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Ep 5 - How To Job Search While Working Your Big 4 Job - Part 2

In today’s episode, we’re going to discuss 4 more great tips to help you job search while you are busy working full time at your Big 4 job. And these tips are my favorite as they are specific to my experience leaving the Big 4 world.  

Find the full show notes for the episode at RecovingCorpholics.com/5.

So, last week we discussed the first 4 tips on how to job search while working your big 4 job. As a quick recap from last week, the first 4 tips were:

1. Update LinkedIn

The first tip is all around LinkedIn. Make sure you are keeping your profile up to date and when you do make changes, that you turn your profile notifications off. Also be careful about what information you put out there and I’d also suggest not tagging your profile with Looking for opportunities. 

 

2. Keep your job hunt a secret at work 

The second tip I have and what would seem obvious to some is to keep your job hunt or dissatisfaction at work to yourself. It’s competitive in the big 4 and you never know who is going to use that info to try to get ahead.

 

We also talked about how to talk to your Partner or Director in case they ask you if you are job hunting and I gave some tips and a sample of what you can say back to that ask.

 

 

3. Be Smart on Social Media

The third tip I had is similar to not sharing your job hunt at work but goes further to say - be smart on social media. 

You may be on private but you may have some people in your work network online or at least friends of friends and as you know, gossip spreads like wildfire in a big 4.

 

 

4. Don’t publicly post your resume

The fourth tip I have is to be smart about where you upload your resume. I know you want to leave your big 4 job, but don’t post your resume somewhere publicly where someone can find it. Big 4 recruiters are looking for candidates all the time and may stumble across your resume. 

 

Be smart about how you apply. 

 

So now that we have a recap of the first 4 tips, lets jump into the next 4 tips. 

 

5. Stop going above and beyond

The fifth tip I have on how to job search while working is my favorite. It’s to stop going above and beyond. If you know you want to change jobs and you need more time to do other things, then start saying no to extra projects or other things that take you away from your actual job. 

 

I mean, what are they going to do, fire you? Never – you know they don’t do that and honestly, it would make it so much easier if they did. 

 

Now, saying no may not be easy, as I know you’re probably an over-achiever like I was, but think about what that extra work is going to do for you. It’s only going to get you stressed and give you less time to job hunt and interview. 

 

And to be real, that extra work isn’t what gets you promoted. It’s the actual work your rated on. That extra work helps you stand out only if your work doesn’t do it for you. So start saying no.

 

So if you never said no, how do you start?

 

It may sound like: “Unfortunately, Bob, but I can’t take that on right now as I have a full plate. Things should settle down soon and I am wrapping up this other proposal next week. Could I reach out to you then?”.

 

And you know some people just don’t quit, you could also say:

 

“Bob, I also have some personal things going on right now that I am trying to sort out and on top of my project and extra work I am doing, I just can’t take that on right now. But again, I should have time starting next week. Could I reach out to you then? 

 

By saying these things, you’re creating boundaries. Your boss may not like it but if they respect you, they will understand. And honestly, if they don’t respect it, then I see why you’re leaving and it just strengthens your want to get out.

 

If you want to have a healthy work/life balance, having boundaries is important. Now it could be to have more time at home with family, or it could mean to have more time to job hunt.

 

In addition, the more you have boundaries, the more people respect you. Let me share with you a quick story. 

 

I had a colleague on a project back in the day that in my opinion, never went above and beyond. He would always be the first one to leave, never offer to do any extra work, go to lunch or even team events. I just didn’t see him as the team player. 

 

But when he received the top rating with me at the end of the project, I was surprised. I mean I just busted my ass on this and I could have done half of what I did?

 

He must have had dirt on the boss or something, right!? That or I was really in a boy’s club.

 

I remember having a conversation with him, in a nice way, as I wanted to learn what his secret was. And you know what he said – He works to live; he doesn’t live to work. 

 

Cliché, right?! He went on to say he does great work as he focuses 100% of his time at work on work and when he is off, he is 100% off. He values his personal life more than his work life and at the same time, he still wants to produce good work. It was as easy as that.

 

When I thought about it, while I was at work, I was also emailing around to get the monthly newsletter out, I was looking for who was going to lead the next lunch and learn, aka I was working on so many other things that I had to work extra to get things done. 

 

Now I didn’t clear my plate after that but I started to say no to things that weren’t part of my job. And when I was getting ready to leave, better believe I was only doing what I had to. 

 

And I want to end this tip by saying, I never let my work slip. Always produce high quality work. All I am saying is just don’t do work that isn’t part of your actual job.

 

6. If your serious about changing jobs, Make a Plan

The next tip is all about planning. Just like anything in life, if you want something to happen, you need to make a plan. Otherwise, it will happen when it will happen. Life will take over and who knows when you will finally make the switch. 

 

Making a plan always allows you to be more strategic. Your taking dedication action every day and you know exactly what you need to do. 

 

Set a date – when do you want to be in a new job by? For big 4 professionals, most likely it is right after you get your bonus. Research what companies you want to move to, who you need to network with, etc. 


This is what I love to do and the reason I believe my clients find new jobs. We make concrete plans together. If you want to learn more, go to RecoveringCorpoholics.com.

 

7. Be cautious about your presentation

The seventh tip is to think about the little things, like your presentation. If you never wear a suit jacket and all of a sudden you start wearing one, it may send a red flag that you are interviewing or have something going on. Same goes if you never dress up and then all of a sudden have full hair and makeup-up. 

 

I was remote for the last couple years of my career. And when I started interviewing, I remember someone making a comment to me about how nice I looked. I made something up that I had a surprise date at the end of the day and wanted to be ready. 

 

But after that, I made sure that I started getting nicely dressed more often so it wasn’t a surprise when I did. I even encouraged my team to get dressed like they were going into an office at least one day a week. 

 

Make sure when you are making your plan, you also are thinking about the little things.

 

 

8. Be Patient and Stay Positive

And last but not least, be patient. The job market goes in cycles and you never know what can happen. 

 

It can take a month; it can take a year. But if you are serious about finding a new career, then you have to put in the work. Just think about when you started your career. Did you rise to the top off the bat? Probably not. You had to work for it. 

 

Just like anything life, you have to work for it so be patient, keep steady and be positive. It will all work out if you put in the action. 

 

How do I know, because I did and so have my clients. It is possible, you just have to keep in the game.

 

 

That’s all I have for today’s episode. I hope you enjoyed these 8 tips and it helps you with your job search.

Stay Inspired and Live Powerfully!

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