The career-killing move more than half of us admit we’re making

New research released this week suggests that most Canadian workers don’t see a problem committing this unprofessional career blunder. It turns out that most of us feel confident searching for new jobs from our current workplace.

In a survey from global staffing firm Accountemps, 79 per cent of workers said they would feel at least somewhat comfortable looking for a new job while with their present company. More than half of respondents (57 per cent) indicated they’d likely conduct search activities from work.

If it is time to move on or move up, it only makes sense to look for that new job while you’re currently employed. It’s an unfortunate truth that employed candidates look better to future employers. (The fact that someone is already paying you for your skills is an unspoken validation and recommendation from one company to the other.)

Also, while you are employed you can take your time to prepare professional applications for targeted jobs that are the right fit with your ambitions and abilities. When you are unemployed, you may find yourself scrambling to lineup any job that’s available just because you need the paycheque.

So, looking for a job while employed is a just good strategy. However, doing it from work is a huge mistake. It can cost you your current job and make you look bad to future employers as well.

David King, Canadian president of Accountemps agrees. “It’s fine to search for a job while employed, just make every effort to ensure your hunt doesn’t affect or jeopardize your current position,” he cautions. “Remain respectful of your company and colleagues throughout the process. Look for roles and schedule interviews on your own time and be discrete on social media to avoid potentially damaging your work relationships or professional reputation.”

Don’t use your work email or phone number on your job applications. Those are your current employers’ resources, so using them to line up a new gig could cause potential employers to question your professional ethics. (Plus, your current company could be monitoring those communications.)

“Limit possible job hunt distractions during work hours,” adds King. “Use personal devices and resources to explore new positions and consider engaging a staffing firm to assist with outreach or logistics, so you stay productive while still advancing your search.”

Also, watch your wardrobe. If you work in a casual workplace and suddenly you start coming in wearing a suit, it can be a pretty clear giveaway that you’re going to interviews. Be prepared to change or adjust your clothes between work and the interview. Stop wearing jeans to work immediately. (Pants can be the most difficult thing to change on the go.)

Canadian unemployment is at record low levels, so this is actually a good time to be looking for a new job. Just be professional about it. Stealing time and resources from your current employer can cost you your job and hurt your chances of landing a new one.

See the full release from Accountemps.

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