The do’s and don’ts of job hunting when you already have a job

Very few people build a successful career around a single role

Tue, March 4th, 17:26


While you might have your eye on a particular role within your current organisation, most of us will have to move around in order to reach our full career potential. The challenge is finding your next role while continuing to succeed in your current job.

Job-seeking is hard enough when it consumes all of your time, so how do you look for a job when you already have one?

Do look around
Looking for a new job may feel a little underhanded, especially if you have a good relationship with your colleagues, but you have to take responsibility for your own career. Remember that most organisations understand that you will not be with them forever. They may not want to lose you but they understand that you are likely to move on.

Don’t make it obvious
It is important that you don’t advertise the fact that you are on the lookout for a new role. While the wider organisation will understand the temporary nature of your employment, local managers may be personally unhappy if they find out you want to leave. This could seriously impact your working relationships, especially if you don’t get the job. Search jobs boards in your own time, don’t leave job specs open on your computer and don’t advertise your plans on social media.

Do arrange interviews and calls for times outside of working
If you are called for interview or arrange a call with a recruiter, do your best to do it outside of your normal working hours. Many job application processes require you to speak to a number of different people over the course of multiple contacts. Even if you get away with running out to take a thirty minute call this week, suspicions will be raised if you suddenly start having regular private phone calls or off-site meetings.

Don’t fake sick days
Avoid making up excuses to get time off to do interviews; any lie you tell is likely to come back to haunt you. If you need to take a day off to do an interview, try to book it in advance through normal channels and work with your recruiter to fit your work time around the interviews.

Do the prep work
Prepare for interviews in exactly the same way as someone who isn’t working. Do your research and make sure you are ready as you can be. Don’t assume that because you’re working, you don’t need to prepare or it won’t be expected of you. If you really want that new role, you need to put in the work.

Don’t assume you’ve got a new job
If you have ever moved from one job to another before, you will be familiar with the apathy that creeps in towards the end. The dedication you have shown to get this far disappears because you are preparing to dedicate yourself to a whole new role.

The question is; what happens if you don’t get it?

Eoin Keenan

The Irish Times