How to Stay Focused at Work When You're Looking for a New Job

John Krautzel
Posted by

According to a study from the staffing firm Accountemps, three in 10 workers actively look for work during office hours at their current jobs. While conducting a job search at work saves time, it also takes time away from your current job, which has the potential to affect your performance. Instead of job searching at work, stay focused on your current position in a way that enhances your job search.

Although the economy has begun to recover from the recession and the unemployment rate has remaining relatively steady, even falling to 6.3 percent, your job search may still take some time. A recent National Employment Law Project report indicates that employment growth has come at the cost of high-paying jobs. The numbers show there are about twice as many low-wage jobs than before the recession started. However, there are now fewer mid- and high-paying jobs than when the recession began. If you are applying for positions with competitive pay, staying focused at work while conducting your job search is essential, since it may take a good amount of time to find the right position.

One of the best ways to stay focused on your current position is expanding your workload and taking on new tasks. New tasks present new challenges to stay focused on while awaiting a new position. Learning new tasks increases your productivity, which leads to a better employer recommendation. Learning new skills benefits you in the future and gives you new skills to add to your resume, which makes your qualifications more attractive to employers.

Another way to stay focused at work during a job search is to ask your employer for feedback regarding your performance. If you end up receiving a list of things to work on, focus on improving those areas of your current position. This improves your performance – which ensures you have steady employment for the duration of your job search – and it allows you to improve the way you work before transitioning to a new position. Ultimately, correcting mistakes early leads to greater success later on in your career.

While it is more time-consuming to conduct your job search outside of work hours, this is the best way to stay focused on your current position. Return calls and emails from prospective employers during your lunch break, and conduct your job search outside of work hours. Ultimately, if you are constantly thinking about your job search during work hours, you pay less attention to the work you need to get done in your current position.

Although it is convenient, conducting a job search at work is very risky. If your employer becomes aware that you are planning to leave the company, there may be significant consequences. Instead of risking your current position, use these strategies to stay focused on your current job while improving your performance and updating your skills to be more competitive in the job market.


(Photo courtesy of phasinphoto /


Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

Jobs to Watch