There are plenty of reasons why you might choose to look for a new job while you’re still employed. You might need more money, feel that you’re overworked in your current location, have personality conflicts with some of the other employees, or simply be ready to move on to new things. Job searching while you’re still employed, however, takes a more delicate touch than job searching when you aren’t currently working. These do’s and don’t’s will help make the process simpler. 

1. Don’t share with your friends. No matter how tempted you are to share your latest career aspirations with the friends you’ve made at work, the workplace isn’t the right location for that kind of gossip. If you don’t word to get to your managers that you’re looking for a new job, it’s best to keep it quiet until you’ve secured a new position. 

2. Don’t use resources from your current company to search for your new position. This includes using company time to search through job listings or update your resume. Contacting a prospective new employer on your lunch break is one thing; printing out your resume on the company printer because you forgot to do it at home before leaving for work is something else entirely. Continue to give your company your best for as long as you’re there, including keeping your future career aspirations to yourself until it’s time for you to let the boss know.

3. Do let your managers know about a new position as soon as possible. Sure, employees who have put in their two weeks’ notice in the past have been escorted off the premises in the past without even getting to work their last shift. Still, you don’t want to wait until your last day and then leave your current colleagues scrambling to find a replacement for you. Instead, put in your notice as soon as you can.

4. Do keep your social media conversations about new work to a minimum. While you might need to update your LinkedIn profile, that doesn’t mean you need to parade the fact that you’re looking for a new job–especially if you want to keep it from getting back to your current bosses for a while. Instead, keep your search private and off of social media. This is not time to take advantage of connections made through your Facebook friends!

5. Don’t list your current employer as a reference. Let interviewers know that you would prefer they not contact your current employer at this time. Instead, use other references from previous employers to build your resume and show your capability. List awards you’ve won or commendations you’ve received as proof of your capability at your current job instead.

6. Do check your attire. You’ve got an interview after your shift, so you dress up more than usual for your work day–and suddenly, your bosses are wondering what’s going on. If you must, change after leaving work, even if you’re running on a tight schedule. Keep in mind that a business casual outfit is easy to dress up with a jacket if you must present a more professional appearance for an interview than is common in your current place of employment.

7. Do behave with integrity. Potential employers are going to want to know why you’re leaving your current job. You can be honest–this job is not a good fit for you professionally; you’re hoping to better your career opportunities–without badmouthing your current employer. Resist the urge to over-share! Behaving with integrity will let a new employer know that you’ll show equal respect to their business if the time comes for you to leave.

Job searching while you’re still employed can be a challenge, but it’s better than having to scramble to find a job–any job–when you lose your current one while still searching. Make sure that you’re prepared for the challenges of job searching while employed before you begin.

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