Discretion Pays When You Are Looking for a Job While You Have a Job

Suspicious Young Man

Searching for a new job is pretty stressful, but you can minimize that stress by not having a gap in your employment. Because you aren’t facing the financial pressure of needing income immediately, you can be more selective in the kinds of opportunities you are willing to consider. Anytime you can find a new job before you leave your old one, you are in a position to improve your income or title.

While a good manager might sense that you’ve plateaued in your growth with the company and encourage you to find better opportunities, those managers are rare. More often than not, you are challenged in your job search because you aren’t ready to let your employer know that you are looking for a new job.

Industry experts all seem to agree that you shouldn’t quit a job until you have a written offer from a new employer, but you should be discreet. According to the Forbes article, “The 13 Dos and Don’ts of Job Searching While You Still Have a Job,” Andy Teach, corporate veteran and author of From Graduation to Corporation: The Practical Guide to Climbing the Corporate Ladder One Rung at a Time is quoted:


“Perhaps the biggest danger of looking for a new job while you have one is that someone at your company will find out and tell others. If your boss finds out, he or she may take it personally and see it as a lack of loyalty to them and the company.”

A discrete job search can keep bridges from spontaneously igniting. Here are a few strategies for keeping your job search under wraps:

  • Never use company equipment or time for your job search
  • List references from previous jobs
  • Don’t tell anyone you work with that you are searching, not even close friends
  • If you post on job sites, use privacy settings to keep your name and contact details from being publicly listed where your current company could see them
  • If directly confronted, remember that honesty is the best policy

Most employers will understand your desire to move forward in your career, but its best to secure a new job before spilling the beans.

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