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The Do’s And Don’ts Of Job Searching While Employed

Job hunting while working full-time? Although it can be tricky, it is absolutely doable...

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Job hunting while working full-time? Although it can be tricky, it is absolutely doable.

Between searching for jobs, updating your resume, writing your cover letter, submitting applications, setting up and prepping for interviews, and writing follow-up thank you notes, job searching requires many hours of time and a lot of mental energy. Juggling all this while also working full-time and keeping it quiet might feel impossible, but don’t worry. It is completely feasible, and I am here to help. 

So you’re ready for a new job but…

In a perfect world, it is ideal to secure a new job while still bringing in your current paycheck. However, trying to keep your job search a secret while simultaneously investing 40+ hours per week to your current position can be difficult.

If you need to remain confidential about your job search while you are still currently employed, there are some potential challenges you should prepare for.

The do’s and don’ts of job searching while employed

Don’t tell your coworkers. If you are trying to keep your job search a secret from your supervisor, it is important that you keep this info quiet around everyone.

Do update your LinkedIn. Keeping an up-to-date profile is something that you should aim to do in your current position regardless of if you are job searching, so this will not seem out of the ordinary. But, I also recommend switching off your notification system so your network will not be alerted that you are actively looking for a new job.

Don’t use work time or resources to job hunt. Steer clear of your work computer, phone, and email to ensure you will not tip off anyone in your office.

Do schedule interviews outside of work hours as much as possible. It will raise suspicions if you have too many “Dr. Appointments” in a short span of time. If it is not possible to plan your interviews around your work hours, take a personal day or vacation day.

Don’t ask your current boss or coworkers to be a reference. Instead, use references from a prior position or educational/personal references.

Do ask your prospective employer to remain discreet. Employers will almost always honor this request if you ask, so be transparent and honest about your situation.

Don’t dress differently. If you are heading into/back to the office on the same day as your interview, make sure you dress as you normally would.

Do remain focused at your current position. Maintain a positive attitude and strong work ethic so as not to raise suspicion.

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Actionable Steps


Maintain your routine

The key to remaining discreet about your job search is by being stealthy and not raising any suspicions. Whether you have been in this position for 6 months or 6 years, familiarize yourself with your regular routine and try not to stray from it.


Be patient

The job search can be a long process. Though it can be overwhelming and tiring to juggle a regular job while searching for a new one, be patient and keep moving forward. A new opportunity is ahead!


Talk it out with a trustworthy source

If you are going stir-crazy because you can’t chat with your regular work bestie about what you’re going through, talk with an outside-of-work friend, family member, or professional mentor (who is not connected to your current position, of course) instead. Remind them to remain discreet, as word travels fast in this social media age.


Read more on this topic

You can learn more about the do’s and don’ts of job searching while employed by reading the following articles, reviewed to be the best by our professionals: 10 Tips on Effectively Looking for A Job While Employed, How to Look for A Job While You Are Employed, and The Dos and Don’ts of Job Searching While You’re Still Employed.

About the Author

Dr. Alyssa Harmon-Salter

Dr. Alyssa Harmon-Salter

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership

Alyssa holds an Ed. D. in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. For the last 7 years, she has mentored hundreds of college students on how to be successful academically and in prepping for a job.
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