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The Do’s & Don’ts of Job Searching while still Employed

The Do’s & Don’ts of Job Searching while still Employed

“Don’t quit your job until you find another one.” How many times have we all heard this saying? Is this truly the best thing to do for a C-Level executive job seeker? And what happens when you have become so unhappy with your current job that you can’t see yourself staying on for even another week? Based on the advice of several career experts, you might just want to hang in there a bit longer. Here is why: It is much easier to get a job while still employed. One of the most challenging pursuits of a senior executive’s career is searching for a new job when you realize you have had enough of your current one.

Updating your CV/resume and searching for a job typically strikes fear in the heart of those who have existing employment. But doing this, rather than quitting your job is the best decision for several reasons:

  • Recruiters prefer to hire persons who are already working. It gives them more confidence that you will be a good hire. Unfair but on the whole, true.
  • Leaving a job without finding a new one may lead recruiters to assume that you either quit when things got tough or got fired. Both of which are red flags.
  • While employed you are still able to network with industry people who have first-hand knowledge about job openings. If you quit your job and decide to search from home, you could potentially miss out on opportunities.
  • Finding a new job can be a lengthy process. It usually takes longer than people expect; and unless you have money saved, you will start to feel the financial burdens of not having a steady income.

Senior executives need to take extra precautions when they decide to hunt for a new job while still employed. You run the risk of your employer thinking you are dissatisfied or disloyal. This can make things very uncomfortable for both parties and could result in your employer wanting to fire you.  As such, here are a few tips to help you navigate this tricky process:


Be LinkedIn Ready – One of the first places a recruiting manager will look for a senior executive job candidate is LinkedIn. So it is a smart to have your profile up to date and complete. Social media, if used properly can be very helpful in your job search. Just be sure that all your bios reflect positively on your character.

Choose a good time to job hunt – Lots of opinions are offered about when is actually the best time to search for a job. However, in the UK, data shows that the months of November, February, March, May, June, and October are the best. August was recorded as one of the worst months. You may want to consider this when starting your job search.

Schedule interviews during non work hours – It can be difficult to schedule in-person interviews when you already have a job. Take a personal day or half-day to get it done. If it’s a phone interview that cannot be avoided during work hours, take the call in your parked car rather than in the office.


Check out mentally – Even though you have decided to move on, continue to give your current position the attention and respect required. Your work ethic should remain the same as long as you are still employed.

Use your current employer’s resources to job search – This includes their time, computer and/or phone. You may think no one will find out, but some companies look at employees’ web histories. Having a browser history full of job listings on job boards isn’t a good idea.

Use your current manager or team leader as a reference – Be sure to tell prospective employers that you do not want your current employer contacted as a reference. Be honest and let them know your boss is unaware that you are seeking a new job. This is more common than you think and most potential employers will understand. On the other hand if you have a good working relationship with your boss, and your job search is not ‘below the radar’, then of course this is fine.

Discuss your unhappiness with your current job on social media – (I mean even on Facebook) It may get back to your current employer or a recruiting / hiring manager may see it and consider your lack of discretion very unfavourable. It is best to always exercise decorum and etiquette toward your current employer when searching for a new job, and while I know that will seem obvious, you’d be surprised how people can let things slip.

If you’d like to talk tactics regarding your next career move, contact us to arrange a no obligation discussion.

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