How to balance looking for a job with your job

We hear it all the time from candidates; “looking for a new job is a full-time job in itself!”

It certainly can feel that way – never before has there been so much information and so many different platforms screaming for your attention. Sometimes it can be hard to cut through the noise. Coupled with mounting pressures at work, actually making it to an interview can seem impossible, not-to-menion several interviews.

With the scene set we’re going to give you some solid tips that should help you juggle both the current job and searching for the next one.

1. Slow down

Unless you have a real pressing need to find something new, take a step back and take your time with the search. Usually if you are facing something like redundancy then your current employer will give you flexibility to find something new.

2. Don’t let your current work suffer

Most jobseekers are nervous that their current employer will find out they’re looking and this makes the job search seem like quite a challenge. Letting your work suffer is a clear tell-tell sign so make sure to stay productive and motivated at work and mentally the job search will seem less daunting, while at the same time you’ll be safe in the knowledge that your intentions aren’t known!

3. Be focused

Being clear about what you’re looking for is really important and will help you cut through the noise. Make sure to always be open about new, potential options that might come to light during your job search but balance this with being clear about your motivations for leaving your current role.

4. Dedicate time

Most people search for jobs haphazardly, on the mobile while on the bus or for a cheeky 5 minutes at their desk. Although most articles will talk about how you should always be connected to your job search, we actually think dedicating a solid and effective 30 minutes each night or 2 hours at the weekend will have much better results.

5. Work with a good recruiter

They say a good recruiter can be hard to find, and it’s probably true. Don’t settle for someone who doesn’t listen or understand you and your drivers; finding the right one has massive advantages. Firstly, they’ll understand your search and will be able to find you relevant roles that fit with your requirements. They’ll also help you prep for interviews, give insight beyond the brief in terms of things like culture, and be able to manage the process on your behalf, leaving you to get on with the day job.

6. Sign up to alerts

Every job board has them so make sure you’re getting the alerts through. Check them in the evenings and only go for the ones that really stand-out. Applying for jobs is time-consuming so make sure you’re applying for the ones that you’re definitely interested in.

7. Don’t use a job board

Contrary to the last point, one could argue that the traditional job board can lead to wasted time. Most ads on job boards are written by recruiters and most don’t read well or give you the honest and full picture of what you’re applying for. That coupled with the fact that most job ads are pretty generic means that you should use alternative methods to find the right opportunities. Follow companies on LinkedIn, read articles about new business wins, talk to friends in the industry, and go to networking events. These are all great ways to help you find new opportunities and some of these will actually blend naturally into your day-to-day work life.

Good luck with the rest of your search!

I’m a Founding Partner of Bamboo Crowd. I help our clients invest better in people and scale through Engine. I solve recruitment challenges and help our clients source the best talent across operations, business development, programme management, and technology. Ask me about good films, beards and hip hop.