the word jobsJanuary can be a time for fresh beginnings, and for your career, it may be time to look for greener pastures. There’s a right way to do it and a wrong way, because the last thing you want to do is to begin looking and accidentally lose your current position. It’s possible to be an ethical job hunter while keeping your current position. Here’s how:
1. Privacy is Everything – Privacy starts in the office. This means don’t tell everyone that you’re searching. Office gossip is some of the fastest talk around, and it will reach your boss’s ears that you’re on the hunt faster than it takes to fill your coffee cup. Don’t tell anyone if it’s at all possible. If you choose to tell someone, make certain that they will maintain your confidentiality. This goes for any future employers as well.
2. Complete Confidentiality – Be upfront with the companies that you interview with that your job search is completely confidential. Ask them to refrain from contacting your current employer or any of your co-workers while you’re actively searching. Instead, list previous employers and co-workers as your references. Also be sure to take advantage of the privacy settings on any career websites that you may utilize on your job search. Almost all of these job databases give you the option of keeping your contact information private while exposing your resume and cover letter to prospective employers. You can even block some companies from seeing your resume entirely which you should use to block your current company.
3. Be Ethical – Don’t use your current employer’s resources in your job search. This means that you shouldn’t use the office phone, fax machine, copier, office supplies or computer to find a new job. It’s unethical and when you’re caught, it will burn any chance you have of keeping a good relationship with your current boss. Bring a personal laptop and cell phone to conduct any of your job search off hours, like on your lunch break. Any interviews that you go on should be at lunch or scheduled around your current office hours. If you need more time for interviews, schedule vacation time. If you choose to take a day off, don’t lie and give the excuse of illness or a death in the family. The only reasoning you have to give is that you want to take a personal day.
4. Careful Networking – Using your company’s current clientele to ask for job leads is a bad idea. Like gossip around the watercooler, gossip among clients flies almost as fast. Remain an ethical employee and don’t talk to any clients about a potential job or else you run the risk of your current employer feeling betrayed by your fishing.
5. An Offer in Writing – Companies can retract a job offer at any time, and there are a myriad of reasons why this happens. To be absolutely certain that you have a job, wait to announce your exit until you have the offer in writing and signed.
Follow these guidelines and conduct an ethical job search while you keep your current job. You’ll be able to preserve your professional relationships and this will only serve you in your future career as you climb to success.