Looking for a new job can be a very time consuming process. Not only do you have to research various positions, but you also need to spruce up your resume, write cover letters, complete applications, and (if you’re lucky) make appointments to be interviewed. When you already have a full-time job, it can be difficult to find the time to do all of this. However, if you find yourself in this situation, you have options. Here are five ways that you can search for a new job without falling behind in your current job:

1. Schedule, schedule, schedule.

If you want to find a new job, you need to make sure you schedule everything precisely. Schedule times to look for positions, schedule time to write cover letters, schedule time to do some networking. You’re already a busy person, so this is the only way that you’ll find the time to get everything done. It’s important that you stay sharp at your current job, so try to schedule around already-existing commitments.

2. Be picky.

Just because you want a new job, that doesn’t mean you want any job. Use your best judgment when you’re searching for new positions and stick to what you know you would like to do. You should also keep in mind that you should narrow your search down in terms of location and skill set. Don’t use a new job as simply a way to get away from your current position. This is an important decision, and it should be treated as such.

3. Keep it a secret.

Don’t tell anyone at work that you’re job hunting. Seriously, it is a bad idea to let anyone know who you interact with professionally. Things can spread quickly around an office, and it’s very unprofessional to let this information slip. Once you do find a new job, the first person to know should be your boss. Talk to your boss, turn in your notice, and only then can you let others know. Talking about searching for a new job is disrespectful and unprofessional, so keep it under wraps.

4. Be kind to your current job.

When applying to new jobs, never say anything bad about your current position. In interviews, it can be tempting to answer a question on what made you want to change jobs with something negative about your current position. Don’t do that. Not only does that make you seem petty, but it’s also unprofessional. It will certainly not impress your interviewer. It’s also rude to say that about your current job, because even if you hate it, it’s a source of income for you, which you should be grateful for. Word also gets around quickly, and you never know who other people are acquaintances with. Try to keep things as professional as possible.

5. Keep things separate.

Never cancel a meeting at your current job to search for a new one; it’s unprofessional. Simply schedule your job search around that meeting. Use your lunch break, coffee break, whatever break to look for new jobs. It’s important to remember to keep doing your job while you’re looking, so be discreet and professional about it. Remember to use down time as well, such as when you get home from work. While you certainly have obligations there as well, you might find that it’s easier to job hunt after work. Use any free time you have to look for a new job. Just remember that free time is not the same as cancelled or shared time. Don’t try to force this task. Just use your spare time and hopefully all this hard work will pay off in the end.

Featured photo credit: Marsmettnn Tallahassee via flickr.com

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