Clark Howard: Ways to be discreet when looking for a new job

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We’ve been through eight years of tough times in the job market. Salary freezes, fewer hours, layoffs. In fact, we’ve been through such a hard time that it’s hard to accept things are getting better. But they are.

The employment picture is changing. A new research report from Hay Group says this year the average wage increase will be 5.4 percent. That’s after years of no pay raise at all, or big companies going to a system where you just got a nominal cost of living increase no matter how good of an employee you were.

Right now, we’re seeing millions of jobs go unfilled. Take heed if you’re in a job unhappily (or even happily).

Many employers are using software programs to try to figure out which employees are out prospecting for a new job. They’re scanning LinkedIn and many other job sites to see who might be out there looking for something new. Some employers will take it as a sign of disloyalty and fire you simply because you’re out looking for a new job. So you’ve got to be discreet.

The Wall Street Journal ran a piece about the power of the passive candidate — a person who has a job and is not necessarily looking around for another. But the thing is, employers apparently love poaching others who are already employed. Some of them feel like they got a good “get” if they steal an employee from someone else.

There are even apps that now allow you to covertly look for a new job. Among them are Poacht, Switch and Poachable.
All these apps are very careful about not revealing any info about you. But they make it possible for you to see what potential opportunities are out there and maybe switch jobs.

Clark Howard — Save More, Spend Less, Avoid Rip-offs — for the Atlanta Bargain Hunter blog

Consumer expert Clark Howard’s column appears here each Thursday in conjunction with Deal Spotter, a weekly print section in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Find more answers to your consumer questions at Clark’s website

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