Get Me the F*ck Out of Here: Job Searching While Still on the Job

Awkward office situation

Welcome back to Get Me the Fuck Out of Here, our series on getting the hell out of your horrible public accounting job and into that greener grass on the other side. So far we’ve covered getting your resume in order and whether or not you should find a job before you leave your current one, and as promised, this week we’re going to talk about how to find that dream gig while still suffering at your current one. For those of you skipping this step and telling your firm to shove it in reckless fashion, feel free to ignore this post or, you know, take it under advisement just in case you change your mind.

OK. So you have your shiny resume in hand. You’ve resolved to leave. You’re making the wise choice, lining up a new opportunity before abandoning your current one. Aren’t you just a perpetually-prepared little Type A-er? You should already know this but just in case, let’s look at the three attack points you can use to hunt down your next job.

The Internet isn’t only for cat pictures

I’m not sure if you’ve been on any job boards lately but let me tell you, it’s rough out there. Even with the “talent shortage” we’re constantly being screamed at about and the relative demand for skilled CPAs, the job market is still kinda fucked if you’re going it alone.

That said, job boards are fucking amazing. You ever been in your car on your way to a destination you’ve never visited before as your phone spits out directions to you and wondered how the hell people ever got from Point A to Point B before we all had little computers in our pockets? I’m old enough to remember the Dark Ages and even I can’t comprehend how the hell we managed to find any new place without these handy little gadgets. Well, online job boards are sort of like Google Maps of employment — they’re pretty smart and super useful, and holy hell do they make the entire thing so much easier than it used to be in the depressing Before Time.

Here’s the big problem with job boards: even if you’re exactly what the company is looking for, it’s entirely possible your stellar resume will be sorted straight to the virtual garbage bin if you can’t get past the filters doing the work formerly done by humans. If you’re lacking certain keywords, chances are the hiring manager will never even see that resume you worked so hard on in Step 1. The good news is there’s a way to bypass this, but it’s a little scary and I totally understand if the prospect is too frightening to comprehend. Ready?

PICK UP THE PHONE.

The phone can also be handy if you’re thinking big and going after positions that may not be the best fit for your resume but for which you think you could absolutely kick ass if given the opportunity. Of course, this requires a little bit of determination and just a bit of charm, so don’t even bother if you have all the personality and persuasiveness of a wet kitchen sponge.

(Obviously this part doesn’t apply if you’re looking at a position that explicitly states NO CALLS, in which case DON’T PICK UP THE PHONE, duh.)

Now, there’s a huge plus to job boards as well: clarity. Expectations and requirements are clearly laid out (hopefully) so you know right off the bat if this could work (heh) and if your skillset is a good fit.

Hey buddy, got a job?

Tyrone Biggums meme

In between scrolling through job boards hunting for the next big thing, there’s another important resource you likely already have at your fingertips: your network. You know, those other professionals orbiting your outer circle who you probably wouldn’t have a beer with but absolutely can tap for advice on your career or, better, a potential job opportunity. They may know of an opening that hasn’t even been publicized at their company, and if you’re not a total jackass, they might even put in a good word for you. Professional connections are like the bouncer at the hot nightclub — treat them right and you can skip the line. Hopefully you already knew this and have been nurturing your network all along, because if not you’re SOL and have to go with the dreaded Plan Z…

Headhunters and recruiters

You know those people who constantly blow you up on LinkedIn, the ones you’ve been ignoring all this time? Yeah, those people.

Recruiters have a pretty poor reputation around these parts and much of it is warranted (God forbid we rip on people who don’t deserve getting ripped on). It pains us to say these used car salesmen of job opportunities can come in handy if you’ve exhausted your other options. Hell, you don’t even have to be desperate to give them a shot and see what they can do for you. They do offer one potential upside: they can sometimes negotiate a higher salary than you might be able to score on your own.

One caveat here: stay away from exclusive contracts when dealing with headhunters. Sure, maybe you’ll get more money but you’re really limiting your options for no benefit to you.

Search smart

Lastly, this all goes without saying but it would behoove you to be discreet when searching for a new job when already employed. You may not give a fuck about your employer anymore but you never know if you’re going to need to cross that bridge again some time in the future. Granted, I’m not ashamed to admit I once spent an entire 45-minute meeting openly searching Indeed on my phone but it’s better to at least try and pretend like you respect your employer. You know, for appearances or something. So if you do upload your resume to job boards, use privacy settings and maybe don’t use your work email to communicate with hiring managers. Or do, whatever, who gives a shit? You’re outta here.

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