Even if you love your current pharmacy job, you may someday want, or need, to transition to something different.
Perhaps you’ll need to broaden your experience, move into an emerging field, or react to a changing workplace.
In order to increase your odds of finding the right job, your search should begin before you leave your existing position.
Searching while you’re employed eases some of the fear associated with the job search. It removes the sense of urgency, because you’ll be able to search while you still earn a paycheck.
As long as you’re still working in your industry, you’ll be more likely to stay aware of developing opportunities and job openings that you might not otherwise hear about.
The challenge is this: how do you conduct a job search without appearing disloyal to your employer, and souring your existing work relationships?
Statistics indicate that job boards account for 35 percent of hiring, and 89 percent of employers report using LinkedIn to hire employees. The catch, of course, is engaging an online community without signaling to your employer that you’re considering a job change.
I read an online story about Jennifer, who landed her existing job via Indeed, only to find that the company received an update when she updated her resume on the job platform. Her theory is that her employer likely saved her profile when they hired her, so the company received a notification of her activity.
It’s also very likely that, if the employer found her there, they likely still use the platform for recruiting.
Be aware that job boards provide settings that allow you to decide who sees your resume.
- Visible allows everyone to see your resume.
- Limited allows employers to see your resume without identifying info like your name and your references.
- Private prevents searchers from finding your resume but allows you to apply privately for listed jobs.
Opt for the most restrictive setting in order to protect your identity while you search.
Choose references carefully
It probably sounds obvious, but avoid listing your current employer, or any of your current coworkers as references on your job application. Unless your contract has expired or you’re being laid off, it’s best to choose references from previous jobs.
Request confidentiality from your previous employers when you approach them about acting as a reference. You can also request it from the hiring company as well.
Most people involved in the hiring process will understand your need for confidentiality, but you shouldn’t assume they operate that way. Specifically request it.
Notify people you are planning to list as references, so they will be prepared to speak about you to your prospective employer. If they aren’t expecting a call, they may hurt your cause by being unprepared.
Conduct your search on your time
You should never, ever search for jobs while you are at work. Even if you are searching for in-house opportunities, you shouldn’t use work resources to do it.
The American Management Association reported that 66 percent of employers monitor their employees’ Internet activity. Forty-five percent track content and keystrokes, while 45 percent monitor phone usage. Finally, 43 percent monitor email.
Limit your job search to after-hours using only personal equipment. If your company relies heavily on computer use, you likely signed an acknowledgment or contract agreeing to acceptable use of your company’s computer equipment.
While it may be difficult to fire you for searching for a job, it will be very possible to fire you for defying company policy.
It’s tempting to share exciting new job prospects.
Avoid the temptation.
While it’s fun to consider new opportunities, and flattering to be invited to interview, your coworkers may not see things from the same perspective.
Your exit will likely leave an open position, and your coworkers may share details of your plan to get a leg up on the open position.
Additionally, they may disengage from projects in anticipation of your exit, making it difficult for you to complete your work.
Don’t trust anyone, even if you consider them friends.
In researching this article, I read the story of a university professor who was informally offered a permanent position at the end of her contract period. When the contract ended, she told a colleague at a different university about the development.
It didn’t occur to her when her colleague asked about the pay and the responsibilities, that she would apply for the position herself. It also never occurred to her that her colleague would land the job, but she did.
It’s impossible to predict what will happen when people have that kind of information. It’s also impossible to control that kind of information. Keep it to yourself.
Continue your work ethic
Continue your commitments and your work ethic until the day you step out the door of your existing job.
Although it’s tempting to slack off a bit if you anticipate leaving a position, you could live to regret the decision.
Sometimes negotiations fail and companies rescind their employment offers. If that happens, will you still be welcome in your existing job?
Do your work in such a way that you could be welcomed back even after you leave.
The pharmacy industry is full of mergers and acquisitions. You may cross paths with your coworkers again someday. Avoid burning bridges.
Do yourself a favor
Searching for a job is hard. Searching for a job while you don’t have any income is much harder, for a variety of reasons.
It’s tough to hold out for the right position if you’re operating without a safety net. Once you give up your income, time becomes a huge determining factor.
It’s also true that employers prefer to hire still-employed workers because their skill set is more likely to be current. It’s also widely perceived that the “best of the best” are those who are still currently working.
Having a job makes you more confident throughout the process, rather than more desperate.
Be cautious, be intentional, and refuse to let fear keep you from exploring the possibilities.
Your perfect job may be waiting.
Alex Barker is a full-time Pharmacist, media company founder, franchise owner, Business Coach, Speaker, and Author. He is also is the founder of The Happy PharmD, which helps busy professionals build successful side businesses.