My father once told me that the best time to find a job is when you already have a job. As a teenager, of course I didn’t give those words much thought; however, it turns out that he was right.  In fact, The Active Job Seeker Dilemma study found that job seekers who are currently employed have a better chance of being hired.  According to the study, 44 percent of employers believe that candidates who are “passive job seekers” (candidates who are currently employed but open to new job opportunities) have more experience and 42 percent believe that they take their careers more seriously than “active job seekers” (unemployed candidates in search of a job).  Although these candidates have a better chance of being hired, it is also more difficult to apply for jobs and schedule interviews when you are holding down a full time job since working and searching for new employment can cause your productivity and work relationships to suffer.  As a result, it is important to use these tips to maintain your professional integrity while juggling your current job and your job search.


Don’t slack: While you are looking for a new career opportunity, it is important that you don’t let the quality of your work suffer.  Keep in mind that even though you don’t plan on staying with your current company much longer, you may rely on your employer for a reference in the future and it is best to leave a positive last impression.

Make job searching your part time job: Unlike “active job seekers” who are able to treat their search as a full time job, “passive job seekers” find themselves conducting their job search amidst a 40+ hour work week.  If you currently have a full time position but want to make a career move, ensure that your search is a priority by dedicating time every day to looking for and applying to new jobs.  Whether you use your lunch break or a couple of hours every evening, treat your search as a part time job by sticking to a schedule and remaining consistent.

Keep your search separate: Keep your search separate from your current job by avoiding using valuable work time to tinker with your resume, look for jobs, send in applications, or take phone interviews.  If you receive a call from a potential employer during work hours, demonstrate the type of employee that you are by requesting to talk to them when you aren’t on the clock.  They will appreciate that you are the type of employee who values company time.  In addition, schedule interviews for times that don’t interfere with any projects that you are working on or deadlines that you need to meet.

Be discreet but honest: While you are searching for a new job, it is best to be discreet.  Telling even one person in the office that you are looking for a new job can trigger gossip to spread about you, your work, and your dedication to the team.  At the same time, make sure that you don’t lie about where you are when you are taking time off to go to interviews.  Instead of explaining your absences by creating excuses like appointments and family emergencies, simply say that you need to take time off for “personal reasons”.  After all, it looks a little suspicious to give your two weeks’ notice shortly after a string of appointments or family emergencies.

Give adequate notice: Once your job search has paid off and you are offered a new position, take a moment to reflect on what projects you need to hand off or complete before starting your new job.  You don’t want to leave your current employer and team members in a bind, so as soon as you know that you will be moving on, give your employer at least two weeks’ notice to transition someone into your role.


Although looking for a job while working full time can feel like a balancing act, it is the best time to look for new employment opportunities. The struggle comes with maintaining a level of professionalism and integrity in both your search and your work; however, you can do both by using these tips!