It’s a dead giveaway. The employee who is suddenly dressing a bit better, has
doctor’s appointments followed by the dentist followed by the kids are sick
followed by “I’m working from home today” isn’t fooling anyone.

Then there’s the huge clue of a recently updated profile on websites your
boss might be looking at – this one, LinkedIn, Facebook and others.

So how do you get a new job without messing up the one you have? Remember the
golden rules:


      They can’t arrest you. It isn’t illegal to look for a


      job, nor is it illegal to update your resume and profile. In fact, it’s good


      career management. So, deep breath Little Sneaky, you haven’t done anything



2. Meet before and after work, or during lunch. Minimize
your absences from your desk. Most prospective employers and recruiters know
you’ve got a job to do, that’s one of the reasons they’re so keen on you.

3. No stealing from the company. Research required to find a
new job or to understand a prospective new company takes time and energy. Use
your own. While it isn’t illegal to look for a job, it can be a firing offense
to be doing so on the company computer on company time. In a recent Workopolis
homepage poll, 55% of our users indicated that they look for new jobs while at

4. Have an answer for the question. Be ready should your
boss out and out ask “are you looking for a new job?” – don’t risk being caught
off-guard. Tell the truth, if not the whole truth. “I enjoy the challenges I
have here” or “we have a great team” doesn’t say yes or no, and might actually
be true. As well, in fairness you will have already outlined your concerns and
ambitions in a performance review, so your boss has an inkling whether or not
he’s meeting your expectations.

5. If you decide to go, go. Your current company may try to
win you back should you announce you’re leaving. Being loved is great, and
change is scary no matter how juicy the new job. But staying rarely works for
more than about six months – they know you’ve dallied with someone else, and
frankly, you were ready to leave and your reasons haven’t vanished even with
more money or vacation. Plus, it’s bad karma to say yes to a new company only to
renege – not to mention harmful to your reputation, to be completely practical.
So, go. Be polite, don’t burn any bridges and if the new job doesn’t work out,
you can always have that conversation later.

Tell us your stories. Do you look for work while at work? What are the
tell-tale signs you’ve seen on a not-so-subtle colleague looking to jump ship?