It’s common knowledge that most people job search while they’re at work (there are actually studies to prove this). This is no secret and I’m not blowing the whistle by mentioning this. I highly doubt this is going to stop any time soon. No matter how busy people are, if they want to job hunt during their work day, they’re going to do it. They may take a lunch break to focus on their job search; they may schedule a fake meeting when they’re really going on an interview, etc. The point is, if they want to do it, despite how much it’s frowned upon, they will and there is little to nothing managers can do to stop it.
Just because managers can’t stop you from doing this, doesn’t mean they can’t and won’t catch you. Employees get caught all the time. Usually it’s for doing something avoidable or having a lapse in judgement. Sometimes they fail to be aware of their surroundings. In any case, getting caught job hunting while at work never results in a positive reaction from your boss.
Here are a few ways to avoid getting caught below.
1. Be aware of your surroundings.
Most, even Managers, work in an open area where you don’t have any privacy. You’re typically facing your computer and anyone walking up behind you can see what you’re working on. You may not be able to switch screens fast enough. Here’s how you avoid suspicion. Be mindful of how your screens are set up and make sure you’re movements are relaxed and well within the parameters of your normal behavior.
How well do you know your co-workers? How well do you know your boss? Do they walk lightly and tend to sneak up behind you when you least expect it? Any unusually nosey folks seated nearby? Keep your eyes and ears open.
This simple method could go a long way in helping you hold on to your position until you’re ready to move on.
2. Avoid confidential or blind postings
Often times when you’re scrolling through job ads online you come across one that is vague. There’s no specific company name and the details aren’t what you may be used to. No matter how attracted you may be to the job ad, avoid this. That job could be one posted by your current employer (I’ve seen this happen a few times). Perhaps this was posted by someone who networks closely with your current manager.
Additionally, you increase the risk of being found out.
Moreover, this could be a complete waste of your time. You don’t know who posted this ad. You have no idea if the company’s values match your own. Avoid confidential postings that lack detail and don’t give you the opportunity verify that this is a worthwhile application.
3. Do your research!
Before submitting that application, jump on LinkedIn. Find out who the hiring manager is. Dig deeper and find out if they’re connected to your boss or any of the higher-ups at your company. If they are and you apply, it could blow up in your face. There’s nothing stopping a hiring manager from reaching out to someone at your company that’s in their network and obtaining a quick reference before reaching out to you. If they do that, your cover is blown!
When conducting a covert job search you have to be careful and make sure that your tracks remain covered until you’re ready to submit your resignation.
4. Complete applications carefully
Job applications so ask give a way questions like “May we contact your current employer?” Make sure you’re checking “No” to this question. Additionally, while interviewing, there’s nothing wrong with saying that you’d prefer to have an offer in hand before notifying your employer.
I strongly suggest conducting your job search while you’re off the clock. I know you’re not going to do that, so hopefully this helps you to hold on to your job until you’re ready to make a move. Remember: be careful how you’re completing those job applications, be mindful of your surroundings, do your research and avoid ads that don’t include company info.
Happy job hunting!
Thank you for reading my post. My name is Pamela Shand and I want the best for you in your career. It is my hope that you find everything you read here helpful in advancing your career. If you did, feel free to follow my blog for future articles. I regularly write on resume building, interview success and various ways to unravel common and not-so-common career snags.
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