You're employed. And in a tough job market and still-struggling economy, that's not a small advantage. But the job you currently have is not ideal, and this is not how you'd like to be spending your days a year from now. While you want and need to keep bringing home a steady paycheck, you also want to make like a tree and leave this place as soon as you can find something better.
So how can you navigate the challenges of a serious, no-holds barred job search while still impressing your current employers and holding onto the gig you've already landed? Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
1. Be discreet. Hiring is an expensive and complicated hassle. Employers don't love doing it when they don't have to, and they certainly don't like letting positions stand open and work pile up while they conduct interviews and weigh the risks of each unknown candidate. So as soon as they know you plan to leave, they'll probably want to get the hiring and selection process underway for your replacement. And as soon as they find someone who can take your position, you'll be ushered out the door. So keep your job search to yourself. Don't tell anyone at work that you're looking—even your best friends.
2. Don't search while you're at work. This means don't use company time or resources (network access, your company phone, your company email account, etc.) to look for a new job. If your employers find out you're doing this, it just gives them extra ammunition to get rid of you.
3. Every minute that you're off the clock, get your hustle on. During lunch breaks, in the morning, and after work, find the energy you need to dig deep, reach out, and work as hard as possible to get where you need to be. An effective job search is often a full-time job, and since you only have a few hours in the day to conduct your search, you'll have to work extra hard to make the most of them.
4. Don't toy with recruiters or potential employers simply because you have the luxury of a steady paycheck. In other words, if a recruiter presents you with a promising position, don't drag your feet to answer calls and emails, and don't insist on talking only about salary issues. Employed or not, acting like a diva won't make you more appealing to recruiters—it will only encourage them to turn to the next candidate in line.
5. Take your current work seriously. In fact, engage with your projects even more than you usually do. The best thing you can do with your nine-to-five time right now is build karma, strengthen your relationships, create strong bridges, and leave a positive impression behind you. You may think that if your chair will be empty in a few weeks, none of the effort you put into this work will have an impact on your long-term career. In fact, the opposite is true. During your final wind-down in this place, the quality of your work will matter more than ever.
Employed or not, any effective job search will require a strong, clear, beautifully written resume. Visit MyPerfectResume to build a resume that wows employers and speeds up your job search.