letter when you least expect it. Other than being caught, it is also a sign of disrespect to your current employer. After all, you are still receiving your pay slip promptly at the end of every month. Schedule your job search activities for non-office hours. You sneaking around may also result in you making mistakes in your applications like sending incomplete details, sending to wrong recipients or sending documents riddled with typos.

  1. Maintain status quo

This applies to your work productivity, your dealings with colleagues and your boss, down to even how you dress. Do not think for a moment that people in the office will not notice. If you spend all your energies job hunting, chances are that your current duties will suffer and your boss will definitely be concerned. If you have never won a suit and suddenly you’re waltzing in in stripped suits complete with a tie, eye brows will go to the hairlines, jaws will drop and tongues will wag. These actions will raise suspicions that might not work well in our favor.

  1. Be honest and reasonable with your potential employer

Do not leave projects catching fire because you run off to take interviews. Your potential employer will respect you more when you schedule interviews during non-working hours or during your off days. They know your value, especially if they are ‘poaching’ you, hence they understand that you still have responsibilities you cannot abandon. If they ask whether your current employer is aware of your job search, be honest and respond in the negative, then inform them that you are keeping your job search confidential.

  1. When you get caught?

Do not try to lie or become defensive, especially where there’s evidence. Just let your current employer know that from time to time you like to test the job market, and yet you manage to stay put. You will then hope that they don’t immediately type your dismissal letter.

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  1. Maintain professionalism

Even after completing your interviews and signing a contract with the new employer, remember that you had previously signed another contract with your current employer. Give your current employer enough time, as stipulated in your contract and conduct an acceptably complete hand over. Do not leave your colleagues picking broken pieces of your work after you leave. This hurts all chances of relationships with not only your employer, but your former colleagues as well. As much as possible, seek to leave bridges intact.

Pritam Nagrale
Pritam Nagrale is a recruitment blogger from India. His blog SureJob.in provides daily job alerts for government jobs & useful career tips.”
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