As we pointed out in last week’s post on looking for another job, job seekers should be cautious about the job-search process, even if they only want to test the waters.
While many attorneys fear getting caught by their employer for searching for a new job, there are things one can do to keep the risk of being caught as minimal as possible. Keep in mind, there is no foolproof plan, but you might be able to leave your job without burning any bridges along the way by sticking to some of our tips. Aside from the previously mentioned suggestions of keeping your job search out of office and knowing where your resume is going, we offer you this tips on conducting a stealth job search…
Network on the down-low. Recruiters, law school career counselors, and fellow attorneys will tell you about the importance of networking during your job search. By networking you can find out about unadvertised job openings, build good rapport with an employment decision maker at a firm, and have an extra set of eyes looking through the job market.
The downside, however, is that networking will also leave you exposed. There is a great chance that your secret can innocently be revealed. For example, you go to a local bar association’s happy hour and meet a veteran attorney in your practice area. There isn’t an open position for your class year at her firm, but she is involved in the legal community and is willing to forward your contact information at the next CLE event she attends. During some casual conversation at the CLE event, she finds out that a partner is looking for an attorney with your credentials and gives that partner your resume. Unfortunately for you, the partner is the spouse of your boss. Such a scenario is rare, but for some job seekers it is too great of a risk to bear.
While it is important to network, you must be cognizant of who you talk to and how much you are willing to share. Only tell the people you really trust and can be honest with about your job search. You should stress the importance of confidentiality and tell them to always check with you before extending your contact information to possible job leads.
For individuals you don’t know but still want to network with, don’t be too forward about your job search. It will take some time, but that person may eventually tell you about an opportunity he or she came across or one that is open at his or her firm. Although you cannot fully control who may find out about your job search, by limiting the number of people who initially know of your job search, you can reduce the chances of getting caught by your employer while still maintaining a good job searching strategy.