Is it okay to look for a new job while I’m at my current job?
Yes. You have to be able to look for a job while you have a job or it’s indentured servitude. Most people in their twenties change jobs every two years. At any given moment 70% of the workforce is job hunting, which surely means that 99% of the workforce under 30 is job hunting. So looking for a job at your current job is totally normal.
You do not need to tell the company you’re interviewing at to not say anything. It is common courtesy to not say anything to a candidate’s current employer. If it’s a small town and there’s nothing you can do, well, then, there’s nothing you can do. If someone asks you at your work if you’re looking you can say, “I’m always looking. Isn’t everyone?”
You should not make yourself look sneaky or paranoid. It’s not good for you.
What should I do if no one responds to my followup calls and emails after an interview?
If you are writing to the person who is in charge of moving you to the next step, and he doesn’t respond, there’s not a lot you can do. If there is another person who might be able to move you to the next step, try following up with that person. Or, if there’s someone there you interviewed with who really liked you, you could try that route. But only one more email - you don’t want to be a stalker. Also, did you get the interview with a connection? Ask that person who helped you get the interview to inquire how things went, in a way that might keep you in the running.
Things to consider:
1. They might just be slow and you are still in the running and you don’t want to be annoying and take yourself out of the running.
2. If they are not talking to you they might not want to hire you and that’s okay. If you are right for this kind of job, with persistence you will get one, somewhere. If you’re not right for this kind of job, the world has a way of telling you in a nice way that prevents you from going down a bad career path: not hiring you.
3. There are other jobs for you. This is not the only job in the world for you. If you find other jobs to apply to you will be less invested in this one. Not helpful advice for getting this job, I know, but helpful advice for maintaining your sanity. You will have many many job hunts in your life. It’s important to develop the mental skills to do interviews for job you want without losing sleep over did you get it.