5 Tips for job hunting while you\’re still employed

Let\’s face it! Looking for a job while you are still employed can be a double edged sword. On one hand, having a job makes you more appealing to potential employers while on the other hand, one bad move could get you fired or tarnish your professional reputation. Yet, we also know that you may be holding onto a job that\’s not really what you want, and for that reason, are looking to move. To avoid damage to your reputation, and to safeguard the integrity of your current employer, here are tips to help you get the most out of your job search while you are still employed.

  1. Understand why you want to leave

According to research, your first move should be analyzing why you are thinking of leaving and identify necessary methods to enhance your circumstances in your current job.

Take into consideration what it is about your current  job that makes you want to leave, and whether or not you can make changes to improve the situation. If the answer is no and adjustments are not possible, you should consider leaving the job but this should be done in a quiet, and graceful manner. Once you have made the decision, you should not look back. Go ahead and start hunting for a job that will satisfy your needs and preferences.

2. Set a schedule

Once you have decided to move on with your job change, the next step is to schedule your time wisely. Set time on your calendar every week for the job hunt. This approach will help you stay focused and also ensure that you will have enough time to do other things, especially keeping your current job! Whatever  time of the day you set aside, ensure that it is a time when you are productive and motivated. For instance, if you are a morning person, reserve an hour or two to focus on your job search. If you are efficient in the evenings, set aside an hour to research your target companies. Be aware that it can take several months before you get that new job.

3. Leverage social media

In this era of the internet, social media has become a cherished job search tool. In a survey conducted by Forbes, Facebook was the leading platform for managing a professional social media presence. This was followed by LinkedIn and Instagram came in third. Moreover, the study found that 68% of recruiters agreed that job seekers need a LinkedIn profile to be competitive. In light of this, use social media platforms to learn more about organizations that you are interested in working for. Be aware that your employer is also looking at social media though!

4. Ask for recommendations organically

Truth be told, recommendations are an important part of any job search. However, the time that to ask for them is not when you have one foot out the door. I mean, ask for recommendations early, more so on LinkedIn. Idyllically you should approach people who understand your current occupation and those that can speak intelligently about your capabilities that will matter most to a potential employer. When you get great feedback at work, ask the person if they could put it in writing for you. That way you will have plenty of recommendations when you need them without arousing suspicion that you are about to leave.

This is also the time for you to refresh your CV, and work on answers for common interview questions, like why you want to leave, what your key strengths and achievements are, and what salary you are expecting!  

5. Use your network

According to a study conducted by LiveCareer, the majority of employers believe that referrals from your current workplace are the best when changing jobs. Therefore, reach out to current and past co-workers to find out positions that are available in their companies. Be discreet though, your employer will not want you to be actively looking for a new job, so be selective about who and what you tell.

Though networking and managing a full-time job can be daunting, there are still ways to make it work. If you don\’t have the time, set up coffee dates in the morning using virtual meeting tools or in person. Alternatively, you can meet for dinner, lunch, or cocktails to discuss opportunities. Moreover, you should check if any companies or organizations are hosting career fairs and networking events.

Having a mentor as part of your network will help you prepare for the next job interview. Where necessary, have a coach help you with preparing for the interview.


  1. Caprino, K. (2016, February 14). The top 10 work situations where honesty is not the best policy. Forbes. Retrieved September 25, 2021, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/kathycaprino/2012/07/31/the-top-10-work-situations-where-honesty-is-not-the-best-policy/.
  2. Castrillon, C. (2021, March 24). How to use social media to job search. Forbes. Retrieved September 25, 2021, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/carolinecastrillon/2021/03/24/how-to-use-social-media-to-job-search/.
  3. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228462279_Protean_organizations_Reshaping_work_and_careers_to_retain_female_talent