How to Find a New Job (Before You Leave Your Current One)

It’s no secret that having a job while looking for a new one is widely regarded as a plus. Employers want good hires, and one of the best ways to do that is to hire an individual considered a good hire by someone else.

Almost 73% of employees search for new jobs while they currently have a job. But there are risks in job hunting while employed. Most employers work hard to retain talented staff, and losing someone without knowledge or notice can really hurt a nonprofit organization. It can also hurt your career.

If you have decided it’s time to move on, take these tips to heart:

  1. Time the news. In most cases, it is not a good idea to immediately share the news that you are looking for a new job with your boss. It’s generally more productive to give your boss as much notice as possible once you get another job, and then to leave in an organized and professional manner. If you feel comfortable, allow your boss (or the person who replaces you) to contact you if there are questions.Leaving a job this way speaks volumes about your integrity and professionalism, and creates an opportunity for you and your boss to create a successful transition plan. This also shows that you have the best interest of the organization at heart, and lessens the chance of ‘burnt bridges’.
  2. Don’t search or interview on company time. Your first responsibility is to the job you have. Make sure you continue to give 100% at work, and schedule interviews before or after hours, on weekends, or on days off. Your colleagues, boss, nor the board are blind—they can sense a flight risk a mile away.
  3. Be honest. If your boss asks you if you are job hunting, do not lie. It’s not good for your soul or your career, and certainly won’t get you a referral. Be honest about why you are looking. Are you looking to advance your career or did an interesting opportunity come along? Share, without over-sharing.
  4. Be prepared for a job search—and most likely, a lengthy one given the competitive marketplace. Make sure your resume, Linkedin profile, referrals, etc. are top-notch. Contact a specialist in talent management to review your presentation. They’ll work confidentially on your behalf and help you identify what you are truly looking for in this next stage of your career—and can help you get there.

Professionals want to grow—and good employers want the same for their team. If you have determined that your current work environment can’t get you where you want to go, you have a right to move on. After all, the average American holds an average of 12 jobs in their lifetime.

Moving on, however, doesn’t give you a right to harm your current employer in the process. Plan your professional transitions well and your career will continue to grow as you do.

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