I see so much advice about how to find a job. But the advice-givers usually assume that the person receiving the advice is unemployed. That's a very dangerous assumption! IF you are currently employed, particularly in a full-time job, you MUST be very careful in your job search for an extremely good reason:
Conduct a “Stealth Job Search" When Employed
Most of us prefer to be open and transparent in what we are doing. It's the more honorable way to act, and it's also less complicated – no “details" beyond the truth to remember (what did I say I was doing yesterday; who did I say I was meeting?)
However, when you are looking for a new job while you have an existing job, being open and transparent about your job search can lead to a quick termination, or, at minimum, to a very awkward discussion with your boss.
Think about it for a minute: A work relationship is not unlike any other personal relationship. When one of the parties tells the other party that they have decided to “look for someone better" that's usually the end – or the beginning of the end – of the relationship.
So, if you are looking for a job outside of your current employer's organization, keep a very low profile for that job search:
Don't share your job search with anyone you work with!
Confiding in someone at work puts them in a bad position when you leave, or it threatens to divide their loyalties between you and their employer. Not a good idea for them, and not good for you because they may blow your cover and “out" your job search, choosing loyalty to the employer over loyalty to you.
Don't do your job search with any of your employer's assets – including the office WiFi, Internet, and telephones!
It is very easy for your employer to monitor your use of the office Internet connection to see you reading the excellent advice on WorkCoachCafe or Job-Hunt.org or prowling the job openings on Indeed.com. And, talking to a recruiter or potential employer using your office phone opens up the opportunity for the person at the next desk/cubicle to hear or your boss or a co-worker to walk in on a sensitive conversation.
Don't announce your job search online!
Don't publish the news on LinkedIn – or ANYWHERE IN SOCIAL MEDIA – that you are “seeking a new opportunity." No Facebook posts, no tweets, nothing where someone you work with (or for) could see the announcement.
Don't show up at work dressed for a job interview elsewhere.
Keep the interview outfit in your car, go home first, or find some other way to be well-dressed for your interview.
Yes, it feels sneaky because it is sneaky. Unfortunately, no other viable options exist, unless you are a member of the U.S. Department of Defense with a “transition" date for the end of your service.
Don't Quit Your Job First
While quitting your job before starting your job search seems like a good idea, allowing you to focus your energies on finding a new job without worrying about juggling schedules for job interviews and so on, it makes you less appealing to potential employers.
Don't make your job search more difficult by quitting the job you have. Your current job, much as you may hate it, makes your job search easier because it makes you more desirable as a job candidate.
Employers assume that there's “a reason" you aren't employed. They assume that reason is related to your performance, capabilities, or something else that isn't obvious.
Employers Distrust Employees Who Job Search
Even if you are their top employee with all kinds of Employee of the Month awards, it is very unlikely that your current employer will try to “keep" you once they discover you are looking elsewhere for a job. It is much more likely that they will determine that you are disloyal and/or distracted by your job search.
In my experience, it is always a mistake to use an external job search as a “tactic" to win a promotion or higher salary from the current employer. You may gain a short-term tactical advantage, like that raise or promotion you want, but you have “proven" that you can't be trusted for the long term. Not a good strategy if you want to continue working for that current employer.
Unfortunately, most employers have had bad experiences with employees who were job hunting. Those former employees took valuable information with them when they left, or they did less than stellar work in their jobs while they focused on leaving.
Of course, you would not slack off on your job or copy important confidential information to give to your new employer (a competitor), but your employer probably has too much bad experience with other former employees to know that you are the exceptional person who can be trusted.