Thursday, July 19, 2012

What if your boss finds out you’re looking for a new job?

Typing at computer
The general advice, if you are searching for new sales jobs while employed, is to keep your search hidden from your current employer. But, what if your boss does find out? What should you do? Lorena Tonarelliasks, should you deny your intention to leave or tell the truth?
“The truth is always the best policy,” says company director, Derek McCulloch, of ION Recruitment, Glasgow.
“My advice is to be honest and up front on the reasons why you are looking for another job, without being personal about individuals in the company.”
“Being caught can sometimes be a wake-up call for your employer to sort things out. Any reputable employer would rather keep an asset to the business than train another individual. Perhaps the job you are in can be changed to suit you. Or there may be a situation that your boss wasn’t aware of, which is brought to light by you being caught.”

Maybe it could be a good thing

In fact, being discovered may not always be a bad thing, says McCulloch. In some cases, it can even be a “turning point for the better,” if effectively and sensitively managed by both parties.
“It is not gross misconduct to simply look for another job. And the jobseeker still has employment rights. So, as much as your employer will be upset, they’ll just have to realise that something is wrong and fix it before it’s too late,” says McCulloch.
“If they don’t even try, and there really is no chance of any of the issues you have being resolved, you at least know that leaving is the right choice.” Carry on with your search for a job elsewhere, but use your common sense; you don’t want to further compromise your relationship with your boss, in turn contributing to a tense atmosphere in your workplace.
In this regard, McCulloch recommends following these simple tips:
  • Don’t use your company’s email to apply for roles. Surveys suggest that up to a quarter of employers have a system in place to regularly monitor their employees’ emails. Don’t use your company’s internet for searching roles, either. Wait until you get home. 
  • Don’t ask to take half days off regularly, and don’t call in sick on days you are attending interviews. McCulloch says: “If a jobseeker is caught taking time off for interviews through false reasons, like pretending they are ill, the situation can end up in disciplinary actions by the employer. So, try and have interviews out of working hours whenever possible.”  
  • Remember that, often, employers find out about their staff looking for new jobs from other employees. So don’t go telling colleagues how unhappy you are about your current work position. 
  • Don’t put your employer’s reference details in your CV. 
  • Tell your boss that you intend to leave only when you receive a formal written offer and when a start date has been arranged. 
  • If your offer for a new job is subject to references, don’t hand in your notice until these have been satisfactorily gathered.
The bottom line: if you are job hunting while employed it’s best to be discreet. However, you should also be prepared for the possibility of your boss finding out. This will help you avoid doing, or saying, things that may negatively affect your position at work, and to remain focused on what matters to you most – the search for a more rewarding and fulfilling career.
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