You’re job hunting, and you’re trying to stay under the radar. You’re concerned that if your boss or a co-worker discovers that you’re looking there will be backlash. So, the first thing I need to say is just stop!
Because, here’s the danger: If you are worried about someone finding out about your job search, you will hold back.
You won’t do that thing that could get you an interview. You won’t talk to that person who could make an introduction. You’ll do a little bit, quietly. Which is candidly – never going to be enough to land a great job.
So let me ask you…
Why Are You Job Hunting?
What is it that is driving you to want a new job? Here are a few reasons I hear regularly:
- The stress is too much, we’ve downsized and I’m left doing everything.
- I don’t have the tools to do my job well
- I’m bored, I’ve stopped learning
- I haven’t been promoted or gotten a raise in too long, I see other people getting ahead and I’m stalled.
- The environment is toxic
- My boss is awful
- I’m overqualified
- I’m struggling, and I’ve been counseled about my performance
- It’s not a good fit for my values/lifestyle/family
- I’m miserable
Look at those reasons again. Any one of those are serious reasons to leave a job. And, if you’re like most people, more than one of them fit. Why would you allow what someone else thinks of you keep you in a role you feel that way about? I know why…
I’m afraid I’ll get fired, or my boss will make me even more miserable…
Tell Your Boss You’re Job Hunting
I know, I know…I’m going against everything you’ve ever heard or read that tells you to keep your job hunting a secret and hide your intentions.
And, I’m telling you that advice is just wrong-headed thinking from well-meaning people. They want you to play it safe. And I’m saying that playing it safe is going to keep you where you are doing what you’re doing.
Instead, I’m suggesting that you trust people to do the right thing. Assume the best of people instead of the worst and go get what you want and deserve.
Are you 100% sure that you will be walked out the door if your boss discovers you’re job hunting? What are the REAL chances of that? I’ll tell you it’s possible, but rare.
What does your fear say about your relationship with your boss? Nothing good. And, the truth is you really don’t know what might happen. So, why not have a meaningful conversation instead of feeling stuck?
There’s a very good chance you are blowing the potential consequences completely out of proportion.
Here’s what that conversation might look like:
Sarah, as you know… (because this isn’t the first time you’ve talked with your boss about the work, right?!)
I’ve been asking for some additional responsibilities to build my analytical skills because I’d like to move my career in that direction…OR
I haven’t felt like this role is the best fit for me for a while…OR
I’ve been working for a promotion here at ACME for some time now… OR
I’ve been working on becoming part of the team here… (or whatever your motivation for leaving is)
After a lot of consideration, I don’t see a long-term future for me here and I’ve decided to explore some other opportunities.
I wanted to let you know rather than sneak around and call in sick when I had an interview. And, I thought you and I could discuss how I could best transition, and I want to assure you that I will continue to give this job everything I’ve got in the meantime.
Then wait for the reaction. It’s going to be fine. If it’s not fine, you can handle it. Things may be uncomfortable, but isn’t your career worth a bit of short term discomfort? YES IT IS.
If you’d like to discuss exit strategies, I’m offering a special holiday package designed just for you, click here for details!