Q&A Monday: Looking for a job, while at a job


Hey Jim,
I am currently working at a company that I have been at for a couple years, and I feel like I’ve hit a brick cieling.  I am going to start to look for another job, but with this job market, I don’t want my current job to find out.  Any advice?

Richard Marshall
Boys Ranch, TX


When I was younger and working a little above minimum wage, there was no problem in looking for another job while working at one.  As a professional adult, things get a lot more comlicated, because you have bills and/or children to take care of.  There aren’t many of us out there that can walk away from our current job and look for a new one, so most people have to do the job search while at a job.  Now while I’m no expert, I’ve switched jobs in the past, and seen some people make some mistakes, and I’m willing to pass that on to you.

  • Don’t tell any coworkers you’re looking
    This is one, I’ve personally had a hard time with.  I tend to become friends with the people around me and with friends you kinda want to tell them you are looking for a new job.  I remember personally feeling a little hurt when a close co-worker told me he was leaving the job, and I didn’t even suspect.  Though I know now, that it wasn’t personal he was protecting himeself.  You never know when you’ll tell a coworker something and it ends up a gossip or even accidently slips out.  To play it safe, mention it to noone
  • Don’t use company ‘stuff’ in the search
    For one using company time or resources for your job search is completely unethical, but as us techs know (or may not know) may be monitored, so even if you’re sure, its still best to avoid using it.  Also make sure your resume or letters don’t have your current positions phone number or email address on it.  Use only your personal phone or personal e-mail on resume or letters.  No matter how smart you are, eventually someone may overhear you on the phone with another job, and your secret search is now a public one.
  • Interview on your own time
    When I was looking for a job, I knew I couldn’t explain multipul disappearence a week as I was sick, so I took to picking certain days in which to interview and taking off those days.  It made it kind of hectic driving from one place to another with a handful of resumes, but it was the most efficient.  Everyime I would get a call back, I’d find a day that worked and make sure every other place could fit that mold.  Now some people out there may try to interview on their lunch break, but I tend to get harassed if I go into work in a suit, so it’s best to avoid that practice.
  • Let them know…
    I find it best, if when interviewing, let the perspective employeer know that you are looking while still working and ask them to keep it confidentail and not contact your current employer.  Though after this request I’ve never had anyone reach out to my then current employer, its not a guarentee.  As I said most companies will honor your request and may ask to speak to your current employer if they get more serious.

If  you have any questions that you want Jim to answer, from business servers to home computers, drop him a line at
me@jimguckin.com, and he’ll try to answer your question.  Check back every Monday for a new Question and Answer session, and during the rest of the week for other technical insights.

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