Job hunting on the job

By Shi Tianyun

The job search - it can be a tedious process some only resort to when necessary. On the other hand, some happily employed individuals like to be in tuned with what hot jobs are out there. In a recent JobsCentral poll, we asked when the average worker looks out for new job opportunities and 445 of you told us.

Surprisingly, only 19 percent of respondents hit the job portals when they were not gainfully employed. A conscientious 91 individuals (20 percent) kept an eye out periodically. Finally, a whopping majority of 56 percent would only start updating their resume when they feel that they have outgrown their current job or want a change in scope.

But how does one go about looking for a new job on the sly? We have some tips that will help you leave gracefully, without burning any bridges.

Look internally

If you want to try something new, why not start your search inside the organisation first? Speak with your superior to see whether you can widen your scope to grow and challenge yourself, take on new projects or even transfer to another department. You never know, the Business Development division might just be looking for a new senior executive - and you might just fit the bill!

Keep it a secret

OK, so maybe the opportunities at your current workplace are limited. While you embark on your job search proper, try not to tell anyone in the office about it. On one hand, your superior might not take it kindly that you want to leave while your colleagues might try to sow discord and make it difficult for you to exit on a good note.

Don't use company resources

It is common knowledge that most organisations track their employees' online activity. Keep all your job searching at home or on your personal gadgets - think twice about submitting that resume on your office desktop if you don't want your boss to find out!


Now is the time to make use of every contact you know. While you do have to be discreet at the office, it does not hurt to get the word out in the network. No, not blatantly display "looking for a job" on your name tag but say something like, "I'm doing well currently and am always entertaining options for what's next."

Pick the right references

Well, obviously your current boss doesn't know you are job searching so you can't list him as a reference. If having your previous superiors as references just won't cut it for your potential employer, explain that you can provide one at the point of offer - some organisations will make you an offer contingent on good references. Then it's up to you to convince your boss to give you a glowing recommendation, which leads us to the next point.

Focus on your work

Continue to be that stellar employee even if your heart is no longer into it. That is what you are paid for. Plus, if you have always brought your A game to work, your future boss is likely to hear from the current one all about your good work and traits.

This also means not scheduling interviews during working hours. Make use of your lunch time or request for it to take place after work by explaining to the interviewer that you would like to keep your job search discreet. Disappearing from your desk will only raise suspicions and not help your cause for a glowing reference.

Do you have any other tips for looking for a new job at work? Share with us in the comment box!

The JobsCentral Group, a CareerBuilder company, is the owner of, one of Singapore's largest job and learning portals. Get a free career personality test and more career- and education-related articles at JobsCentral and JobsCentral Community. Alternatively, Like us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter for more career-centric content!

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