When looking for a different job, there’s always a chance that your boss might find out. Here are three options to consider, before you begin your job search.
You’ve decided to look for a different job. While you are hoping to avoid giving away your job search, there’s always a chance that your boss will find out. What to do? Think through how you’ll handle the situation if your manager finds out – before you begin your job search. Here are three options to consider:
Honesty. There’s the old saying that “honesty is the best policy.” When your boss asks, “Are you looking for another job?” You could say, “Yes. I’ve been looking at what’s available within and outside the company. I’ve been feeling frustrated because I don’t see many chances for growth or promotion opportunities in my current position, so I’m looking at what else is available.”
When telling the truth, it’s important to say it without being defensive or accusatory. Use the situation as an opportunity to open a discussion with your manager: “I’m interested in career growth, and I would really appreciate it if we could schedule time to discuss my performance, responsibilities and potential career paths in the company.”
The partial truth. Let’s say your boss finds a job description that you printed on the department’s shared printer and confronts you. You could choose to be semi-truthful by saying a variation of, “Yes, I printed a few job descriptions. With performance appraisals coming up, I wanted to see what responsibilities are included in similar and slightly higher level positions to mine at other companies. I’ve been feeling less challenged lately, and I thought looking at other job descriptions might give me some ideas to include in my self-evaluation for areas I’d like to develop, so I can move into higher-level positions.”
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This response can also help open the door for communication with your manager on why you aren’t feeling challenged (if that’s one of your issues).
Lie. While I don’t encourage lying to others (especially your boss), one way to potentially save your job is to say, “No. Why do you ask?” If you can determine why your boss became suspicious, you’ll be better able to figure out how to keep it from happening again. Did you do something on social media that aroused their suspicion? Did a co-worker find out and say something?
Just remember, lying might be a short-term solution, but it can create a more difficult situation later. If you resign in a few weeks after obtaining another job, you may burn a bridge with your boss because he or she will know that you lied to them as soon as you quit.