Look around your office. Five of your ten teammates are not happy at work, with a sixth one slowly getting there. According to a report published by The Conference Board, about 52% employees, in the US, say that they are not satisfied with their jobs. And the primary reason was cited as the lack of job security.
Before you start rejoicing in your I told you so moment, let us be clear that this is not an article to quantify your gut feeling by giving you multiple pages of data you already suspected. No but seriously, you already knew that people are terrified of losing their jobs.
It’s probably why they are willing to accept any and all of their boss’s demands – some reasonable enough to only cause a few bucks in weekly therapy while others scary enough to make you believe that there is a little doll somewhere with pins sticking out of its body. And it looks an awful lot like you!
We are going to talk about moving on from one twilight zone to another. It is quite possible that if the pins in your look-alike doll keep ruining every day, at work, you will most likely be tempted to take a chance with another job and yet another boss.
But what if your current nemesis, your boss, catches you two timing office work with your job search? What if he finds you penning How do I leave thee? Let me count the ways during your one-on-one?
To put it simply, what if your boss catches you looking for another job?
There are two ways you can go about this situation, really.
First. You lie.
Absolutely not recommended and let us already declare all the disclaimers there could be. We are not responsible for the consequences of your toddlerish behavior when you get caught with your hands in the cookie jar. Lying is a temporary solution. Always is. If your boss asks you whether you are looking to move out of your current job, feigning disbelief is only going to buy you a few days of relief, in the best case.
Really? Me looking for another job? Nooooooo!
Your boss wasn’t born yesterday. He probably has enough data to support his statement already and just testing your honesty about the situation. It wouldn’t be surprising if one of these scenarios has worked against you.
It could be either of these or one of the million other ways best kept secrets are spilled. So, word of the wise is – stay away from lying. No one is that good at acting. Even our actors aren’t that good at acting!
Worst of it all is that, either then or perhaps a few days later, when you actually leave, you will be thereafter known as le liar. Leaving behind such a lousy impression will only ruin your chances of ever getting him to do you any favors – writing your recommendation letter or one day even helping you to network with people who can do wonders with your career. You may just become an office pariah! Wouldn’t that be a bummer?
We should then totally move to option number two.
If your boss asks you whether you have been looking for another job, look at him in the eyes and nod yes. Don’t look apologetic but for sure proceed to give an explanation. Now here is where you can get creative. Oh wait! Did we say “honesty”? It’s actually more of honestish rather than honesty.
Now that you have already accepted your job hunting efforts, you may be able to turn the situation around to get him to understand or even sympathize with your ways. Here are some “explanations”.
Truth hurts but beats the loss of respect, and connections, you may face if and when you actually resign and move out. Chances are, your boss will gripe over this for two days and possibly even come back to you with a better deal for you to reconsider leaving your current job. Whether you accept the counter offer, or not, is best explored in this article – Should you accept a counter offer from your current employer?
Even the worst case scenario, of getting reprimanded or even fired, only leaves you more desperate to find your new job – a road you were already on. Albeit now with the urgency of a guy trying to get away from a raging bull!
It is no doubt a difficult situation to be in, but so is looking for a job, period. It comes with the risks, the caveats, the scandals, the misunderstandings, the drama and any of those emotions that have kept our Tv shows going, with sponsors too!
What you can do, however, is, be cautious to minimize said risks and the possibility of an unpleasant and awkward confrontation. So here are some risk-reducers that you should absolutely follow if you are looking for a job while being employed in one, without wanting your boss to join the party.
Let’s get smart about this. However badly you may want to move on to your next position you certainly don’t want to goof up your chances with the current one. It is like what they say,
A hundred in your hand is better than a two thousand rupee note under the mattress! (#demonetization)