It is absolutely legal and a good idea to look for a new job while you are still employed. It can also be theft, treason and absolutely illegal. It depends on how you do it.
There was a running joke at one place I worked.
“Hey, Jim, this is the fourth day this month you’ve worn a suit. Are you going to see the dentist again?”
It was obvious when people were interviewing for a new job. None of us minded as long as the person didn’t slack off.
The principles are simple:
- Honestly keep earning your income at your current job
- Don’t give away any company secrets
Here are some things I have noticed about job hunters that I respect:
- They interview at lunch or during a normal job downtime.
- They use their own email address or know the company policy on using their work email for personal use.
- They are careful about who can hear them when talking on the phone.
- You can’t pry confidential company information out of them.
- Getting their work done despite looking for a new job is important to them.
- Sabotaging workplace morale is out of character.
It is pretty simple. Treat your job, boss and coworkers how you would like to be treated. Be worth every penny you have been paid and will be paid. Switching jobs is not a crime unless you make it one.
Something to do today
Decide what ethical job hunting really is. Write down some rules. Live by them.