There comes a time in every person’s career when they believe they must move on from their current employer. In fact, during the past several years, it’s been happening with more frequency.
It used to be conventional wisdom dictated that you spend at least five years at a company before finding another job. If you didn’t do that and you changed jobs with more frequency, then you would be labeled as a “job hopper.” That was a negative connotation with which nobody wanted to be associated.
However, times have changed. The “job hopping” stigma is no longer as prevalent as it used to be. Add to that the Millennial Generation and Generation Z, which have also served to transform workplace dynamics. Millennials change jobs as frequently as every 18 months to two years.
So not only is it practically guaranteed that you will change jobs at least once in your career, but it’s also nearly guaranteed that you will change them multiple times. You could easily change them three, four, or five times. And that might be a conservative estimate for some professionals.
As a result, you will more than likely find yourself looking for another job while you’re still employed. That kind of situation calls for a measured and strategic approach, one that will not draw too much attention.
With that in mind, below are four steps for conducting a covert (and confidential) job search:
Networking should be part of your “default setting,” whether you’re looking for a job or not. If you only start to network once you decide to switch jobs, you’re already behind. You should always be networking, because you never know when a great opportunity will present itself. It might do so when you’re not really looking for a new job, and it could be too good to pass up. If not for your proactive networking efforts, you never would have had access to that opportunity.
#2—Do NOT use company equipment.
This one should be a no-brainer, but people continue to make this mistake. They use their employer’s computer to conduct an online job search, or they use their company email address to make inquiries regarding new opportunities. They might as well wear a shirt that has “I’m looking for another job!” splayed across it. That’s not covert, nor is it confidential.
#3—Choose the right references.
Yes, you want references who are going to speak of you and your work in glowing terms. However, you’re going to need a little more than that. Ideally, you’ll want to select references who are going to be sensitive to your need to conduct a covert (and confidential) search. You don’t want somebody who can’t keep their mouth closed and gossips with everybody. Loose lips sinks ships. Not to mention your job search.
#4—Leverage the resources of a recruiting firm.
Recruiters have experience when it comes to confidentiality. After all, their clients often ask them to conduct confidential searches for candidates on their behalf. So if you tell them about your need for confidentiality, they should be able to easily accommodate you. They will also relay to their clients your need for confidentiality, which means that you don’t have to. Since the recruiter knows the hiring manager, it’s an easier conversation for them to have, anyway.
If you’re going to consider other job opportunities while you’re still employed, be intelligent about it. Conduct a convert search in a confidential fashion and strategically position yourself for career success.
The Doepker Group has experience placing professionals in the Information Technology and Engineering fields, and we can place YOU, as well.
We invite you to search through our open positions. You can start the process by creating a profile and/or submitting your resume.
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