I’m currently employed in a fairly stable, decently paying job. I realize I’m lucky to have a job, but that doesn’t change the fact I really, really don’t enjoy it. I’d like to look for a new job, but don’t want to let anyone at my current gig know I’m doing so. I’m Facebook friends with a number of them. What steps should I take?
Rotten Lucky Job
Dear Rotten Lucky Job,
You can look for a new job while you’re still employed. People do it all the time. In fact, some people believe that people who are currently employed are more attractive job prospects than people who are unemployed. Seems unfair, but at least it’s unfair in your favor. But you do need to be careful about your job hunt so as not to tip off your colleagues. That means, first and foremost, not putting anything about your job hunt on your Facebook page. Or your LinkedIn page. Or anywhere online. The internet is forever. That’s why I put my real name on my column; I think it’s only fair that I stand behind my advice for all of internet-eternity.
Your covert application process begins by respecting your current workplace. Don’t look at want-ads while on the job, even on your lunch break. Even if you boss never finds out, you can’t be sure no one is going to look at your screen while you run to the washroom. Besides, it’s dishonest. Don’t do it.
Consider your cover letter. You probably already know that you shouldn’t badmouth your current job when trying to get a new one, so nip that in the bud by putting it in your opening sentence. “I’m currently employed, but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to apply.” Write your normal dazzling cover letter, and end it with, “I have not told my current employer that I’m looking, so I’d appreciate your discretion.”
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