If you’re an executive actively seeking a position with a different firm, you probably already know how important it is to be visible within your field. Even managers who do not plan to leave their current positions can increase their visibility to improve their status in the industry. However, executives can’t always be overt about their plans to move into new roles, which can make it difficult to get noticed. If you’re thinking about leaving your current workplace but don’t know how to do so quietly, try implementing these four strategies.
1. Use your own devices
Once your job search begins, you’ll probably be fielding a lot of emails and phone calls from executive search firms and their clients. While you’ll want to respond to these quickly and professionally, you shouldn’t do so with your work email address or while you’re at the office. According to GlassDoor contributor Vickie Elmer, your current employer may be monitoring your email account and could see the messages you’ve been sending. Employees are occasionally fired for actively job-hunting, especially if it’s happening while they’re still on the clock.
2. Have a second business card
If you don’t want to be upfront about the organization you’re planning to leave, printing a second business card, also known as a “networking card,” can be an effective strategy. Put your personal email address and phone number on this card to ensure that executive recruiters and hiring managers don’t attempt to reach you while you’re at the office. If you decide that you want a recruiting professional to have your work information as well, you can always give him or her a copy of both cards.
3. Reply to questions carefully
Many of the professionals you meet at networking events are going to ask why you’re looking for a new job, and you’ll want to have thorough, cautious answers thought out ahead of time. Elmer recommended that employees who work in a fields that are in flux consider saying something about the uncertainty of the industry, asserting that they just want to have a plan B in place. You can also answer that you’re not actively looking – even if you are – and that you attend these events to build your personal network.
If you decide to mention that you’re looking for a new job, consider crafting a response that reflects how much you appreciate your current position but voices concern that your current boss or organization is changing.
4. Get published
Esteemed journalist and researcher Ellen Freudenheim noted that getting published is one of the best things executives can do to casually increase visibility. Writing a letter to the editor or an op-ed can effectively bolster your portfolio while establishing you as a thought leader in your field, and professional newsletters and bulletins are useful for getting your name out there as well. Furthermore, getting published won’t send off any red flags to your current employer – it will simply look as though you’re trying to bolster your own resume and professional experience.
About Caldwell Partners
Caldwell Partners is a leading international provider of executive search and has been for 50 years. As one of the world’s most trusted advisors in executive search, the firm has a sterling reputation built on successful searches for boards, chief and senior executives, and selected functional experts. With offices and partners across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, the firm takes pride in delivering an unmatched level of service and expertise to its clients.