Education Career Services

March 19, 2010

Work is NOT the place to conduct a job search

Today is dedicated to a fairly common question I hear from individuals who possess a job yet are also looking elsewhere.  No doubt we’ve all experienced a sense of being uncomfortable on this issue so how about a few minutes to get my take…

Does your boss know you are back in the job market?  There’s a gray area here but overall, it may be in your best interest if your boss is left in the dark… it can mean the difference between wanting to get a new job and having to get one.  

In the employer’s right shoe: if one of your employees (who you count on to get the job done) is actively seeking employment elsewhere, what would you do?

Most corporations avoid keeping employees who don’t want to be there. They certainly won’t tolerate employees who are not being productive in their current position while surfing Monster.com. With an ironic twist, you may end up being eaten by that monster (i.e. your boss).

I typically suggest to my clients (and now to you) to keep your job hunting to yourself. Even though statistics show that 25% of employees perform their job searches while at work, don’t do it. Never sit at your desk and search job sites or scan the local newspaper’s want ads while on your lunch break with coworkers. This is like having a neon sign above your head that reads, “Job seeker here.”

If you must make search-related phone calls during work hours, use your cell phone where no one can hear you. Look for some isolated area, like a sound-proof room once used for interrogation of disloyal employees. Do not use the phone at your desk or workstation. Many employers do not approve of their staff using equipment for personal reasons. They might also monitor employee phone calls. This is not the way you want them to discover you’re hoping to find a better position.

If you have an interview with another company, it is acceptable to ask the interviewer not to contact your current employer. Most hiring professionals understand the necessity of discretion and will avoid any undo disclosure.

Your employment search is nobody’s business but your own. Keep it private or prepare to be unemployed until you find your next job.

In the employer’s left shoe: It is not uncommon for employers to monitor the sites you surf or print out the phone numbers made from your extension.  If you owned a company and noticed an employee completing an application, how would you react? 

Much like Dorothy and her journey, there’s no place like home (to surf and apply for jobs)… think about it.

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC, author, educator, and co-owner of Career Services International/Education Career Services.

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