The pandemic has put life and work into perspective for many people. As a result, they’ve realized they’re ready to make a move, whether to a more rewarding job, a different industry, or a flexible schedule.
If that’s the case for you – and you’re about to launch a job search – how do you keep it under wraps until you’re ready to share the news with your boss? Here are some dos and don’ts for conducting a stealth job search:
Do be strategic about your search.
If you have a lot of PTO coming up, hold off on taking it until you’ve started your search. That way, once you start getting interviews, you can schedule them for over your vacation time, so your employer doesn’t find out.
Don’t tell your work friends.
You might be tempted to spill the news to a co-worker. But it’s not worth the risk. They might accidentally say something to another colleague, and before you know it, the whole office knows about your job search. Instead, keep it to yourself until you have an offer in hand that you are ready to accept.
Do be mindful about what you wear.
Don’t give yourself away with your wardrobe choices. If, for instance, you usually wear jeans to work and suddenly start showing up in suits, it’s a giant red flag to your boss that you are interviewing.
Instead, try to schedule your interviews at the end of the day, when you won’t be returning to the office, or at the beginning, when you can either bring clothes with you or run back home to change.
Don’t use work property to conduct your search.
This includes your company’s computers, printers, scanners, email address and/or phone number, or even the time they are paying you to do your job. Instead, make sure you are “off-the-clock” when you are searching and using your breaks or lunch hour if you have to respond to a text, phone call, or email.
Also, use your own personal device, not the company’s. If you can only talk during certain times, let hiring managers and recruiters know. They understand discretion is part of the process and will work to maintain confidentiality with you.
Do give out references from past positions.
References can be tricky when you’re currently employed. You don’t want a potential company calling your boss to check your credentials. Instead, give them contact information from previous positions, including past bosses and colleagues. They will understand why you don’t want them reaching out to your current employer.