How To Keep Your Job Search a Secret from Your Boss

It is a fact that most people look for replacement jobs while they are still employed. Most want to be sure that they already have a contingency plan once they resign. This can pose a problem if your employer is aware that you want to leave the company.

Supervisors tend to distrust subordinates that are already looking for a way out. Once people have decided to leave their job, they no longer want to impress their boss. They are no longer dedicated to work, they lose motivation and are more slack with regard to their responsibilities.

This is the main reason that employees want to hide their job search efforts from their bosses. Disgruntled employers may try to block the applications. They may even fire the employees to affect their records negatively. It’s best to keep your plans quiet until the next job is already in place. Here are some tips to make sure your boss doesn’t find out.

  • Don’t search for jobs opportunities in the office. Most people make the mistake of checking job sites during work hours. The Internet is free, and you may have some free time. However, the danger of your boss catching you filling out an application form is high. Companies also employ monitoring software on their computer networks. If you are caught looking for other jobs at work, you can get fired before you get the chance to resign.

  • Don’t tell co-workers. You may think most of your colleagues are sympathetic to your plight. After all, you have been commiserating about the same bosses and job problems for some time. Telling them of your plans before your boss can lead to your plans being revealed before you are ready.

A co-worker may tell your boss to gain approval. They may slip and accidentally spill the beans. Employers can also sense when there is new gossip circulating on the work floor. This is one of the skills developed while rising to the managerial level.

Even if you told only one co-worker, that person can say it to someone else, until the news spreads to the entire team. This ultimately leads to your boss finding out.

  • Schedule your interviews after hours or on sick days. One of the telltale signs that you are already looking for new work is the increase in sick days, or leaves. Most employers set job interviews during work hours, regardless of whether the applicant is currently employed. No matter what excuses you give to your boss, multiple absences are still noticeable. Your boss will either think you are lazy, or instinctively know that you are already talking to other companies.

To go around this, try scheduling job interviews after hours. Some companies have variations on the regular 9 to 5, Monday to Friday workweek. Maybe you can arrange an interview after your office hours or during a lunch break.

If employers insist on seeing you within office hours, try to schedule multiple interviews in one day. This reduces the number of rest days you need to ask for. There is also the greater chance that the leave will appear legitimate because you ask for them so rarely, and take the whole day off.

  • Do not use your immediate boss as a character reference. Most people will use their most recent employer as a character reference. This is a good practice if you are no longer working for that person. While not all employers contact each name on a reference list, they may call your boss to ask about you. This is one of the worst ways your supervisor can find out that you are already taking job interviews elsewhere.


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