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Thu, Jul 7, 2011

Career Management

At Your Discretion: Job Search Tips for Employed Executives

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The best time to look for a job is while you are currently employed, but it can also be a real challenge to juggle your job search efforts with your daily management responsibilities.  As an executive, you may have more flexibility than a junior level associate, but if you work from a corporate office, you must take extreme care to guard your privacy and maintain your professionalism.  You may also need to grow an extra set of eyes and ears.

If your superiors or subordinates catch wind of your desire to make a career move, it could spell trouble. We all want to be flexible when we pursue new opportunities. Part of the job search and interview process requires meeting with new people and demonstrating drive, but this needs to be balanced with maintaining your existing brand reputation.

Here are 5 tips to help you manage a successful executive-level job search while working full-time:

  1. Do not surf the web for career opportunities while at your office. Many corporations have the ability to check your search history and while it is unlikely that Big Brother is watching you in particular, it is not worth the risk. As an executive, the web is not the best place for you anyway. You should be leveraging your network and other contacts to identify opportunities.
  2. The walls have ears. Even if you are lucky enough to have a corner office, avoid conducting phone interviews while at work. It would be better to come in late or leave early. If need be, you can take the call in your car on a cell phone. Don’t do this unless you know you have very good reception.  A land line is always better for a phone interview. Unless you are 100% sure you will be uninterrupted at work, it is not worth the risk. Try to conduct your search activities outside of traditional business hours. Or, you can take a vacation or personal day.
  3. Do not send your résumé via your corporate email. This should be a no brainer, but you would be amazed at how many executives make this mistake. In addition, do not use corporate resources like paper, stamps, etc. If you start job hunting while at work, you will only increase the chances you will be discovered. You need to set the standard for the company. Others will emulate your behavior. Discretion and proper, ethical behavior should be exercised at all times.
  4. If you have to dress differently than you normally would because you are going on an interview, bring a change of clothing in your car. During the meeting, if the potential employer asks for references from your current company, let them know that your search is confidential. Explain that you would happily provide references from the people that you work with once a firm offer is extended.
  5. When attending networking events, don’t let the entire group know you are on the hunt. Instead, take business cards from those people that you are specifically interested in connecting with; indicate when you will follow-up. It is poor taste to publicly announce that you are seeking a new role while you are actively representing your firm.

Arrange your schedule to allow for some additional time out of the office to give you the flexibility you need to conduct an effective job search and still make sure that all of your corporate responsibilities are met.

It can be a challenge to spend nights and weekends identifying potential roles, but this is the safest way to conduct your search. I always say that looking for a new job is a job itself. Whatever you decide, your search strategy and conduct should be beyond reproach.

If and when you depart for greener pastures, you will leave as a respected and valued contributor. The world is small, particularly where business is concerned. Paths do cross again, and again, and again…

Originally published on the Glassdoor Blog by Debra Wheatman, Glassdoor.com Contributor

About Glassdoor.com: Glassdoor.com is a free career community where anyone can find and anonymously share an inside look at jobs and companies. What sets us apart is that all our information comes from current and former employees, interview candidates, and even the companies themselves.

The Glassdoor community holds more than a million of salaries, company reviews, interview questions, office photos, and more, you have all the information you’ll need to manage your career and make more informed career decisions.

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About the Author

Debra Wheatman, an experienced human capital management strategist will help you take the next step up your career ladder. Debra, who possesses both Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Certified Professional Career Coach (CPCC) designations, is globally recognized as an expert in advanced career search techniques. With more than 18 years' corporate human resource experience guiding and directing global clients in determining career goals and identifying gratifying career choices Debra can package the amalgamation of your skills and accomplishments in a compelling and creative way to generate interest on behalf of decision makers at leading corporations. She posts regularly on her own site at careersdonewrite.com/blog, and she has been featured on Fox Business News, WNYW with Brian Lehrer, and quoted in leading online, print, and trade publications, including Forbes.com, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and CNBC. Debra is the featured career columnist for The Epoch Times.

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