The Morals of Searching for a Job… While at Work

career fairLooking for a job, while on the job can be a nerve-wracking experience. Do I save it for when I am on break? What do I say if I get caught? Do I correspond through my company or personal email? Can I read my emails/notifications while I work?

These questions and dozens more are bound to run through your head, but the biggest question of all is this: “Can I look for a job while at work/while I still have a job?”

For the latter, many, if not all career experts will say yes. Job-hunting while you still have a job has many advantages. One, it alleviates any unwanted pressure on your end such as financial risks. Two, employers hold a more positive view on people who are currently employed. And three, it shows employers that you are dissatisfied with your current position and looking for a challenge that their company can give you.

Looking for a job while you’re actually working, though? That’s a tougher question. Today, we’re going to cover the dos and don’ts of searching for a job, while on the job. Take a look below:

Don’t use company resources. While this might seem like an obvious recommendation to most, it isn’t as easy as it looks. Company resources can be a number of things: your office phone, company email, fax machine for resumes, copier/printer, paper, and more.

Stick to using your own personal email and cell-phone for the job search, and keep the faxing and printing at home or to the library down the street. As for using the company computer to search for jobs or check your email? That is entirely up to you, though we suggest keeping it to a minimum or only on your break. If you feel uncomfortable using the work computer, there are plenty of ways to check, like using a mobile app.

Do take time off to interview. So now you’ve gone through the application process and screening, and you’ve landed yourself several interviews. When it comes to planning them out, your best bet is to pick and choose the ones you really want to the most.

More importantly, take time off for the interview. Do not call in sick the day of your interview and hope your boss doesn’t somehow find out. Taking off time is much more respectful and responsible than calling in sick. If you feel bad or are afraid of coming up with an excuse, simply tell your boss that you are taking time off for personal reasons; chances are they won’t even think twice about it.

Do use your network (carefully). Networking is an important part of job searching, but when it comes to searching for a job while at work, things can get a little weird. Try to make sure that when you reach out to others, you make sure you aren’t asking the friend of a friend of a friend of your boss. If they catch a whiff that you are on the hunt, things can end up sticky for you. Our biggest advice? When in doubt, do not ask. 

Don’t leave your company without enough notice. This is definitely a post-job search do and don’t, but it is a big one nonetheless. After you’ve gone through the interviews, the stealth job searching, and so on, be mature enough to make sure you give your company enough notice to replace you, or get in enough of a position to do so.

Most, if not all people completely understand the formalities of looking for a new job, but it is when you decide to tell them you’ll be moving on in two days that things can get hairy. Not only will leaving on short notice make you look very bad, but burning bridges never helped anyone.

What do you think about job searching while on the job? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to hear from you!

photo credit: Career Fair at College of DuPage 2014 39 via photopin (license)

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