How to hunt for your next job
While you might be ready to look for your next job, the last thing you want to do is compromise the one you’ve already got in the process. Given that virtually all job interviews will be conducted within working hours, the trick is to avoid making it obvious to fellow colleagues where you’re going and why.
For starters, there are some dead ringers that you’re on the prowl for a new job. For example, if you come to work wearing a new suit, when you’re normally informally dressed, don’t be surprised if people sit up and take note. Similarly, don’t make the mistake of teeing up a job interview from your company email address or using the company landline.
Whether you’re aware of it or not, employers can and do monitor your email, and it would be naive to assume this doesn’t happen, no matter high up in the company you might be.
While your audit trail of emails might be incriminating, the same can be said for your social media activity. For example, what if the boss and other colleagues and/or suppliers can see that you’re communicating with employment recruiters on line?
Then there’s the danger of letting the world know on LinkedIn that you’re receptive to new job opportunities.
That’s a great way to put your business in the street, and it’s not uncommon for employees to keep an eye on the job market, even if they have no immediate plans to move on. However, if you suddenly activate the LinkedIn option that signals to recruiters that you’re open to new job opportunities, all you might doing to alerting the boss to the fact that you’re looking for an exit.
Remember, the more close-knit the industry or profession you’re in, the more discrete you’ll need to be.
Given that your boss will be as well connected within your industry as you are, they may hear whispers about ‘who is hiring, who’s firing and who’s applying’. Admittedly, job applications are supposed to be done with total privacy, but people do talk. So don’t take it for granted that your application to the rival firm hasn’t reached the ear of your boss.
Another mistake people can make is confirming a calendar invitation (on Outlook or similar) for a job interview and forgetting that their calendar is open for anyone in the office to see, oops.
Rather than going to some elaborate lengths to camouflage your job search from the boss, one approach might be to reach some sort of informal agreement. For example, it’s not unusual to move jobs and they might be able to facilitate your moving on, rather than hinder the process.
After all, the boss has a career to advance too, and there’s every likelihood they might move on before you do. Similarly, if he or she knows the reasons why you’re thinking of moving on, there might be some grounds on which you might be convinced to stay. Find out what the company policy is on hiring ex-staff, there’s a growing practice within professional firms of re-hiring good people back into the fold.
Then there’s the possibility that you, the boss and/or fellow colleagues might all end up working for the opposition, or that you might end up hiring your boss somewhere down the line. So don’t too coy about the need to move on, it’s a small world, and the game of musical chairs goes on forever.