Already employed? That’s great news – but what if you’re not 100% happy in your chosen career, or you’re just working somewhere to pay the bills, while secretly hoping to fulfil your true vocation?
Many experts say that it can actually be advantageous to find the job of your dreams when you are already employed. In many ways, job seeking can be a draining process and having a steady paycheque in the bank each week can help to ease the pressure and allow you to job seek at a sensible pace.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), in July 2013, there were around 1.7 million job starters (employed persons who had started their current job in the previous 12 months). Of these job starters, 61% searched for work for less than one year before starting their current job.
However, there are a few rules to obey when you’re looking for a new job while already employed. “If you don’t get the new job, you have your current job to fall back on and you can just try again,” says Andy Teach, author of a book on job seeking.
“Having a job gives you confidence because you’re not in a desperate situation. You may need a new job, you may want a new job, but you don’t have to have a new job, unlike someone who is out of work.” Here are some tips to get you started.
Job Seeker tip #1: Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and public
This is a no-brainer. LinkedIn is free or available with add-ons for a yearly subscription. This is now the standard in the corporate world and for many other industries as well. It’s easy to build a profile, add a professional photo and start to link to past people you’ve worked with or for. You can add your accreditations, your study and any other achievements such as online work or websites.
Job Seeker tip #2: Be careful about posting on social media
When looking for a job while still employed, make sure you are discreet and don’t post anything on social media you wouldn’t want your current employer to see. Even if you are frustrated at your current job, avoid negativity as it can make you look unprofessional to your friends and contacts who may be able to help you down the line. Respect others and you’ll generally receive respect in return.
Job Seeker tip #3: Don’t job seek while at your current job
While “on the clock” stick to the job you have. It’s unethical to waste your current employer’s time by trolling the internet, seeking out job ads and networking opportunities. “It is very easy for your employer to monitor your use of the office internet connection to see you reading the advice on job sites,” says Susan P. Joyce, Work Coach Café blogger.
Job Seeker tip #4: Think about your referees
If you’re looking to move on, start to cultivate and activate your referees. These should be professional people you have worked with or for, in most cases they should have been your superior in a recent job role. Keeping referees ‘fresh’ is essential so that when you do land an interview, you’ve got pre-prepared spokespeople to help you land the job.
Job Seeker tip #5: Plan interviews around your work
Again, try to schedule any interviews at times that are convenient for both employers (current and potential). “Since you can’t suddenly have doctors’ appointments every morning one week without raising suspicion,” says The Undercover Recruiter, “get creative with scheduling interviews. Try to schedule your interviews before or after work or during lunchtime. If your interviewer isn’t flexible with scheduling, use vacation or personal days for interviews.”
Job Seeker tip #6: Remain committed to your current job
Even if you are beginning to feel frustrated with your current role, it’s not ethical to shut off your enthusiasm and commitment. It’s hard working, diligent people that get ahead in the end. Continue to devote the hours and energy you always have, even when looking for the next awesome gig.
Job Seeker tip #7: Leave your current job role in professional manner
Never burn bridges. Even if you and your current employer do not see eye to eye, they may be well respected in the industry, or they may have contacts that could help you down the line. According to the ABS, “the most commonly reported step to attain a job was by having an interview with an employer (65%).” Keep your dealings with everyone professional, polite and above-board.