If you're lucky enough to have a job in this economy, looking for a new one sounds just a little bit crazy. While many people continue to stick with jobs that they aren't happy with, worried that changing jobs would be simply asking for trouble, there are several good reasons to begin looking for a new career – even in today's job market.
If you are feeling unmotivated or unchallenged at your current job, it makes sense to look for a new one. In fact, according to an article at BankRate, the number of people who quit their jobs in 2010 – 2011 was higher than the number that lost their jobs through layoffs and downsizing. It seems that lots of people have decided to take the risk and make a change.
The biggest reason given for changing jobs is a lack of growth. If you aren't excited about what you do and you feel that you aren't learning anything new or facing new challenges, you can either wait for the job market to improve – which might take years and in the meantime your career will stagnate – or, you can take your chances and look for something new while you're working.
Looking for a new job when you're already employed is tricky, but handled correctly, it can pay off. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Keep your job search under wraps. Don't mention your job search to your boss or even your coworkers. Even if you think that you can trust them, keep this information to yourself. Gossip spreads through an office like wildfire, and you can't be sure that word that you're looking for a new job won't get back to your boss. If you are asked directly by your supervisor about it – for example if they ask if you are interviewing for a new job or if you're planning to leave – be honest but don't give all the information. All you need to say is that you always keep an eye out for opportunities that might be a good fit but that you have no plans to leave at the present. It's not a lie unless you've already accepted a job offer and are planning on giving your notice.
Don't look for a job while you're at work. The biggest mistake that job seekers make is looking for a job on company time. Don't do it! Many companies have software monitoring programs in place and they will know if you are searching job boards from your office computer or sending out copies of your resume from your work email. In some cases, it can even be considered theft of the company's time and materials. Instead, conduct your search after work, using your personal email address. If you have to leave work in order to attend an interview, use vacation or personal time.
Don't overlook internal opportunities. Finding a new job and new challenges doesn't always mean that you have to leave your company. There may be many internal positions that could be a good fit. Check with your company's human resources department and discuss your options.
Network discretely. Networking is one of the best things you can do to to maximize your job search efforts. However, if you already have a job, don't post anything on a professional networking site like LinkedIn that would make it obvious that you are looking for a new job. You can also adjust your privacy settings to make sure that your activities are kept private. It's easy for your boss or your coworkers to find out you're looking. Instead, network with other professionals but keep any mention of your job search confined to a private email or conversation.
Weigh options carefully before accepting an offer. Before accepting a new job, be sure that it's going to be a good fit for you. There is no point in leaving the job you have in order to take one that will make you just as miserable. Leaving the security of your current job is a huge commitment, so be sure to consider your options very carefully before committing to anything.
Finding a new job when you already have one takes a little bit of additional work, but it can really pay off. There's no point in staying in a job that isn't challenging you. Because you don't have the pressure of being unemployed, you can take your time and find the opportunity that's going to be the best for you.
Have you found a new job while you were still employed? What advice would you give others? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
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