Advice on applying for new jobs usually centres on the idea that your application will be successful. But remember, if 10 people are applying for a job, there is a 90 per cent chance that you will not get it.
It is therefore important to sort out your strategy with regard to your current employer.
Where are you reading this column? If you are in the office, your colleagues have probably already noticed that you are looking at the job ads.
This is fine as long as you have been in your current post for at least six months.
Otherwise your colleagues will think: 'We've put all that effort into helping her find her feet and already she's looking around.'
Once you have passed the six-month barrier, reading the ads simply shows that you are not stuck in a rut and are looking for self-improvement.
While this is acceptable, spending long hours polishing your CV is not. And putting your application in the basket with the company mail shows that you are an incorrigible cheapskate. Do not forget to keep a few days'holiday in reserve for interviews unless you want to let the cat out of the bag or have everybody believe that you are suffering from a major illness.
The jobs you apply for should be better than the present one, but if you are being wildly ambitious, do not let your colleagues find out.
'He fancies himself as the next director of Foster's when he's never designed anything bigger than a house extension, 'or 'head of school?
- she only just scraped through her Part I'. These are the kind of remarks that will stay in circulation for months.
Do not let others see your CV. Those exotic interests may fool tomorrow's employer - but they will not convince today's colleagues.