I'm in an odd predicament. I would like to start looking for a new job. I have several reasons for leaving but all that needs to be said really is that I need to get out of there.

So, the issue. I work for a recruitment agency and my boss is very well connected. If I place my CV on any job boards I will be discovered and immediately sacked (she has alerts set up for new CVs being uploaded) and if I send my CV to another agency word would get back pretty quickly (again, well connected) that I had been there and I would be sacked. If I go and talk to her about leaving I'll be sacked. Do you see the pattern? All roads seem to lead to dismissal. Needless to say I have bills to pay and certainly can't lose my job. Also being sacked would be extremely detrimental to future job prospects.

I hope not to come across as supremely negative or dramatic, but to be honest I'm at my wits end. All situations described above have happened before to past employees. My boss is notorious for on the spot firing. How would you handle the situation?

  • 3
    Why can't you apply directly to companies instead of going through a recruitment agency? Apr 30 '14 at 19:16
  • I'm not entirely sure if it's just my area or not but 98% of all jobs go through agencies. My contract prohibits me from working for any of our clients so I can't approach the companies that I know are hiring.
    – S Bryndle
    Apr 30 '14 at 19:19
  • 1
    @SBryndle how is it possible all jobs go through agencies? So you mean you can't find a job off craigslist or a companies website?
    – bobby
    Apr 30 '14 at 19:24
  • 1
    @SBryndle yes, craigslist can be a bit gritty. But some jobs are legitimate!
    – bobby
    Apr 30 '14 at 19:34
  • 1
    @SBryndle could you please edit your question to incorporate the info you've added in comments? Comments are meant to be short-term, to improve the post. The fact that you can't realistically apply directly to companies (especially clients) is important, as is that you work for a recruiter but aren't yourself a recruiter. May 1 '14 at 1:06

It's a tough case to be in. I have known recruiters who are in your same predicament: can't use the tools most people have used because they have a boss who is watching for their resume to pop up.

My suggestion is twofold:

Use your professional network

Surely you know a few recruiters who you trust enough to advise you when interesting job opportunities arise. Make it clear to them that you are looking and would like to keep it confidential.

Apply directly

Job boards like dice or indeed post about job availability, allowing you to apply for these positions directly without going down the route of a Monster "post your resume".

Using these methods, your job search should never surface in a way that will be visible to your boss.

  • Those are very good points. Thank you Garrison Neely.
    – S Bryndle
    Apr 30 '14 at 19:51
  • When searching for new jobs your network is your single greatest asset. Don't be afraid to utilize it, you'll be surprised at how powerful a tool it can be. Most people who see you in good light will genuinely want to help, after all the better off you are, the better potential you have of doing something for them later) Apr 30 '14 at 20:33
  • Some companies (in the US anyway) will put "no recruiters" on their job ads - they only want to talk directly to candidates. May 1 '14 at 1:09

I would save my money. Once I have a ~3 month reserve, then it becomes less of an issue if the company tries to fire me just for looking around. Being fired sucks, but if your boss is as well connected as you say, then people probably know and understand.

And I would also probably daydream about the sort of scene I would create should my boss try such vindictive firing.

  • Yeah my boss has been a recruiter for over 30 years. I've not know many companies who don't know her name. Good points though, really worth thinking about. Thank you Telestyn.
    – S Bryndle
    Apr 30 '14 at 20:11

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