How to Keep an Executive Job Search Secret from Your Employer

How to Keep an Executive Job Search Secret from Your Employer.jpg

You’ve decided that it’s time to move on to greener pastures where your talents will be fully utilized and appreciated… You’re ready and eager to take that next career step. You’ve assembled a job search toolkit including a powerful executive resume, LinkedIn profile, and executive bio, and you’re poised to get started.

The question now is: How to get the word out without alerting your boss or co-workers, with possible adverse consequences including reputation damage, perception as disloyal by your company, or even termination? recently offered a list of tips to avoid these unintended consequences by keeping your job search secret. In some rare cases, this may not be necessary, where your current boss knows you are going to look and is behind your efforts. But most of us are not that lucky.

First on the list is: TRUST NO ONE.

This is extremely wise advice. Secrets are VERY hard to keep, even by well-intentioned people you would consider your friends. Just don’t tell anyone at work or even remotely associated with work.

Second is obvious to most of us: DON’T LEAVE DURING WORK HOURS OR COME IN LATE to have interviews if possible. If you can’t arrange for an outside business hours interview, try to disguise your absence (possibly as personal business or maybe just a mental health day).

Another trap to watch out for is mentioning your job hunt on social media like Facebook, or being obvious about updating your LinkedIn profile… While you probably do need to update it, be sure not to position yourself as “on the market” and also to turn off LinkedIn’s automatic activity broadcasts that will alert your connections to any changes or activity on your profile.

It also goes without saying that if you want your job search kept secret, inform any recruiters you talk or correspond with that this is a confidential search.

Have a ready answer for your employer in case he/she notices you’ve updated your LinkedIn profile (for some ideas on this, see my earlier post: The Stealth Executive Job Hunt).

For more good tips, see 5 Ways to Keep Your Job Search Secret.