4 tips for job hunting while employed

It’s well known. that it’s easier to find a job while employed, but this can be tricky to manage. Here are four ways to make your job hunt successful.


You have probably heard the old adage that it’s easier to find a new job when you already have one. Yet job hunting while employed can be a precarious situation that could land you in hot water with your boss, and consequently is something that is often not openly talked about. Nevertheless, it is more common than you might think, with 61 per cent of respondents in a 2015 survey by CareerBuilder claiming to be employed but open to a new position.

Looking for a new opportunity when still employed can be a great way to boost your IT career development while still maintaining the financial security of a steady paycheck to fall back on – but it has to be handled carefully. Here are four tips for getting it right.

1. Focus on the present

Although it may sound counterintuitive, the first thing you should remember when looking for a new role is to concentrate on your current job. It’s never a good idea to make a poorly thought-out career move, so consider what your reasons are for wanting to leave, why you are unhappy, and whether there are issues that can be resolved. On the other hand, research from Kelly Services shows that changing employers may be valuable for your professional development, with 70 per cent of survey respondents believing this is the case.

If you do decide to proceed with the job hunt, you should take care that it does not infringe on your work performance. Neglecting your current role with a decrease in productivity and engagement or by spending company hours on your job search may arouse suspicion, and damage your reputation with your employer. Even if you are leaving, you want to maintain a positive relationship with your boss and colleagues, as they could be useful connections to have in the future.

2. Keep it under the radar

While looking for a new job while employed may be common, you don’t want to broadcast your status as this could create bad feelings with your employer. Some companies may even view this as a betrayal, putting the security of your position at risk. It’s thus important that you don’t disclose what you’re doing when applying for available IT job opportunities, avoiding potentially awkward situations later down the track.

Be sure not to use the computers, phones or contact details of your current company, and take care when attending job interviews. Showing up to work in your best clothes and disappearing for a “doctors appointment” in the middle of the day is sure to alert people about what you are up to. You should also be careful who you tell, as a slip-up from a coworker could get you into trouble.

3. Make the most of your network

That being said, your colleagues can be a useful asset in your job search. One of the reasons that it’s easier to get a job while already employed is that you have easy access to connections in your industry. According to a study by Jobvite, referrals create almost 40 per cent of all hires, the most out of any other source. In addition, candidates hired through referrals are shown to stay for the longest time in a position.

As a result, many employers may favour referral as a way to find talent, so making the most of your professional contacts is going to be vital for tapping into this preference. Using social networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook is a good way to do this, but don’t forget to be careful what you post, or any work colleagues or bosses you have connected with online may find out. An experienced consultant from digital recruitment agency will be your biggest asset, as they can use their own industry contact to find you the right role.

4. Be diplomatic in the interview

If you are unhappy in your current job, it can be tempting to say negative things about it to prospective employers in an interview. However, bashing the business, your boss or your colleagues would be a big mistake, as it can not only travel back to your current employer but could reflect badly on you to the hiring manager.

Employers want to know that you are loyal, pro-active, and have a positive, ‘can do’ attitude. So, if the subject of your current job comes up, attempt to bring out the good things about it and tactfully explain why it is no longer a good fit, or why you feel that you are ready for a new challenge.

Job hunting while employed can be challenging, but don’t be discouraged. Whether you are looking for a role as a software developer or any other type of IT job, by following these tips and utilising an IT recruiter you can safety take the next step in your career.