I hate the job I have, but I can’t afford to quit… at least not until I find another one. How can I make time for job interviews I may have without it interrupting my current work or my employer finding out? – Anna in Three Forks, MT
TINA: Anna, it is important that you have perspective here. While you might not like your current position, you are employed, paid for your time, and owe your current employer the respect to be present. That said, none of us want to deflect a new opportunity. Be truthful and acknowledge that you have an obligation to your current employer. Be available after work hours. Legitimate offers of employment will respect and understand your boundaries. If not, seriously consider whether or not you want to be engaged with a company that lacks values. Be sure to begin the conversation – at all times – with you “consider this to be confidential.”
LYNN: Anna, this is very normal situation. Be upfront with prospective employers that you are employed and will need to schedule interviews outside of your current work schedule. This demonstrates that you are a responsible and conscientious employee. Let prospective employers know that you don’t want your current employer contacted, as they are unaware you’re looking. Never use the computers, phones, or devices of your current employer for scheduling interviews, having phone or virtual interviews, or any prospective employer research.
In consideration of keeping your current employer in the dark regarding your job search, keep these additional tips in mind. Remember to be mindful of your surroundings when you answer your personal cell. When at work, it is probably best to let calls go to voicemail and return the calls when you are assured of privacy. When at lunch or on a coffee break, be aware of the people around you and be sure to find a private spot for your conversation.
Lynn Whitbeck is the co-founder and President of Petite2Queen. She is focused on identifying and evaluating opportunities for women at work, helping them define their personal roadmap. She dedicates herself to delivering tools and insights, embracing visualization of the big picture, and identifying and implementing the minutiae of detail. Lynn aims to share lessons learned along her journey and enable positive uplift for women.