If you are currently employed, it can be an arduous and delicate process to search for a new job. Job hunters must balance the need for confidentiality, discretion, manage their time effectively, while maintaining a positive attitude.  However, you can navigate the job search landscape while employed if you have the right mindset and approach.

5 Tips for Finding a New Job While You’re Still Employed

Here are a few tips if you choose to run this gauntlet – whilst employed.

1. Assess Your Current Situation

There must be a reason for your job search.  Before diving into a job search, take time to reflect on your current job satisfaction and why you are seeking a new opportunity. Understanding your motivations will help you make informed decisions during the job search.

Study your strengths and weaknesses.  Look at your skills, experiences, and abilities to understand what sets you apart as a candidate. Knowing your strengths will boost your confidence during interviews and guide you toward roles where you will stand out. Similarly, acknowledge your weaknesses and understand you may need to re-tool.

Make sure to review your career goals and aspirations.  Not understanding these may be your reason for moving on.  Spend time considering your personal long-term goals and aspirations as this will keep you motivated and focused.

2. Perform the Usual Preparation – At Home

Develop a strategic job search plan by defining your target industry and job roles which will narrow down your job search by defining the specific industry and job roles. Create a compelling resume and cover letter that stand out.  Showcase your skills and highlight your achievement – quantify them if possible.

Work on your online professional presence by creating and/or updating your networking profile, showcasing your professional accomplishments. Engage with others in relevant industry discussions and try to establish yourself as a thought leader. Remember that a good online presence can open doors and attract potential employers.

3. Be cautious – Prioritize Confidentiality and Discretion

Maintain your professionalism at work.  You may be tired of the job or the people.  However, while looking for a new job, it’s essential to continue performing well in your current role. Continue to get along with everyone, give your best effort, and make sure to burn no bridges.  If your work degrades, you can hurt your professional reputation.

Keep your job search activities confidential.  Doing this will enable you to avoid potential complications at your current workplace. Be very discreet about your interviews and networking activities, and refrain from discussing your search with colleagues. Try to acquire discreet references outside the current workplace.  Choose professionals that understand your need for confidentiality and will speak positively about your skills and experiences.

4. Use Your Network

Leverage your existing professional connections by engaging with them for job leads and recommendations. Tap into former colleagues, mentors, and others from your industry, increasing your odds of finding hidden job openings and getting referrals.  If possible, attend industry events and networking opportunities so that you can meet with and exchange contact information with likeminded professionals. Attend relevant professional group and association meetings when possible.  This will also provide valuable insights and knowledge from industry specific experts.

5. Manage Your Time Efficiently – and Take Care of Yourself

Looking for a job while you are employed is a juggling act, so you must have realistic goals and timelines for your job search. Unnecessary self-pressure and unrealistic expectations can be harmful. Give yourself enough time to search for positions, tailor your applications, and prepare for interviews without sacrificing quality at your current position.

You may have to burn some midnight oil at home to get it all done.  Which leads to the last point. Continue to work out, stay healthy and get plenty of rest.  Amid the madness, establish a routine for job search activities.

All About Balance

While looking for a new job, it’s essential to strike a balance between your current job responsibilities and your job search activities. Prioritize your tasks at work and ensure that your performance remains consistent. Avoid neglecting your duties or letting your job search overshadow your current employment. Keep the balance to maintain professionalism and you will successfully find your next exciting position along your satisfying career path.

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Jay Hicks is an author, instructor and consultant. With a special kinship for military personnel, Jay provides guidance on successful civilian career transition and has co-authored “The Transitioning Military Series”. He is the co-founder of Gr8Transitions4U, where advocating the value of hiring military personnel is the key focus. More about Jay and his passion can be found at Gr8Transitions4U.com.