If you’re like me, an oxygen-breathing hominid, then searching for a new job while you are still employed causes you a lot of stress. It shouldn’t — especially in this economy, workers need a job in which they can feel secure. Many of today’s job searchers aren’t looking for a better wage or title. They want greater job security.
But certain mistakes can reduce your current job security, or even get you fired. While employers should take an employee’s job search in stride, most don’t. And many managers will fire you if they find out you’re looking, even if you’re only passively searching.
So keep your job search secret at work. And here are some things you should not do.
Don’t discuss your job search with your “friends” at work — even the trustworthy ones. Remember the young woman who admitted an affair with her boss to a co-worker “friend?” What was her name? Monica Lebowski? Feel free to discuss your job search with your work buddies — after you get a new job.
Don’t conduct your job search on your computer at work. As I’ve mentioned before, your employer has the legal right to monitor everything you do on your work computer, even if it’s personal business or your personal web email. Conduct your job search at home.
Don’t mention your job search on social networking sites. Believe it or not, some employers actually know that Facebook and LinkedIn exist. Use these sites to network — but get a hold of possible job contacts via your personal email, from home.
Don’t talk to your current employer’s clients or competitors. I know, this can make it very hard to find a new job. But there’s a very good chance these people will contact your boss and report that you are job hunting. You can never know who your boss hung out with at the national convention last year.
Don’t go to job fairs. There’s too a high chance that one of your boss’ friends, or someone representing your own company, will see you there.
Be careful where you post your updated resume. It’s okay to have the latest version of your resume on LinkedIn or a resume hosting site. But you don’t want your boss to see your resume on Craigslist or some other classified ad site — it implies you are actively looking.
Don’t forget to ask anyone you interview with to PLEASE not call your current employer. I’ve never personally known a potential employer to call a current employer without express permission. But mistakes happen, so make sure the recruiter or potential employer understands they should not call your boss. Provide three alternate references, at least one a former supervisor.Still Employed? Don't Make Job Search Mistakes by Erik Even