You may think you’re at a disadvantage if you’re looking for work while still at your current job. After all, most of your time is spent at work and you won’t be as available for interviews during normal business working hours as someone who is unemployed.
But it definitely is better to look for another job while you have a job. Potential employers take your more seriously because they know that you have current value in the workplace. It’s human nature: we tend to want what others “have.” The fact that another employer “has” you makes you more attractive to employers.
In addition, you can turn a job down if you don’t feel it’s the right position for you. You’ll be looking for work from a place of strength rather than desperation and this can be quite helpful when searching.
Some other considerations to keep in mind when you’re looking while currently employed:
1) Since you probably don’t want your current employer to know that you’re searching, don’t tell anyone – and we mean anyone – at your current employer about your job search. Not your best colleagues or your best friend who happens to work with you. We mean no one.
2) Ask potential employers not to contact your current employer for references until they’re certain they want to hire you. Most employers understand this.
3) Many employers also understand that you may not be able to interview during regular working hours. Ask if you can come in for your interview before or after your shift hours. You may have to arrange somehow to take time off from your current employer in order to interview, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how many employers will accommodate your schedule if you ask politely.
4) Don’t slack off at your current job. Sure, you may think you’re a shoo-in but hiring decisions can be delayed, positions can be closed before they’re filled, etc. There are many reasons why a “for sure” job never happens. So don’t burn your bridges behind you while still working…you may have to work on that bridge for a longer time than you had thought.
5) Think long and hard about accepting a counter offer at your current employer when you tell the company you’re taking a position with another firm. Your current employer already knows you’re looking to go; it understands that your loyalty doesn’t lie with it and it could start thinking that you’re highly replaceable – just when you don’t have another position lined up. Then you’ll be in a place you thought was “better”: having all the time in the world available to you to look for work because you don’t have a job!