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Tips for Finding a New Job.....Discreetly

The Hiring Process Success on the Job


I hate my job. It’s definitely time to look for a new one. But I’m concerned that my boss will fire me if he finds out I’m looking. I’ve seen it happen to others in the company. How do I keep this job until the new one comes through?


Carefully. Very carefully.

Obviously everything will have to be done on your own time. Don’t put your work phone number on your resume. Don’t take job search-related calls at work. Try to schedule interviews before or after your regular work hours, as much as possible.

There’s a lot of preparation for a serious job search that you can do without a word to anyone. Research companies and find one that’s better for you than this one. This is a much more important part of job search than most people believe. You don’t want to go to a lot of trouble to find that new job, only to find it’s worse than the one you’re leaving. Use Google;; Reference USA (free with your Frederick County Public Libraries card number, and a tremendous source of company information.) You’ll want to use your personal network as well, but very discreetly.

Update your LinkedIn profile carefully. Don’t make a lot of changes all at once, and turn off Share profile changes. A new LinkedIn feature allows you to signal employers that you are looking: click on the Jobs tab in your profile, and click Turn signal on. Mind your use of social media generally; don’t whine about your current job to your Facebook friends, and update your privacy settings.

Don’t post your resume on job boards, such as Monster or CareerBuilder. Your current boss or co-workers may discover it there. It’s not even a very effective tool for finding jobs anyway (though Monster and CareerBuilder are very good for general job search advice.)

Think now about whom you’re going to ask to be your reference. In other circumstances, your current supervisor or co-workers would be your best references, but not this time. Consider folks from previous jobs or volunteer experiences. Above all, choose references you can count on for confidentiality.

While you’re doing this, it’s important to maintain your normal routine and relationships. Don’t tell your colleagues you’re looking, even though they’d probably have great information to share. Keep up your usual workload and quality. Avoid dressing differently than you usually do. Do your best not to complain about your current job.

When the new job finally comes through, leave the old job considerately. Even if you want to bolt out the door the minute the offer is in hand, don’t. If at all possible, give two weeks’ notice, and offer to train your replacement. It’s a small world, and this may not be your last job search.


About the Author

Beth Davis-Reinhold

Beth Davis-Reinhold is an instructor at Frederick County Workforce Services, where she has worked for over 20 years. She teaches job search seminars and basic computer skills. She is a Certified Professional Resume Writer, and is Internet and Computing Core Certified (IC3). Beth has been a member of Toastmasters International for more than 15 years, and is an Advanced Communicator Silver. A graduate of Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania, Beth has also studied American Sign Language for many years. In addition to many sundry projects for FCWS, Beth writes its “Ask the Career Coach” blog.