Job hunting is pretty much a fulltime job in itself. That can get frustrating and exhausting when you’re job hunting while you’re already employed, so it’s very tempting to search for a new job while you’re already at work for your current crappy employer—especially if one of the reasons you want to leave is because you’re bored out of your mind and not being challenged enough. That said, you don’t want to get fired first, right? Right. Here’s how to job hunt while you have a job already and minimize the likelihood of getting caught. (That said, there are no guarantees. Be careful!)
1. Never, ever use your company email account for job searching. A lot of companies read employee emails, and almost 20 percent of companies actually have employees whose job it is to do just that. If you don’t want your boss to know that you’re looking for a new job, keep your correspondence limited to your own private email account. (Also, imagine how it may look to your potential new employer that you were dumb enough to send them your resume from your @crappyjob.com account.)
2. Don’t use your work computer, either. You never know who’s walking by behind you or monitoring your Internet use. Even if you go into Chrome’s Incognito mode, your employer can still find that in your history. If you need to, bring a personal laptop to work with you and do your LinkedIn updates and Indeed searches on your lunch break.
3. Set up email alerts for new jobs. You’ll minimized FOMO on your job hunt and be less tempted to hop on your work computer to scroll through Monster.com for a futile search for something new if you have alerts sent to you.
4. Be careful who you tell about your job search. Even your work bestie may slip accidentally. Tell your friends and family, as well as people in your network who aren’t currently working for your company, but don’t dish about your interview schedule to your coworkers. Even the most well-intentioned may just be too loud or unknowingly have a boss looking over her shoulder when you’re G-Chatting.
5. Don’t use your current employer as a reference. You can also request that a prospective employer not contact your current company for job security reasons. They’ll understand!
6. Schedule interviews strategically. Most hiring managers will understand that since you already have a job, you may need to conduct interviews before or after work, or on your lunch break, depending on how much time you have for it. When requesting a time, say something like, “I’m so excited to meet you! I’m busy helping my team from 10 to 6—would a 9:00 a.m. work for you?” This means not only are you stoked for the potential new gig, but you’re still dedicated to and in demand at your current job.
7. Don’t get too dressed up. If you normally wear jeans and Chucks to the office and you roll up in a suit on a Wednesday, people are going to notice. Find a Starbucks, buy a pastry, and change in the bathroom on your way to your interview.