Job Hunting At Work: How To Deal When Your Boss Is On To You

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Job hunting is pretty much a full time job in itself if you’re really devoted to it, so if you’ve ever found yourself browsing Monster, CraigsList, Indeed or LinkedIn while you’re on the clock at your current gig, you’re not alone. Now that the economy is improving and more jobs are being created, a study revealed that about 30 percent of us have searched for jobs online, set aside our lunch hour for an interview or taken calls from recruiters while we were actively at our current jobs.

But just because job hunting on the clock has become common doesn’t mean it’s good form.

Experts agree that it’s generally not a good idea to search, apply or interview for work when you’re on the clock, and there are lots of reasons for that.

First off, the potential employer you’re so eager to impress may give you some side eye for slacking off at your current gig to apply for a new one. Secondly, if you focus so much on nailing down a new gig, you may not do as good a job at your present job and end up leaving on a sour note and with one less reference for your resume. Not good!

Other ways to avoid giving away the fact that you’re job hunting on the job? Avoid these tells:

- Printing your resume at the company printer
- Using your work email account to contact employers
- Posting on job sites you know your boss frequents (especially if that’s how you got this job)
- Updating your LinkedIn when you know your boss will see it
- Conducting phone interviews in public work areas (save them for your car on your lunch, or at least run and hide in the bathroom!)
- Telling your coworkers that you’re leaving, because there’s a chance you’ll end up staying!

Other signs that you’re looking for an exit? Dressing up for interviews when you come to work. (If I ever wear pants, everyone knows I’m doing so to run away. Even my boss.)

These sound incredibly basic, but they’re actually some of the most common faux pas that job hunters make.

As for dealing with your supervisor, there’s a fine line between being too candid and too sneaky with your boss. If you’re truly miserable at your job, talk to your manager if you think he or she will understand and accommodate your need for advancement or even a recommendation letter–you may be pleasantly surprised. Remember, your boss is a person too, and if she likes you, she wants you to be happy. Because if you’re happy, you’ll do a better job … and if you’re unhappy and slacking, she deserves to know she needs to replace you.

Photo: ShutterStock

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