Searching for a new job is a delicate process that requires you to exercise extreme discretion. On one hand, sharing your job hunt with others helps to spread the word and generate new leads. On the other hand, looking for work publicly has a myriad of potential repercussions in your current workplace. Before you share your desire to move on, reflect on your current situation and consider the following simple keys.
Firstly, it is important to pinpoint why you are looking for work. Do you have an unpleasant relationship with your current employer? Based on your working experience, you understand the dynamic you share with your supervisor and colleagues. If you trust certain people within your inner working circle, job hunt secrecy is less important.
In some instances, job seekers are on the market simply because of market downturns. If you know your current employer is planning layoffs, hunting for a new position is proactive and responsible. In these cases, telling your supervisor that you are looking for work makes logical sense. Many supervisors even provide recommendations for employees looking for work under such situations. These recommendations are a huge advantage in the recruitment process.
While a potential recommendation is a notable benefit of sharing your job hunt with a supervisor, some employers choose to release employees looking for work. Even in a cordial working environment where you feel comfortable sharing your job hunt, the potential for being released remains high. Weigh this consideration heavily before choosing to reveal your intentions. You need to have the financial means to sustain yourself if you suddenly find yourself unemployed.
In terms of networking, try to open the door to new opportunities without explicitly revealing that you are actively looking for work. For example, when connecting with others within the industry, explain that you are happy in your current position but always open to looking for work opportunities. This allows others to understand that you are not opposed to a new transition, while simultaneously protecting you from backlash in your current workplace.
Finally, do not hesitate to ask would-be employers to keep your candidacy private. Most recruiters understand that job hunt secrecy is an essential component of the hiring process. Toward the end of your interview, simply stress that your current employer is unaware that you are looking for work and you appreciate their discretion.
Obtaining a new job while employed presents some challenges. While it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the process, try to keep perspective and take calculated risks. If your employer ultimately discovers that you are looking for work, be honest and upfront about your intentions. This strategy is not a guaranteed way to hold on to your current job, but it does preserve your integrity and limits the risks you face.
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