“I hate the job I have, but I can’t afford to quit… at least not until I find another one. How can I make time for job interviews I may have without it interrupting my current work or my employer finding out? How can I interview discreetly… but effectively?” – Anna in Three Forks, MT
Finding a new job while currently employed provides a significant negotiating advantage. This includes the psychological edge of knowing you have the choice to take a new offer or not. You are also a more desirable candidate, as your prospective future employer is driven to “win” you over to their team.
In other words, you are in a strong position. Use that. From the beginning of the process, inform potential employers that you are employed and have an obligation to your current employer. You will make yourself available outside of your work hours for interviews. By doing this, you are establishing boundaries and immediately demonstrating your responsibility and integrity. In addition, you will gain the respect of the people interviewing you for your commitment to your current employer.
Your next action is to clearly communicate with prospective employers that your conversations are confidential. State that you do not want your current employer contacted, since they do not know you are looking. This is a normal practice and potential employers will understand.
In addition to this core communication, be hyper aware of the tools you utilize for the interviews. Never use the computers, phones, or devices of your current employer for scheduling interviews, having phone or virtual interviews, or any prospective employer research. Some companies monitor employees’ web histories and cell records. It’s obviously not a good idea to tip your hand, or provide your current employer with a reason for disciplinary procedure.
If you must schedule an interview during work hours, use personal business time off or an early/late lunch hour. Remember to be mindful of your surroundings when you answer your personal cell. When at work, it is probably best to let calls go to voicemail and return the calls when you are assured of privacy. When at lunch or on a coffee break, be aware of the people around you and be sure to find a private spot for your conversation.
While navigating the hiring process may be tricky at times, you are consummately positioned when actively employed. You have the time you need to find the new situation that’s a perfect fit. And you’ll be able to negotiate with confidence and strength.
Resources to Interview Discreetly:
- Forbes: “The 13 Dos And Don’ts Of Job Searching While You’re Still Employed”
- Monster: “Why it’s okay to search for a new job if you’re unhappy”
Lynn Whitbeck is the co-founder and President of Petite2Queen. She is focused on identifying and evaluating opportunities for women at work, helping them define their personal roadmap. She dedicates herself to delivering tools and insights, embracing visualization of the big picture, and identifying and implementing the minutiae of detail. Lynn aims to share lessons learned along her journey and enable positive uplift for women.