Searching for a new job while still in your current role may seem like the perfect scenario — you're still earning a salary and you have time to reject any offers that aren't right for you.
The only problem is that you have to ensure your current boss doesn't find out.
This puts you at a disadvantage, as you can't rely on getting references from your boss or colleagues. It can also be difficult to juggle your schedule to find time for job interviews.
The process can also take an emotional toll. You have to be scrupulous to avoid being discovered and you're often unable to confide in anyone at work for fear of being found out.
Looking for a new job while in your current one may not be quite as easy as it seems.
It's not all bad news, though. Recruiters and companies tend to value active workers more highly than those who have spent time out of work. This is because, in theory, if you're currently in work then your skills are more up-to-date.
There are a number of ways that you can carry out your job search without alerting your boss.
1. Consider an internal move first
Before you start looking for a job at another company, it's important to clarify a few things.
You need to be clear about why you don't like your current role. If the problem is the role rather than the company, then you can always enquire about any vacancies in other departments in your company.
2. Think carefully about whether you can tell your manager
Not telling your boss anything at all will have inevitable consequences. You won't be able to get a reference, for example. So before you decide to hide your job search, think about your company's culture and your relationship with your boss.
If you think they'd be understanding and try to help you, then it's best to confide in them. If you think that your plans won't go down well, you'll have to keep them to yourself.
3. Consider using a recruiter
A recruiter can help you search for a job confidentially and may even speed up the process, since they specialize in finding the best candidates for job openings across various industries.
4. Conduct interviews either at lunchtime or at the end of the day
The trick is to schedule job interviews at times of the day when no one expects to see you at work. These times are usually either lunchtime or the end of the day.
Another, albeit unpopular option, is to use some of your vacation days for interviews.
5. Don't tell anyone at work
Keep your plans a secret until you've signed a contract with a new company.
This is one of the simplest ways to make sure your career plans remain a secret, yet it's frequently the undoing of many. It can be easy to think you can get away with telling a few close friends at work, but you can never be sure that they won't let something slip.