Getting A Job When You've Already Got One

I'm an analyst at an economic consulting firm that has been actively searching for a new job. Anyone who has been in this position will know that looking for a new job can almost be a full time job in itself, given how much time it can take to network, look for good job postings, and get your resume out there.

Analysts at my firm are expected to move on to something else (usually business school) within 2-4 years, but I've still been hesitant to tell too many people about my possible impending departure. I'm not in a tremendous rush to leave, and don't want everyone to know that I'm planning to jump ship just in case nothing pans out immediately.

I've followed what I think are some simple, basic rules in my search so far:

  • Schedule interviews in the morning, before work if possible. This way I can simply come in a bit late and drop my suit off at home before coming into the office.
  • Tell only a trusted manager who I've worked closely with and who wants me to be happy with a good position (doubles as a potential reference).
  • Go outside to a park across the street for phone screen interviews during the day--I'd rather not do that in my office.

Nothing special, of course, though I'm lucky in that my schedule is flexible and I don't need to be too careful. But, I'm curious to hear how other monkeys have handled the job search, especially while working at companies where it isn't expected that you'll leave after a few years. Does anyone have tips for best practices, things to avoid, or things to keep in mind?

Comments (8)

Jul 15, 2012 - 1:18pm

Best of luck to you, I am in the process of beginning a new job search in itself. The market for BB is relatively dry at the moment but hope you end up at somewhere decent. What type of job are you looking for at the moment though?

Jul 15, 2012 - 1:25pm

Just got an offer that I'm pretty stoked about, took a long time for it to pan out though. I was working at a F500, decided I wanted to do something else, and basically just applied/networked my ass off whenever I had a free lunch hour or some time before or after work that day. I was in a different time zone than the area I wanted to relocate, so that was definitely an advantage. The downside was I basically had to budget my vacation days in order to have some for interviews, as it was a plane flight away. It was tough to coordinate and to put that much time in on top of a FT job, but it was well worth it.

As far as telling your manager, I strongly disagree. No matter how much you trust the person, at the end of the day they are out for themselves. If they have a chance to take on someone else that will be there for a while, or if there happens to be a need to cut costs for them to make their numbers, you run the risk of being on the chopping block first if those situations or a similar one comes up. But, to each their own. Good luck and stay motivated, the good news is every day you stay you are making your resume stronger.

"Who am I? I'm the guy that does his job. You must be the other guy."
Jul 15, 2012 - 4:04pm

Yeah this is gonna be tough. But I will be honest with you in saying that YOU SHOULD NOT tell anyone, especially management. If there's a hard lesson to be learned by analysts it's that there are no secrets, and what you say (and how you say it) counts for a lot. If you tell a person in management that you're trying to see what else is out there, he might take it as though you hate working there, or that you're better than them.

If you're an intern it's different, but you really have to be as sneaky as possible when you're looking for another job. Also you have to make sure that you actually landed another job, before telling your boss that you're thinking of leaving. (Key word: thinking) Once you get a job, don't go up to management and tell them "bye, I'm leaving tomorrow." You have to say that you're considering moving and you have to make sure to come across as humble as possible. Act like you're taking a significant haircut at this new job, or act as though this new job is something you're doing out of necessity. It's really weird to say these things, but you have to make sure you act as though you're not leaving out of your own will.

Jul 15, 2012 - 4:33pm

I wouldn't tell your superiors. Also, check LinkedIn for connections between your bosses and people at the company you are applying to. They don't want to find out from someone else, although the odds are high that whoever you apply with, will most likely respect your wishes and not disclose your candidacy to anyone.

Play the long game - give back, help out, mentor - just don't ever forget where you came from. #Bootstrapped
Jul 15, 2012 - 4:44pm

Is it okay to tell your manager about your goals and job search if you are a sophomore-junior intern? I really hope I'm not expected to be committed to my current firm for the rest of my days when I still have an entire summer ahead of me.

Aug 17, 2012 - 8:35pm

I am in a similar position now. My questions is how to handle phone screens. I am not near a park and outside is very noisy. Any suggestions?

Learn to LOVE Trump in less than 3 minutes
Nov 1, 2013 - 12:13am

I am in a similar position now. My questions is how to handle phone screens. I am not near a park and outside is very noisy. Any suggestions?

Does your workplace have conference rooms?

What I've been doing (to some success) is going to a conference room on a different floor. I've even had phone interviews in an empty bathroom. No kidding.

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