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How to Look for a New Job While You Still Have Your Old One

Dwight Schrute working at Staples

Dwight Schrute working at Staples Dwight Schrute working at Staples instead of Dunder Mifflin on The Office | NBC

A promotion and raise are years away in your current job, and you’ve decided to speed up that process by looking for a role in a new company. Or perhaps you can’t take any more of your toxic co-worker or unpredictable boss, and you’re finally heading for the door. If you’re like most people, you’re continuing to work while you start your job search, since a few months without a steady income is a no-go.

In fact, starting a job search while you still have your current gig is a smart choice, if you go about it the right way. “Companies want to hire the best of the best and [those people] are usually employed,” Sara Menke, the founder and chief executive of Premier, a boutique staffing firm in San Francisco, told Forbes. What’s more, continuing in your current job gives you more bargaining power. You won’t give off an air of desperation, and you’ll be able to use your existing role to your advantage. On the flip side, quitting before you have another job lined up can be a red flag to potential employers.

“If you don’t currently have a job, it raises a lot of questions and puts you in a defensive position, and you won’t be coming at them from a position of strength,” Andy Teach, a corporate veteran and author of From Graduation to Corporation: The Practical Guide to Climbing the Corporate Ladder One Rung at a Time, told Forbes.

Job hopping is now an acceptable way to climb the career ladder, and plenty of people are on the job search while they’re still reporting for their original 9-to-5. The only trick is make sure you’re doing so while remaining professional and not giving yourself away before you planned to. Here are the rules for job searching on the job.

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