Personal Finance

Seeking new job while still in employment is no easy task


Welcoming a new employee. An employee may need to create a work-life balance and when this happens one can find himself searching for a job that pays less, but gives more satisfaction. Photo/FILE

When Julie Gathoni secured her long desired job, it never occurred to her that someday she would abandon it and go searching for another opportunity.

Many employees find themselves in a similar situation.

“At some point an employee may need to create a work-life balance and when this happens one can find himself searching for a job that pays less but gives more satisfaction,” says Raymond Muthama, a talent manager at KPMG Kenya.

The dilemma of employees in such a situation is how to strike a balance between their current employment and the hustle of searching for a new job.

“People consider such a move as being smart in one’s career life. There is absolutely no problem with one searching for another job as long as such an activity does not compromise the quality of an individual’s input at the current job,” says Wendy Gaya, a training consultant at ASPIRE.

An employee should adopt job seeking techniques that guarantee results.

“The fact that one is seeking another job does not necessarily guarantee a perfect landing. At some point one can be forced to go back to the same employer. Leaving behind a good reputation is quite important,” Ms Gaya adds.

No employer wants to lose a hardworking employee, especially to a competitor.

“It is called corporate wisdom. The employee should make his job search as confidential as possible until he secures the new job,” says Mr Muthama.

This involves careful choosing of referees.

“In the event that you must use a referee from your present company, ensure that you do this on a personal basis hence one can choose supervisors who are friends. No one wants a prospective employer to start calling the current employer enquiring about them,” he says.

Prospective employer

However, the prospective employer reserves the right to call your referees in search of background information on you.

One should not use company stationery when searching for another job as this amounts to a conflict of interest and misuse of company property.

Similarly, one should desist from using company time to search for employment.

This is considered a breach of contract.“When searching for jobs avoid acts that will reflect personal interest other than commitment to the present company. For example, using company equipment and time,” says Ms Gaya.

Often, employment contracts provide a time frame for notice of termination of employment.

However, the same contract may contain clauses that define such acts as job search and how to go about it. Adhere to them.

“Even when such clauses may fail to warrant suspension, they may result in warning letters. This may constitute bad recommendations for future dates,” adds Ms Gaya.