In a perfect world, you would let your current employer know that you are looking for a new job. However, there are some reasons that job hunters  keep their search secret from current employers and co-workers.
Even while you are trying to keep your job search secret, though, you might be leaving clues for others. If you want to keep your secret job search an actual secret, you need to make sure that you are covering your tracks. Here are 5 ways you could be revealing your secret job search:
1. Using Your Work Computer to Update Your Information
Just before looking for a new job, many hunters update their information. This includes updating information on social media profiles, particularly LinkedIn. Other information that might be updated includes network contacts (including going online to forge new connections) as well as resume information  and cover letter information.
If you are using your work computer to update any of this information, your employer could find out. Many workplaces monitor activity, and your new profile and other information could tip off your employer if your activity is seen through your work account.
2. Leaving to Use the Phone
If you head into the conference room or some other secluded area to use the phone — especially if you are using your personal cell phone — that can be a huge tip off. Many workers who have personal calls remain at their desks if it is an emergency, and they get off the phone quickly, ready to leave the office and deal with the problem.
However, longer phone calls taken somewhere out of earshot of the boss and co-workers can be signs that you are on the job hunt. Especially if you return to your desk afterward.
3. Dressing Up More
Headed to an interview on your lunch break? Going straight from work to an interview with another company? You probably want to dress up a little more. When you make those efforts, your employer might notice. If it happens a few times in a short period of time, you are practically broadcasting your job search. When you suddenly look ready for an interview, after years of just dressing for your current job, it’s clear that you are probably going to an interview.
4. Withdrawing from Social Interactions at Work
When you start withdrawing from social interaction at work, it can provide a clue that you might not be sticking around for very long. Not only can acting naturally at work help you keep your job hunt a secret, but it can also help you maintain some of those important professional relationships after you have moved on to another position.
5. Increasing the Amount of Emergencies You Have
From calling in sick a lot more, to needing to see the dentist three times in a month, to your child suddenly developing a behavioral problem at school, an uptick in the number of “emergencies” you are dealing with in your life can be a clue.
Many employees have habits that they follow, and it is noticeable when something changes suddenly. Your employer will notice if your available personal leave time is rapidly disappearing in a short space of time, and will wonder why.
If you want to keep your job hunt a secret, you need to find ways to go about “business as usual,” and do what you can on your own time, rather than work time.
(Photo: Mr. Daniel Ted Feliciano )