How to find a new job while working

Smiling woman working on a laptop.  In the background, a man is sitting on a sofa and also working.

Getty Images / Anchorage

Finding a job is stressful – it can even feel like a full-time job. And balancing your job search with the responsibilities of your current job can be even more challenging.

But if you navigate your search with caution, confidence, and good judgment, finding a new job while currently working can be a much less stressful process than it was while unemployed.

Read on for our guide to finding a new job while you’re currently working and preparing properly for your next opportunity.

1. Get clarity on what you are looking for in a new job.

The first step is deciding what you want your next job to be. You can start by listing aspects of your dream job, such as:

  • industry
  • hours
  • company culture
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Deeper purpose to work

Try organizing your thoughts into a list or journal to better understand your needs.

Once you know what you want, you can focus on opportunities that seem to fit your needs as a professional and human.

2. Be careful about looking for a new job.

You may be tempted to insinuate to your co-workers your dissatisfaction with the current situation or your excitement at a promising introduction. Do not do it. If word spreads in your workplace that you are looking for a new job, it could lead to a tense situation or even get you fired.

This means that you should also not post to your social media or LinkedIn accounts about your job search. Being conservative will allow you to find the right replacement job without rushing.

3. Update your CV and LinkedIn.

Take a moment to update your resume and LinkedIn, if you haven’t already. You’ll want to put your best foot forward with this new opportunity, so make sure your professional image looks its best to new employers.

Be careful when updating LinkedIn so you don’t alert your co-workers and your boss in the process.

Considerations when updating your LinkedIn include:

  • Turn off public notifications for updates to your LinkedIn profile
  • Leave any mention of looking for a new job
  • Just list the skills that match your current position

4. Use your personal devices to search for a job.

Do not use company computers to search for job opportunities.

First, it is unprofessional to do this at the present time for your company. Most importantly, you can raise eyebrows in your workplace if someone sees a search engine autocomplete option related to your job search or a worker from the IT department mentions unusual activity on company computers.

Use only personal devices to visit Job search sites And wait until you get home to look for work. This way you will maintain professionalism and avoid scrutiny of your company.

5. Prioritize communication, rather than just applying for jobs.

Networking gives you a variety of advantages in your job search, including:

  • Allowing you to take advantage of your existing connections
  • Reduce the time you spend chasing false leads
  • Reduce unnecessary/problematic appearance as a job seeker in the online world

Trawling job boards can be tricky because they take time and your boss may be watching them. Networking allows you to take advantage of connections in a new job through meaningful interactions.

Check out our page at communication tips To help develop this soft vital skill.

6. Do not use any existing co-workers as references.

If possible, avoid listing current co-workers as references on your resume.

If you list someone for a reference and a potential employer contacts them, they will blow your cover. A coworker might alert your workplace that you’re looking to leave before you pass up the opportunity.

Keep in mind that you can always provide references upon request. You can hold off providing references until a potential employer indicates that they need them.

The situation is different if you are working under a limited contract or you know your work is about to expire soon. Even so, only list co-workers you trust and ask them before you list them.

7. Preparing interviews outside working hours.

Over the course of your job search, you will need to schedule interviews. Leaving work frequently for interviews is likely to raise suspicion, so if interviews can be scheduled outside of business hours.

Sometimes the interviewer is only available during business hours. In these situations, you can come up with an excuse as a contingency tactic and use a PTO. But doing this frequently can cause problems.

This applies even to Telephone interviews. The need to “take a break” in the middle of the workday for a phone interview is a stressful and avoidable situation.

Set limits for yourself by telling potential employers what times you work and which ones you don’t.

We see: Your Ultimate Guide to Preparing for a Technical Job Interview

8. Keep doing your best for your current job.

Avoid the temptation to indulge in your current job. You don’t want to get fired before you get a new job. It’s not a good idea to ruin a professional relationship that could help you in the future.

Do not try to denigrate your current employer or act in an inappropriate manner. Keep doing your best despite the difficulties you face. Consider it a practice for your next job.

9. Be patient and take care of yourself while looking for work.

Remember to practice self-compassion during the process of finding a new job. There will be false leads that end in a dead end. The process may take longer than you think.

Remind yourself that you are better off than if you were looking for a new job while you were unemployed. Although the situation is not ideal, at least you are not facing additional financial stress from unemployment.

Don’t be in a hurry and don’t be hard on yourself. Remind yourself that with perseverance you will find the perfect time.

10. Once you have accepted the job offer, send a letter of resignation to your current employer.

Now that you’re ready to start working on a better job, your next step is to submit a file resignation letter to the current employer.

Submit your resignation letter at least two weeks before your intended final day. It should be brief and polite. Alert your current employer of your plans, wish them well, and offer to help with the transition process.

A good resignation letter is not only a compliment but will allow you to leave your current employer without burning any bridges.

11. Start your new business with confidence.

Now that you are about to proceed to new jobStart with the correct position. While it’s true that your recent work experience wasn’t great, that doesn’t mean this experience couldn’t be different!

Remember that you have the tools at your disposal to get a different outcome from this new opportunity. Use the lessons you learned in your previous job and face your new job with self-confidence.

A positive and proactive attitude can help you overcome this New job anxiety and determine the correct direction of the road ahead.