Finding A New Job While working : watch you step in the Minefield! First things first if you currently have a job but you are looking for something a little better.You are getting tired, uptight, and maybe just a little stressed out.This is a dangerous time - the time when job seekers can turn into wing nuts and make keymistakes.What should you do to try and avoid tripping over those simple landmines,?You know your current boss, workmates, and customers - and still carry out an effective jobsearch?Here are some of the risky situations you are going to want to walk around so as to not have yourjob search blow up in your face!First Landmine #1: Oops, I did it again! Ready, fire, THEN aim that emailYouve done all the right things: Tailored a cover letter, crafted a killer resume, and found the rightcontact, Chris rainbow at "Work for ten minutes and get paid for a year.com."Now all you have to do is hit Send. So you do, hit send that is. So far so good. OK, next target.Ms. kim hottie at "I love my job.com." Lets see...type in email address...browse...attachfile...and...send. Oops! I think I sent the Chris rainbow cover letter and resume to kim hottie.Avoid this landmine by taking the necessary time and making sure you have reviewed andattached the correct file(s) to the correct email. One sure way to blow up your job search is to getin a hurry and mistakenly send the right email to the wrong person or the wrong email to the rightperson. Do not send ANY job search-related emails from your current place of work. Send allsuch email outside of work. Take the necessary time to make sure the right email is going to theright person, THEN hit the send button.Landmine #2: Having potential employers call you at your current workplaceJennifer Jobseeker had it all figured out. Since she was at work during work hours, it only madesense to list her work number as her contact number for potential employers. "Why burn my cellminutes and have to keep checking my home machine," she thought. Ah, poor innocent Jennifer,totally unaware of the dangerous trip wire she was about to trigger with the brand new patentleather Woodberry loafers she had just purchased as part of her job interviewing outfit. "After all, Ican just grab all incoming calls, screen them and if its an interview call just cross that bridge whenI come to it." Then something went terribly wrong. Jennifer took a 15 minute break and thatswhen Mr. Murphy the hiring manager called. A coworker took the call, asked if he could take amessage, and was surprised to learn that Jennifer had an interview scheduled for 11:00 am thefollowing day. Take a guess at what the coworker did with this info...youve got it: The newsspread around the office faster than Simon humiliating someone on American Idol and Jane was
knocked completely out of her brand new loafers (metaphorically) and her current job (literally.)Use common sense when giving out your contact info to potential employers. Never, ever, ever,ever, EVER use your current work phone number as the point of contact. Pass your cell or homenumber along to potential hiring folks and just let them know that if they get your voice mail, youwill call them back as soon as you are able - they will understand. Two other things to keep inmind here: 1) Make sure your voice mail message is professional and not too cutesy, rude, orprofane; 2) Never, ever, ever, ever, EVER call them back from your office number - if you do youwill suffer Jennifers fate.Landmine #3: Using your current companys intranet or internet access for job seeking andinterviewing.This should be a no-brainer. In most companies, every key stroke you make on your companycomputer is recorded and can potentially be tracked. Many IT departments now flag certain keywords and phrases and automatically create reports detailing who is doing what with their laptopsand desktops. These reports are then passed to management for review. Odds are you probablysigned a computer use policy when you joined the company. And guess what? In addition tomandating that you cant play games, view any inappropriate sites, or conduct business outside ofwhat your company is doing, there is likely a clause about using company property for privatepurposes or gain. And unless you are going to include your current company in the job searchwith you, you definitely do not want to violate this clause.Landmine #4: Dont slack off at your current jobEven though you might have S.T.A (short timers attitude) its a good idea to not let it show. Keepdoing the best job you can. Yes, it will be hard. Yes, it will seem pointless; after all you aresearching for a new place to work. And yes, you will need to continue to support what you maythink are mundane tasks and soon-to-be former coworkers and customers. But be aware that youare being watched. Cubicles and hard walls alike have both ears and eyes and they see and heareverything. If you change your behavior even slightly, your coworkers and your boss will likelynotice. Its important to remember something here. Most bosses dont get to be bosses becausethey are dumb. Most bosses get to be bosses because they are continually observing eventsaround them and seeking ways to keep things running smoothly. Your boss will know somethingis up if you are slacking off. Whether you like and respect your current boss or not, you areobligated to serve him or her, the company, your coworkers and your customers as long as youare on the payroll. And its the right thing to do. You will feel better in the long run if you do theright thing.Commit to yourself to keep putting in the necessary time and effort that you are getting paid for.Remember, you are the one looking for work so its up to you to figure out how to balance yourcurrent work situation with your job search efforts.
Landmine #5:Attending a job or career fair that includes a booth for your current companyLets face it, you can often find excellent job leads through a job or career fair. These eventsattract a large and diverse group of employers who are looking for qualified candidates just likeyou. So, being the go-getter that you are, you schedule a vacation day in advance (very classy)so that you can attend the job/career fair guilt free. You polish up your shoes, dust off thatbusiness suit, brush your teeth, comb your hair, go over a few interview questions in your mind,print up a dozen or so resumes and head to the event. You are prepared, you are confident, andyou are going to find that next best job! After all, you dont call yourself Cory the CareerConqueror for nothing.Imagine your surprise, accompanied by that "Ive-just-been-punched-in-the-gut" feeling, when thefirst booth inside the door is YOUR companys booth staffed by a couple of well known coworkersand a person or two from your Human Resources department. "Why Cory, what are you doinghere?" the admin assistant from HR asks, as four pairs of eyes bore into to you like some evildemon guarding the secret passage in the latest Play Station game.Career and job fairs are great, just make sure to learn what companies are going to berepresented there, and if yours is, you may want to rethink attending.Landmine #6:Listing your current boss or coworkers as references while conducting a Stealth job seekingcampaignConsider the following from the movie script "Ive Just Lost My Job.com":Scene 1: Chris is having a terrible nightmare (dissolve...fade to dream sequence...phone rings...)"Hi Mrs. hook. My name is kim at XYZ, Inc. Just a quick question if you dont mind. Do you havea Chris CareerChanger working for you?""Why yes I do Ms. jobs pro. Why do you ask?""Oh, you dont know? Chris has listed you as one of his references and we are thinking of bringinghim in for an interview but would like to get some feedback from you first."Chris wakens in a cold sweat and realizes he has dozed off at her desk. "Whew, thank goodnessit was only a dream" he thinks with relief. (Fade out...)Scene 2: As Chris slips a Cool Mint in her mouth, her boss, Mr. hook, stops by her cube (close upof Christina as Mr.hook asks)"Chris, may I see you in my office for a moment."Chris, now realizing it was not a dream after all, resigns himself to her fate and trudges slowlytowards Mr. hook office."What was I thinking?!" he screams silently to himself.Scene Ends (and so does Chris current job.)This is a tough one. On the one hand, the people you are currently working for and with are in thebest position to speak about your qualifications. On the other hand, if you are conducting a stealth
job seeking campaign, you cant really let on that you are doing so.There are only 2 ways to handle this situation and each carries its own degree of risk:1.Reveal to your current boss that you are looking for other job opportunities2.Keep your job seeking under wraps and find other references you can useAs Chris learned, you really cant have it both ways. It is just a matter of time before yourreferences will be contacted. It is important to have your strategy in place and all the basescovered so that you are not taken by surprise.Conducting a stealth job seeking campaign carries risk. If it is not possible or appropriate for youto discuss your job seeking with your current employer, you owe it to yourself to take thenecessary time and effort to avoid landmines you know exist on the path to your new job.The best way to avoid landmines is to plan your job search strategically, continually scan the pathahead, and use as much patience and persistence necessary to arrive safely and intact in yournew job.Jobs