I am looking for another job. I have mentioned this in my social media profiles, especially LinkedIn. I feel like I have reached a glass ceiling in my current position and am looking for better and bigger opportunities to make more money and continue to grow in my career.
Should I tell my boss that I am trying to get another job?
Signed: Share The Search (STS)
The consensus among the Employment Counsellors and Job Developers to whom I spoke at JVS Toronto is that the best time to look for work is when you are working. When you are working, you are less stressed and anxious about finding the next job, and can take your time to ensure that the next career move you make will be suitable, low risk and sustainable. Blogger Jen Hubley Luckwaldt warns in an article in Payscale.com that you should disclose your intentions only if you are ready to leave the job and building. JVS Toronto Job Developer Eitan Rachlis agrees, saying that telling your manager that you are looking for another job is not constructive and doesn’t get you anywhere.
Leading experts in the field, including Rachlis, recommend the following strategies for looking for work while working:
1. Communicate clearly. Assuming that your boss has an open-door policy, is an authentic leader and cares about your aspirations and learning, I would discuss your feelings about your job with him or her. Brainstorm ways in which you can develop in your organization as well as why you are looking for another career opportunity or to move to the next step in your growth. Job satisfaction and career development are both valid challenges in the workplace. Trying to figure out a way to remain in your current company could make your current position more interesting and engaging. Another idea is to consider including some professional development activities and long-term career goals in your performance review as well. Discuss this with your boss as well.
2. Venting and helping are not the same thing. Luckwaldt best explains this. Ask yourself why you want to let your boss know about your (possibly) impending departure. If you find that giving your manager a piece of your mind is high on the list, resist the urge. If you have a bad relationship with them, then threatening won’t help, and if you have a good manager, revealing that you’re thinking about jumping ship could damage his trust in you and your ability to communicate with each other.
3. It is a full-time job looking for a job. The labour market is competitive and complicated. Beware of the sense that the grass always being greener on the other side. It is risky to quit your job without having another job lined up. You do not want to end up in another dead-end job, or with a bad manager and company! Be strategic. Take your time. Engage in plenty of research of the careers and opportunities out there that could be suitable for your next move. Book information interviews, cold call, and use social media to feel out relevant opportunities and identify potential companies as well as professionals who might be interested in your skills. Register with recruitment/employment agencies. It is best to schedule interviews on vacation days, before or after work, or on weekends in order to respect your current boss, co-workers and company. Also, ensure that all of your emails and phone calls are done through your private email and phone and again, not on company time or using company resources.
4. Company changes. While you are looking for work, your company could go through changes. Perhaps you will have a new Executive Director or President. The organization could be securing more innovative programs and services and opportunities. You never know. So it’s best to keep your search a secret. Besides, you could change your mind too.
5. DON’T QUIT! Jacquelyn Smith in an article in Forbes quotes staffing agency founder and recruiter Sara Menkes of Premier, who is adamant that “having a job while looking for a job makes you a job makes you that much more attractive to a potential employer.” “Companies want to hire the best of the best and [those people] are usually employed,” she says. “Plus, quitting your job before having a job is a big risk that you should avoid. Most people do not have endless streams of income, so you should stay in your position until you get that firm offer for new employment.”
Bottom line: Do your best to resolve your concerns about your existing job first, and if it isn’t working, look for work carefully, respectfully and quietly (that includes NOT announcing it on LinkedIn!), while working and still doing your best in your current job.