How to look for another job while still working in your current role

It’s a new year, and with it comes new goals, maybe including looking for your next dream job. How do you do it without causing an issue in your current role?  We interviewed our Talent Acquisition Specialist, Jessica Carroll, for tips on how to look for another job while still working in your current role.


Team Synergis: Where should they begin?


Jessica: Work with a recruiter. These people are the middle man and can be your advocate when you either have to postpone an interview last minute or if the hiring manager isn’t responding. Find someone you trust, and set up expectations early in the process of when you can be available, and how flexible you are in the industry you are searching in.


Team Synergis: What is the first thing that you tell someone who expresses interest in job hunting, but can’t afford to lose their current role?


Jessica: Be selective in who you take time to talk to. Oftentimes, hiring managers want to schedule something during work hours. Weigh the cost of taking PTO versus your interest in this job. Are you excited about it? Do you think it would be a good fit? Don’t waste your PTO on job interviews that you aren’t interested in.


Team Synergis: Talk a little more about setting expectations. How much can you ask for when you are still working?


Jessica: A good hiring manager and a recruiter will respect the fact that you have another job. You can request to do phone interviews at lunch and make sure you are clear about your situation. If you need to be at a meeting for your current role by a certain time, you can share that.


Another way to help set expectations is to set up the best way to communicate with you. The last thing you may want is for the hiring manager to call you on your work phone with your coworker sitting right next to you. Have the hiring manager call or email you on your personal phone or email to minimize any panic moments.


Let them know too if you have any remote days where you can be flexible about coming in or doing a phone interview. This can help make scheduling a little easier for them. If someone tells me they work from home on Wednesdays, I am more than happy to make sure we schedule their interviews on those days.


Team Synergis: Let’s say the worst happens; you pick up their call accidentally while at work. What’s the best way to handle this?


Jessica: If you can step away from your desk, or where people are. I would just respond with “Now is not a good time. Can we try another time?”. Make it seem like a spam call. Also, be sure to clearly communicate to them not to call anyone at your office until you have accepted their offer in writing. You have to look out for yourself before anyone else.


Team Synergis: Let’s say you get that face-to-face, and don’t have a ton of PTO. What are some creative ways you’ve heard of people handling this?


Jessica: Some people will try and schedule the interview around lunch, and just take a longer lunch. This happens from time to time, so no one usually thinks twice about it unless you are an hourly employee. Doctor’s appointments are also a good excuse if needed. Legally, an employer can’t ask too many questions, so if you need to, just tell them you have a doctor’s appointment. Try and schedule the interview before work with coffee, or after work with dinner. Be creative; you don’t want to be deceptive, but if you are sure this is a good possibility, it’s worth the one-time ordeal.


Team Synergis: Any last tips for the job hunter?


Jessica:  Don’t share that you are looking with other coworkers, unless you have a true friend that you can trust, and could be a referral. You never know who you can trust. Also, don’t worry about blindsiding someone; they may find a way to beat you to the punch.  You have to protect yourself.


Also, know your non-competes, and if anything can be held against you, and get everything in writing. Don’t be sketchy – act like yourself through the process. They may be aware of “Red flags” if you start acting weird. When you are using LinkedIn, if you are in an industry or a type of company that checks for people looking, don’t set your profile to open opportunities. Also, know what you are willing to give up. Make up a list of pros and cons to help make the decision clear to you before you quit.


Above all, take the time to search, which can be hard when you are working full-time. Use weekends, paid holidays, and evenings to look at and finish your resume.

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