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Is it Possible to Job Hunt While Working Full Time?

Looking for a new job while being engaged as either a full-time worker or a student can be stressful. Managing the duties of your day job while finding time to actively seek another is often difficult if you don’t know how to separate one from the other. What’s more, it can prove to be very time consuming if you don’t have the right strategy.

Remaining engaged in your current role while scouring the job boards for a new one has both its advantages and disadvantages, so you want to make sure you tread lightly. First off, you want to keep your job search discreet, so your current employer doesn’t catch wind of your plans prematurely.

Here are some things to consider before you being job hunting:

Weigh your options

The most important question you have to ask yourself is “Where am I in life right now?” Many people fail to realize their current situation until they have already submitted their resignations. It’s important to be realistic about where you are at in regards to your finances, living arrangements and family situation when making a career change.

Here are some other questions to consider before making a career change:

  • Do you have a family to support?
  • Do you have young children or a child on the way?
  • Can you afford to look for a new job if you leave the current one prematurely?
  • How does your career look right now in terms of social security, health insurance, pension or lingering debts?

Of course, just because you have a family to support doesn’t mean you are doomed to have the same job until retirement. It just means you will have to be strategic when job hunting, to ensure you make the best choice for yourself and your family.

Be realistic

Many people go through a phase every once in a while where they feel dissatisfied at work and start craving a new career. They think that being an IT expert, a top essay writer or a designer is more exciting than it looks and want to change careers abruptly. Consider the fact that you have already established yourself in the industry you are working in.

Packing up suddenly and changing the work you are doing might be a rash decision. What is it that you dislike about your job? Is it the day-to-day work? Is it your boss or coworkers that make it unpleasant? Or maybe it’s just that you are feeling dissatisfied in general and are craving change. Understanding your motivation for wanting this career change may uncover some truths for you and you may decide that a career change isn’t the answer after all.

Get your ducks in a row

So, you’ve decided that a career change is definitely the way to go. Great! Now, before you start scouring the job boards for your dream job, you want to make sure you are well-equipped to start applying. You want to make sure you update your resume and have a couple different versions of it on hand. You want to create a cover letter or two that is tailored to jobs/companies of interest. You want to reach out to your contacts on LinkedIn to learn about any openings in your industry, research positions/companies of interest and perhaps even schedule an informational interview or two if you are looking to change into a completely new field.

If you need help writing your resume or cover letter, this is a great time to enlist the help of a professional career coach or a resume-writing service, like Essay Catcher.

There is a lot that goes into job hunting outside of applying for the positions and interviewing for them, so it’s important to do all of that leg work before you put yourself out there.

Use your advantages

Being actively employed and looking for work at the same time can hold several advantages. First of all, because you already have a job, you don’t have to settle for just anything – you can take your time on the job hunt until something really appealing comes your way. Having a stable income while also searching for work is a privilege many can’t afford.

Another advantage of job hunting when you already have a job is that it obviously looks great to potential employers. “Companies want to hire the best of the best and [those people] are usually employed,” says Sara Menke, the founder and chief executive of Premier. You’ll also have more confidence going into job interviews when you already have another job – you’ve literally got nothing to lose.

Be discreet

Depending on the type of work you are doing, it might be difficult to look for a new job without anyone realizing it. You want to be discreet while conducting your job search, so your boss doesn’t find out your plans prematurely. That is why it’s best to use your non-work hours to update your resume, create accounts on various job sites and put together a cover letter.

Pat Kendall, author of Jumpstart Your Online Job Search in a Weekend and president of career-services firm Advanced Resume Concepts, suggests you refrain from using your employer’s email, computers, fax lines or telephone systems for job search purposes. “Even if your employer is aware of it (and supports it 100%), it looks inappropriate to potential employers and may raise questions about your honesty or integrity.”

You also want to be mindful about where you post your resume. If the public can see it then so can your current employer. Many job sites, like Workopolis and Monster allow you to post confidential resumes that conceal details like your name and current employer. You can also ask that any recruiters and potential employers you talk to respect your privacy in the matter, especially if you are job hunting within the same industry.

Don’t mentally check out

Even though you are no longer interested in working for your current employer doesn’t mean you can start to slack off at work. While you conduct your job search, you want to continue to give your current job the attention and respect that it deserves.

Not only do you want to leave the company on a positive note, you may require a reference from your current boss some time in the future, so it’s a good idea to stay in their good books.

Conclusion

When it’s all said and done, you are still employed and need to make sure that it stays that way for as long as the job hunt lasts. Do what is best for your family and for yourself.

We are rarely in it just for ourselves and there are many factors to consider before jumping the ship. It’s certainly possible to find exciting new employment while already earning a living, but don’t put all of your chips on the table and hope for the best without an exit strategy.

Thinking of hiring a career coach to help you make a career transition? Browse our directory of career coaches and get a FREE consultation or request a personalized coach recommendation!

About the Author Angela Baker

Angela Baker is a self-driven specialist who is currently working as a freelance writer and trying to improve herself in the blogging career. She is always seeking to discover new ways for personal and professional growth and is convinced that it’s always important to broaden horizons. That`s why Angela develops and improves her skills throughout the writing process to help and inspire people.