While in the market for a new job, you will always appear to be a stronger candidate when you are a valued asset to a team - even if it is a team you plan to leave. Arriving to an interview "unemployed" may raise a red flag and potentially pose some cause for concern. Not to mention, quitting your current position to seek new employment can create a financial burden and cause unnecessary stress.
There is a right way and wrong way to look for a job while still gainfully employed. Here are some tips as you prepare to land your next opportunity:
- Do not check out mentally. Even though you have decided to move on, continue to give your current position the attention and respect required. Your salary has not been reduced nor should your effort as long as you are employed by the company.
- Keep your search quiet. Sharing your decision to pursue another job with your coworkers over lunch may make you feel more comfortable, but also puts you in a position of weakness. A coworker could easily betray your confidence, or your boss may learn of the news through the wrong channels. She should hear it from you first, not last.
- Update your social media presence. LinkedIn is a great avenue to highlight your professional expertise. Make sure it is current and complete with your most recent accomplishments. Other social media bios should be a positive reflection of your character as well.
- Ask for confidentiality. During the application process, let your interviewer know you would prefer your current employer not be contacted before you have had a chance to talk to them first; you are keeping your search private until a final decision has been made.
- Do not use company time to send out resumes or interview. While this may be inconvenient, it is wise to schedule calls and meetings before work, at lunch or after hours. If you take off for an interview, do your best not to lie and use a "doctor's appointment" as an excuse. It will take work, but it is important to be impeccable with your word.
- Be aware of your office attire. If your work environment calls for casual wear, and you come dressed in a suit, you may be giving yourself away. Instead, identify an alternative location to change clothes before and after your lunch interview.
- The best places to find a job are often the worst places to post your interest. If others can see your resume, so can your boss and their colleagues. Admittedly, it is a catch 22, but be aware that it can create a potentially uncomfortable situation for both you and your employer who then must decide to start looking for your replacement.
- Close with integrity. At the end of the day, you want to be remembered as an employee that had morals and credibility. People move on for various reasons and bad mouthing your boss to the person you are training will come back to haunt you. Make every effort to leave on the right note and do not burn a bridge in the process.