The right balancing act between your job search and your current position is tough, but possible.
You did it: You decided to start your job search and make some big career moves. But you have a small problem — you're currently sitting at your nine-to-five, full-time job unsure of how you're going to balance it all. You want to make sure you're effectively job hunting, but you also don't want to drop the ball on your responsibilities or tip off your bosses that you are looking for another job in the first place. While it may seem daunting, there are ways to actively job search without sacrificing your productivity, time on the job, or current work relationships.
So, how do you do that exactly? With the help of this Reddit thread, we've compiled three tips to help you out.
Set up a schedule — and stick to it
Create a schedule for taking phone calls or phone interviews and stick to it. Instead of letting yourself be at the whim of the recruiter's or company's schedules, find the times that work for you and offer those as your available time slots. For face-to-face interviews, know how much time you need to take off to go to them and plan accordingly. If you're worried about taking too much time off for interviews, reserve them only for the jobs that really excite you.
With recruiters, make them talk to you on your schedule, before work, during lunch, after work. For onsite interviews, you need to be more picky on choosing the company you want to interview with.
Set aside an hour on two or three days each week before work and the other days after work, and tell recruiters and prospective employers those are your availability slots. Unless it's a dream job, don't let them book your time outside of that window.
Be smart about your time
From your lunch break to the vacation time you're allotted, you have options. Don't be afraid to go somewhere more secluded on your lunch break to focus on your job search and field phone interviews. Need to go in for the interview? Depending on how many job interviews you have lined up, you can use your vacation days, PTO days, or even work from home if you're allowed.
I often try to fit phone calls in during lunch break. It's easy for me to sneak out and talk to a recruiter in that time. Also, I do not give out my phone number easily. If they want to contact me, I make them use email, because answering emails during work hours is a lot easier than answering phone calls. Still, the on-sites are the hardest to plan, because you have to do them during work hours. They typically require at least half a day off.
Try to schedule as many phone interviews on the same day and either take a vacation / sick day, or WFH. In-person interviews, you can get at least 2 of those of the same day. Schedule several over a few days, so you can knock them all out in one vacation request.
Don't rush the job search
It might seem smart to apply to a bunch of jobs in one go, schedule as many interviews as possible, and hope that it works out. What could go wrong? Besides increasing the noticeability of your job search, loading your schedule could lead to increased stress levels and lower productivity at your current position. It even may lead to an ineffective job search, which won't bring you any closer to your goal.
You shouldn't be mass-applying to hundreds of postings and interviewing with 30 companies a week. You can't reasonably balance a job search that intense, and a full time job, without something suffering. Just apply to a handful of companies. Wait a week or two to see how those go, and then apply to a handful more. You really shouldn't be doing more than a couple interviews a week. Taking 2/3 months instead of 1 isn't going to have a noticeable effect on your career. Take your time.
What will have a noticeable effect on your career is if you're fired because you're not fulfilling your responsibilities at work due to your aggressive job search. You should be doing everything you can to avoid that.
I would slow down on the apps and recruiter screens and spend some time prepping for the interviews...if you're actually going to *that* many interviews/taking that many calls, then your boss will definitely notice at some point, and you need to be able to actually get an offer soon so that you can break the cycle and leave before it starts causing problems.
At the end of the day, finding this balance is all about knowing how much time you need and how much you can handle. Every job seeker is unique, so don't try to compare the length of time it's taking you to find a new job to anybody else. This is your journey — no one else's.
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