You have a job and you know you should feel happy. But, you don’t. You want out!
For the past two years, you’ve been holding on, going the extra mile, performing above and beyond and you just aren’t sure you can do it much longer.
Or perhaps there has been a recent change in management and your new boss is nothing like your old one.
Or maybe you’ve outgrown your position.
Or did you take this job because you needed the paycheck?
Whatever your situation, looking for a job while you are employed has to be done under the radar of your current company and boss – in stealth mode.
This reminds me of a time when I was in HR and I had to prevent a manager from firing one of his employees. The employee was “caught” working on his resume. The last time I checked, this isn’t a reason to fire someone. However, it was “stupid” on the employee’s part.
How To Make Time For An Undercover Job Search
Time seems to be the biggest challenge for employed job seekers. There just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day to balance work, a family, and job search. Yet, people do it. So can you.
Block out time in your day and each week to:
- Have confidential conversations
- Research jobs, industry trends and employers
- Update marketing materials
- Become more visible outside your company
Laser focus is key
Before you embark on your search for your next job, you need to be very clear about what you want. Know what you want to do. Know what your assets are and know the value you bring to an organization.
Do you tell your boss or not?
To disclose or not depends on many things. It could work or it could backfire. Before you make your decision, ask people for advice.
Has anyone done this before in your organization? What was the outcome?
If you do decide to talk to your boss, be ready for the outcome. Are you ready if your boss fires you on the spot? Would you be ok with staying in a new role?
Implement Your Search Steathfully
- Build your LinkedIn profile and activity.
- Set alerts on job boards and LinkedIn
- Develop a target list of companies
- Contact third-party recruiters who specialize in your field
- Network at industry events
Keep Your Job Search Undercover
While no system or approach is absolutely foolproof, the best way to ensure that your stealth job search remains under the company’s (and your boss’s) “radar” is to follow these guidelines:
Don’t use company resources to job search
Your job search activities (resume updates, looking at the job boards, emailing connections) must be done on your personal time and you should never your company phone, computer or resources to look for a new job.
Don’t use your work email or phone number on your resume or application contact info.
Don’t use working hours for your job search
Schedule phone calls and interviews during non-working hours or take personal time off to take care of your job search activities.
If questioned about the time you request off, simply say that you have personal matters to take care of and leave it at that.
Don’t announce your job search on social media
Be very aware of what you say on or post to your online social sites. While you may be tempted to post on Instagram or Facebook how miserable you are in your job… DON’T. This information can be found by those that make an effort to look.
Avoid including something like this in your LinkedIn profile headline: “Open to new opportunities,” “Seeking new opportunities,” or turning on the public setting for “Open To Work”.
Network very selectively. Try to limit your networking outreach and activities to those professionals who are outside of your current employer.
Positively state you are in a confidential job search and something like: “While I enjoy many aspects of my current position, I am always open to opportunities to take my career to the next level. Do you have any suggestions or know anyone I should be talking to?”
Select The Right References
Select your references carefully. You really don’t want to provide the names of previous bosses and/or colleagues at your current employer as references. Instead, consider using the names of bosses/colleagues at previous employers.
Are you in a toxic job or work for a toxic boss?
Do You Hate Your Job?
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.