First, request an interview before or after work. But what if that isn’t feasible?
Q: I would like to find another job, but my work schedule makes it difficult to arrange interviews. Using vacation time might seem like the logical solution, but that’s not possible here. Due to the nature of our business, management requires vacation requests to be made 30 days in advance.
If I ask for time off on short notice, my boss will expect me to give him a reason. I’m not very good at lying, and I don’t feel right about faking a medical appointment. I have missed out on several opportunities because I couldn’t figure out how to go to interviews. How do other people deal with this?
A: Because most employers understand this dilemma, they will often try to accommodate. Therefore, your first strategy should be to explain your vacation restrictions and request an interview before or after work. If that isn’t feasible, then you will have to give your boss a plausible explanation for missing a few hours.
He is likely to be more receptive if your absence occurs during a slow period, so try to schedule interviews when you are least likely to be needed. As for the reason, you don’t need to invent a medical malady which might raise additional questions. Instead, simply treat this as you would any other confidential matter.
Send your boss an email explaining that you will be coming in late or taking a long lunch due to a personal appointment or family situation. Since employees often have private issues which they prefer not to discuss, most managers won’t interrogate people about such requests. But if you are pressed for details, simply give a vague reply, like “Oh, it’s just something I have to straighten out.”
If this tactic feels slightly shady, remember that everyone deserves a zone of privacy. Since admitting to a job search would clearly be self-defeating, overly intrusive bosses are practically inviting people to lie.
Submit questions to Marie G. McIntyre at yourofficecoach.com.