How to Find a New Job While Employed (Tips and Benefits)

Updated 26 May 2023

If you're currently employed and would like to look at other options in the job market, it can sometimes be a daunting task. It can take time, and it's essential to be discreet so it doesn't affect your circumstances at your current job. Implementing strategies while maintaining your current work performance standards can help you succeed in your job search and preserve your current professional reputation. In this article, we outline how to find a new job while employed and share some benefits of searching for a new job while in your current position.

Learn how to find a new job while employed

Understanding some strategies on how to find a new job while employed can improve your search and help reduce anxiety. Recruiters sometimes consider candidates who are already employed to be more employable because it shows that they have a good work ethic.

Interviewing for new roles while employed also gives you a better negotiating platform if the hiring manager offers you the position. You may also have the added advantage of a professional network of industry contacts that can help you identify new roles. Here are some steps to take if you decide to look for a new role while employed:

1. Devise a plan

It may benefit you to take some time to do some planning before sending out applications. Have a general idea of which industries or types of positions you're interested in working for. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses and how they relate to a job can also assist you in constructing your resume. Once you've researched your ideal position, you can organise a plan to ensure your search is successful.

Related: How to Use the STAR Interview Response Technique

2. Be honest about your current work status

When you talk to recruiters or hiring managers, mention that you're currently employed and provide them with your working hours. It's important because you may want the organisation you're applying to be careful not to compromise your current job. It's also beneficial as it shows a potential employer that you have a stable job and may offer you something which is a significant improvement on your current situation.

3. Prepare a resume

It can benefit you to update your resume to include all skills and responsibilities in your previous roles that have pertinence toward your desired position. It may help to review the job description and highlight any strengths you have that could assist you in getting an interview. Generating a cover letter specific to each job application can also help you gain rapport with a recruiter or hiring manager. The cover letter lets you introduce yourself and further displays particular skills that make you the perfect candidate for the position.

Related: How to Create a Stand-Out Resume (With Template and Example)

4. Be mindful of what you post on social media

Online networking can help you a lot when looking for a job, however, it can benefit you not to post anything that may affect your current organisation or position. Be mindful when posting comments or status updates about your career search, as these can potentially alert your HR department. Also, many employers are using social media to scout candidates, so try to keep a professional image online to improve your job search prospects.

5. Search and apply for potential roles in your own time

Being mindful of how you spend your time can help you balance full-time employment with a job search. Looking for new roles in your own time outside your current working hours can help prevent and alleviate any stress that your current employer finds out. Also, many businesses track or restrict their internet activity, so using your personal computer or phone can allow you more freedom in your search.

Related: The Essential Job Search Guide

6. Connect with recruiters

Using a recruiter to find and screen potential jobs can save you the time and effort needed to search and fill out several applications. A recruiter typically does all the background work, which allows you the freedom to focus on availability and interviews. They are usually well-networked in your job field and can help place you in interesting roles not necessarily advertised on job boards. Also, connecting with recruiters can help provide you with insightful information, which may elevate your interview performance and career advancement.

Related: 8 Examples of Recruitment Strategies (With Definitions and Tips)

7. Schedule interviews outside of working hours

Try to schedule interviews before or after work or during your lunch break. You can also take annual leave or a personal day to meet with the interviewer. If the interviewer knows you're currently working, they may also adjust their schedules to accommodate yours. Other acceptable ways to arrange a time for your interview include:

  • Discussing the possibility of extending your regular break or lunch break for a personal commitment

  • Requesting a phone or virtual interview

  • Building flexibility into your schedule before your job search by requesting remote work if your job allows it

  • Adjusting your work to accommodate for early or late interview times

Related: How to Overcome 4 Common Job Search Barriers

8. Be vague in disclosing details when taking time off

It's often unnecessary to discuss personal reasons for taking time off work. When requesting leave to attend an interview, you can summarise by saying something like 'I need Wednesday off for an appointment'. This explanation tells your employer that you have a commitment outside of work without being dishonest.

9. Be selective when accepting interviews

If you've started receiving interviews following several applications, it can benefit you to carefully choose which interviews to accept. If you're an in-demand candidate, you can consider asking some questions before the interview to establish if you'd like to go through with it. It's acceptable to decline an interview if you decide the position doesn't suit you, and it may even be a better option than keeping the process going. Some important aspects to consider when selecting interviews to attend can include the following:

  • Job content: Job satisfaction is largely determined by how stimulating the job is to you and if you enjoy the work. Make a list of your most essential skills, and choose the ones you most enjoyed applying for in past jobs.

  • Salary: Be aware of any salary changes you may receive upon taking up the new role. Research salary averages for your particular field to evaluate the expected amount.

  • Direct report: If you've had a chance to talk to the hiring manager, evaluate the conversation to ascertain if you think you'd have a good working relationship with them. During this initial conversation, you also can look for verbal or non-verbal clues on how the individual's personality might mix with yours.

  • Location: Try to determine if the work location and commute time are acceptable to you on a daily basis. Proximity to public transport stations, entertainment, recreational activities, family or good schools can all be a factor.

Related: How to Find a New Career (With Questions to Consider)

What are some benefits of interviewing while employed?

Interviewing when you're currently employed can have significant benefits to your career. Some examples of these include:

  • You can compare potential options. You have the freedom to leave your current employer if the working environment changes. If you've received an offer for a new job, you can leverage the advantages and disadvantages of leaving your current job for the other position.

  • You can practise your interview skills. Going to interviews can help maintain your communication abilities and become more comfortable talking to others about your experiences and qualifications.

  • You can explore other interests. If you're currently working in one industry but want to try your skills in another, interviewing for different positions can help you explore the requirements and align your interests.

  • You can assess the value of your current role and the organisation. Interviewing for other organisations can help you determine if your salary is competitive in your current position.

  • You can benefit from networking. Interviewing for other positions is a good way to establish professional connections for future endeavours. Your network may grow as you do throughout your career and building a professional network is important for career success and longevity.

Related: 10 Interview Hacks to Help You Prepare for a Job Interview

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